Skin reactions linked to traditional medicines

Posted 27 July 2023

Researchers in India analyzed individual case reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) database (VigiBase) from between January 2016 and June 2021 describing adverse skin reactions linked to plant-based and animal-based products in natural form (described as traditional medicine).
Reference: Barvaliya MJ, and others. Suspected cutaneous adverse drug reactions reported with traditional medicines: Analysis of data for United Nations Asia region from WHO VigiBase. Frontiers in Pharmacology 14, May 2023

A total of 5,686 reports (19.9% of all adverse reaction reports) involved 8,588 skin-related reactions. Out of those reports, 3,523 involving 5,761 suspected skin-related reactions had sufficient information to be considered in the final analysis. The analysis revealed:

  • the most common skin reactions were itching (29.6%), rash (20.3%), and hives (18.9%)
  • the most common traditional medicines implicated in skin reactions were:
    (a) Artemisia argyi Lév. and Vaniot. with 856 reports, (14.9% of reactions),
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