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Table 4 Participant Reactions and Behaviours

From: Consumers of natural health products: natural-born pharmacovigilantes?

ID # Product Reason for taking NHP Self prescribed ADR1 Severity1,2 Outcome Reporting Behaviour
1 Stress relief supplement (ingredients include L-theanine) For alertness/Stress Self prescribed Rash Moderate Recovered with OTC treatment Reported to PHM, manufacturer via HFS
2 Fish oil For health maintenance Self prescribed Rash Mild Recovered after d/c Reported to CAM
3 Weight loss product ingredients unknown) For weight loss Self prescribed Stimulation, irritability, road rage Severe Recovered after d/c Report to f/f, HFS
4 Digestive enzymes (ingredients include amylase, protease, lipase) For digestive concerns Self prescribed Stomach pain, bloating, heartburn Moderate Re-challenged, Recovered after d/c Did not report
5 1. Herbal cleanse
2. [Wished not to disclose product type or name]
1. Cleansing product
2. For energy
1. Self prescribed
2. Self prescribed
1. flatulence, bowel urgency, stomach discomfort
2. anxiety, depression, nervousness, nausea
1. moderate to severe
2. moderate to severe
1. recovered after d/c
2. recovered after d/c
1. Did not report
2. Contacted manufacturer
6 1. Ginkgo biloba
2. weight loss product
3. St. John's wort
1. for memory
2. for weight loss
3. for mood
1. Self prescribed
2. Self prescribed
3. Self prescribed
1. sweating
2. shaky, disoriented
3. photosensitivity
1. mild
2. severe
3. mild
1. recovered after d/c
2. recovered after d/c
3. recovered after d/c
1. Did not report
2. Did not report
3. Did not report
7 Valerian For sleep Self prescribed Agitated, unsettled Moderate Recovered after d/c Did not report
8 Fish oil For health maintenance Self prescribed Rash Mild Recovered after d/c Report to CAM, f/f, manufacturer
9 Thyroid glandular For weight loss MD prescribed Headache, nausea Severe Changed dose Report to MD
10 Multi-vitamin For health maintenance Self prescribed Nausea, vomiting Severe Re-challenged, recovered after d/c Report to f/f
11 Weight loss product For weight loss Self prescribed Heartburn Mild to moderate Re-challenged, recovered after d/c Report to f/f
12 Melatonin For sleep Self prescribed Groggy, uncoordinated Mild to moderate Recovered after d/c Did not report
  1. 1 some participants experienced reactions to more than one product; 2 severity is classified according to patient definition of severity; d/c = discontinuation; CAM = complementary and alternative medicine practitioner; MD = medical doctor; PHM = pharmacist; F/f = friends and family; HFS = health food store