Category Archives: Medication News

Obama Care, Just what we all needed, right?

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I live in Massachusetts, USA. I am disabled and on a very limited income but I have been fortunate that with Mitt Romney signing in our comprehensive health care insurance system, I was able to obtain a quality plan for a very modest payment. This plan has paid for all of my past surgeries, tests, doctors, pharmacies during the last 6 years. This included my c2-c5 fusion at a prestigious hospital done by a top surgeon with little wait time. My co-pays have been as high as $5.00 for brand name drugs and doctor visits. A plan as good as any major health provider!
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FDA Approves First Opioid for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the first opioid painkiller for the treatment of neuropathic pain caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Nucynta, which is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is already approved for management of moderate to severe chronic pain in adults.

The expanded approval from the FDA allows Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), to market Nucynta for pain relief to nearly 8 million Americans who have diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). The expanded use comes at a time when the FDA is being petitioned by some physicians and public health officials toreduce the approved uses of opioids, not expand them. Continue reading

Gabapentin for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults

First published: March 16, 2011; This version published: 2011; Review content assessed as up-to-date: February 15, 2011.

Plain language summary

Antiepileptic drugs like gabapentin are commonly used for treating neuropathic pain, usually defined as pain due to damage to nerves. This would include postherpetic neuralgia (persistent pain experienced in an area previously affected by shingles), painful complications of diabetes, nerve injury pain, phantom limb pain, fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia. This type of pain can be severe and long‐lasting, is associated with lack of sleep, fatigue, and depression, and a reduced quality of life. Continue reading

7 myths about the risks and dangers of opioid analgesics

By Maria Szalavitz for MSN Health and Fitness

Celebrity magazines all too often feature stories about overdose deaths and rehab admissions, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is running an advertising campaign about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

But when taken as prescribed, just how risky are drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin?

The truth might surprise you. Myths and misinformation about opioid painkillers are widespread. Here are the facts. Continue reading

Mortality in fibromyalgia: An 8,186 Patient Study Over 35 Years

Objective

To determine if mortality is increased among patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Methods

We studied 8,186 fibromyalgia patients seen between 1974 and 2009 in 3 settings: all fibromyalgia patients in a clinical practice, patients participating in the US National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases (NDB), and patients invited to participate in the NBD who refused participation. Internal controls included 12, 329 patients with osteoarthritis. Deaths were determined by multiple source communication, and all patients were also screened in the US National Death Index (NDI). We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMR) based on age and sex stratified US population data, after adjustment for NDI non-response.


Results

There were 539 deaths, and the overall SMR was 0.90 (95% CI 0.61, 1.26). Among 1,665 clinic patients the SMR was 0.92 (95% CI 0.81, 1.05). Sensitivity analyses varying the rate of NDI non-identification did not alter the non-association. Adjusted for age and sex, the hazard ratio for fibromyalgia compared with osteoarthritis was 1.05 (95% CI 0.94, 1.17). The standardized mortality odds ratio compared with the US general population was increased for suicide, OR 3.31 (2.15, 5.11), and for accidental deaths, 1.45 (1.02, 2.06), but not for malignancy.

Conclusion

Mortality does not appear to be increased in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but the risk of death from suicide and accidents was increased.

FDA slaps Eli Lilly for ‘false or misleading claims’ in ads for Cymbalta

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has slapped drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. on the wrist for making “false or misleading claims” in advertisements for Cymbalta, a drug for pain and anxiety relief.

Specifically, the FDA cited Lilly for omitting and minimizing risk information about the drug, and overstating the drug’s efficacy, according to a copy of an undated letter the FDA sent to the drugmaker.

The FDA instructed Lilly to stop disseminating the ads in question and send it a letter by Jan. 22 saying whether the company intends to follow the FDA’s orders. A Lilly spokesman didn’t immediately return a call.

In one print ad that featured a woman curled up on a couch seemingly holding her knee in pain, Lilly failed to communicate risk information in the main part of the ad, the FDA said. Potential adverse reactions to the drug include nausea, headache, dry mouth, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dizziness and somnolence.

