Someone recently asked their compounding pharmacist for advice about finding a “natural” remedy for their child. The story is that the child, a boy in first grade, was not paying attention, acting inappropriately and seemed to have significant difficulty focusing or concentrating. Of course, school officials contacted the parents and the young fellow was taken to a doctor, who then offered the diagnosis of ADHD.
The child was now in the midst of the medical system and the “logical” recourse was to begin prescribing drugs for ADHD, stimulants similar to amphetamines. The parents were cautious and began searching for alternatives to the drugs.
The bright compounding pharmacist strongly suggested an eye exam by a doctor who specializes in pediatric ophthalmology.
The story has a happy ending for the child – on one level. He can see clearly now, and the attention issues he was displaying have vanished. The lingering effect of the incident is that the child is now “labeled” with a diagnosis. Solving the vision problem was a “piece of cake” compared to the efforts the parents will make having that diagnosis expunged from the medical and school records.
This is a drug story – one of the best kinds. It demonstrates that drugs can’t cure every problem.
Here’s a piece of advice: When a doctor “instinctively” reaches for the prescription pad, stop him/her, and ask seriously about alternative approaches that don’t require drugs. If the prescription is still written, consider getting a second opinion and perhaps a third. Yes, it will cost more money. Nevertheless, whatever the additional doctor cost, the benefits from avoiding yet another drug will more than offset it.
Doctors are smart, but that doesn’t mean they’re infallible. Ask questions and protect yourself – and your family – from unnecessary drug use. I guarantee you’ll be healthy and happy longer, and you’ll probably end up with far more dollars to spend on better things.