June 2003: Case Study 1

Author:

EM, the 29-year-old wife of a professional golfer, is suddenly overcome with menstrual cramps while watching her husband play in a major tournament. She does not have anything in her pocketbook to alleviate her pain. She also does not want to leave the tournament to find a local pharmacy.

EM asks another golfer?s wife whether she has anything to treat cramps. EM specifies that she cannot take ibuprofenbecause she is currently receiving warfarin therapy. The other wife explains that she uses only herbal products because she does not want to pollute her body with chemicals. She offers EM a bottle of dong quai, saying that she uses it for her own menstrual cramps.

Should EM use the dong quai to relieve her menstrual cramps?

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EM should not take the dong quai. The concurrent use of dong quai and anticoagulants may increase the risk of bleeding.