Every once in a while I get asked if I can prescribe medication to a patient. Once I explain that chiropractors do not prescribe drugs, explain the mechanisms of a healing body, it is common to be his with. “Yah, but Advil is okay right?” or “I’ll just take some Vicodin from and old prescription.”
This is a difficult position to be put in as a chiropractor as our opinions greatly differ from what would be considered the norm. Our belief system does not dismiss prescription drugs and over the counter medications, but actually gives these drugs the ultimate respect.
Each drug/medication that we put in our body is very serious choice, and should only be used when absolutely necessary. This is far different from some of the perceptions of chiropractors that we do not “believe” in the use of medications.
In my case, far from it. With the amount of hockey related surgeries I have had, I am very thankful for many of the medications I was given and needed.
However, most users of these medications are not in a serious predicament, and end up popping ibuprofen, aspirin, and even Vicodin on an extremely regular basis.
Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C., extracted the following information about the use of commonly used medications and their potential harm on our bodies.
“First Do No Harm” is a cornerstone of modern medicine.
“I think the practice of combining acetaminophen (Tylenol is one popular brand) and an opiate, such as hydrocodone bitartrate, together as a single drug (as Vicodin does) defies logic, if not common sense.”
Acetaminophen is a “potent dose-dependent poison for the liver; simply stated, if you take too much, your liver dies.”
Acetaminophen overdose is the “leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States today.”
On the other hand, opiates, such as hydrocodone bitartrate and codeine, while safe for the
liver, are highly addictive.
“Vicodin is currently the most popular prescription drug in the United States.”
Some patients become addicted to the opiate component of Vicodin and consume
increasing amounts of acetaminophen, “ultimately leading to acute liver failure.”
“With overwhelming liver injury from acetaminophen, what follows is a particularly grisly
death punctuated by bleeding, confusion, coma and, for still largely unclear reasons, brain
swelling, damage and death.”
“Patients typically take too much acetaminophen for fever or pain over several days, not realizing the potential for liver damage.”
“Many are unaware that acetaminophen is contained in dozens of over-the-counter cold and flu preparations.”
“This situation is particularly tragic in young children accidentally overdosed with
acetaminophen, typically in the setting of a flu-like illness, by well-intentioned but
Acetaminophen packaging should have better warning labels, and should not be sold in 1,000 pill mega-bottles. Acetaminophen-opiate combinations [like Vicodin] should be removed from the market.
“The prescription rules in California have made it far easier for physicians to prescribe an acetaminophen-opiate combination, such as Vicodin, than a pure opiate, such as codeine, although the former is far more dangerous.”
The FDA banned Ephedra, which “contrasts with its puzzling, relatively meager efforts to prevent acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, which kills far more Americans each year than Ephedra.”
The Danger Of Mixing Candy And Poison
By Tim Davern, MD, a liver transplant specialist at the
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 2004
“Acetaminophen, whose best know brand name is Tylenol, is one of the most widely used nonprescription painkillers is the US.”
“Overdosing with it is the leading cause of serious poisoning in this country.”
“Every year, too much acetaminophen accounts for 50,000 emergency room visits, 42% of liver failures, and an average of 458 deaths.”
“Never take more than 4,000mg a day—eight 500mg extra-strength capsules.”
Numerous other drugs also contain acetaminophen, including Nyquil, Sudafed, Alka-Seltzer, Sinutab, Contac, Actifed, etc.
“If you have two or three alcoholic drinks or more a day, be sure to consult your doctor before taking Tylenol.”
“The symptoms of acetaminophen overdose are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and lack of appetite.”
“The specific antidote is N-acetylcysteine (NAC).”
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) works because it elevates levels of the antioxidant and detoxifier, glutathione.
Take This Painkiller Carefully
Medical News That Matters
By Isadore Rosenfeld, MD
Parade, February 19, 2006, pg. 6
As you can see, these common drugs are serious and can have some major, permanent consequences. These medications have a cumulative effect as they wage war on our internal organs. From what I understand you do not want a liver transplant, or any transplant, if you can help it.
If this information isn’t more than enough to have you rethink your position when popping the next pill or potion, not much will.