Do not be too quick to say no.

Unfortunately our current American society is becoming more and more dependent upon medication.

Listen to the advertising ……… “Ask your Doctor about ……….

Are you depressed, have indigestion, heartburn, want to lose weight, gain weight, can not sleep, sleep too much ??? “It goes on and on. how the side effects are said quickly or written in tiny letters at the end.

“May cause diarrhea, constipation, muscle spasms, depression, thoughts of suicide … and the famous one ……

If after four hours it is still as you originally wanted it to be .. go right to the emergency room. (Men how would you like that humiliating experience?)

No fewer than 150,000 preparations are now in use, of which 90% did not exist 25 years ago, and 75% did not exist ten years ago. About 15,000 new mixtures and dosages hit the market each year, while about 12,000 die off.

A doctor told me recently, “If my patients do not leave my office with a prescription, they feel as if I have not done my job.”

On the other hand, when I asked a Doctor why he prescribed a medication for high blood pressure, that can often have deleterious side effects, instead of counseling the patient on his or her life style …. Perhaps they need to lose weight, exercise more, deal with anxiety more efficiently etc. He said, “Carl, I have 30 people in the waiting room.

Please do not misunderstand me, medication saves lives when used discriminately and approbably.

The problem is that, often the patient does not take responsibility for this drug he is putting into his body. There is plenty of information on the internet.Why not read the literature that comes with it?

A man came to me one time complaining to be depressed. I asked him how long he felt that way.

“Two years” ……… “Are you taking and medication?” ……….. “Yes, Zoloft.”

“How long have you been taking the Zoloft?” ………. “Two years”. Do you have to be a rocket scientist to realize that something is not working? When I asked him that question, he told me that the Doctor prescribed it, he calls the nurse to renew it, and keeps taking it like a robot. Incidentally there are countless law suits related to this mediation now.)

Makes me want to take a tranquilizer!

How about the advertisement about heartburn? The man says that he loves sausage and peppers but they give him acid indigestion. So he takes this pill before he eats it and then takes another pill afterwards. And he smiles and the music plays and the dog barks and the children smile. Crazy! Just do not eat the sausage and peppers!

I treated a man once who had a lot of financial problems. I asked him if he was on any medication. (I always do now). “Oh! Yes, several”! He said proudly. When I asked what they were, he answered, “I do not know. Want me to call my wife?” Now is not that dumb? Lord knows how much those meds he was taking were adding to his debt dilemma.

There is a common malady called, “White Coat Syndrome”. A man goes to the doctor. He drives miles through traffic and rushes to get there. He sits in the waiting room (great name for it) for an hour then in the little waiting room for a half hour. Then they take his blood pressure and it is high. What would you expect? But he gets that prescription and goes home worried that he is going to have a heart attack.

It is a well known fact that our blood pressure varies with the time of day. It depends upon what we are doing and what we have done. Does not it make sense to buy a blood pressure monitor? They are not expensive (about $ 25.00, usually just one prescription cost). Then he monitors his pressure for a period of time so that when he goes to the doctor again, the doctor would know whether medication is needed? I would be willing to bet that the majority of people on blood pressure medication does not require it.

Also, doctors explain to me that they have to worry about law suits and so they will prescribe a medicine just to be protected from malpractice claims. Too often they are forced to deal with the symptoms and not the cause. The person is depressed, he gets a medication for depression. Nothing about his situation has changed. I deal with the cause. The cause disappears and the medication is not needed. Makes sense does not it?

This is not a criticism of doctors. They save lives. They do the best with what they have. But they are up against a society that is medication mad.

I have to tell this joke .. A doctor dies and goes to heaven. There is a long line at the pearly gates. The doctor thinks, “I am a busy doctor, I do not have to wait.” So he goes up to the gates and says to St. Louis. Peter. “I am a doctor, let me in.” St. Peter says, “I do not care who you are. So the doctor goes to the end of the line and is impatient and fuming. Then he sees a man in a white coat with a beard and a stethoscope around his neck go up to the gates and walks right in! Now he is really furious! He runs up to St. Peter and says, “How come you let that doctor in and you will not let me in?” St. Peter says, “That's not a doctor, that's God.” He thinks he's a doctor. ”

Now that I have all the doctors mad at me, back to the column ..

There is a Rolling Stone song that you may remember. Goes like this ..

“Things are different today.

I need something to calm me down ..

And though she's not really ill, she takes this yellow pill

And it helps her on her way

Helps her through her busy day.

Doctor please! Some more of these

Out side the door she took four more …

What a drag it is growing old … ”

Good song with a message.

Do you know that there is a new fad amongst teenagers? They raid their parents medicine cabinet and

take the medication to a party. They do not have to worry about buying beer or drugs, Their parents supply them!

Not only are prescription drugs rampant, now there are all kinds of over the counter medications being offered with full page ads that offer cures for everything from losing weight to curing arthritis, psoriasis, and toenails with a fungus. Such as, “Give me a week and you will lose ten pounds, or this pill burns off the fat while you sleep. the FD A and results will vary. They must sell the stuff. The advertisements appear regularly. It goes all the way back to the snake oil days.

However, I have no problem with alternative medications such as one would find in health food stores. Some of these are quite efficient and can be valuable. Just be sure and do your homework. Remember, if it's too good to be true, it probably is not.

Finally, ladies if you are love sick … do not take the first pill that comes along.

Writing this column has given me a headache ……. Honey, where's the Advil?