A Spotlight On Complementary And Alternative Medicine Research

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You know that you ought to be upfront about the medications that you're taking, whether they're prescriptions, over the counter drugs or herbal and other alternative remedies. But perhaps you worry about what your physician or pharmacist might think of the alternative medicines you choose to take.

Unfortunately, keeping your home remedies a secret could be really, really dangerous, as some herbs and concoctions can have serious interactions with over the counter or prescription drugs. Unless you're a pharmacist yourself, you may not possess the information you require to make wise decisions about what remedies can be made together.

To be considered....

If you have been hiding your alternative remedies from your health care professionals for fear of what they might think, recent research from Purdue University might put your mind at ease.

The Purdue study evaluated student pharmacists' attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine using surveys administered at 10 universities in 2011. The surveys measured attitudes toward alternative remedies in general, toward certain types of alternative medicine, and how the students' own demographics and other factors helped shape their attitudes.

The study found that perceptions were positive overall toward alternative medicine. The students surveyed agreed that patients' beliefs were a major factor in their treatment plan. They likewise agreed that pharmacists should learn about alternative medicine, as that knowledge would probably be needed in their future practice.

Researchers found that the pharmacy students were influenced by a series of factors, including the nature of courses they took and their own backgrounds. Those with personal previous use of complementary and alternative medicine had more positive attitudes toward these options than those who hadn't used them before.

Although attitudes were positive overall, the level of acceptance of alternative medicine differed slightly between various groups of students. Female students had more positive feelings about alternative medicine than their male counterparts, for instance. White students were slightly less positive about these remedies than their non-white peers.

Does this mean you should seek out a non-white, female pharmacist if you use alternative treatments? Probably not, but if you're someone who feels particularly uncomfortable talking about the remedies you use, you might feel a bit more at ease opening up to a pharmacist who fits this description.

Based on this research, though, it appears that you've little to be concerned about anyway, so go ahead and ask your pharmacist about whatever treatments you're using. The more they know, the better they can assist you with your healthcare needs.

06/09/2014 14:35:05
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