Posts tagged ‘side-effects’

As a homeopath, I oppose the bridge course which is being contemplated for practitioners of homeopathy and other AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddhi and Homeopathy) streams. The bridge course will allow AYUSH practitioners in India to practise basic conventional medicine. Here are my thoughts on this and I write it from the point of view of homeopathy being my field of medicine:

1. We have a very effective and strong system of medicine ourselves, so why do we need to prescribe conventional medicine? In an emergency, if life-saving conventional treatment is needed (if the homeopath is not skilled or confident enough of treating it), patients can go to trained doctors in that field. The bridge course is not going to provide high-level ER training in any case.

2. It is said that the reason the government is planning this move is because there are insufficient doctors in rural areas and people living in such places have no access to healthcare. Fine. Why does rural India need conventional treatment only? Why can’t the other systems of medicine be practised there? In fact, this is a good chance to show, in comparative terms, how the other systems of medicine contribute positively to healthcare.

3. This bridge course is not going to help the cause of AYUSH. As students and young practitioners, many want to practise conventional medicine because of status and the perception of higher incomes. It is also a fact that to be a good homeopathic physician, one needs a great level of skill which only comes with hard work and constant learning. It is not as easy as prescribing ‘this for that’. Hence, this bridge course will serve as a back-door entry to conventional medicine practice and will be an escape route to avoid putting in the effort needed to be good homeopaths. Over time, this will reduce the number of skilled homeopaths and will be a dangerous matter for the future progress of our system of medicine. I presume the same would be the case for the other AYUSH streams.

4. Pharmaceutical companies will be very happy at the increase in their profits by getting lakhs of more practitioners who will prescribe their medicines.

5. As it is, conventional medicines unfortunately have loads of side effects. We regularly see patients in our practices, who come for problems and actual diseases that have arisen due to some side-effects of conventional therapy. It is possible that the AYUSH practitioner will be easily blamed for every side-effect that a patient suffers from. The side-effect will be attributed, not to the chemical drug which is actually responsible, but to a lack of skill in the AYUSH practitioner.

6. As a final point, let the Government ensure that every student receives good training and practical experience before they venture out as physicians. Let every physician develop the skill, and practise the field of medicine they were trained in. As homeopaths, let us not forget that we have the possibility of doing great things to improve the lives of our patients, bringing cure in so-many problematic chronic cases, and yes, we have the ability to be life-savers as well, if sufficiently skilled in our science. And this satisfies the soul. Isn’t it worth it?

 

http://debbybruck.hubpages.com/hub/Fosamax-Drug-Effects-Causing-Severe-Femur-Fractures-Brittle-Bones

Ever since drugs to combat osteoporosis started being prescribed, I began to wonder whether they would not be interfering with the normal bone health regulation cycle. Healthy bone is, at all times, being built and remodelled; old bone cells being killed within the body. Osteoblasts are the bone building cells and osteoclasts are the cells that take away old cells, unhealthy cells and hence help to remodel bone tissue. As age progresses, the bone building activity reduces, hence the breakdown of bone cells takes on a predominant role.

Drugs for osteoporosis inhibit the activity of osteoclasts. Common sense then tells me that under the influence of these drugs, healthy bone remodelling will not occur as it should. Old bone cells, unhealthy bone cells will not get destroyed as they should. Could this even lead to an increase in bone cancers? If there is a major reduction in osteoclastic activity, bone might then get too dense and rigid, lacking the amount of elasticity that it needs; this can then make the bones hard and brittle, thus increasing the risk of fractures after even slight trauma.

Studies are now showing that the osteoporosis drugs ARE in fact, leading to more brittle bones and more fractures. The excessive calcium deposits are leading to eye problems, heart ailments and embolic stroke.

To read more details, please click on this link

http://debbybruck.hubpages.com/hub/Fosamax-Drug-Effects-Causing-Severe-Femur-Fractures-Brittle-Bones

Several readers inquired about the possibilities of homeopathic use for the problems of progressing age. This article is an attempt to answer those queries.

Aging is inevitable for all of us who will be lucky enough to get there. Aging with grace, dignity and good health is one of the blessings of life. Good health comprises physical and mental well-being. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that can help to maintain good health for as long as we live.

However much we want to be free of health problems, our aging years bring with them some sort of ailment or disability. There could be physical problems like pain and stiffness of the joints, weakening brittle bones, vertigo, trembling, debility and gait disturbances, diminishing bladder control, sleeplessness, recurrent respiratory infections, complications of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc. Aging could affect our mental sphere bringing on depression, decline in our cognitive functions, memory, etc.

Often I come across patients who are overwhelmed by the name of a diagnosis given to them. This brings on anxiety and often depression at the thought of a ‘big and unknown’ illness. My advice to them would be not to get scared of the ‘disease term’ used; ask your doctor to explain what the condition is all about and what the common terminology is for it. Patients have every right to ask their doctors for details. Many patients have come to me, worried that they have “vertigo”. They say that they had suffered from dizziness, in Gujarati called ‘chakkar’, but the doctor said they had vertigo. And this gets them worried. It is a big relief for them to know that vertigo is the medical term for dizziness. This is just a small example, this happens commonly with many other ailments.

