Complementary medicine should only be used where there is evidence that it will benefit the patient. Doctors who practice or refer patients for complementary medicine must be aware of the efficacy and potential side effects of those treatments and advise patients accordingly.
Doctors must adhere to section 42.5 of the Medical Council Guide in relation to prescribing.
42.5 As far as possible, you should make sure that any treatment, medication or therapy prescribed for a patient is safe, evidence-based and in the patient’s best interests. Where possible, when prescribing drugs1 avoid the use of brand names – unless there is a good reason for using them. You should be particularly careful when prescribing multiple medications in case the combination might cause adverse reactions and you should liaise with the pharmacy to clarify any issues or concerns you may have. You should take special care when prescribing for patients who may have an impaired ability to metabolise the medication prescribed. You should weigh up the potential benefits with the risks of adverse effects and interactions when deciding what to prescribe. You should review patients’ treatment regimes periodically.
1 Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/14/enacted/en/pdf