Pharmacistsâ€™ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Towards Herbal Remedies In West Bank, Palestine
Keywords:Herbal Medicine, Atittude, Pharmacists, Herb-drug interaction, Palestine,
Background: There is an increasing trend towards consumption of complementary and alternative herbal products in many parts of the world.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge and attitudes among
pharmacists in West Bank, Palestine towards the use of herbs.
Methods: Self-administered questionnaire was designed as the study instrument and distributed among 350 qualified pharmacists working in government and private pharmacies in West Bank, Palestine.
Results: The response rate was 82.9% (290/350). The mean age of the pharmacists was 32.9 (SD=6.5) years. The majority of the pharmacist 238 (82.1%) worked in the community pharmacies and their experience in practice ranged from 1 to 26 years. Product package instructions and product representative were the most consulted by the pharmacists (128; 44.2% and 73; 25.2% respectively). General health tonic preparations were the most widely dispensed drugs (142; 48.9%), followed by cough preparations (55; 19.0%) and slimming agents (64; 22.1%). The Majority of pharmacists (195; 67.2%) believed herbal remedies were effective; however, about fifty percent of the pharmacists had concern about their safety. The knowledge of respondents about the indications of herbal medicine was good, but their awareness of interactions, contraindications and adverse effects was inadequate. The majority of Pharmacists (255; 87.9%) believed that herbal product should undergo increased regulation and (215; 74.9%) believed that information available about herbal and natural product isn't adequate.
Conclusion: Many pharmacists in Palestine believed that herbal remedies were an effective alternative therapeutic option. Continuing education programs, for practicing pharmacists, in herbal medicine should be encouraged. This would enable pharmacists to provide competent, effective and holistic patient care.
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