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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by write-stuff, Feb 9, 2020.
If so, what do you tell your customers when they ask about homeopathic remedies?
As a physician, I tell them there is very little scientific rigor in these claims. It may work, it may do nothing and it may be harmful. Nobody really knows without sound science. BUT, if it really worked, Glaxo, Pfizer, Johnson or some other giant pharma company would purify it, certify it and make a billion dollars doing it.... so probably doesn’t really work. ;-)
What other drugs are they taking or plan to take so I can check the 'black box" warnings to make sure the don't end up in the ER
Not a PharmD.... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last week...
There is no big money in homeopathic's as they are not patentable, and big Pharma is not interested. Homeopathic's work great for somethings when applied correctly for the right issues. There are too many people who put too much into the unorthodox which tarnishes the whole subject. I've had doctors recommend homeopathic treatments as a first course.
Many Pharma drugs come from tree bark, roots, seeds, etc. Asprin comes from the bark of the white willow. Many if not most homeopathic discoveries are ancient in terms of patent development and without the profit margins needed for drug companies. Asprin survives probably due to heavy branding familiar with most consumers that supports it's high margins.
Aspirin is not what comes from willow, salicylic acid is the natural product. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is the acetyl ester of salicylic acid and is less irritating than the natural product. Aspirin is mostly a generic name, since Bayer lost that trademark through much of the world because they were sloppy about protecting it. Many natural products are modified to improve specificity (reduce side effects) and efficacy.
Let’s clarify here:
Homeopathic treatments as originally and most stringently defined are substances diluted so extensively that a dose may not even contain one molecule of the purported therapeutic substance.
So...,NO of course they’re no more effective than placebo.
More broadly defined alternative therapies....,now that’s another whole subject.
Do your research on Homeopathy, then report back here
.....and since this has no aviation content, would it not be best in Hangar Talk?
I have worked in Medicine, and worked in research. It is tempting to buy into a conspiracy theory with Medicine and big pharma, but I would just say both are widely populated with good people, certainly not capable or inclined to conspiracy. If something works, someone will notice, purify, patent, and sell. Homeopathics are real drugs, with real effects and real side effects. There is just no solid science, and more importantly, no system of reporting adverse effects, so the real side effects, including fatal ones go unnoticed. Sometimes, an herbal compound is dangerous enough, or happens to kill someone famous that it gets the attention of the FDA, like Ma Huang, which was implicated in the death of the 23-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler. So back to my original answer. Some herbal supplements may help, they may hurt, they may do nothing. Nobody knows ;-). They will certainly lighten your wallet.
If we were to rely solely on ancient homeopathics we would end up back with ancient/medieval survival/life span rates .... I will stick with bad, big and modern farma.
is marijuana homeopathic? asking for a friend.
I have had multiple docs suggest homeopathic remedies for many things to both me and my parents.
However, in every case, it was for something I consider minor (e.g. dry skin), or to help with a symptom (nausea, side effect for mom's chemo).
Most of the suggestions, we along the lines of, this helps some, not all. If it does not work or work enough, come back and we will go with a "western medical solution".
No... "Homeopathic substances" and "herbal supplements" are two different things.
The first is water (or a pill or whatever) with nothing in it. No molecules of any active ingredient, because it's diluted to the point where there'd be no molecules left. As @wrbix says.
The second is an actual substance that contains something. Like echinacea or St. John's Wort.
The second can be studied using the tools of chemistry, biology, and statistics.
The first just selling "magic", and should stop.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that the two terms mean the same thing, and things can get confusing fast. So let's all clarify which you're talking about.
--not a pharmacist
I say if you wish to waste your money on an expensive placebo, go ahead. There is no scientific principle upon which homeopathic medicine is based. It basically follows Disney's First Law: "Wishing will make it so." On the other hand if you want an option to treat or ameliorate a condition, turn to science. Just understand that there are many conditions that neither science nor wishing will fix. Science has a better record than wishing, however. Cost is a separate matter.
I ain’t no pharmacist, but the first thing that crossed my mind was to say “how do you spell that.”
Yeah, big pharma won't mess with folk medicine...
Unless it's fish oil. Sold for decades it as a remedy for this and that...
Well, big pharma noticed; concentrated and purified it. They call it Vascepa.. it's used to treat cholesterol.
But they'll tell you all about how the OTC is harmful... And can increase your cholesterol...
But big pharma is full of caring people that just want to help.
I'm not a pharmacist, but I was, I would look the other way after referring them to a homeopathic hospital for a proper diagnosis and treatment...
Interesting, I always thought homeopathic and herbal basically the same.
To be clear on the post above the docs suggested herbal. I just translated that as homeopathic.
Anyone else prefer a naturopath to conventional physician? I see both. I've seen many naturopaths through the years and can honestly say they've done more to promote good health than my other docs have done as they treat an illness. Currently I see two naturopaths in the two states I reside in. Both are MDs. Both are familiar with supplements and homeopathic medications. Both also prescribe drugs when warranted. That approach works well for me.
Add acupuncture to my favs list, too. Simply amazing if you have a good acupuncturist and a treatable condition. Chinese medicine has much to offer those willing to put their pill bottles aside to try it.
It Is topics like this that assure me that man has not moved beyond worshipping rocks and sacrificing virgins - even if he has an iPhone in his pocket.
