How to Avoid Pseudoscientific Medicine

Though by no means a substitute for an actual doctor, the Internet can be a goldmine of helpful medical information. It should not be surprising that the Internet is also used to promote medical remedies and drugs. But with anything else on the Internet, not everything you see is true; quacks and charlatans can use the Internet to peddle all kinds of fake and pseudoscientific "remedies" that may be dangerous if they are used in place of actual medical treatment from a doctor. Thus, it is important to know how you can avoid pseudoscientific "medicine".


  1. 1
    Watch out for bold claims that seem too good to be true. Real drugs usually have a set of specific properties that allow them to cure or relieve specific conditions; fake drugs, on the other hand, may be advertised as "cure-alls" or "panaceas", meaning that their peddlers say that they can cure anything.
    • Quack remedies are often advertised as remedies for cancer and autism.
  2. 2
    Watch out for conspiracy theories about mainstream medicine. Since mainstream organizations often publish warnings against fake medicines, peddlers of them may try to discredit criticism against themselves by saying that "mainstream medicine is conspiring against me."
    • Charlatans may also try to scare you into buying their own medicine over mainstream medicine that has been proven to work by claiming that mainstream remedies, such as vaccines, may cause conditions like autism. Research these claims on reliable sources and ask about them with your doctor to see if they are true.
  3. 3
    Watch out for the so-called "quack Miranda warning". Peddlers of ineffective medicine may write in small print something along the lines of "these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease" on their products.
  4. 4
    Research the medical claims you hear from the suspected charlatan. Can you really use industrial-grade bleach to cure autism through some unexplained quantum-mechanical process, or is that just quackery? One way to find out is to search the claims up online and consult reliable sources. Also consider using websites dedicated to debunking quackery like Quackwatch.
  5. 5
    Consider whether the supposed way in which the "remedy" works makes sense. It may solely be pseudoscience. Beware of "remedies" that say they work because of some unexplained quantum mechanical process, and also beware of technobabble.
  6. 6
    Consult a doctor if you are still unsure about these remedies.



  • Using quack remedies can have serious consequences; if you use a fake drug peddled on the internet to cure a life-threatening disease in place of an actual remedy administered by an actual doctor, you may place your life in jeopardy.
  • Some fake drugs can be harmful to your body.

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Categories: Health Care