Medicinal plants are gaining in popularity due to the various advantages they offer, such as fewer side-effects, better patient compliance, relatively low cost and high accessibility as well as their high acceptability due to a long history of use. There is a widespread belief among the general public that herbal preparations are “good for humans” as they are “all natural”. However, the increasing use of herbal medicinal products in the community where people are also receiving prescription medicines suggests that adverse herb-drug interactions may be have significant public health consequences. There is little understanding or appreciation of the fact that these “all natural” preparations are actually a combination of potentially biologically active compounds already existing in marketed products in unknown quantities. Among the most popular herbal products used worldwide is Ginkgo biloba, used for the treatment of cerebral insufficiency, peripheral vascular diseases, and frequently taken for the enhancement of memory function. Although the safety of Ginkgo biloba is promising, accumulated data show evidence of significant interactions with medications, which can place individual patients at great risk. In this review, we examined the literature from 2000 to 2008 and focused on the importance of the risk of drug interactions and potential side effects when Ginkgo biloba is involved. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the clinical evidence on interactions between Ginkgo biloba and drugs.
Keywords: Herb-Drug Interactions, Ginkgo biloba, Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacodynamic
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