Jay S Cohen (MD)
Nowadays, it is standard practice, when a person writes to me seeking advice about, say, leg cramps, I will question them about prescription medicines. More often than not, it turns out that they have been placed on some kind of medication, such as an anti-depressant or cholesterol lowering drug.
Often, the grounds for prescribing the drug in the first place are dubious and should only be the measure of last resort - not first resort!
My usual advice is to request they return to their doctor and request a review of their medication. I do so with some reluctance because, as Dr Cohen explains in his article above, there is a prevailing denial of medication side effects amongst the medical fraternity and the patient concerned is more likely than not to exit the consultation no better off and sometimes with an additional prescription to boot!
I find this situation quite frustrating at times. I am not "anti doctor" but I must admit my exasperation does sometimes get the better of me. We are dealing with people's lives after all. Their health and safety is paramount.
"FIRST DO NO HARM"
Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm". The phrase is sometimes recorded as primum nil nocere.
Nonmaleficence, which derives from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of medical ethics that all medical students are taught in medical school and is a fundamental principle for emergency medical services around the world. Another way to state it is that "given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good." It reminds the physician and other health care providers that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit. Since at least 1860, the phrase has been for physicians a hallowed expression of hope, intention, humility, and recognition that human acts with good intentions may have unwanted consequences.