Many a time, we see senior citizens being diagnosed with a chronic disease condition and then put on long-term medication that brings on its own share of side-effects, adding to the ill-health and suffering that the patient has to put up with. Homoeopathy is ideal for such situations – the remedies, in their correct potency and dosage are safe from side-effects (because they are not chemical drugs but potentized electromagnetic energy forms of the remedy substance), they are easy to take and are cheaper than conventional medicine treatments. Homoeopathic remedies, for all chronic conditions, are chosen with due emphasis on the individual patient and not the disease name. When remedies are chosen in this manner, they work to stimulate the immune system of the patient, making all the body systems run optimally. The body’s own healing mechanism is given a boost and the process of cure is begun. It is important to realize that ailments that have existed for many years will not go away in a few months. Patience is essential. However, some kind of improvement should certainly be visible in about 3 – 4 months. In cases where cure is not possible, homoeopathic remedies serve to give relief and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. The progress of chronic degenerative illnesses can be slowed down by homoeopathy, if the patient is beyond the reach of cure.

Our senior citizens often suffer from acute health problems like coughs, colds, digestive disturbances, etc., that are triggered by environmental conditions, due to a weakened immunity. Strong chemical drugs may help to contain the infection but bring on diarrhoea and weakness that stays with them a long time. Homoeopathic remedies are effective even in acute conditions and work rapidly to eliminate the problem without the addition of side-effects. In such acute conditions, the homoeopath does not need to know the life history of the patient; details about the acute problem itself – details about the origin, duration and progress are enough to aid the homoeopath to select a suitable remedy. A well-selected remedy can deal with an acute problem very rapidly, within minutes to hours. The patient is left free of the problem and with good vitality.

To conclude, a senior citizen, with the help of homoeopathy, has very good chances of staying relatively healthy, avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and enjoying the retirement years in the best way possible.

Nowadays, it is becoming extremely common for patients to report ailments that arise because of prescription drugs. The problem is that people are not aware that these ailments are side-effects and consider them to be a new illness that they have developed. In the last couple of weeks, I experienced this a number of times and that’s what prompted this write-up.

One of my patients has been on Eptoin1, an anti-convulsant medicine, for almost 1.5 years. He has been instructed by his allopathic physician to continue it for a minimum of 3 years.

In the beginning, he was on a regimen of Olimelt (Olanzapine – an antipsychotic), Mirnite (Mirtazapine – an antidepressant), Valparin (Valproic acid – an anticonvulsant) along with Eptoin. When on these drugs, there was a drastic change in his personality and behaviour – he started behaving like a robot, he wouldn’t smile, etc. His mother was very concerned and it was brought to the notice of his physician who stopped Valparin and started him on Epsolin (Phenytoin). Then began slurring of speech, difficulty in finding the right words (word hunting), he would not recognise roads he knew well earlier, his ability to spell words correctly reduced dramatically, he could not concentrate and his studies suffered badly. His sleep was restless and he began talking in his sleep.

With homoeopathy, he was able to concentrate better and his sleep pattern improved. His concentration improved further after Olimelt was stopped completely. Mirnite was gradually withdrawn a few months later.

Since then, he has been only on Eptoin. His mother informed me a month ago that he vomits almost every day and this has her worried. He used to laugh it off but, a few days ago, he came alone and told me that he was quite worried about his vomiting as it had increased to a minimum of two episodes a day – especially after eating or even drinking a large quantity of water. It happened easily, without any effort.

In recent times, I have realised that it is essential to check whether any symptom a patient has could be due to side effects of conventional medicines. So I looked for side-effects of Eptoin

Headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or nervousness. Swelling and bleeding of the gums.

Serious side effects like: unusual eye movements, loss of coordination, slurred speech, confusion, muscle twitching, double or blurred vision, tingling of the hands/feet, facial changes (e.g., swollen lips, butterfly-shaped rash around the nose/cheeks), excessive hair growth, increased thirst or urination, unusual tiredness, bone or joint pain, easily broken bones. Mood or behavior changes, such as anxiety, agitation, hostility, pressured/rapid speech, or thoughts of suicide.

Very serious side effects like: uncontrolled muscle movements, swollen glands (lymph nodes), stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat or fever).

Serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, however, symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, high fever, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

I realised that the vomiting my patient had was probably because of the ongoing Eptoin intake. Besides the vomiting, he had also suffered from a fracture of the ankle a few months ago. His mood swings and easy irritability, that were not a part of his basic nature, were also explained by the list of side-effects. Once I discussed this with him, he was relieved to realise that there was nothing wrong with HIM, but all these issues were explainable.

Maybe it’s time to ask the question whether we are helping matters or complicating matters further by the use of strong chemical drugs.