Another ad, which appeared in the WebMD Little Blue Book of Rheumatology, “misleadingly minimizes the serious risks” associated with the drug. The same ad overstates the efficacy of the drug in treating fibromyalgia, a condition marked by chronic pain of the muscles, tendons and joints, by implying that over half of fibromyalgia patients treated with Cymbalta will achieve a 30 percent improvement in pain. No data exists to support that claim, the FDA said.

In addition to the enforcement letter on Cymbalta, the FDA sent out similar letters to three other drugmakers: Cephalon for its lymphoma treatment Treanda; Bayer for birth-control implant Mirena; and Amylin Pharmaceuticals for diabetes drug Byetta, the Boston Globe reported. Lilly partners with Amylin on Byetta.

What are the disadvantages and side effects of cortisone injections?

Disadvantages of cortisone injections are the necessity of piercing the skin with a needle as well as potential short- and long-term side effects. It should be emphasized that though each of these side effects is possible, they usually do not occur.

Short-term side effects are uncommon but include shrinkage (atrophy) and lightening of the color (depigmentation) of the skin at the injection site, introduction of bacterial infection into the body, local bleeding from broken blood vessels in the skin or muscle, soreness at the injection site, and aggravation of inflammation in the area injected because of reactions to the corticosteroid medication (postinjection flare). Tendons can be weakened by corticosteroid injections in or near tendons. Tendon ruptures as a result have been reported.

In people who have diabetes, cortisone injections can elevate the blood sugar. In patients with underlying infections, cortisone injections can suppress somewhat the body’s ability to fight the infection and possibly worsen the infection or may mask the infection by suppressing the symptoms and signs of inflammation. Generally, cortisone injections are used with caution in people with diabetes and avoided in people with active infections. Cortisone injections are used cautiously in people with blood-clotting disorders.

Long-term side effects of corticosteroid injections depend on the dose and frequency of the injections. With higher doses and frequent administration, potential side effects include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and a rare but serious damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis).

Simple and inexpensive ways to Limit swine flu

Here’s some good information – I never thought about the nose/throat thing. Sounds simple enough and would be worth it – not just for H1N1, but for any virus. Thought you might want to know this helpful information. This man spoke at WRMC ( Weatherford Regional Medical Center ) last week. Good advice to share with your family and friends.

This message is from Dr. Vinay Goyal a renowned doctor who visited last week to lecture on the topic H1N1 (SWINE FLU), its origin and precautions.

Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth / throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps – not fully highlighted in most official communications – can be practiced:

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. “Hands-off-the- face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households, and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.

The Dr. Oz Bait for Vaccines: Why Did He Do It?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, talk show host and Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University is perhaps the most well-known doctors in the U.S.

During a recent episode on his talk show, a Walgreens pharmacist gave Dr. Oz a flu shot — which was also given to everyone in his studio audience. (Unfortunately, we cannot post that clip, but you can view that segment here.)

He states that he’s been getting the seasonal flu vaccine every year for about ten years.

But what you didn’t see in that clip was Dr. Oz stating that when it comes to the swine flu shot, neither his wife nor his four children will get the vaccine (although he will get that one too). This comes up during interviews on both Fox News and CNN, shown in the two videos above.

It’s amazing how many doctors have been hoodwinked into believing that the flu shot is a necessity.

Fortunately, he acquiesces to a far healthier approach as it pertains to the rest of his family, and his wife and children will be spared the toxic burden and other potential health hazards inherent with the swine flu vaccine.

It’s far less surprising how many corporations are happy to promote the belief that you need a flu shot every year, given how much money they’re making off of useless flu vaccines.

Study after study keeps coming to the same conclusion: Flu vaccines DO NOT WORK, and in many cases do more harm than good.

In fact, before the CDC advocated vaccinating children under the age of five, the number of children dying from the flu was very low, and on the decline. Then, in 2003, just after children aged five and under started getting vaccinated, the number of flu deaths skyrocketed.

