Taking Chinese herbal medicine and Western medicine at the same time may cause a cross-reaction and affect drug absorption, even lead to an unexpected possibility of adverse reactions. As the body constitution and disease condition of each patient are different, therefore, patients with these concerns should better consult a doctor or pharmacist. If cannot get a definite answer from them, patients are generally recommended to take those medicines with a two-hour interval. So far no serious adverse reactions have been found and reported associated with the combination of western medicine and Chinese medicine in clinical treatment in mainland, China.
Generally speaking, patients should not take the food that are not easy to digest, such as, raw, cold, pungent, spicy, greasy and gamy while taking Chinese medicine. In addition, dietetic contraindication varies with specific conditions.
The majority of Chinese herbal medicines are natural, and their active ingredients are complex. Therefore, improper use of Chinese herbal medicine may cause side effect to some extent, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, etc. The incompatibility between different herbs and the contraindications of different individuals should be taken into full consideration. Dose of medicine and period of treatment should be adjusted precisely. Herbs should be processed and combined properly. And patients should take herbal medicine under the direction of doctors.
The active ingredients of Chinese herbal medicine are more complex, not as clear as Western medicine. Generally, Western medicine can be discharged from a human body after several half-life periods of medicine. For example, under the guidance of doctors or pharmacists, patients may stop taking contraceptive pills for at least half a year then pregnancy can be allowed.
Chinese herbal medicine has relatively less clinical researches in this field and the evidence is yet not sufficient but it is commonly believed that Chinese herbal medicine are comparatively safe and reliable.
Usually it is safer to get pregnant after stop taking Chinese herbal medicine for 3-6 months. Before getting pregnant, patients with specific conditions should always consult their doctors. Before or during pregnancy, patients should closely follow their doctors’ instructions if they want to take fertility-promoting Chinese herbal medicine or miscarriage-prevention Chinese herbal medicine.
During pregnancy, patients are allowed to take Chinese herbal medicine but it is not usually recommended. For instance, do not use herbs with strong-effect, highly toxicity, or herbs that may cause abortion such as Yingsuqiao, Shexiang, etc. Using herbs with certain functions, such as invigorating the circulation of blood and dissolving blood stasis, moving qi, drastic purging and some herbs with warming effect, for example, artificial bezoar, Sanqi, etc, should be used with caution. Before taking Chinese herbal medicine, pregnant patients should always consult their doctors or pharmacists.
It is said that “medicine is somewhat toxic”. Chinese herbal medicine, for example, is also a kind of medicine with its own indications. Taking Chinese herbal medicine or the duration of time should be based on patients’ physical conditions, and final treatment should be determined by both doctors and patients after analysis. Patients must consult their doctors or health care providers for specific medication instead of self-medicating for safety reason, no matter what the reasons or purposes of treatment are. From a traditional point of view, nourishing herbal medicines such as Liuweidihuang Pills and Bazhen Decoction, can also cause side effects and do harm to health with improper use.