Naturopathic Physician Questions Naturopathic Medicine

What medication can you not prescribe?

I would like to go to a naturopath. I take several prescription though. Are there limits on the type of prescriptions you can order? One of my medications is Ativan.

17 Answers

Unfortunately, in Minnesota I am unable to prescribe medications as a naturopathic doctor.
It depends on the state you are seeking care with a naturopathic doctor. For example, where I received my training in Oregon we can refill all your prescriptions including Ativan. Where I am currently located in Minnesota we cannot prescribe any medications at this time. You would need your primary care doctor to do that for you. I hope this clears things up for you.

Thank you for your interest in naturopathic medicine. There are many natural alternatives that are similar to ativan that you might try when working with a naturopathic doctor, but this is not the case all the time. Medications are necessary for many patients and I understand your need.
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I often work with your primary care physician. Therefore, I will support you with diet, lifestyle changes, nutraceuticals, and more, until you gradually regain your health. I will then assist you to remove the meds that you may not need gradually.
Prescriptive scope of practice will depend on what state your naturopathic doctor is licensed and registered in. Not all states have the same scope of practice. You can visit this website for more information:
We do have restrictions on our prescriptive rights, however, blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and Ativan are within our rights to dispense. But if you find a good Naturopathic doctor, they will get you off of those things instead of just refilling them.
First, I would like to clarify that there is a difference between a naturopath and a Naturopathic Physician. A naturopath can be anyone who claims knowledge in natural medicines and healing regardless of formal education.
A naturopathic physician has completed a 4 year doctorate program in natural medicine. This means that in a state where they are licensed, they have nearly Identical prescriptive rights as other medical professionals. A naturopath who has no formal education or state licence would not have this right or responsibility.
It depends on what state you are in. Each state is regulated differently and some are not regulated at all. In the states with no regulation, no prescriptive rights are available. In states that are regulated, it can be a broad range. In Washington State for example, we are able to prescribe most medications excluding narcotics and benzodiazapines.
Traditional Naturopathy is a distinct system of non-invasive healthcare and health assessment in which neither surgery nor drugs are used, dependence being placed only on education, counseling, naturopathic modalities and natural substances, including without limitation, the use of foods, food extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, digestive aids, botanical substances, topical natural substances, homeopathic preparations, air, water, heat, cold, sound, light, the physical modalities of magnetic therapy, naturopathic non-manipulative bodywork and exercise to help stimulate and maintain the individual's intrinsic self-healing processes.

Traditional naturopaths focus on the client as a whole. They look to the cause of a health concern rather than suppressing symptoms, thus recognizing symptoms of dis-ease as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The naturopath works to educate his or her clients in how to stimulate the body’s own vital healing forces. Although all naturopaths emphasize choices based on their own personal interests and experiences, they maintain a consistent naturopathic philosophy.

All living things have a natural ability to heal themselves. When properly functioning, our bodies promote self-cleansing and self-repair, and, therefore, self-healing. While modern medicine spends much of its time focused on killing germs, bacteria, and viruses, naturopathy aims to bring the body back into balance, making it strong and resistant against dis-ease.

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

~Thomas Edison

This is highly dependent on the state the ND practices in. In Washington state, for example, all medications can be prescribed except schedule drugs other than testosterone and Codeine. In Arizona, all prescriptions are allowed. This, however, doesn't limit the safe removal of medications, as most of us often have other physicians we work with if we need something prescribed that is not in our scope.

Limitations on prescriptions would be based on the state you live in. Not all 50 states have a scope of practice for naturopathic physicians and not all states with a scope of practice will allow naturopathic physicians to write prescriptions. However, a naturopathic physician in any state can work closely with your primary care physician in regards to changes that may need to be made. You can do a search for the naturopathic association in your state to see what the scope of practice in your state includes.
I am a Natropath. I am not prescribing Meds, I avoid them altogether
Depending on what state you are in, will affect the scope of practice for a Naturopathic Doctor.
Good question and the answer will depend on which State you live in. Naturopaths are not licensed in all states. In Washington State where I am licensed NDs have a limited prescriptive authority. I can prescribe all prescriptive drugs but can only prescribe two class lll drugs, Codeine and Testosterone with a DEA license. Ativan is a class lV drug so in Washington State I cannot prescribe it. Honestly I don’t think any State allows NDs as yet to prescribe class IV drugs. The guiding principle for NDs is to prescribe natural supplements and try to minimize use of stronger drugs to support the bodies healing.
It really depends on what the regulations are in your area. It would be best for you to get in touch with a local naturopath
Naturopathic Doctors are trained in prescribing pharmaceutical medications. In the state of Arizona we cannot prescribe IV medications, cancer and anti psychotic medication and are limited to C11 morphine and hydrocodone combinations. We have full prescribing rights for all other prescription medications. For more information on prescribing rights in Arizona for all licensed medical practitioners see this link from the Arizona State Pharmacy Board.
It depends by state. In each of the licensed states, naturopathic physicians have a formulary that they must follow. Best way to determine what the formulary is in your state, you can contact either American Association of Naturopathic Physicians or the state Naturopathic Physician Association to help you with what can be prescribed or not.
As a licensed naturopathic medical doctor in the state of Arizona, we do not prescribe schedule 1 or 2 drugs, chemotherapy or anti-psychotic medications.