Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical products and practices that are not part of standard medical care. Commons examples of CAM include herbal medicine and dietary supplements. In Malaysia many people are using CAM whether to prevent or treat diseases, or to maintain health. Some CAM have good evidence for effectiveness, while some others lack clinical benefits for use to prevent or treat diseases, or to maintain health.
People normally perceived CAM as safe, and many believed that they can be used without risk or complication. However, certain CAM products such as herbal medicine and dietary supplements can in fact cause adverse effects and interact with medications. Therefore, it is important for the consumers to consult a healthcare professional such as the pharmacists about their CAM use.
How Rhazes Pharmacist Consultants could help ensuring the safe use of CAM products?
Rhazes Pharmacist Consultants can recommend if the use of CAM products is suitable for a patient. Through assessment of medical and medication histories of patients, pharmacists can assess if the use of CAM products is appropriate. If the use of CAM is judged to be unsuitable, pharmacists could refer patients to other suitable medical care.
Rhazes Pharmacist Consultants are trained in critical appraisal of the evidences of effectiveness and safety of CAM products. Therefore, they can provide professional advice on both the benefits and risks of the products. Additionally, since there are various CAM products in the market, pharmacists can help consumers select the most appropriate product based on their needs and aims of use.
Rhazes Pharmacist Consultants can also recognize and identify problems associated with the use of CAM products such as drug-supplement interactions and contraindications. This will ensure safety of consumers by preventing complications from drug-supplement, and disease-supplement interactions.
Additionally, Rhazes Pharmacists Consultants can advise the correct amount and way of taking CAM products so that consumers can benefit from the use, and avoid overconsumption which could be detrimental to them.
They are many misleading claims about CAM products. Rhazes Pharmacist Consultants can help consumers understand both the benefits and risks of taking CAM products, and correct misconceptions about the products. This will promote the safe use of the products.
This Rhazes CAM Group aims to promote the safe use of CAM products among the consumers. We believe that CAM is part of the local culture, and its use among the consumers should be respected. However, it is important to ensure the safe use CAM products to maintain the well-being of consumers. We also act as a source of information center to other pharmacists that would like to get advice on CAM. The members of this group are well trained in the area.