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2011 JULY–AUGUST No. 381
July 11, 2011 [posted]

NLM Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) Now Contains Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Products

[Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an announcement published on NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L, an e-mail announcement list available from the NLM Division of Specialized Information Services. To subscribe to this list, please see the NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L Join, Leave, or Change Options page.]

The National Library of Medicine® Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) has added complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products. CAM products generally consist of dietary supplements derived from botanicals (herbals), "nutraceuticals" (natural and synthetic nonherbals, such as coenzyme Q10), and related products.

The LactMed CAM product records bring together research on these products relevant to breastfeeding. Special emphasis is placed on potential side effects in mothers and infants and on other problems associated with the products. The CAM product records feature a new field for the products’ scientific genus and species names.

LactMed currently contains 19 of an expected 100 CAM products (cabbage, comfrey, lecithin, milk thistle, blessed thistle, stinging nettle, St. John's wort, garlic, fenugreek, blue cohosh, black cohosh, raspberry leaf, ginger, coenzyme Q10, borage, caraway, coriander, fennel, anise). These records focus on supplements that are frequently used by nursing mothers, including those claiming to stimulate lactation. Future products will include the most common supplements sold in the United States. A complete list of CAM records in the database can be found by using the search term "complementary therapies" in the main LactMed search box.

LactMed, part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM®) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®), is a database of drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant.

NLM Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) Now Contains Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Products. NLM Tech Bull. 2011 Jul-Aug;(381):e4.

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