A stethoscope and drugs, all converging towards a central depiction of a healthy person

The real secret to making a difference is to know what your body needs.

Our bodies are smart, and they know what to do.

Plenty of things can be done naturally, by ourselves. We just need to stop saying “What the doctor prescribed isn’t working” because it often does work!

The drug does not cause the majority of drug efficacy issues. In fact, it is much more likely to be caused by underlying issues with the patient’s health, lifestyle and environment.

Consider this: If you were to take a pill that promised to cure all your ailments but actually made you sicker in the long run, wouldn’t you be mad at the company that made such a claim? You would certainly notice a common denominator—the drug regimen. After all, it is easier to project our flaw than take responsibility for the outcome of our actions. For the most part, issues around drug efficacy have always been attributed to the drug of choice or Physician’s error. However, that isn’t the case 9 out of 10.

Now, let’s consider a few factors that often affect drug efficacy among the majority:

Drug interactions are a common cause for drug inefficacy. Before combining medications, certain foods, or herbal supplements, it’s important to discuss with your health provider, for drug reconciliation, to avoid serious adverse effects.

For example, frusemide and aminoglycosides enhance ototoxicity. Diuretics cause hypokalemia and increase digitalis toxicity. Licorice enhances hypokalemia in patients on diuretics; St. John’s Wort interacts with numerous medications, including anticoagulants (warfarin). Patients on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) should avoid tyramine-containing food like avocados, banana, red wine, tofu, grapefruit, and aged cheese.

The reason your antibiotics or anti-malaria isn’t working may be because of the concomitant use of antacids and/or orange juice/vitamin C, respectively. For example, orange juice/vitamin C should be avoided while taking anti-malaria; it alters the mechanism of action of this drug. Conversely, you shouldn’t take antacids (tabs or liquid form) at the same time with other medications. If necessary, you may take antacids at least 2 hours before or after any other drug regimen. Make it a routine to always check in with your provider about the safety of ingesting different drugs at the same time.

In general, it is not recommended to change your medication regimen without consulting with your physician first.

The real secret to making a difference is not the drugs themselves. It’s how you take them!

This is simply the degree to which patients adhere to treatment regimen; from drug prescribed, to dosage and time of administration. Do you take your drug as prescribed by your provider? How do you take your drugs daily? For example, a ‘b.d’ drug should be taken twice daily, 12 hours apart. In the same vein, a ‘t.d.s’ drug should be taken three times daily, 8 hours apart. Whereas, some drugs are best taken before mealtime. E.g., sucralfate, omeprazole, etc. In addition, do not crush enteric-coated, sustained and extended (SR/ER) release drugs before ingesting them, as they can irritate your gut before absorption.

When you don’t take the right drug for the right disease condition, at the right dosage and time, you shouldn’t expect a positive therapeutic result. It’s a no-brainer. You don’t take anti-malaria for a headache or migraine. Neither can you catch the bacteria or virus unawares by taking a couple extra doses or way before prescribed time. Furthermore, drugs are not candy, you don’t pop them to save cost either. Instead, doctors prescribe them in accordance with scientific studies and medical evidence, turning them into essential medicines.

If these drugs work properly then we would be able to say that it is a successful treatment but if we misuse them then we must think about what consequences it would have on our body as well as our mind. Drugs are powerful and effective tools that can help us if used appropriately but just like everything else in life there are also some bad things associated with them too.

We should learn how to use them properly so that they do not harm our bodies but also make sure that we do not misuse them in order to achieve their full potential

Erroneously assuming brand-name drugs undergo stricter quality control creates a negative perception of generics. In reality, both undergo testing for potency and efficacy. Generic drugs undergo analysis for identity, strength, purity and quality, while brand name drugs undergo additional tests to establish their trademark rights. That’s the only difference! It would be prudent for you to see that you’re actually taking a generic version of your medication. You can even ask your physician or pharmacist if you ever have doubts about what you’re taking.

Therefore, it’s important to remember that whether it’s a brand name or a generic one, they provide the same therapeutic value and would achieve an almost similar result on your condition. As long as you take them strictly according to prescribed dosage and duration. So why spend additional money on an expensive drug if you don’t need it?

Hopefully the point of all this is clear. There is no single, quick fix to treating life threatening diseases like cancer. Yes, the pharmaceutical industry has serious problem, but that doesn’t mean we should write off all drugs as equally broken or useless.

Don’t accept fearmongering, demand evidence, do your own research. Accessing accurate information and checking for the various contributing factors enables us to reach the best conclusions, as demonstrated by the examples. We have provided such opportunities through our telemedicine service. Call a doctor today! To enjoy this service, sign up for coverage by Hygeia HMO.

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