Safely Weaning from Pharmaceutical Medications

One aspect of integrative medicine is helping patients navigate the complicated world of pharmaceutical medications and their side effects. Many of my new patients come to me with the goal of eliminating or reducing the number of medications they are taking. Commonly prescribed medications these days include those to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression and anxiety, and GERD. Frequently, we find that many pharmaceutical medications can contribute to vitamin deficiencies.

Below is an outline of some things we investigate in an attempt to wean patients off different classes of medication. Keep in mind these are just examples and not a comprehensive list. 

 Hypertension

High cholesterol


Diabetes


Depression and anxiety


 Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 

A quick place for anyone to go to and check potential nutrient deficiencies associated with pharmaceutical medication is http://mytavin.com. Here you can easily enter your entire list of medications and find out what you might be deficient in. In our practice, we have a few options for comprehensive nutritional tests that allow for confirmation of deficiencies and tailored supplementation based on those results. Often addressing these deficiencies and overgrowths, along with healthy lifestyle changes, can help patients reach their goal of weaning from pharmaceutical medications safely.


As a reminder, it is essential that any medication changes be done under the guidance of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Author
Maria L. Gahry, DNP, RN, FNP-BC Maria is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), with board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and graduate certificate in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. As an FNP, caring for families across the lifespan, the foundation of her practice is focused on the use of integrative and holistic methods to prevent illness and treat root causes of disease. Maria believes the relationship with her patients should be a collaborative partnership, with the goals for optimal health defined by the patient. Maria earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2009 from Wayne State University. She graduated from Wayne State University's DNP program in December 2015, joining Bio Energy Medical Center in the spring of 2016. Her doctoral research focused on the screening and treatment of thyroid disease, which she considers an often-overlooked health problem that influences the development of many other health problems.

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