The Doctor Who Gave up Drugs


Just saw an ad for the programme on tonight called "The Doctor Who Gave up Drugs". Don't get me wrong, I am interested, but having just managed to get back on an even keel with MTX and hydroxy, after months of debilitating pain and tiredness, I am not much looking forward to everyone I meet telling me they watched this and I should stop taking the drugs! Hey ho...

(Beeb1 9pm BTW)


21 Replies

  • In the trailer, he does point out that some people NEED to take some drugs. I hope that doesn't get lost in the overall message that we reach for pills too easily to remedy what often need life-style changes.

  • Yes, I hope so too, maybe I'll reserve judgement until after I see it :-)

  • So agree, it depends on the condition or disease so looking forward to his ideas and the clinical evidence that it works.

    I think it a lot of cases too much medication is dolled out as a cure all rather than the sometimes good old fashioned advice.

  • Yes, I guess overuse of antibiotics, when not required, is an example and has a detrimental effect on a much wider scale. I wonder how much pressure doctors come under to prescribe. Although as a teenager I was sent away from the docs with a cold with the comment "if I had a cure for the common cold I'd be a rich man". I never did that again! There was so much controversy over immunisation recently though, and there are very immediate and dangerous consequences for some people to come off medication, I'm thinking Bipolar sufferers, although I am sure there are many more examples. Let's hope this prog is suitably responsible.

  • This is interesting, especially about the antibiotic issue. As an immunosuppressed person, I am often given antiBs "just in case". I'm now 7 years post diagnosis and I am much more hesitant about seeing my GP unless I'm certain it's a chest infection that isn't shifting because they always give me antibiotics. They always give me thrush and mostly give me diarrhoea. I end up feeling worse. I know we're meant to see the GP but even if my infections are bacterial, they do seem to get better anyway.

  • It was interesting. A CRP machine! Not sure I will be jumping in any lakes soon though, the thought of cold water makes my whole body cramp (low sodium). The exercise vs painkillers chimes with my experiences generally. Not specifically though, there have been times painkillers were the only option. You do need to be able to move to exercise!

  • I have had this summer got bacterial pneumonia because my I ignored a cold on my holiday. It led to 3 courses of antibiotics and so I'm grateful for antibiotics when prescribed by my GP although he usually is very cautious he apologised to me for 3 courses but the newer Doxycline worked well.

  • Yes, I think antibiotics are so important at these times. The prgramme made me realise that it is very hard for Drs to tell when an infection is bacterial or viral.

  • Was very interested that the cold water swimming thing actually has medical evidence. I've just finished a book called The Outrun & the writer cites sea swimming in the Orkneys (brrrr!) as a help to her combatting alcoholism& depression.

  • The programme showed to me that those people who say "you shouldn't take drugs for xyz" find it very much more difficult when presented with specific problems. We are not accustomed to uncertainty, we want "closure", we want an easy solution to our problems, both the prescriber and the patient.

    I have had people say to me that I shouldn't take steroids, but when the alternative is death, the side effects become easier to bear!

  • I am currently going drug free. I do not recommend it. I do see functional or targeted treatment in out emmidiate future. From an economic perspective. If Biologics are so expensive it makes sense to do genetics first to see if you can isolate what will work given the individual will respond. That way you reduce the needless drugs? Not quite that simple but you get the point.

    I for one ,no longer wish to be the lab experiment. My system is very sensitive and I have a long long list of allergies and negative reactions. Plus each time you have a reaction the next one is worse. Like Migrains, anything I can do to avoid a reaction, I will do.

    I must also point out the advantage of being able to manage pain without drugs. It takes the power away from physician and gives it back to patient. All my time with GP seemed to be spent negotiating pain management. In addition, I metabolize opiates very quickly. That is why they are not effective but also why I have never developed a dependency. Bad news is no pain control. Also allergic to anti inflammatories. Canabis has proven to be my best alternative. It is an anti inflammatory and keeps you distracted so you do not focus on pain. Also trying meditation, sauna and seld hypnosis. Not always easy but I am managing.

  • Glad you are finding comfort in alternatives. Even in my worst pain I think I have found alternatives, such as heat and meditation, as effective as painkillers. Although sometimes it just needs both, everything I can get my hurty mitts on :-)

  • Yes I think this looks like trouble. He seems to be eschewing vaccination too. I'll have to find out why the bbc is giving this airtime.

  • I didn't find it as bad as I feared, and no-one, not even my mother, has suggested I come off the drugs, so I am happy about that. I did note they used the word 'essential' before vaccines, I did not think they were discouraging vaccines.

  • It is dangerous to stop taking medication.I was wrongly told to not take make tea time dose before medical procedure the next day.I ended up collapsing in the waiting room and spent a month in hospital. This has brought on problems where I now can't walk properly. Gradually reduce is safer on your body

  • Oh no, sorry to hear that, I agree. With serious chronic conditions you have to be so careful. I thought the programme did highlight that some medications are not always necessary. I did find the trailer misleading and irresponsible though.

  • I agree with his belief that drugs are dispensed too quickly too often, without other options being explored. (And how can GPs be expected to diagnose the problem and explore possible solutions in 10 minutes?)

    That CRP machine really impressed me and I'd love to see that service offered at our local surgery! I have had my CRP and (other things) tested this morning, but won't get the results until Tuesday.

    It shocked me that people go into the GPs wanting to come out with drugs. I began to understand why when I had a consultation with a GP about the side effects of hydroxychloroquine rather than simply reducing my dose as I was asking her, her answer was to offer me prescriptions for the contraceptive pill, anti-depressants and pain killers. I can see now that that is just what they do.

  • Just seen the first programme last night (different schedule in Scotland). I think that by the time we see the second half next week there will be a more balanced picture. I certainly never go to the doctors asking for antibiotics , when I first started on Cimzia I did over react to a cold and was given antibiotics, in retrospect I don't think they did any good. I am now not so quick to think about going to the doctor. I know that if I have a serious problem my Cimzia alert card will act as golden ticket for a quick appointment if I need it.

  • Yes, I think it does serve to educate people that they don't always need antibiotics and maybe people will not be so quick to go to the doctors for them. BUT even though the doctors can't tell if we need them, they are still better placed to judge than we are! It worries me slightly because I think when you have a suppressed immune system, as many of us have, then fast intervention, when required, can make a significant difference, it can avoid hospitalisation. Maybe that's over-dramatic. I have not yet experienced my first bout of illness whilst on MTX and am not looking forward to it!

  • I have mixed feelings on this just spent a year try different drugs with poor results have no treatment for a few months and although I am in pain with ra its great not to be battling with the horrible side affects of drugs I know this is only a short term salutation as the condition is severe so must battle on

  • They are horrid, no-win choices we have to make aren't they. Sometimes a change from side-effects to pain is like a rest. Some rest, eh? I hope you find a treatment that helps soon. x

You may also like...