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Sell the Therapeutic Strength

Label a Product Dose as a Percent of its Therapeutic Strength.
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Coenzyme Q10, 20mg … true/false?

How many times have you researched a product's ingredient, supplement, or additive to determine why it was included? I have some, and quite often have been surprised to find that some ingredients have actually been used to treat an illness, correct an error of metabolism, or provide a degree of treatment to some hospitalized patients.

There is, strangely, a generally wide discrepancy between the therapeutic dose used in practice and the dose of the ingredient available to the public in stores. Makers of self-serve medications are able to offer as many strengths of their products as they choose and most (with two exceptions I can think of) offer their choices at doses less than the amount that would be used to help someone in a deficiency state -- that is, a clinically effective dose.

Maybe I'm just annoyed and overwhelmed by the choices in front of me, but why are there products with 10 ingredients that I scarcely knew I needed all present in quantities that nowhere nearly approach what would be clinically effective and at the same time are neither available in a therapeutic strength or anywhere near that strength unless taken in four or more pills?

I'm certainly not advocating that bigger and stronger pills are the answer to folks' problems, but people could save a lot of money if they were to understand the foolish notion that "a little bit like that certainly won't hurt me … and might help me" cannot justify incorporating such an ingredient into a plan for better health. I'm sure change will come eventually to the practice of labelling products "prescription strength" when competitors begin offering stonger formulations in "new, higher concentrations" with impugnity.

reensure, Feb 24 2002


       my answer was to you citing ginseng as an example. Ginseng is usually sold as as a single substance or perhaps in conjunction with say calcium. It would be bulked out with something harmless or your pill would be the size of a pinhead. The pharmaceutical companies are regulated and would not want to be the subject of a lawsuit now would they? In my original annotation I said for you to consult your local pharmacist who is highly trained and knows more about drugs that your doctor does and unless you have the misfortune to meet one with the sense of humour that my father possessed, you cannot go wrong. delete this again and you are on your own! I do not have all night.
po, Feb 24 2002

       There's a little more to what you are now saying. Although helpful, pharmacists have more the spirit "Cavæt Emptor" than the Hippocratean spirit. I prefer the humor of the former over that of the latter; be that as it may, many of their products are endorsed solely by presence on the shelf and by neither efficacy nor combinatorial possibility. It is for this reason that few are actually 'endorsed' by pharmacies beyond a measure of safe use (example: avoid using many prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs jointly without Rx advise). Harmless ingredients as a group fall within the category of 'worrisome' ingredients that can be safely endorsed by professionals, but not labelled as safe whether used as directed or not. That is the substance of and the basis for my original posting -- should there be a labelling standard that expresses an ingredient not in terms of weight or activity, but as a percentage of dose used in therapy.?
reensure, Feb 24 2002

       I used to believe that Rx meant "give" but I read recently that it means "recipe". My advice, Go to your GP, Go straight to your GP, do not pass the chemist, collect a prescription. <I am talking UK Pharmacies here BTW, I do not know how the USA operates at all!>
po, Feb 24 2002

       Rx means "By order of Jupiter" or "With the blessing of Jupiter".   

       [reensure] As has been implied, over-the-counter drugs are usually understood to be less potent than their prescription bretheren. I'm all for consumer information (though I'd probably not make as much use if it as you) so I say put it on there. At least then it becomes my responsibility.
phoenix, Feb 24 2002

       [sp: therapeutic, fixed in the title.]
jutta, Feb 25 2002


       Must … get … spellchecker
reensure, Feb 26 2002

       It's illegal in Britain and I believe the USA to make any therapeutic claims for a substance unless it's been tested as a drug by the appropriate authorities - a long and expensive process. Therefore, it's impossible for a company to claim a therapeutic dose for something if it can't claim medicinal powers for it; which means ginseng couldn't have any such label.   

       With properly licensed pharmaceuticals, a recommended dosage is always specified; I assume this is a legal requirement. It may on occasion be acceptable to exceed this, but only with medical advice and supervision.
pottedstu, Feb 26 2002

       [pottedstu] True enough. But I think [reensure] is using the term 'therapeutic strength' to mean 'prescription strength'. Could be wrong.
phoenix, Feb 26 2002

       Not wrong. Not sure, but I believe that by prescribing the strength per dose of a drug a doctor is accepting the responsibility for addressing problems arising from a patient's use of the drug as prescribed -- exactly, the drug's safety and efficacy. There are industry analyses of broad population studies to support the documented success rates with dosages supplied to pharmacies and manufacturers add warnings based on similar documented adverse events associated with the same dosages as well as known toxicity parameters. These are standard good manufacturing practices, and I say leave them alone.   

       I'll likewise opt to leave alone the folks who choose to megadose, within their own ability to be reasonable. I don't condone the practice, but to different folks must do different strokes. Medications do offer a means to affect a personal change in health, and there are typical guides for therapeutic application of most substances that are studied for their actual or potential benefit to health. Only the quality seems to be an issue, not the quantity. This I find disturbing, and I'd shy away from a chemotoxic or DNA lighting substance that was marketed with only its purity guaranteed; hence, why would I feel safe using any blend of unproven concentrations of substances for my health?
reensure, Feb 27 2002


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