What Can Naturopathic Doctors Prescribe?


Naturopathic licensed physicians (NMD or ND's) are qualified to diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases as primary care providers. NDs complete their four-year, scientific-based training in prescription drugs and can prescribe medicines as indicated by state regulations. But naturopathic physicians do not usually prescribe medications at the early sign of symptoms or distress.

They help and develop the inherent capacity of a patient to cure proof-based treatments such as modification of lifestyle, clinical diet, botanical medicine and behavioral medicine, to name a few.

Education and training in pharmacology

A sequence of classes, focused on one another through an ND medical education, teach pharmacology. This preparation is accompanied by at least 1200 hours of clinical exercise. Naturopathic medicine programs are approved and accepted by the Department of Education of the United States. Pharmacology is a key component of the NPLEX test, which includes a passage before the state/province can license or control a practitioner for naturopathic medicine.

Naturopathic doctors study medical and clinical pharmacology in the course of their pharmacology program. It discusses key medicinal applications, controlled drugs and counter (OTC) medication as well as possible adverse effects and drug interactions with widely encountered medications, including prescription medicines and controlled substances.

Although the pharmacology courses in the traditional medical schools are comparable, NDs are further educated and based in two important areas:

  • Botanical or herbal medicines and associations with supplements and products. 75 percent of Americans frequently take herbs and nutritional supplements, and their primary care physician is not always told. Naturopathic doctors research botanic medicine for about 130 hours in a classroom. This includes the research and practice of medicinal plants and extracts for improving general health, promoting well-being and treating chronic and acute diseases. Extensive herbal knowledge and additives allow NDs to enhance patient guidance in preventing adverse interactions.
  • Identification of long-term substance usage of nutrient depletions. Some of the most widely recommended or prescribed medicines can impair or cause deficiencies in nutrients of essential importance. Medicines such as acid reflux, cardiovascular, cholesterol and more are recommended. Naturopathic doctors are specialists in determining signs of nutrient depletion and applying their extensive clinical and botanical knowledge to help reverse these harmful effects.

NDs are also qualified to determine whether and if a patient is overmedicated, and when medications, OTC drugs, and supplements should be tapered off or withdrawn. Naturopathic physicians are prescribing medicines on the basis of available data, clinical experience, patient preference and the order. The body's capacity to heal itself is primarily assisted and strengthened by naturopathic physicians. They use a deep natural therapy toolbox to help a patient cure the illness without heavy interventions. However in a detailed evaluation of the lifestyle, of social/emotional influences, the physical examination and/or the targeted laboratory test, NDs refer or prescribe suitable medication.

In order to determine risks to cure for the patient and choose the most logical and least-invasive treatment options, the therapeutic order is used as a guideline for NDs first. If NDs prescribe medication, the possible side effects of this drug can be predicted and treated by natural therapies. For example, in addition with harmful bacteria, if a patient needs antibiotics which are known to eliminate essential and healthy bacteria from a microbiome, NDs can prescribe probiotic foods or supplements to help maintain a balanced GI system.

User:Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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