Evaluation of Herbal and Dietary Supplement Resource Term Coverage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is increasingly popular in places like North America and Europe where western medicine is primarily practiced. People are consuming herbal and dietary supplements along with western medications simultaneously. Sometimes, supplements and drugs react with one another via antagonistic or potentiation actions of the drug or supplement resulting in an adverse event. Unfortunately, it is not easy to study drug-supplement interactions without a standard terminology to describe herbal and dietary supplements. This pilot study investigated coverage of supplement databases to one another as well as coverage by the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) and RxNorm for supplement terms. We found that none of the supplement databases completely covers supplement terms. UMLS, MeSH, SNOMED CT, RxNorm and NDF-RT cover 54%, 40%, 32%, 22% and 14% of supplement concepts, respectively. NDF-RT provides some value for grouping supplements into drug classes. Enhancing our understanding of the gap between the traditional biomedical terminology systems and supplement terms could lead to the development of a comprehensive terminology resources for supplements, and other secondary uses such as better detection and extraction of drug-supplement interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2015
Subtitle of host publicationeHealth-Enabled Health - Proceedings of the 15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics
EditorsAndrew Georgiou, Indra Neil Sarkar, Paulo Mazzoncini de Azevedo Marques
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781614995630
StatePublished - 2015
Event15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics, MEDINFO 2015 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Duration: Aug 19 2015Aug 23 2015

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics, MEDINFO 2015
CitySao Paulo


  • Biomedical terminology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Herbal and nutritional supplements
  • RxNorm
  • UMLS


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Herbal and Dietary Supplement Resource Term Coverage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this