Overmedication imperils our health and threatens to bankrupt our healthcare system. Dr. Jacobs, who has served on the advisory board of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, offers a well-researched and clear-eyed account of the epidemic, and offers safe, effective alternatives to prescription drugs.
A silent epidemic in the United States is imperiling our health and threatens to bankrupt our healthcare system: overmedication. Today, one-third of all adults take two or more prescription drugs, and half of all seniors take more than five daily. This book--the first of its kind--tackles the epidemic overuse of prescription drugs.
The first half of the book describes the dangers of taking too many drugs, including drug-drug interactions, medication errors, unintentional overdoses, unnecessary medications, made-up illnesses ("restless leg syndrome"), and side effects that actually mimic a new illness.
The second half discusses the benefits and harms caused by many of the most popular drugs used to treat diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, acid reflux, depression, and pain. It tells which drugs are really needed and whether or not they cause side effects.
Finally, readers will learn: how to discuss their concerns about too many medications with their healthcare providers, simple ways to make positive lifestyle changes, and when to consider alternative healing approaches.
Combining stories of those who have suffered ill effects from taking too many drugs with data from cutting-edge medical findings, Do You Really Need That Pill? helps readers realize they can choose different solutions to their health problems.
"Overdiagnosis and overmedication are major public health issues in the United States and, if the trend continues, will only increase with the growing senior population. Dr. Jacobs gives practical, evidenced-based advice for dealing with some of the most common health problems we face in today's society. Read this book--it may just save your life!"
— Brian Berman, MD, Director, Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine
"Overmedicalization is both prevalent and profitable in the United States. It is harmful, too, exposing countless people to the potential side effects of unnecessary medications. In this important book, Dr. Jacobs reveals the many circumstances where prescriptions may better serve drug makers than patients--and provides thoughtful guidance about when, why, and how to consider safer alternatives."
— David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center
"Dr. Jacobs offers an essential antidote to our drug-addicted culture, with evidence-based examples for common conditions and safe alternatives based on healthy habits in a healthy habitat."
— Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH, author of The Holistic Pediatrician and Authentic Healing
"As a retired emergency physician, my motto used to be 'don't just do something, stand there.' Try to avoid harm. Dr. Jacobs provides compelling evidence that taking too many or unnecessary medicines may not be good for you and shows us how to avoid them when treating common medical issues."
— Stephen Bezruchka, MD, MPH, Departments of Health Services & Global Health, School of Public Health, University of Washington
"A thorough and well-documented resource on the pharmaceuticals prescribed today. A good reference for anyone interested in learning more about the medications they or their loved ones are taking."
— Patricia M. Herman, ND, PhD, Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation
"Dr. Jennifer Jacobs' Do You Really Need That Pill? is a sound, sympathetic, practical guide to the risks of excessive prescription drugs and safe, effective alternatives to them. I recommend it to anyone concerned about a chronic health problem they, or someone close to them, suffers from who wants to reduce medication and find safer, effective alternatives."
— Dr. Peter Fisher, physician to HM The Queen, Director of Research, Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine
"Are you on too many medications? How about your parents? Most Americans over a certain age take five or more drugs a day, placing them at risk of serious side effects and drug-drug interactions. Here Dr. Jacobs clearly explains the science, the questionable need for many of these medications, and the downsides, especially in the elderly, and makes practical suggestions about how to reduce the number of meds you are taking."
— Victoria Maizes, MD, Executive Director, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Professor of Medicine, Family Medicine, and Public Health at the University of Arizona
Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH is a family practice physician specializing in holistic medicine. She is also a clinical assistant professor in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. She has served on the advisory board of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, co-founded the special interest group of the American Public Health Association on Complementary and Alternative Health Practices, and served as an advisory board member of the monthly magazine Natural Health.