Drug Saf. 2022 May 24. doi: 10.1007/s40264-022-01180-5. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The inclusion of herbal medicinal products and herbal supplements in pharmacovigilance systems is important because a systematic approach of collecting and analyzing adverse drug reactions related to these products will help practitioners, patients, and regulators to gain more knowledge and prevent harm.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to categorize the adverse drug reaction reports on herbal medicinal products and herbal supplements submitted to the Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb between 1991 and February 2021 on the basis of their regulatory status, herbs included, and adverse drug reactions involved.
METHODS: We categorized products on the basis of their registration status and herbal ingredients. The products were then categorized according to the Herbal Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System. We used descriptive statistics in Microsoft Excel 2019. Pivot tables were used for the analysis and presentation of the data.
RESULTS: Until February 2021, a total of 789 reports of herbal medicinal products and herbal supplements were received by Lareb. In these reports, a total of 823 herbal products were labeled as suspect. These products caused a total of 1727 adverse drug reactions. Of the 823 products, 229 were registered as a medicine, and 594 were on the market as a herbal supplement. Of the 823 herbal products, 522 reports concerned single-herb products, 256 reports concerned combination products, 27 reports concerned vitamin products containing herbal ingredients, and 18 reports concerned product issues. Approximately 15% of reports concerned serious adverse drug reactions, and adulterated products harbored a high risk of causing serious adverse drug reactions.
CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of the herbal medicinal products and herbal supplements in the Dutch pharmacovigilance database revealed a variety of suspected herbal ingredients. The reports provide insight into the variety of herbal products used in the Netherlands and the adverse reactions associated with their use. Pharmacovigilance of herbal products is essential to ensure their safe use.