UnerwŁnschte Wirkungen und Wechselwirkungen von Phytotherapeutika
Abstract: The significantly increased sales figures, many phytopharmaceutic drugs have realized during the last years prove the confidence, that a great part of the population shows for these drugs. The wide-spread view, that herbal remedies were free from side-effects is mainly responsible for this fact. The long tradition and the "natural" origin, people like to refer to, are however no guarantee for safety in dealing with herbal drugs. Even if a large proportion of the undesirable events is traceable to falsifications, impurities and lacking quality controls, herbal drugs with controlled quality must not be generally classified as harmless. In the meantime, it has been possible to prove the presence of active substances with toxic and cancerogenic properties in various phytopharmaceuticals. Now there exists an indication about the interaction with other drugs, where phytopharmaceuticals (presumably by the activation or inhibition of the cytochrome P450system) can influence the blood plasma level of various drugs. At present, especially data about the undesirable effects in the case of a long-term application of herbal drugs are under-represented. It is especially because of their harmlessness, that they often are prescribed in the case of chronic diseases and then taken over a longer period of time. The proportion of undesired effects of phytopharmaceuticals is remarkably low, even when taking into consideration the present lack of data about side-effects.