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Can Medication And Supplements Work Hand In Hand?

Can Medication And Supplements Work Hand In Hand?

Home » Health » Can Medication And Supplements Work Hand In Hand?



There are constant concerns about medications and supplements i.e. can they be consumed together as part of a treatment plan? Will there be harmful interactions? Can either one of them destroy your health?


There’s no doubt that both medications and supplements have their own set of benefits and possible side effects. However, they can actually work hand in hand with the aim of improving your health.


Though, before you head to your local pharmacy to create your own treatment plan, there are a few important things for you to take note of.


Read on and discover vital advice about how you can improve your health in a holistic and integrative manner.


How Is Medication Different From Supplements?


Medications mainly consists of potent drugs derived from molecules of specific chemical structure to exert specific mechanism of action to induce certain pharmacological response. Medications are more suppressive than therapeutic.


Supplements are naturally derived extracts from food with milder therapeutic effects. Most supplements are concocted to complement medications and to fulfil nutritional deficiencies caused by medications. Both medications and supplements play specific and important roles in any therapy.


Is It Possible For A Patient To Consume Supplements And Medication Concurrently, As Part Of A Treatment Plan?


Nowadays, most health practitioners – be it doctors or pharmacists, combine medications and supplements together as part of a treatment plan. The idea is to get the best therapeutic and synergistic effect. Doctors and pharmacists are slowly incorporating clinically proven supplements into their prescription. This trend for sure will go on as long as patients benefit greatly from it.


What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Incorporating Both As Part Of A Treatment Plan?


The advantage is that patients get better faster without unnecessary side effects. The disadvantage on the other hand, is that the costs of medications and supplements would be higher. Also, since there are more pills to consume, patients tend to be confused and may not be compliant especially when it comes to senior citizens.


Before Starting A Treatment, Plan Which Involves Supplements And Medication, What Should A Patient Do?


A two way communication between the doctor/pharmacist and patient/customer is ultimately the best way to come up with a proper treatment plan. Medical practitioners must spend some time explaining and discussing the medical problem with their patients.


Better therapeutic outcome can be achieved once the patient understands and accept the treatment plan.


How Can A Patient Ensure That The Treatment Route He Or She Is Opting For, Is A Safe One And Does Not Put One’s Health At Risk?


It’s common to see patients going through social media for home remedies and the internet to search for solutions to their medical problems. Self-medication is not only harmful but it’s also dangerous.


It’s better to obtain a consultation from doctors or pharmacists rather than trying to save money by over-reliance on the Internet or online drug stores as some medications and supplements sold online may not be genuine and adulterated.


Are We South East Asians Well Educated About The Role Of Supplements And Medications?


Nowadays most of us get our medication or supplement knowledge from unreliable sources such as hearsay from friends, unreliable advertisements or online sourcces. It’s very rare that we quote sources of information from doctors, medical practioner or pharmacists.


Why is this so? Partly, we believe it’s because most of us are not formally educated on medicine, just like sex education. They tend to listen to clinically unproven claims especially when it comes to cancer. Perhaps out of desperation.


How Can We Improve The Situation?


Believe in the power of education. To set things right and overcome misconceptions, we must introduce the subject of medications and supplements into the Science subject in schools, starting from junior colleges. We can also address the problem of drug abuse and danger of self-medication.


The availability of search function in social media doesn’t empower a person to become drug expert overnight. In fact, if used wrongly, it can cause disastrous adverse effects which in the end still have to treated by a certified medical practitioner.


Do not be confused between search and research. Research can only be conducted by an expert, a person trained in a specific field with the aim to get more in depth study and also to publish his findings. These are to be verified by his peer expert colleagues. Surfing through the Internet is not research but more for general information and point of reference.


Supplements and medications do complement each other but the rational use of these combinations must be administered by the pharmacists or certified medical practioner who will use their pharmacological knowledge to verify the dosages, drug-herbs interaction, contraindications and precautions plus the viability of such combinations to the clinical diagnosis provided by the doctors and for any supplements that pharmacists prescribe, make sure that it is evidence based and clinically proven.

Madeline Kwan

Madeline graduated with honours in Bachelor of Science Dietetics with Nutrition and is now pursuing the Master Of Science (Health Sciences) course. Currently working as clinical dietitian in a private health institution in Singapore, Madeline shares her passion for nutrition & diet education, repoductive health and general fitness tips by in her articles for YesMyWellness.com. She is also involved in a number of community projects, which includes travelling to rural areas in South East Asia conducting talks, workshops, health checks.

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