Herbal Medications and the FDA

Many Pharmacy Technicians have questions about herbal supplements. We know that there are drug interactions with herbal medications. But what is the FDA’s role when it comes to herbal supplements? We first need to look at what exactly is herbal supplements and how are they used.

What are herbal supplements?

Herbal supplements are products made from plants for use in the treatment and management of disease and certain medical conditions. While we have many prescription medications that are also made from plant derivatives, those products are made with purified ingredients so they must be regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Herbal supplements are made and contain the entire plant or plant arts, so they are really considered food and not a medication or drug. Herbal medications are not subject to the same regulations as traditional medications.

There are many dosage forms of herbal supplements.You can take an herbal supplement in the form of a tea, a liquid, a powder and even a pill form.

The Latest Drugs Approved by the FDA

The FDA approval process for COVID-19 treatment has included a at home test as well as trials for several antivirals and vaccines. This urgent need has led many pharmaceutical companies to diligently pursue screening and diagnosis of infected patients in an effort to better understand the disease . As technicians working on the front lines, being aware of new drugs and treatments are essential to day to day activity in today's pharmacy.

*Check FDA.gov for additional information on these medications

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