Drug side effects

A recent survey by Beatrice Golomb and her colleagues which was reported by Reuters Health discovered that when patients reported adverse reactions to drugs their doctors routinely denied that the drug was responsible for these side effects. To a great extent this is due to doctors’ lack of knowledge about potential side effects, but I suspect it is also because doctors have an unreasonable degree of reliance and faith in drugs. Pharmaceutical companies are doing a great job selling benefits of drugs to doctors, but the education about potential side effects is clearly lacking. Medical school training also makes doctors biased toward drugs and against alternative therapies. In treating migraine patients I often see people who were prescribed by their doctor 2-3 daily medications and who were never offered any alternatives. The efficacy of many of the supplements (magnesium, CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid and others) is as good as that of many drugs doctors use for headaches. Eliminating caffeine, regular exercise, dietary changes, biofeedback and even Botox injections are some of the other excellent approaches that should be tried before drugs.

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