Common uses and counseling points for new and emerging natural products

Course description
Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-13-006-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To enhance the pharmacist’s knowledge of homeopathic medicine and common herbal products, as well as to improve the pharmacist’s ability to counsel patients taking these products.


Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is a phrase used to describe medical processes that are not part of conventional medicine. CAM includes such practices as chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and aromatherapy. It also includes the use of herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals. Collectively, these substances are considered natural products. Although dietary supplements are found to be safe before reaching market, they still are associated with a number of drug-drug and drug-disease state interactions. In addition, many natural products do not have data and evidence to support safe usage in pregnant, lactating and child patient populations. It is important that pharmacists are familiar with the common concerns associated with these products. In addition, many patients ask pharmacists about natural products and options. Because of this, pharmacists should be familiar with the uses of the most commonly used natural products. They also should be aware of the current evidence-based recommendations for these products.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Explain the theory of homeopathy.
  2. Identify the uses of common and emerging herbal products.
  3. Discuss the mechanism of action of herbal products, such as red yeast rice, glucosamine and chondroitin.
  4. Identify key herbal-drug, herbal-disease state and herbal-laboratory interactions.
  5. Determine appropriate counseling points for patients using select herbal products.
To obtain credit:

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

All customer service questions should be directed to (800) 933-9666.

If you are a paid enrollee, there is no cost to participate in this lesson. The fee for participants who are not enrolled is $13.95.


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE Activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through June 7, 2016.

Faculty & disclosure

By Katherine Tromp, PharmD, assistant professor, director of student services, LECOM School of Pharmacy

Katherine Tromp and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
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