A recent survey by Beatrice Golomb and her colleagues which was reported by Reuters Health discovered that when patients reported adverse reactions to drugs their doctors routinely denied that the drug was responsible for these side effects.
To a great extent this is due to doctor’s lack of knowledge about potential side effects, but I suspect it is also because doctors have an unreasonable degree of reliance and faith in drugs.
Pharmaceutical companies are doing a great job selling benefits of drugs to doctors, but the education about potential side effects is clearly lacking.
Medical school training also makes doctors biased toward drugs and against alternative therapies.
In treating migraine patients I often see people who were prescribed by their doctor 2-3 daily medications and who were never offered any alternatives.
The efficacy of many of the supplements (magnesium, CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid and others) is as good as that of many drugs doctors use for headaches.
Eliminating caffeine, regular exercise, dietary changes, biofeedback and even Botox injections are some of the other excellent approaches that should be tried before drugs. (Note: use of Botox for headaches is a different treatment than cosmetic use of Botox
Alexander Mauskop MD, FAAN, Associate Professor of Neurology at SUNY – Downstate Medical Center, is the Director and founder of the New York Headache Center. Dr. Mauskop is board-certified in Neurology with subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine. He has delivered over 400 scientific presentations and lectures and is a reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Neurology, Headache, and several other medical journals. For the past 21 years, has been the Director of an annual educational symposium for physicians. Over 200 doctors from around the world have visited the New York Headache Center to learn advanced treatment techniques.
Dr. Mauskop is the author of Migraine and Headache (Oxford American Pain Library) and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines: The Breakthrough Program That Can Help End Your Pain.
He has repeatedly been chosen as one of New York magazine’s Best Doctors in New York, as one of New York Times Magazine’s, “Super Doctors” and as Castle and Connolly’s “Best Doctors”. Dr. Mauskop has appeared on television shows including Tom Brokaw’s News Hour, Extra, and PBS specials, and he has been featured in Vogue, O Magazine, and many other publications. He has given lectures at the medical schools of Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, NYU and Dartmouth, and at the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.
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