Toxicovigilance : A prerequisite to drug safety surveillance in Ayurveda
Toxicovigilance is the active process of identifying and evaluating the toxic risks existing in a community and evaluating the measures to reduce or eliminate them. Although the technical term “toxicovigilance” does not feature in Ayurvedic texts, its essence is highlighted in Agada Tantra. Agada Tantra has comprehensive approach on toxic effects of Visha Dravyas (toxic substances) and its management. Through toxicovigilance; not merely there is scope for Ayurveda to find solution for toxicity issues, besides there is extensive scope for screening and regulating Ayurvedic formulations containing poisonous drugs of herbal/metal/mineral origin. In fact, study of poisonous drugs and ADR monitoring is an essential aspect in toxicological departments. It is the need of the hour to employ the Ayurvedic discipline of toxicology to explore the challenges that Ayurveda is facing today with regard to drug safety. A comprehensive study of all potential exposure associated with Ayurvedic medicaments, risk assessment, prevention and management can be the primary footstep in this direction. At this point, vigilance of toxic drugs is to be done by considering the guidelines on collection, pharmaceutical processing, indications, contraindications, dosage and antidotes as mentioned in Ayurvedic classics. Thus, data of toxicovigilance can be effectively applied in monitoring drug safety in Ayurveda.
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