Turmeric supplement warning after fatality: TGA

Michelle Wisbey

17/08/2023 4:22:33 PM

The health watchdog is calling on GPs to be aware of supplements containing the common spice after 18 consumers reported liver injuries.

Turmeric supplements spilling open.
The TGA found more than 600 listed medicines currently contain curcuma species or curcumin, many of which are widely available.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has revealed a rare, but potentially fatal link between consuming turmeric supplements and developing liver problems.
The regulator has received 18 reports of liver injuries from consumers taking products containing turmeric or curcumin, one of which ended in fatality, while two others were classed as ‘severe’.
Although the risk of injury is rare, the TGA has advised both consumers and medical professionals to be wary of the widely available medicines and herbal supplements.
The TGA confirmed the risk does not relate to consuming turmeric in typical dietary amounts.
More than 600 medicines included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods currently contain curcuma species or curcumin, many of which can be bought in supermarkets, health food shops and pharmacies without a prescription.
‘The risk may be higher for products with enhanced absorption or bioavailability and/or higher doses,’ the TGA said.
‘People with existing or previous liver problems may be more likely to develop this rare adverse event.
‘However, there is not enough information at this time to conclusively identify which medicines are higher risk.’
The TGA warned GPs to consider whether a complementary medicine could be involved when treating patients who are presenting with symptoms of liver injury.
It also said GPs should avoid offering medicinal supplements containing turmeric to those with existing or previous liver conditions.
Warning signs include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, or loss of appetite.
The same risks are also related to other ingredients from the species, including curcuma aromatica, curcuma zanthorrhiza and curcuma zedoaria.
The TGA will continue to monitor the situation and is considering further regulatory action, including adding a warning label on applicable products.

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Dr Eszter Fenessy   18/08/2023 9:33:32 AM

Sadly with the rise of fragmentation of care there is already a significant impairment in a long term holistic care based on a respectful doctor patient relationship.

Dr Subhabrata Ghosh Chaudhury   19/08/2023 11:15:03 PM

General Practitioners are now days play important roles in the communities to provide primary care and early detection of diseases.
Speciality care may be a case of referral.
Fundamental approachs to primary care are provided by General Practitioners.
Primary care for any acute conditions to Antenatal and post natal care to immunizations to screening of communicable diseases and non communicable diseases all are provided by General Practitioners through out the world.
Now it is the time to enrich the general physician by upgrading there knowledge via digital platform must be initiated around the globe.
RACGP is also playing an important to upgrade the general physicians and rural primary care providers.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to RACGP.