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January 22, 2013

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Excellent tool. It's always good to know what resources you have available as a practitioner to check these important interactions. It easy sometimes to forget that "natural product" doesn't always translate to "without risks". No one ever wants a repeat fiasco like with the drug thalidomide in the UK. I'll encourage patients to remember they can call on their pharmacist as well to help them find these important answers.

I think the pregnancy/lactation checker is a perfect addition to the NS database! It's shocking to read that only 7% of women who take herbals during pregnancy actually consult a CAM professional about potential teratogenic effects. It's a resource I will surely use in my practice!

This is a great idea and resource to have on-hand. Too often I shy away from recommending products to pregnant ladies because it seems like information isn’t readily available on how drugs (especially herbal products and supplements) may affect them. A pregnancy and lactation checker is definitely a resource I will find quite helpful.

I totally agree with referring patient to the Pregnancy & Lactation website and OBGYN since these are evidence based or experts opinions. I totally believe there are many self appointed therapists and it is up to healthcare professionals to educate them that it is better be safe because after all herbs are medications too.

This is a great tool, I always find tools that check drug interactions very helpful. This is especially useful since many people are unsure of what natural products they can take during pregnancy and lactation. It is interesting that so many women in Australia take vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. The usage is similar in the US and shows that there is a definite need for a checker tool. This tool will be very useful for physicians and pharmacists to assist their patients. I am glad Natural Standard developed this.

I checked the Pregnancy & Lactation Checker, it is a very useful tool, it provides direct information and supporting studies looking at different trimesters, FDA data, pharmacokinetics and many other important points to take in to consideration when counseling an individual. For example caffeine consumption less than 200mg is allowed, while I personally know individuals who decide to not consume any caffeine because they think it can cause harm to the fetus. So while this tool helps in avoiding the use of products that may harm the fetus it also can be used to educate pregnant ladies on what they can still consume.

I think this is a great idea for a resource and I am personally glad that the Natural Standard has made it available. I am a pharmacy intern and often times we get one of the questions we dread, "Can I take this while pregnant?" As KL mentioned it is always a good idea to inform them that they should talk to their doctor but often times the patient wants to know something now. With a tool such as this I am able to give the patient some basic information that I may not have normally known.

I hate the feeling of "not knowing" when pregnant and breastfeeding women have questions about CAM products. I would never recommend that a pregnant or breastfeeding woman take an herbal product without clearing it with her OBGYN first, but it is great that this tool provides such easy access to the the information. I could use this pregnancy and lactation tool to educate myself, provide the patient with the available information, and possibly prevent her from taking a potentially harmful product.

This is such a great tool! It is very easy to use and provided me with all of the information I was looking for within a minute or two. It is great to see Natural Standard responding to demand and creating more and more tools that are incredibly useful in the healthcare arena. I look forward to having this tool in my pocket the next time a pregnant patient asks the usually dreaded question of whether they can take an herbal supplement!

I a so glad this tool is now available! As a pharmacist I am always recommending products to pregnant women, and it is not always easy to find information about their safety in pregnant and lactating women, especially when it comes to some of the more obscure herbal treatments. I am really glad to see this tool has been developed to fill in that void in the pharmacy world.

I think that it is important for pharmacists to be well versed in these products regardless. How can you call yourself a "drug expert" if you don't know? The simple truth is that some people can't afford to go to the doctor, and pharmacies become their walk-in doctors office. Half the time I tell people in my area that they need to talk to their doctor, I see them reach for something on the shelf because they know that they won't make a visit. Information is power! Let's provide it!

I was surprised to see the statistic that >50% of patients take herbal medicine during pregnancy - perhaps because they believe it is more safe than prescription medications? I agree with the previous poster about being cautious about making over the counter recommendations to pregnant patients. I do think its a good idea to have them talk to their OBGYN but this tool at least can offer some guidance on what should be absolutely be avoided.

It seems like very few clinical trials are done in women who are pregnant making it difficult to recommend products as a pharmacist. Pretty much all the herb and supplement monographs that I have read have said that the product should be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding women until more information is available. However, I think this can be a great resource for pharmacists and doctors. As a pharmacist, you can provide patients with more information about natural products and tell the patient to discuss that information with their doctor before making a decision. I know that omega-3 supplementation has been studied in pregnant women and in the one study I read increased gestational length but I also have heard how some women/doctors may be concerned about contaminants in omega-3 supplements (mercury, pesticides ect.). Pharmacists can use this resource to give information about natural products but remind patients to check with their OBGYN before starting something new.

I agree that is it good advice to refer pregnant patients seeking supplemental use to their OBGYN. However, in such case where a trusted clinician or pharmacist need a reference tool to easily check safety in pregnant and lactating women, this resource is very helpful and comes handy.

Natural Standard's Pregnancy & Lactation Checker is an amazing and powerful tool. After spending only a few seconds on the page I was able to easily navigate through all the alternative therapy options, which is definitely a plus for consumers. Additionally, for all the healthcare professionals out there, the information provided is numerically cited and by clicking on the blue reference number you will automatically open the abstract of the trial in which this information was taken (as is the case for all the Natural Standard monographs). One suggestion I may have to improve the page would be to incorporate a list of the Top 10 or Top 20 most commonly used therapies during pregnancy and/or breast-feeding which may assist in the conversation between providers and consumers who use these popular therapies.

As a pharmacist I personally do not recommend products to pregnant women who ask me questions about over the counter products. I always refer them to their OBGYN as they are well versed in this area. I do however think it is important to have this resource for when a patient asks about an herb or supplement they are taking and are pregnant because I would be able to give them information that I otherwise would not be well educated on.

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