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Flashcards in CAM Deck (10)
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Complementaryand Alternative Medicine

Complementary- medicine used in addition to prescribed medicine
Alternative- medicine used in place of prescribed medication


Appeal of Alternative Medicine

Frustration with conventional medicine
Western medicine treats patients as machines and not as humans
Increased awareness of medical practices by other cultures
Increased scientific evidence linking disease to nutrition, emotion, lifestyle
Desire for wellness, not absence for disease
Desire for fewer side effects
Desire to reduce personal healthcare costs
Want to have more active role in treatment
Increased support by prominent MDs


Why bogus therapies work

Disease may have run natural course
Many diseases are cyclical
Spontaneous remission
Placebo effect
Some allegedly cured symptoms are psychosomatic to begin with
Symptomatic relief vs real cure
Promoted as complimentary to be used in conjunction with conventional treatment
Misdiagnosis by self or physician
Enthusiastic delivery by healer
Psychological distortion of reality



Insert needles in the skin
Meridians- highly conductive pathways created where that acupuncture releases

12 regions of high density nerve areas in the body, stimulation of these areas transfer signals through CNS to brain to increase gene activity- could release endorphins
Two questionable studies supported acupuncture, no significant studies shown

Useful in treating opiate dependence


Herbal Preparations

Efficacy difficult to evaluate
Imcomplete knownledge of effective ingredients
No standardization of preparation
Tested for food quality, not drug quality, composition can be different



Plant grows in woodland areas
Used for insomnia, stress and anxiety
Benzodiazepine withdrawal
Normalizes CNS

Studiees have shown its efficacy


Valerian Mechanism of Action

Unknown, has to do with smooth muscle relaxant effect
May produce local spasmolytic effect
Could inhibit breakdown of GBA


St. Johns Wort

Used to treat anxiety, deptression, insomni
antiviral activity

Studies show some antidepressant activity


Wort Mechanism of Action

Does not bind to receptors
Inhibits reuptake of serotonin
Increases dopamine levels and turnover
Reduces efficacy of codeine
Increases blood levels of caffeine, antipsychotics and TCAs
Reduces blood levels of some cardiac and anti-inflammatory drugs



Treat anxiety, nervousness and insomnia
Sedative effects
Analgesic, anticonvulsant muscle relaxant

May be useful in treating symptoms of withdrwal