Coprescription of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Western Medications among Prostate Cancer Patients: A Population-Based Study in Taiwan

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:147015. doi: 10.1155/2012/147015. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Use of herbal medicine is popular among cancer patients. This study aimed to explore the coprescription of CHM and WM among prostate cancer patients in Taiwan. This cross-sectional retrospective study used a population-based database containing one million beneficiaries of National Health Insurance. Claims and prescriptions were analyzed. In 2007, 218 (22.4%) prostate cancer patients were CHM users. Among CHM users, 200 (91.7%) patients with 5618 (79.5%) CHM prescriptions were on coprescription of CHM and WM. A total of 484 types of CHM and 930 types of WM were used. The most commonly used CHMs on coprescription were Shu Jing Huo Xue Tang, Ma Zi Ren Wan, and Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. The most commonly used WMs on coprescription were magnesium oxide, amlodipine, and aspirin. The average number of prescriptions per user per year was 261.2 versus 151.7 in all (P < 0.001), 123.6 versus 76.9 in WM (P = 0.033), and 34.8 versus 5.1 in CHM (P < 0.001) for patients with and without coprescription, respectively. In conclusion, use of CHM among prostate cancer patients was popular in Taiwan. Most CHMs were used with WM concurrently. The potential drug-herb interactions should be investigated, especially for patients with more prescriptions.