Dr. Patrick Mullen is a psychiatrist in private practice and a Clinical Instructor at the Department of Psychiatry at University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He recently met a patient who points out some of the potential hazards of natural medications.
Any of you who choose to do an informal survey of your patients will be surprised how many are taking a non-prescribed sleeping aid. Often this is an antihistamine, but patients are increasingly turning to natural alternatives.
The very first issue of The Carlat Report (TCR 1:1) featured an article on St. John’s Wort for the treatment of depression. While this may be the most famous of the “natural” antidepressants, we are hearing more and more about others, including those surveyed in this article.
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.