Polypharmacy

Taking too many prescription drugs?  Learn more about medication reduction. Carolina Holistic Medicine can help you or your loved ones.

The issue of too many medications.

Unfortunately, the healthcare system  is very prone to allowing patients to “accumulate” or “collect” medication after medication. As the years go by, many adults in America will be taking 2 or more medications, some even 5 or more.  The term “polypharmacy” is used to describe this phenomena.

No one really knows the true drug-drug interactions of more than 3 medications or more taken at one time and their long-term deleterious effects. Our goal is to reduce your dependence on synthetic medications and determine the necessity of each and every one. We have had much success in eliminating  many if not all prescriptions drugs from the cabinets of our patients.

As the cost of medication and pharmaceuticals continue to rise, it is important for many individuals to seek out lower cost alternatives. Contrary to the popular belief of many medical professions, there are no “statin-drug deficiencies” or “Zoloft® or Cymbalta® deficiency disorders”. Medication, both pharmaceuticals, biologics, and conventional medicine advancements, have added years to your life in some cases.  Often this is for the acute illness and the short term use of those types of medication. We can add life to your years with our programs.

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As our population ages, the requirements of some medications may lessen and doses must be adjusted so as untoward reactions or events do not happen.  An example is blood pressure medication. As we age the normal blood pressure by conventional measurement may go up a little bit normally.

However, if we hold a 70 year old man to the same BP readings as a 20 year old and push the systolic and diastolic pressures to a level too low for the older patient there may be very harmful repercussions that develop.  For example cranial perfusion may be compromised.

Measurements may be false due to the ‘’hardening of the arteries’’ and may represent too high or falsely high BP readings.  Escalating the dose of BP meds besides causing hypoperfusion of the brain can reduce blood perfusion to other areas of the body including the heart.  

The problems are obvious at this point and many an elderly patient on too much blood pressure medication has become syncopal (or faint) and collapsed injuring themselves.  

A new emerging class of FDA approved treatment is called biologics.  They are engineered monoclonal antibodies. It seems a new biologic emerges every week for things ranging from RA to psoriasis to osteoporosis and many other disorders.  

Problem is, they are so new we don’t really know the long term effects they.  Additionally, if you listen close to the end of the commercial, it should be enough to scare you away.  

Many report that taking the biologic (such as Enbrel®  or Humira® ) can cause infections like tuberculosis or development of several different types of cancer.  Pardon me, but I would rather have a small patch of psoriasis on my elbow than suffer a fatal cancer or an infectious disease that can take my life.

Another overused and over prescribed drug is a class of statin drugs that are used to reduce cholesterol.  Many Americans are on one of several statin drugs, but we are now uncertain of the value of doing this, since at least 50% of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.  

The drive to reduce the so-called bad cholesterol aka LDL-cholesterol has been a knee-jerk reflex by many a doctor in conventional medicine.  Whether a patient really needs it or if it is even effective in prolonging life and reducing incidence of heart attack is now coming into question.  

However, on the down side, the statin class of drugs are often not tolerated causing severe muscle pains (statin myopathy).  It has been shown to reduce the beneficial levels of coenzyme Q10 in our body. Recent research is finding that this drug class that includes Crestor® and Lipitor® may also lead to Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) and even dementia.  

Just imagine if it were discovered that a patient never really needed to be on statins and after 10 or 20 years could quit.  What damage could have accumulated over decades of unnecessary statin use? I find that this happens very often in the patients who come in with several chronic illnesses not of their own doing but rather from the multitude of drugs they have been taking for many years.  Reversal of this problem if caught early is possible, but for many it is too late.

These are just two examples of drugs with bad side effects.  Another is the unrealized effect of a common anti seizure medication that is used for chronic pain management.  While it is FDA approved for use in seizure disorders and peripheral neuropathy pain, many doctors are oblivious to the fact that this single drug can have a terrible effect on a normal thyroid gland.  If the thyroid hormones are out of balance, it may require the recognition of this and removal of this drug for complete healing to occur.

If you have any unexplained symptoms or if you healthcare provider is dismissive of our complaints of likely drug side effects and you are ready to cancel your prescriptions, you can fix your Polypharmacy issue now by visiting Carolina Holistic Medicine.  

We take great measure to check Drug-Drug interactions and also when indicated run genomics (pharmacogenomics) to determine how drugs are metabolized in your body.  When we find a drug that is not useful or even harmful we know how to best remove it from your list.

Sometimes it calls for a slow taper, and sometimes one can stop it right away.  We also have alternatives on the natural spectrum of treatment that can take the place of may pharmaceuticals when needed.

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Don’t let poor health slow you down indefinitely. Schedule a consultation today with Carolina Holistic Medicine and let our team of world class holistic medicine specialists heal your body, deliver profound personalized healthcare, and get you back to your full and active healthy lifestyle.