Complementary and Alternative Medication

Objectives: At the completion of this assignment, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the characteristics of a complementary or alternative medication.
2. Locate and interpret quality research information on CAMs.
3. Describe the risks and benefits of the CAM product and the interventions needed to maintain patient safety.
Step 1: Choose a complementary or alternative medication. Do NOT choose a treatment, or a vitamin. Look in the supplement aisle of the drug store for ideas. If you are not
sure, consult with the instructor. Some options include, but are not limited to: aloe
vera, angelica, arnica, bilberry, black cohosh, burdock, capsicum, chromium
picolinate, comfrey, deglycerinated licorice, echinacea, ephedra, evening primrose,
garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, glucosamine and chondroitin, hawthorn, holly, kava-kava,
melatonin, milk thistle, MSM, red rice yeast, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, tea tree oil,
ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q 10), valerian, yohimbe.

Step 2: Research the medication using a minimum of 3 professional, high quality peer
reviewed journals, websites, and databases. At least 1 should be in nursing.

Step 3: Using APA style with citations as needed, be sure to explain the following:
A. Introduction: What is the definition of a CAM product? How is it regulated by the FDA? What are the laws pertaining to CAM products? What are the pros and cons of these products? What is the appeal to patients? What are the problems generally involved when patients take these products?
B. Describe your product. Be sure to include:
1. Brand and generic names for the CAM.
2. Where does it come from (what natural source)?
3. Indications: What is it usually used for? What is it supposed to do?
4. How does it work? Explain the current theories of action.
5 Recommended dosages and routes available (be very specific).
C. Describe the negative issues associated with this product. Be sure to include:
1. Are there any side effects or adverse effects?
2. Is there anyone who should not take this medication? Why?
3. Are there any medications that should not be mixed with this substance? Why? Explain what could happen.
D. Review the research that has been done on this product.
1. Briefly describe each study. Include the following:
a. How many people participated?
b. How long did they take the CAM?
c. How did they measure the effect?
d. What did they find?
E. What teaching should the patient receive about this CAM product?
F. Opinion: Is the research enough to recommend this to a patient? Would you try it?
G. Reference page in APA style.
Step 4: Submit to by the due date on the course calendar. Turn in a hard copy. Late assignments will be subject to a 5 point-per-day penalty. After 7 days it will not be graded.

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