I know you are a pharmacist who is zealous about natural medicine. So I have to ask you if you are ever frustrated with all the new medications being promoted? Do you think any of them are useful for us to take?”
–KS Tulsa, Oklahoma
Answer: Sure some medications are useful, and very important, like painkillers, heart rhythm drugs, epilepsy drugs, anesthesia and meds used to prevent organ transplant rejection, just to name a few. I confess however, that ridiculous stuff does happen in the health industry. So at this time, I’m offering you my First Ever Presentation of Dumb Awards:
Dumb Award: The first one goes to (drum roll please)… The Food and Drug Administration because they approve recycled drugs. For example, when a prescription medication loses its patent and cheaper generics come onto the market (think of Claritin for allergies), the FDA gets pre$$ure from manufacturers to approve a brand new (and improved?) version of the same drug (called Clarinex). So one drug gets re-birthed into the marketplace with a new name and higher price tag. Cha-Ching!
Dumber Award: We have a tie between birth control pills and Accutane. Let’s start with birth control pills: They prevent pregnancy, of course, but they’re often prescribed to young girls to treat acne. Acne! But the pill has been associated with cancer, heart disease, weight gain, blood clots and stroke.
Now for Accutane or “isotretinoin.” It’s been tied to suicide. For real! It has also caused deformities in babies, so today, young women of child-bearing age are not even allowed to take Accutane unless they agree to practice abstinence (ooookay) or, they take ‘The Pill’ or some other certified fool-proof method of contraception. That’s so they don’t get pregnant on the drug! I would recommend Clearasil and condoms before I recommended this combination of drugs!
Dumberest Award: Yes I spelled “dumberest” that way on purpose, but anyway, throw confetti here… Statins! I don’t think that cholesterol is so bad, and these drugs lower it vigorously. I can’t find one study that proves statins make you live any longer. Inflammation and nutritional deficiencies will continue to damage your heart, even if you have perfect cholesterol. It’s like blowing the smoke out of the house while the fire continues to burn. And statins can cause muscle aches, depression, leg cramps and erectile dysfunction. Dumb or brilliant? Depends on what side of the counter you’re on. If you want natural options to prevent heart disease, read Chapter two of my book, “The 24-Hour Pharmacist.”
Honorary Mention goes to the Federal Communications Commission for allowing drug commercials to bombard our airwaves. People used to have to go to the doctor for a diagnosis, now they can just chill out, have a bag of artery-clogging chips and watch TV. Within minutes, you will discover what disorders all of your friends and relatives have… and of course, the newest drug to suggest to them for their bizarre conditions. But tell them not to stress because you also found a way for them to save hundreds by switching their car insurance to…!
Did You Know?
Pau D’Arco supplement or tea may help you with arthritis, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and even cancer.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.