Dietary Supplement Polypharmacy: An Unrecognized Public Health Problem?
Excessive and inappropriate use of medications, or ‘polypharmacy’, has been recognized as a public health problem. In addition, there is growing use of dietary supplements in the United States; however, little is known about the patterns of supplement use. Recent reports in the literature of cases of excessive or inappropriate use of herbal dietary supplements leading to the term ‘polyherbacy’. The clinical vignettes described in this article highlight the need for further research on the nature and extent of multiple and inappropriate dietary supplement use or ‘dietary supplement polypharmacy’. Clinical interviewing and population surveys both address this issue in complementary ways, and provide a further understanding of dietary supplement use patterns.