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What Are the Benefits of Adjunctive Therapy?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The purpose of adjunctive therapy, often called complementary therapy, is to increase the benefits of the initial treatment of a disorder by prescribing additional medications and/or treatments. Several examples of disorders and diseases that are generally treated with adjunctive therapy include cancer, depression, and asthma. A medical professional usually opts to use this type of therapy when the primary treatment has been proven ineffective by itself. Increased efficiency and benefits of treatment can be a result of additional medication and treatment methods.

Radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy are generally the traditional forms of treatment used on cancer patients and in certain cases, adjunctive therapy may be necessary. Some of the complementary biological therapies that may be available for cancer patients include dietary supplements and herbal products, which may promote a healthier reaction to traditional treatments. Manipulative practices may also be a form of adjunctive therapy for cancer including reflexology, massages, and holistic approaches to the disease. Some patients choose to approach the side effects of treatment by engaging in mental therapies including hypnosis, meditation, or yoga. Depending on the individual case and severity of the disease, most complementary therapies can benefit the patient by relieving the discomfort of treatment side effects.

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Abilify® is a medication that was created to increase the effectiveness of some anti-depressants and relieve symptoms in patients who suffer from depression. This medication is almost always prescribed in addition to a mainstream anti-depressant and works to help stabilize serotonin and dopamine levels. Medical professionals generally monitor a patient's reaction to his or her anti-depressant before suggesting adjunctive therapy, which is usually an additional drug to assist in symptom relief. A medical professional may determine the combination of medications needed based on an intensive psychiatric evaluation and medical history, especially the patient's reaction to various anti-depressants.

Asthma patients often benefit from adjunctive therapy once they reach the maximum dosage of their current medication. Steroid inhalants are generally the first medication prescribed to patients who suffer from asthma and in some cases patients are not provided enough relief from steroidal inhalants alone. The most common form of complementary therapy is a bronchodilator, which can provide additional relief to traditional asthma treatments. Some of the benefits of this particular adjunctive therapy may include cough suppression, improved lung function, and a decrease in asthmatic attacks. Most patients benefit from a combination of asthma medications because each treatment is designed to target individual problem areas.

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