What's with the alternative medicine?

59 posts in this topic

 

Got a packet of useless herbal tablets, for which I was charged nearly ten euros.

 

Was it Sinupret?

 

 

My boyfriend's just come back from a different Apotheke. He asked for pseudo-ephedrin and got it.

What exactly did he get? Pseudo-ephedrin isn't sold as a single drug here, only in combination with either aspirin or an antihistamine as jeba mentioned.

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If it's possible and reasonable - what's wrong with that?

 

There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, (like with a cold) there is no overnight cure with either alternative or conventional medicine

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Perhaps there needs to be a rebranding? Rather than calling it alternative medicine we should call it unproven medicine?

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Wouldn't that do away with the placebo effect? But to be serious: not all herbal medicine is nonsense - even if many are.

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There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, (like with a cold) there is no overnight cure with either alternative or conventional medicine

 

There might be no real cure, but at least some alleviation is possible. So why not go for it?

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I think the key thing here is about expectations and who sells what. I think the debate is really more about how the item was sold and whether Milton was given the right information and guidance.

 

Milton went to a pharmacist expecting medicine and was charge 10 euros for something else. How would you feel if you went to an alternative therapist and were sold "an oil of wintergreen derrivative" for 10 bucks and later realised you had been given a couple of generic asprin?

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Wouldn't that do away with the placebo effect? But to be serious: not all herbal medicine is nonsense - even if many are.

 

Yep. Asprin. And some others. That's why they call asprin medicine.

 

Tell the patient they are sick and they'll be better in a few days.

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Yep. Asprin. And some others. That's why they call asprin medicine.

 

Except that aspirin isn't herbal. And apart from that it's not as safe as people seem to think. When I was doing my internship 30 years ago, the first patient I saw die in hospital was dying because of one of the sideeffects of aspirin (gastrointestinal ulceration).

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Except that aspirin isn't herbal. And apart from that it's not as safe as people seem to think. When I was doing my internship 30 years ago, the first patient I saw die in hospital was dying because of one of the sideeffects of aspirin (gastrointestinal ulceration).

 

It is herbal in that it is the most commonly cited pharmaceutical that is derrive pretty much directly from nature (oil of wintergreen). Whether a botanist would consider the Willow tree (common initial source) to be a herb or not, it does fit the standard description of a herbal remedy. The fact that modern asprin is produced chemically rather than biochemically does muddy the waters but in theory asprin could be an entirely herbally derived remedy.

 

Whether or not it is harmless wasnt really stated by PAS and is irrelevant to this discussion. You will notice way back at the start of this thread someone mentioned digitalis which is also not harmless.

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@ galloping close

 

I didn't ask for antibiotics. I asked for over-the-counter medication. The pharmacist could refuse to supply it if, in their professional opinion, it wasn't required. What a pharmacist cannot ethically do is pull a bait-and-switch and choose to supply alternative medicine that is not backed by any evidence. It's a con. I suspect they do it because potions is where they can still make decent margins, where they can't on most other items.

 

There is an even worse possibility, which is that university-trained professionals actually believe this stuff.

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But Milton never said what she got, or did she?

 

A lot of "herbal" medicine is far from nonsense. And I am not talking about teas or over the counter stuff without a real patient information leaflet.

Basically everything is chemistry, wether it is of herbal origin or brewed in a lab. A lot of plants produce one or more potent chemical substances, that's the reason the pharma industry uses them, even in the sort of drugs that are prescription only. Morphin derivates in painkillers, e.g.*

 

If the idea of "green" medicine sells better in Germany, they'll probably emphasize the herbal substances instead of listing them in latin.

 

And I actually prefer medicine with herbal origin, and I do not believe in homeopathy. But the stuff that is completely invented and created in a lab is patented in most cases, all the tests and studies are done by the same people who invented it, and they can ask for any price they want.

 

ETA: *Even if the phytochemicals (agents from plants) are recreated synthetically to get reliable concentrations and to make production more economical, the substances are still originally herbal.

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That's why I asked if it was Sinupret, because that really does work, and I'm not someone who believes in woo medicine either.

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I was unbelievably skeptical about Sinupret (and I'm also averse to woo-woo), but it does work. Scientifically proven, even. I'm happy to be sold that and similar under the rubric "medication", because it is. I'd be incredibly irritated if I got homeopathy, though. So as others have said, it depends what the OP got.

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Since the pseudoephedrin that she thought was "real medication" also is phytochemical it would be embarassing to post the name of a drug that probably would have worked if she hadn't been deterred by the "herbal" ingredients. Not entirely fair to accuse a pharmacist of conning without actual proof, though.

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IMO the pharmacists here often have a set idea of what they want to sell you. I was looking for something for a cough this morning and she pointed at this one brand that was on their shelf. I asked her if she has anything else. She said the stuff she was pointing at is very good. I bought it and we'll see. However, I do like to be given a choice.

 

Oh, and the other day, I was getting some OTC allergy meds. She asked me what brand I wanted. I said just give me the least expensive. She pulled out something that was 14€. I told her last time I was there, I got another brand that cost 7. Only then she went and got the one that was 7.

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Yes, Leon - that´s typical of any shop - whether a normal retailer or pharmacist. You know, my girlfriend likes and understands her perfume stuff. I guarantee every time she asks a simple question ( eg at Karstadt or Douglas ) about something suitable for February for mid-afternoon she´ll first get shown the most expensive! THEN they find something just as good for 20 euros less! :D ( Thank God!! )

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True, John.

 

It doesn't hurt to ask if they have something similar from Ratiopharm, in a lot of cases they have. That's a company that produces the same stuff and sells it a lot cheaper than "popular" brands.

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There is a problem with the cold relief medicine that used to work well "Sudafed" is also bought by illegal drug-makers. Chemists in Australia tried to avoid selling it as the police monitored the sales. If you sold to much you were considerd risky. Or maybe the bikies just pay a higher price for the quota? I suppose the Germans would have double the checks.

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For a common cold, time and maybe an aspirin or some sort or tea and there are many, is the best remedy.If you have an important meeting we in Canada have NeoCitran.It works wonders.Don't know if it's available in Germany. As for the average Apotheker, they are in business to make money and they sell you anything and everything you are willing to pay for.But they don't make a judgment what is good for you, the doctor does that. When I grew up in Germany and got a cold, we got the "wickel" which was not a medicine but a treatment.A wet, cold bed sheet was wrapped around your naked body then you were stuck under a mountain of blankets and feather tick were you shivered until your chin exausted which lasted mostly a half an hour, thereafter one started to sweat profusely and exhausted fell a sleep.Waking up after a good sleep life carried on like nothing ever was wrong.We did not admit to having a cold to miss school or any other occasion we wanted to miss.No doctor, no nurse and no expenditure.

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