A Case about the Improper Traditional Chinese Medication: Legal Questions about Off-Label Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Its Interaction
A Chinese medicine physician wrote a prescription with ingredients like ephedra and caffeine for the therapy losing weight for a patient which lead him/her to cardiogenic shock and to death. Since the ephedrine the preparations of ephedra have are different form each other, depending on its breeds, origins, batch numbers and pharmaceutical factories , it could have different ingredients of ephedrine and contents in the crude drugs, even though there doses are the same. It would be difficult consequently to confirm the safe dose. Besides, it has less scientific basis that the indication, effects, dosage and administration must correspond to the classical texts and makes the label therefore doubtful. It is also doubtful whether all of the Chinese medicine physicians realize that it would be a taboo to make the ephedra and caffeine have interactions and compatibility uses. Judgments concerning this case in all of instances would be analyzed and commented in this essay.