Natural Health Products (NHP’s) are natural in nature and are used widespread by parents and physicians alike. However, the majority of parents are unaware of the dangers when combining NHP’s with various medications.
Young critically ill children with chronic conditions influencing dynamic blood flow such as central line related thrombosis or cardiac surgeries needing long-term anticoagulation therapy are being prescribed Warfarin.
Warfarin is an agent that is commonly prescribed to prevent clot formation and extensions (Bauman, 2012). When prescribed warfarin physicians should advise the patient against taking any herbal preparations without permission. Several herbs and medications can have a cumulative effect with this particular drug (Asperheim, 2009).
NHP’s are products such as vitamins, minerals, traditional and herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, probiotics, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. These products can have adverse effects on a patient when combing them with certain prescribed medications. Therefore it is dire that all consumption be reported immediately to the attending physician.
Parents of these ill children are simply trying to improve their well-being at the same time increase their immunity by supplying an extra kick. The lack of community education referencing NHP’s is to blame. There is an increased need of education and the risks of combining warfarin and NHP’s.
It was discovered that not all parents were disclosing information about giving their Warfarinized children NHP’s and the ones that were reporting usage were not being one hundred percent honest one hundred percent of the time.
Therefore what information could be gathered and researched was inconclusive and inaccurate. In order to prevent the harming of children more comparable data is needed. This data will be used for research and studies to provide accurate information when combining Natural Health Products in Warfarinized children.
“Use of vitamins for example, in Warfarinized children has the potential to alter platelet function and/or influence the INR, which, if affected, may influence the patient’s risk of thrombotic or hemorrhagic events in an unpredictable and inconsistent manner” (M. E. Bauman, Mack, Bruce, M. L. Bauman, Nolan, Massicotte p. 103).
This study was funded partly by the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Women and Children Health Research Institute and will be repeated in hopes of more in depth and accurate information (Bauman, 2012). Medication was meant to help heal the sick not cause more grievance.
When parents and patients alike do not adhere to the orders and precautions that are printed on the label, death can strike at a moment’s notice. It is vital to have an open dialog with the attending physician for exactly this reason (Peuhs, 2012).
Asperheim, M. (2009). Introduction to Pharmacology (11th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders. Bauman, M. E., Mack, G., Bruce, A., Bauman, M. L., Nolan, K., & Massicotte, M. (May/June 2012). Natural Health Product Utilization in Warfarinized Children; Prevalence and Knowledge. J Pharm Technol, 28(3), 100-104.