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Mandatory reading !!!

Posted by Barb-NY on 2/27/01 at 07:59 (039983)

I think this needs to be said:

I and many others on this board have relayed our successes and failures with different supplements, homeopathics, and other drugs that we are taking and trying (and basically experimenting with).

Many alternative treatments are good, but many are also very dangerous when mixed with other drugs. Anyone taking heart medication, allergy medication, or for that matter ANY MEDICATION, should ask their appropriate health care professional (Doctor and pharmacist) BEFORE proceeding with alternative medications and supplements. This is not a minor matter. Many drugs do not tolerate being mixed with other drugs and can can cause minor to very major problems and reactions.

We are all looking for the cure. We will try anything when we are in unrelenting pain. But we must first stop and ask important questions.

Web sites and books can be very informative, but they cannot and must not replace your doctor.

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

john h on 2/27/01 at 09:49 (039987)

agree with your assessment barb but the problem is most general M.D.'s know little or nothing about herbs and suppliments. even your local pharmacist is likely to little about interaction of herbs and suppliments with conventional medications. there are perhaps two doctors in my city of 300,000 that know anything about herbs and suppliments. there are not many Dr Koops around!

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

Nancy S. on 2/27/01 at 10:17 (039991)

Good point, Barb.
John may be right, but I would think a thorough doctor or pharmacist would make it a point to find out if he or she didn't already know.
The very first thing the homeopathic doctor I went to had me do was write down for him what medications I take. So he handled the issue at his end, and specifically said that it was safe (and that I should continue) to take the medications I'm already on, along with the natural medicines he himself was prescribing.
He also said that if in time I feel so much better that I want to try going off the medications I've been on for a long time, 'discuss this with your doctor and be sure to tell or show him the homeopathic medicines you're taking.'
Nancy

Re: A book that lists herb/med reactions

Beverly on 2/27/01 at 12:59 (040002)

Barb makes a good point about being careful when taking herbs with meds.
I have found that most doctors know the popular herbs like St. John's Wort and what they interact with, but they aren't usually up on some of the less common ones.

I found a book called 'The Natural Pharmacist: Your Complete Guide to Herbs' by Steven Bratman, M.D. It is like a PDR for herbs. Besides telling about the herb's potential benefits, it also lists side effects and lists drug interactions.
My copy was published in 1999. I found it at a health food store. So bear in mind that newer drugs that came out after 1999, won't be listed.

I have been to one doctor in my whole life who asked for a list of all the supplements and herbs I take. None of the rest of them have ever asked.

Beverly

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

Julie on 2/28/01 at 01:04 (040050)

I think the point is really that we shouldn't just rush off and start devouring the supplements/remedies that have helped someone else without investigating them for ourselves, and, in the case of homeopathic remedies, without having them prescribed specifically for us.

The ways in which a supplement may interact with other medication we're taking, especially for serious conditions like heart ailments, also need to be thought about, and perhaps in these cases a doctor ought to be consulted.

But in my experience it's true, as John said, that most doctors don't know a great deal about supplements, and many are suspicious of them or simply cynical about them, and aren't likely to be very helpful.

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

john h on 2/27/01 at 09:49 (039987)

agree with your assessment barb but the problem is most general M.D.'s know little or nothing about herbs and suppliments. even your local pharmacist is likely to little about interaction of herbs and suppliments with conventional medications. there are perhaps two doctors in my city of 300,000 that know anything about herbs and suppliments. there are not many Dr Koops around!

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

Nancy S. on 2/27/01 at 10:17 (039991)

Good point, Barb.
John may be right, but I would think a thorough doctor or pharmacist would make it a point to find out if he or she didn't already know.
The very first thing the homeopathic doctor I went to had me do was write down for him what medications I take. So he handled the issue at his end, and specifically said that it was safe (and that I should continue) to take the medications I'm already on, along with the natural medicines he himself was prescribing.
He also said that if in time I feel so much better that I want to try going off the medications I've been on for a long time, 'discuss this with your doctor and be sure to tell or show him the homeopathic medicines you're taking.'
Nancy

Re: A book that lists herb/med reactions

Beverly on 2/27/01 at 12:59 (040002)

Barb makes a good point about being careful when taking herbs with meds.
I have found that most doctors know the popular herbs like St. John's Wort and what they interact with, but they aren't usually up on some of the less common ones.

I found a book called 'The Natural Pharmacist: Your Complete Guide to Herbs' by Steven Bratman, M.D. It is like a PDR for herbs. Besides telling about the herb's potential benefits, it also lists side effects and lists drug interactions.
My copy was published in 1999. I found it at a health food store. So bear in mind that newer drugs that came out after 1999, won't be listed.

I have been to one doctor in my whole life who asked for a list of all the supplements and herbs I take. None of the rest of them have ever asked.

Beverly

Re: Mandatory reading !!!

Julie on 2/28/01 at 01:04 (040050)

I think the point is really that we shouldn't just rush off and start devouring the supplements/remedies that have helped someone else without investigating them for ourselves, and, in the case of homeopathic remedies, without having them prescribed specifically for us.

The ways in which a supplement may interact with other medication we're taking, especially for serious conditions like heart ailments, also need to be thought about, and perhaps in these cases a doctor ought to be consulted.

But in my experience it's true, as John said, that most doctors don't know a great deal about supplements, and many are suspicious of them or simply cynical about them, and aren't likely to be very helpful.