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How Do Drugs Work?

Allopathic medicine (pharmaceuticals) has a biphasic effect on the body, meaning that it works in two phases. In phase one the drug works on the body, biochemically blocking the substances that cause the symptoms; in phase two (after about two weeks) the body’s biochemistry counteracts the drug. In other words, antihistamine drugs will provide you with temporary relief but will stimulate your body to produce more histamine in the long run. Antacids neutralize stomach acid, but without hydrochloric acid the stomach cannot perform vital functions so the stomach produces more acid. Some of the most prescribed medications in the U.S., Nexium®, Prevacid®, and Prilosec®, almost completely shut down the body’s ability to produce acid.

This biphasic effect of allopathic medicine keeps the body in a state of disorder; instead of allowing biochemical realignment for optimal health the body continues expending energy fighting foreign substances (the drugs).1

Over-the-Counter Medications

Prescription drugs that are “experimented” with long enough by M.D.s prescribing them to their patients and finding limited negative effects move up the marketing chain to become Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicines. Still, these OTC medicines can have serious side effects. After being linked to several cases of sudden liver failure, acetaminophen (Tylenol®) now has a warning on the label. Another pain reliever, ibuprofen, can cause severe stomach or intestinal bleeding and has also caused deaths.

Each individual body responds differently to pharmaceutical/OTC medicines. As a group, women are the most complicated vis-á-vis using pharmaceutical drugs. Women’s metabolism varies throughout the monthly cycle, and so how we metabolize drugs varies–for each one of us, each day.

Since 1993, the FDA has required industry to separately test women patients’ metabolic response in drug tests. (In effect, they’re capturing the data for that woman on that day of her cycle.) However, the results are not reported to the consumer on the package or anywhere else readily available to either women or their MDs. Eight out of the 10 drugs pulled from the market in recent years had proven to be more dangerous for women than men, according to a report from the General Accounting Office this year (2002). They included such commonly prescribed medications as antihistamines and decongestants–some now OTC–that have caused strokes in women.

For further discussion see section on The “Scientific Method” (Research and Regulation) and Its Impact on Our Healthcare.

See also Why Natural Healing? and Is Natural Healing Right for Me? and Tending to Spirit

1. Jo Serrentino, How Natural Remedies Work, Point Roberts, WA :Hartley & Marks, 1991

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