Naturopathic physicians legally can and, at times, do prescribe certain pharmaceuticals, including antimicrobials (antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals), and hormones. In general, naturopaths avoid the use of pharmaceuticals at all costs as they believe there are often natural alternatives without the side effects.
There are times, however, when pharmaceutical drugs might either cause the least harm to a patient, or allow a patient to survive (who might otherwise not be able to do so). In such cases, naturopathic physicians work closely with specialists who will then prescribe the appropriate pharmaceuticals. For example, many advanced cardiac patients require certain pharmaceutical drugs for survival. In such cases, there might not be any natural alternative medicines which can be used in place of the pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, naturopathic physicians will provide adjunctive care for such patients, and work with cardiologists who will be the primary physicians responsible in care of such patients.