'More than a million pensioners risk worsening their chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke by taking herbal remedies alongside statins and warfarin, researchers have warned.
A new study found older people on the life-saving drugs are often also taking three or more herbal supplements, such as St John’s Wort or ginseng, which can reduce their effect.
Its authors said people regularly ingesting herbal medicinal products (HMPs) should inform their GP so that the risks of potential interactions with mainstream medication can be explained.
Published in the British Journal of General Practice, the study surveyed patients at two surgeries and found that one third of those over 65 were taking both prescribed drugs and herbal remedies.
Of these, a third were at risk of a herb-drug interaction, which if applied to the UK population means 1.3 million are at risk.
Roughly five million people are thought to take statins every day to control their cholesterol levels, while warfarin is taken by nearly one million.
As well as warning that the efficacy of these drugs may be reduced, the study identified a number combinations of medicines and herbal products which carried a “significant hazard”.'
Read more: Pensioners warned not to mix statins and herbal remedies
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