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PharmActa: Empowering Patients to Avoid Clinical Significant Drug–Herb Interactions

Computational Biomedicine Laboratory, Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology—Hellas, Heraklion, GR-70013 Crete, Greece
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Medicines 2019, 6(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010026
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety of Complementary Medicines)
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Abstract

Herbal medicinal products (HMPs) are the subject of increasing interest regarding their benefits for health. However, a serious concern is the potential appearance of clinically significant drug–herb interactions in patients. This work provides an overview of drug–herb interactions and an evaluation of their clinical significance. We discuss how personalized health services and mobile health applications can utilize tools that provide essential information to patients to avoid drug–HMP interactions. There is a specific mention to PharmActa, a dedicated mobile app for personalized pharmaceutical care with information regarding drug–HMPs interactions. Several studies over the years have shown that for some HMPs, the potential to present clinically significant interactions is evident, especially for many of the top selling HMPs. Towards that, PharmActa presents how we can improve the way that information regarding potential drug–herb interactions can be disseminated to the public. The utilization of technologies focusing on medical information and context awareness introduce a new era in healthcare. The exploitation of eHealth tools and pervasive mobile monitoring technologies in the case of HMPs will allow the citizens to be informed and avoid potential drug–HMPs interactions enhancing the effectiveness and ensuring safety for HMPs. View Full-Text
Keywords: complementary medicines; drug–herb interactions; eHealth; patient empowerment; personal health systems; pharmaceutical care complementary medicines; drug–herb interactions; eHealth; patient empowerment; personal health systems; pharmaceutical care
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Spanakis, M.; Sfakianakis, S.; Sakkalis, V.; Spanakis, E.G. PharmActa: Empowering Patients to Avoid Clinical Significant Drug–Herb Interactions. Medicines 2019, 6, 26.

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