And that education doesn't always overcome ignorance.
Not a pharmacist, but it seems like it would be an answer similar to when you ask your plumber what kind of radiator hose he recommends for your car. He may have a good answer, but it’s more due to the individual plumber than his career training.
I tend to agree with the sarcasm in the last line, although I would limit it to the upper management. The researchers do care, and want to help. Like many other industries and companies, "maximizing shareholder value" is more important now than it used to be.
Having said that, Vascepa is NOT used to treat high cholesterol. It is used to treat high levels of triglycerides, which may occur even without elevated levels of cholesterol. It is one component of fish oil.
Actually, the pharmaceutical companies look everywhere. There's work in ethnobotany, which gave us the medicine artemisinin from Chinese traditional medicine. You could take dried foxglove for your heart problem, but I'd prefer a controlled digoxin as the therapeutic index (the range between the dose required to be effective and the dose which causes side effects such as death) is rather narrow. Many natural products are used as a base to improve efficacy and reduce side effects. The compounds will be derivatized (as was done with salicylic acid), or synthesized and modified to determine which parts of the molecule confer the desired biological activity. Here is an example of work done to determine the structure-activity relationship of a compound and anti-cancer activity: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01608
The companies that sell herbal extracts are generally no saints either.
Homeopathy is a sham. Look up the true definition; a good friend of mine, in the health care industry, was heavily into this. I showed him how his little pills and liquids likely contained not an atom of the 'active ingredient'.
If you had to tell him that his little pills and liquids likely contained not an atom of the 'active ingredient', he wasn't paying attention when his homeopath told him that.
I don't think too many homeopaths are truly going to say that "hey, this is really just tap water, or a sugar pill". Not much profit in that. They say instead (this I know from experience) "this bottle has 10x potency".
Every homeopath I've dealt with explains it to either new clients or those new to homeopathy. I don't know of any that lose business because of it.
Absolutely, correct, kath. Homeopathic remedies are diluted to the point that not one molecule of the original substance is expected to exist in a dosage. Homeopaths argue that the "essense" of the compound remains, but that is little more than black magic (and probably better described as horse excrement).
My question really was for pharmacists. Do pharmacists tell their customers that these products work? Do they tell customers these products are placebos? And if they don't work, why do pharmacies sell them to begin with (beyond the obvious profit motive)?
Absolutely correct. I really don't understand why homeopathic pills are still allowed on the market, because it seems to me to be utterly fraudulent. I suppose one could say they do no harm, but I wonder how much harm is done by someone using them rather than seeking actual treatment or using an effective OTC product.
Herbal supplements are quite different and can be very effective. I had great success using glucosamine when I had a trigger finger several years ago, and I've found passion flower extract to be a good sleep aid. My liver doc has me taking milk thistle to help control damage caused by my autoimmune disease.
I am not a pharmacist, but...
Actually I have absolutely nothing to contribute here. Just wanted to get that out. Carry on.
If a knowledgeable seller of these products is ethical, they will tell the customer that there is no demonstrable scientific evidence that they are effective, but they are unlikely to cause harm. The bigger ethical question arises when a customer elects to use an ineffective product in lieu of an effective treatment for a serious condition. In that case, the "harm" is delaying proper treatment, which could lead to irreversible and unpleasant sequelae. It's one thing if we are talking about dealing with a common cold; it's another if we are talking about diabetes, hypertension, or pneumonia.
My comments are being over interpreted. I never said homeopathic great/Pharma bad. Both have merit when applied correctly. I've had doctors recommend homeopathic over patent drugs and vice versa. My original comments were challenging the initial post of homeopathic's were ineffective.
It's a personal decision we each make for our selves.
If you've had a physician recommend a homeopathic substance, you should find another physician.
What sort of physician would accept such bunk?
One who’s seen them work.
“Not scientifically proven to work” is not the same as “scientifically proven to not work”. It merely means, in this case, that science has chosen to ignore it.
.....as well as a placebo
As long as placebos work consistently, I have no problem using placebos.
yup...that’s why my mom, who properly takes her blood pressure medication, was admitted to the hospital with a BP of 210/160, and no changes were made to her medications when she was released.
not to mention my wife, who was almost killed by a prescribed medication, and after recovery was told to take the same medication.
...and your point would be what?
As a retired physician I can say without reservation that many physicians shouldn’t be practicing, and that the network providing care not uncommonly fails miserably. I fear for my own healthcare in today’s system. Be careful out there.
Science chooses to not waste effort on things that have no reasonable scientific framework for effectiveness. Because homeopathic medicines are based on the principle of extreme dilution (often to the point there could not be any causative agent present), and are based on an illogical dose-response concept (larger biological effects from lesser amounts of agent) as well as other half-, nay, non-baked "principles" not related to how molecules actually interact with defined biological targets, scientists do not really need to expend time or effort dismissing the concept of homeopathic remedies.
On the other hand, the placebo effect is quite real, and can be useful in cases where no effective treatment is available other than time and healing. The placebo effect is not likely to cure a bacterial infection, diabetes, severe hypertension, or other serious chronic medical condition. Delay in properly treating those kinds of conditions could result in significant morbidity or mortality.
My point, Bitch, is that science misapplied is just as ineffective as science not applied, and science hasn’t been applied to homeopathy.