In 1985, reporters from Consumer Reports magazine visited 30 drugstores in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and California. The reporters complained of feeling tired or nervous, and asked whether a vitamin product might help. Seventeen were sold a vitamin product and one was sold an amino acid preparation. Only 9 of the 30 pharmacists suggested that a doctor be consulted (The vitamin pushers. Consumer Reports 51:170-175, 1986)
In 1987, two pharmacy school professors sent a questionnaire to 1000 pharmacists in the Detroit metropolitan area and received 197 responses. Among the 116 who identified their five most-common reasons for recommending vitamins or minerals, 66 (56%) listed fatigue and 57 (49%) listed stress. Neither reason is valid. (Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 15:131-139, 1990)
Summaries adapted from an article by Dr. Stephen Barrett
Because stress is so pervasive, hard to understand, diagnose and treat, there is a lot of misinformation. Documentation from the Quackwatch web site reveals that even pharmacists cannot always be trusted to provide sound advice on treatments for stress.