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#1 OFFLINE   jbredmound

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 12:42 AM

OK, so I'm a nurse, and eventually, I was going to put some nurse stuff on the forum. So many pharmacy and pharmaceutical sites are either geared towards health professionals, or "dumb down" their information so as to make it nearly worthless (a lot like some Doctors speak to their patients).I have been wandering around this site, and it's one of the best that I have seen. Drug info, drug interactions checker...even stuff on herbs and natural remedies (which are medicines, thank you).So I'll share.  B)

#2 OFFLINE   Grasshopper

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 08:19 PM

Cool site.But, as a pharmacist, I will have to disagree with you about herbals being medicines. Using the actual definition for medicine (An agent, such as a drug, used to treat disease or injury), herbal medications and dietary supplements are NOT intended to treat or diagnose a disease or condition. It says so on the label. I do agree that some supplements are beneficial (I personally take a product called Cosamin DS on order from my doctor and have since my knee surgery (cartilage) to keep it healthy for as long as possible-there are many products out there and this is the only one that has gone thru rigorous testing for safety--very important, and expensive :-/), but your statement that natural remedies are medicines is very misleading to the public and not true. The reason we have the FDA (granted, a less than perfect regulatory body) is that there have to be rules for what we can allow these manufacturers to sell to the public. Example, if the FDA did not crack down on ephedra, PPA and pseudoephedrine containing products, then the heart problem risk would be a lot higher than it already is, not to mention the meth problem. I agree that the public needs to be more educated with their disease states and treatments (some chronic disease patients can tell you more about their disease and treatment than the pro's can), but still, the way information is disseminated to the professionals, all information need not be given to the public. Example, if someone dies while on a drug trial, even if the drug was not the culprit (say they had an underlying and unreported disease that killed them and it had nothing to do with the drug) they have to report it. That is not something you want the public to hear because in (I hope) all cases, the correlation betweent the death and the drug is false and not pertinent to the trial (they would research it until they found the cause of death).We, as heathcare professionals, walk a fine line between just giving the public "dumb down" directions with no background information and giving too much and creating a paranoid patient. It's a line that we have to try to stay on every day.Now, if a physician that were well versed in a certain type of herbal substance or supplement (and it is becoming more popular), decided to prescribe one for a treatment, then that's what I will agree with. The danger with these types of "treatments" is that they are not contolled by prescription laws and therefore are free for the public to purchase at whim without advise from a doctor, but only word of mouth and marketing ploys. How do you know for sure if the substance does what it's supposed to do? How do you know what's actually in those capsules you are taking? They could put monkey poop in them and call them some fancy name and you'd never know and then claim that they were a good "remedy" for depression. That's extreme, but any of those "natural" weightloss supplement are very dangerous, mainly containing ephedra, which has been proven to increase risk for heart disease.Please, before make statements like that, know what you are saying.--off soapbox--I do like you idea of sharing your knowledge and I'd be more that happy to chime in. :rolleyes: Allen
A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.
--author unknown

#3 OFFLINE   jbredmound

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Posted 14 April 2003 - 07:36 AM

I am guilty of brevity. The brief point I wanted to make was that herbals, et al, are not innocuous; that many of them are as powerful as the stuff Doctors write on those little pads for.Allen, the public needs to know that Warfarin is an "herbal", digitalis is an "herbal", and you, as a Pharmacist, could list 60 more while I was still frying to find my PDR.As you pointed out, the unfortunate thing about some herbals is that they kill before anyone has the chance to take a good look at them. It is, of course, not arguable that the FDA has approved stuff that turned out to have very high lethality. Additionally, we stil have drugs being used in Europe, et al, that are not available here, even after million dose or better experience with the med.So I guess the best caveat is emptor, beware. Then, we could get into mixing these herbs, and some of the interactions that we have seen that were not so good...all the way to lethal. If I do so, I'll be late for work.Thanks for correcting what may have been misleading!

#4 OFFLINE   Grasshopper

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Posted 15 April 2003 - 04:50 PM

No problem.I sure didn't mean to come across forceful or anything, but it seems in my work, almost all I do is talk to people about these products. I'm a little opnionated about it and it sometimes fires me up.Anyhoo...Your right, warfarin and dig are technically herbs. The reason they are prescription is that they can kill you. warfarin is a blood thinner and is a derivative of rat poison and digitalis is for congestive heart failure among other things. I think in this case, though, these chemicals were so potent that when people, way back when, wanted to sell them for the properties that were considered beneficial, the FDA stepped in and regulated the marketing and research. But I guess what I'm trying to say, some herbs are poison. And a marketing department or someone with itch to make some money should not be the one to persuade someone to take an unapproved substance.I think the public needs more than education about these products. They need perspective. I just cringe when ANY commercial says, "all natural". Like I said before, monkey poop is all natural but should not be ingested. Poisonous mushrooms are all natural. Heck, so are lightning bolts!! That has no bearing on whether or not it's a good product. It's marketing, by people who are only out to sell a product for $$$. I would recommend that the public seek professional advise (which I do understand that's what you are also recommending) when considering these products. There are good non-FDA regulated products out there, but I truly believe that there are more bad ones than good. And again, there is the fact that you don't know whether or not what is exactly in those capsules. As far as Europe v. USA drug usage? It's all political. Sometimes, bad side effects don't show up in a trial of a thousand people, but when given to the public of tens of thousands, something can statistically show up. A thousand is all they have to go on. That process is also very political (read money changing hands.)Just like you said, "beware". Allen
A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.
--author unknown

#5 OFFLINE   zox

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Posted 15 April 2003 - 07:48 PM

That's cool.Thanks for site and info.It is always nice to talk to people with different professions and interests.




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