Footnotes:

1. Eptoin (Phenytoin sodium) contains the active ingredient Phenytoin, commonly sold in the US under the brand name Dilantin.



For references and further reading:

1. http://www.prescriptiondrug-info.com/drug_details.asp?title=Phenytoin&page=1001578&ad=true

2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682022.html

3. http://www.mims.com/Page.aspx?menuid=mng&name=phenytoin

4. http://www.drugs.com/phenytoin.html




“My standpoint is that a tumour is the product of the organism and to be really cured, the power to produce the same must be eliminated, got rid of; cutting it off merely rids the organism of the product, leaving the producing power where it was before, often the operative interference acting like pruning a vine, i.e., the tumour-producing power is increased and the fatal issue is brought nearer.”
— Dr. James Compton Burnett

After I started my practice, I had quite a few cases of cancer coming my way due to my study of the Iscador Therapy for Cancer. Since the use of Iscador is rather expensive by Indian standards, especially since it involves long-term use, I always offer my patients the choice of treatment: either Homoeopathy along with Iscador, or just Homoeopathic medicines.

This was a woman, 66 years of age, who came to me in 2001. In 1994, she had been diagnosed with carcinoma of the ovary with endometrial cancer, which is a cancer of the lining of the uterus. She had undergone a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. In 1996, she developed peritoneal metastases for which she was again operated open and had 3 cycles of chemotherapy. She then remained free of symptoms and monitored the CA-125 tumour marker counts twice a year. She decided to take Homoeopathic treatment because of a steadily rising CA-125.

She came to me with a count of 10.00 U/ml which was well within the normal range (upto 35 U/ml) but had steadily risen from 4.3 U/ml in the previous year. Apart from the cancer and its treatment, she had suffered from typhoid when young and had undergone a coronary bypass surgery in 1996. Her father had died of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and several of her 6 siblings had heart ailments.

She enjoyed a good appetite, ate quite fast and suffered from hyperacidity if she had to remain hungry. She drank about 2.5 litres of water everyday. She loved sweet things, fruits, ice cream and chocolates. Curd (yoghurt) gave her acidity. She passed motions daily but felt mentally and physically uneasy if she were constipated even for one day. She was always constipated when she was away from home. She had profuse sweat which would occasionally leave a white powdery deposit on the clothes. She slept more on her right side and had sound sleep. She was rather chilly and disliked the fan or A.C. She couldn’t remember her dreams.

Her menopause was at 51 and did not remember having any problems then apart from an increase in irritability. She had been pregnant 5 times, had one pregnancy terminated and one child had died at the age of one. She said she had no interest in sex right from the beginning. She was scared of lifts. She was very fond of perfumes but said that she developed a skin allergy to perfumes occasionally.

For protecting her identity, I will not divulge details of her family situation. She was a talkative woman, very strong-minded. She used to come to the clinic with her husband and it was obvious who wore the pants in the family. She wept very easily and often wept in my clinic while narrating her problems and was much relieved by consolation. She was emotionally very expressive and held a grievance against her husband for not being so and giving her no attention. She was also easily angered and she always wanted things going her way. She had hasty speech and was impatient. She enjoyed cleaning-up and was particular about her things. She enjoyed partying, socialising, dressing-up; she was particular about her appearance and wanted attention from everyone around her. I noticed she was haughty with the clinic staff. She was careful with money to the point of being stingy and wanted a reduction in charges even though she could well afford the fees. She loved travelling and enjoyed doing embroidery when at home. She was a shrewd woman and did not trust others easily. Her greatest grief was the death of one of her children.

My first prescription was that of Lachesis but it did her no good; 2 months later when it was time for the CA-125 count again, it had shot up to 19.70 U/ml.

Since the constipation while travelling was a prominent physical symptom (and it didn’t fit Lachesis), I reviewed her case once again and chose Platina. I repeated Platina about twice a month and inbetween gave her the Bach Flower remedy Holly three times a day. About once in 2 months, a dose of Carcinosin was given. She did well on this regime and 6 months later, the CA-125 levels were down at 7.50 U/ml. She was relieved and so was I.

I kept her on this regime, gradually having increased the potency of Carcinosin, with some placebo treatment off and on. The counts were being monitored and the CA-125 levels were steady at around 4 U/ml. She is now no longer being regularly treated for the cancer, but once in a while, if she wants medicines for an acute problem, she contacts the clinic.

Many of my cancer patients have been treated with only Homoeopathy since Iscador was too expensive for long-term treatment. Many cancer patients arrive for treatment rather late in the course of the disease and by that time, only palliation is possible. Some decide to take Homoeopathic treatment and Iscador only after completing the Allopathic treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In most of these cases, this delay proves expensive as the disease usually progresses and the patient’s vitality is also much reduced following strong chemical treatment. It is advisable for cancer patients to begin Homoeopathy and Iscador treatment along with conventional treatments so that no time is lost. Homoeopathy and Iscador can also help in keeping side-effects of conventional treatment to a minimum.