Complementary Medicines Risk Management Manual

Complementary medicines, commonly referred to as “traditional” or “alternative” medicines, include a wide variety of therapy such as herbal products, vitamins and minerals, homeopathic medicines, nutritional supplements and aromatherapy products.This manual will focus primarily on herbal products, vitamins and minerals and nutritional supplements.

Research has shown that 2 out of 3 Australians use complementary medicines each year and this statistic is increasing. This increasing use of complementary medicines may be partly due to the belief that complementary medicines are “safe to use” and the majority are available without a prescription.  Therefore, it is important that aged care facilities are aware of the risks involved with the use of complementary medicines which may potentially have adverse effects, interactions and precautions similar to conventional medicines.  To that end, this resource demonstrates and offers a rationale.