Got Side Effects from a Supplement? An Adverse or Nasty Reaction from a Dietary Product?
If you have experienced an adverse reaction from any dietary supplement, natural remedy, or alternative or complementary medicine – any sort of side effect or negative experience – it’s important to report your event to the proper authorities.
Well, there 5 reasons why reporting an adverse reactions is important…
There are 10’s of 1,000’s of supplements, natural remedies and alternative medicines sold both online and off, with more released every day.
While there are regulatory agencies in place in many countries to protect consumers from contaminated products as well as those that make exaggerated and fraudulent claims, they simply cannot keep up with the volume of products… especially for those sold only online (often by companies of dubious credibility).
Your report will draw attention to products that have not necessarily crossed the collective radars of the appropriate regulatory agencies.
A recent report showed that over half of the major drug recalls in the U.S. were for dietary supplements that contained illegal drugs (mostly weight loss, body building and sexual enhancement products).
Clearly, remedies spiked with drugs should not be classified as nutritional supplements, and instead should be subject to the same regulations to which any prescription medicine is subjected.
Over half of the major drug recalls in the U.S. were for dietary supplements that contained illegal drugs.
Reporting an adverse reaction may save someone else’s life, especially if the remedy in question is contaminated with drugs that have their own side effects, or interact with common prescription medications.
In addition to the health ramifications of taking contaminated complementary medicines and remedies, imagine being in law enforcement, the military or any job that requires regular urine tests to confirm the absence of illegal substances.
Now imagine testing positive for a drug you never knowingly took. Reporting adverse reactions of negative side effects helps prevent this from happening.
Because supplements are very loosely regulated, the supplement industry is an industry rife with charlatans and con men.
The idea that those who sell supplements are always on the side of the angels is, if you’ll pardon my “French”, complete bullshit. Reporting products that may be contaminated helps identify these folks to the proper authorities.
Where to Report or File An Adverse Event/Reaction Report
Where you file an adverse reaction event depends on your country of origin. Not all countries/governments however, offer a robust service for the reporting of side affects associated with alternative and complementary medicines.
I’ve included a partial list below of the countries that offer consumers some options for reporting unpleasant side effects.
In the U.S., adverse reactions should be reported to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) through the Safety Reporting Panel.
In Canada, side effects from dietary supplements should be reported to Health Canada.
In the U.K., an initiative called the “Yellow Card Scheme” (spearheaded by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency or MHRA) gathers information on the adverse effects of licensed medicines, herbal supplements and remedies, over-the-counter medicines and and even unlicensed medicines found in cosmetic treatments.
In Australia, adverse events from over-the-counter and complimentary medicines is handled by the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration Blue Card Reporting system.
You an download a PDF version of the blue card form, as well as learn more about the service by clicking here!
In New Zealand, you can report the side side effects of dietary supplements, alternative natural remedies and complimentary medicines through at Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).
Learn more about CARM here.
Submit a adverse reaction report here.
In India, adverse events associated with herbals, traditional and complementary medicines, blood products, biologicals, medical devices and vaccines are handled by the Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPi).
You can learn more about the program here.
Download the Adverse Drug Reaction form here.
Your Comments & Feedback
If we’ve missed any valuable resources that are useful for reporting adverse reactions anywhere on the globe, please share them in the comments below. I’d appreciate it… and so would our viewers.
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