Alternative medicine: Questions to ask

Last updated: Sunday, July 12, 2015

Most clinical problems concerned with alternative medicine are questions about Adverse Reactions or Interactions, so follow the links to consult the tutorials about these two subjects if necessary. However, here are some general questions concerned with alternative medicine which may assist you when problem-solving in practice:

  • Is the patient already taking the alternative medicine or do they want to start taking it?

  • Why does the patient think it may help them?

  • Has the patient self-diagnosed the condition that they are seeking to treat? If they have, perhaps they should consider speaking to a healthcare professional first.

  • Does the patient take any conventional medication as well? If so, what?

  • Is there any history of adverse drug reactions or allergies?

  • Check relevant past and present medical history.

Generally, you will often be trying to answer the question: "Is the evidence for benefit of this treatment outweighed by the potential risks to the patient?"