Adverse events and poisoning from over-the-counter traditional Chinese medicine: a population-based survey
JH Kim, CH Chung, CH Lau, WB Goggins, JTF Lau, SM Griffiths
The Jockey Club School of Public Health & Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Key Messages
1. Adverse events related to over-the-counter (OTC) traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use are much more prevalent in Hong Kong than previously suggested from hospital-based data.
2. Widespread misperceptions among users, and the use of unreliable OTC TCM information sources (such as magazines) present major challenges for safe OTC TCM use.
3. In addition to greater consumer education, OTC drug safety can be improved with more stringent labelling regulations, up-to-date OTC TCM product safety websites for consumers and health professionals, and improved surveillance of adverse events in an outpatient setting.