Title: Synergism of ‘Nutraceutical’ and ‘Pharmaceutical’ for Safety
Written and Researched by Miss. Ekta K. Kalra
All rights reserved.
Combination therapy and synergism of ‘Nutraceutical’ and ‘Pharmaceutical’ can be recommended for safety, reduction of adverse effects, reduction of interactions and improvement of quality of healthcare services. For instance, Withania somnifera is the medicinal plant with proven anti-diabetic effect and used in the treatment of diabetes. It can therefore be suggested to prescribe Withania somnifera (May be Less Side Effects) with the required pharmaceutical medicine (May be More Side Effects). A combination therapy can thus help pharmaceuticals gain the image of lesser side effects and as they being respectful of natural products.
It is recommended to prescribe the natural with the synthetic to make the best of health care approach. For instance, if a pharmaceutical medicine has a dose of 100 mg then the dose can be reduced to 70 mg by prescribing it with a natural medicine. Cod liver oil which is a nutraceutical and has antidepressant effect can be prescribed with amitriptyline hydrochloride (Allopathic medicine) or imipramine (Allopathic medicine). However, it is important to study the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical drug interaction before prescribing a combination of any two products together.
Certain symptoms of a disease might be difficult to treat with one medicine in allopathic method of treatment. If some symptoms of a disease can be treated better with allopathic medicines and some symptoms with nutraceutical then a combination therapy be used. In another example the therapeutic drug can be a pharmaceutical but it can be combined with nutraceuticals where the natural products help fight the side effects of the pharmaceuticals. In such cases the main medicine can be an allopathic drug and the side effect of this drug can be treated with a nutraceutical. Another important aspect that can be considered in Nutraceutical research is: learning from Ayurveda , Chinese medicines, Herbal medicines, etc. so that knowledge does not repeat itself by human intelligence.
If a person wants to make a selection between nutraceutical and pharmaceutical for the treatment of a disease then the patient should have the free will to do so. This will enable better compliance of patients especially in case of psychiatric disorders treatment. However, the free will to choose between nutraceutical and pharmaceutical should not be granted in case of serious illnesses or where the two types of therapies are not almost equally effective for a disease. The same free will can be exercised when a patient wants to choose whether the side effects of an allopathic medicine are to be treated by a pharmaceutical or a nutraceutical. This can be considered as an advanced treatment method where the physician and the pharmacist should be trained in two human well being granting therapeutic methods. Another option can be that the people who treat using Nutraceuticals can be called “Nutracists” and the expertise in this area can be added to Pharmacists qualification by doing some certificate courses.
The major regulatory problem that can be considered in case of Nutraceutical is its “Effectiveness”. The “Safety” of Nutraceuticals can be almost assured. The major regulatory problem that can be considered in case of Biosimilars is its “Safety”. The “Effectiveness”of Biosimilars can be almost assured. It can be recommended that for regulatory purpose the Biosimilars and Nutraceuticals should be compared with each other so that there is comparison of the best in the market. Don’t be afraid of the safety of Nutraceuticals and don’t let Nutraceuticals be afraid of Biosimilars! Give the Patient World’s Best Choice NOT Just a Choice!
Miss. Ekta K. Kalra has completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Nagpur University, India. She is the sole author of the globally recognized publication on Nutraceutical (Kalra EK. Nutraceutical--definition and introduction. AAPS PharmSci. 2003; 5(3):E25). She is working as a Freelance writer.