Research pharmaceutical drugs
Pharmaceutical drug use while using homeopathic remedies is often an important factor in treatment. Usually, homeopaths are primarily concerned with the side effects of drugs. Patients should also be concerned. Here is why and how homeopaths research drugs.
Homeopaths are concerned with potential suppression of problems. Suppression means problems are driven deeper into the mind and body without healing them thoroughly. Antidoting of homeopathic medicines due to drugs is yet another issue. The sensitivity to drugs varies among individuals. These are issues that homeopaths consider. Also, if a patient is taking a drug, the patient's symptoms may be due to the side effects of the drug. These side effects are never part of the search for a remedy unless the drug side effects are so old that they have become an integral part of the patient's body.
Issues to consider before taking a drug
Researching pharmaceutical drugs is not hard, but one needs to wary of the ulterior motives of the information source. Who is paying for researching and publishing the information? Do they have a tie with the pharmaceutical industry? An unrelated question is "does the drug have a clear history of use?" Is the information meant for the naive consumer or for the professional who hopefully is more critical.
Who is the author of this article
I have rewritten and corrected some the comments made through the now sharp intellect of the cat homeopath and now deceased Irene De Villiers. Other information was inspired by a discussion on the homeopathic Internet group called Minutus.
I followed Irene's instructions concerning drug research on the web and made some of my comments which I indicate as "Madono: "
De Villiers: Independent drug safety website
Rxisk.com is an independent drug safety website. Madono: Many doctors want to report drug side-effects accurately. Patients are asked to bring a drug side-effect form provided by Rxisk and ask their doctor to fill it out. Rxisk creates a database from these clinical reports on drug side-effect. Public interest and their personal need for accurate information motivate participants.
Pharmaceutical industry drug information net search
KEYWORD SEARCH: Google the drug name to get the original drug name as opposed to generic equivalents.
De Villiers: Consider the example of Citalopram.
De Villiers: Option 1: Use the keywords (drug name) Medline on Google.
(e.g., "Citalopram Medline" are useful keywords)
Medline Plus is the National Library of Medicine updated official version.
In this case
Scroll down to review over 40 side effects.
Madono: was found by bringing up the Google search field and typing in the drug name, citalopram and side-effects. The keywords citalopram-side-effects bring up long lists of side-effect. When I followed the breadcrumbs of the Drugs.com website structure, I stumbled on distraction meant to lead me away from intention to find information on side-effects. In the search bar of drugs.com, I typed in the keywords that a doctor would use. This is a better strategy than clicking on the "pro edition" tab and getting lost in the consumer information that the drug industry would like to use to distract you.
De Villiers: Side effects include gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and under the hematologic subtopic they include:
"Hematologic side effects including purpura, anemia, epistaxis, leukocytosis, leukopenia, and lymphadenopathy have been reported infrequently. Pulmonary embolism, granulocytopenia, lymphocytosis, lymphopenia, hypochromic anemia, coagulation disorder, and gingival bleeding are rarely reported. Decreased prothrombin, hemolytic anemia, and thrombosis have been reported" and that NSAIDs like aspirin increase the bleeding risk is potentially life-threatening."
Madono: Even if you do not know all of the above medical conditions, you are likely to know the conditions that are related to you. So, do not be afraid of what you do not know. Looking up a word takes just a minute. So, pick and choose what you research. We are all blessed with intuition.
De Villiers: WebMD is not as good as Drugs.com. A red flag should go up in your mind when you see that there is no system for citing authors on WebMD.
Some drugs like Citalopram have a notorious reputation. So, information is plentiful.
De Villiers: Option 2: Evaluate private websites:
Look for sites with credibility, for example, drugs.com.
(Always look for an author or organization with credibility)
For example, if a site looks specific but one doctor wrote it, skip it.
Drugs.com has a good reputation and divides the data into lay and professional - look at the professional area.
WebMD is not as good as Drugs.com. A red flag should go up in your mind when you see that there is no system for citing authors on WebMD.
De Villiers: Option 3:
Some drugs are less easy to look up, eg new drugs, or those too well protected by their inventors- and then go to
KEYWORD SEARCH: Google drug name MSDS
(MSDS means material safety data sheet)
MSDS leads to the references provided by the drug manufacturer/s. They are studies on animals that were done to show how effective and safe the drug is. Note: there is no test on an animal that equals the validity of actual human experience. For some drugs, we only have animal tests. Here is an example for Citalopram:
Then click on the measly 5 studies there, and their abstracts. You usually get more scientific information there, for example:
"Conclusion: SSRIs may exhibit an anti-inflammatory activity on endothelial cells and reduce circulating VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 in vivo, a mechanism which may partly mediate their cardioprotective effects."
You'd need to know what consequences to expect in the system from this chemical principle.
Also, they will tend to include what they call benefits in the abstracts and you have to purchase the full paper to see the adverse/side effects.
However, with new drugs, it may be all you can find.
Strategy for new drugs
With well-known drugs, Irene De Villiers start with both Medline and Drugs.com
If they are not enough, look for the equivalent in Australia and New Zealand. Drugs are often approved in Australia, five years or more ahead of USA approval and the drug side effect history is longer.
New Zealand data is usually more comprehensive (honest?) than most countries.
Comment by Joe Rozencwajg RC.Hom
For the NZ information, go to www.medsafe.govt.nz click on "Data Sheets" type the generic name in the search box AND ask the search engine to look for the generic name, voila; it is generally remarkably complete by law, and I have been surprised many times by facts I did not know about very old and well-known (I thought) drugs….