For this year’s flu season, five biopharmaceutical companies have been awarded massive contracts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for development and production of more than 195 million doses of swine flu vaccine, in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine.

The companies — Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Australian drug maker CSL, and Sanofi-Pasteur — will likely make a great deal of money.

CSL has contracts to supply $180 million worth of bulk antigen to the U.S. MedImmune will supply 40 million doses of its live attenuated nasal spray swine flu vaccine for more than $450 million. And Sanofi-Pasteur is providing more than 100 million doses of monovalent swine flu vaccine, a $690 million order.

Sources:

DoctorOz.com September 12, 2009

The Scientist September 23, 2009

Dr. Mercola”s Comments
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

In my eyes, Dr. Oz didn’t do anyone any favors by recommending the flu vaccine. Although he has many valuable recommendations, this is absolutely not one of them.

If people only understood the facts, I doubt many would rationally decide to receive a flu shot year after year. Sadly, throwing away money is the least of your worries, should you decide to get a flu shot.

Fortunately, Dr. Oz also openly admits that no one in his family (aside from himself) will submit to getting the swine flu shot. Apparently someone, whether it’s Dr. Oz or Mrs. Oz, knows better and is not willing to line up the family and take a number in the human trial currently underway.

Why Don’t Most Physicians “Get It”?

The problem, of course, is that there is a massive disinformation campaign designed to distort the facts and create a sense of fear and urgency where it is absolutely unwarranted — in addition to suppressing the emerging evidence of the lack of proven safety and efficacy of this vaccine.

It really is unfortunate that the drug companies have been so effective at brainwashing physicians of the “germ theory” and the belief that vaccines are an effective solution for this. It was only at the NVIC International Vaccine Conference that I had this epiphany.

I was listening to Dr. Bob Sears, who is a vaccine advocate (with a much different schedule for getting them), say that he was convinced of the germ theory. That’s when I realized that that is precisely what was going on. They fully believe that the viruses and bacteria are responsible for all the damage.

It is my belief, and that of nearly all natural health care practitioners, that these infectious agents only serve as triggers to cause the illness, but what is required or responsible for the actual infection is a dysfunctional immune system.

When I lecture, I frequently use the analogy of disease to darkness and health to light. If you shine a light in a dark room it is not dark anymore. Darkness and light simply can’t coexist. Similarly if you are healthy you can have enormous exposure to infectious agents and you simply will NOT get sick. Just like light and darkness it is very difficult, if not impossible in most cases, for a strong immune system and infectious disease to exist together.

What the Science Says About Injecting Mercury

The standard counterclaim from the medical industry and the bobble-heads on TV is that these ingredients, in the doses administered, have never been proven detrimental to human health.

This is a bold faced lie.

But it’s an effective lie, because most people will simply take that statement at face value without doing any further research. Life is far too busy to double check “reliable resources”.

The fact is there’s plenty of evidence indicating that significant brain damage can occur as a result of being exposed to agents such as mercury and aluminum, both for children and adults. In fact, some researchers believe that aluminum may be an even more important toxin than mercury in the vaccines.

For example, in a brand new study published in the journal Neurotoxicology just last month, the researchers found that primates injected with just ONE vaccine containing thimerosal suffered significant neurological impairment when compared with those who received a saline solution injection, or no injection at all.

The monkeys received a weight-adjusted amount of the vaccine preservative thimerosal, so each dose included 2 mcg’s of ethyl mercury. A human infant dose of thimerosal-containing vaccine typically contains 12.5 mcg, and most seasonal flu vaccines as well as the swine flu vaccine will contain 25 mcg of mercury per adult dose.

As a result, the macaques vaccinated at birth took more than twice as long as unexposed macaques to acquire three standardized skills typically used to measure infant brain development.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that has built up over the years, US health officials are still promulgating vaccines as the best solution to the flu.

Worse yet, in a nauseating twist, the state of Washington’s Health Department has now temporarily suspended a rule that limits the amount of a mercury preservative in vaccines given to pregnant women and children under the age of 3, just so that they can start administering the swine flu vaccine to toddlers and pregnant women as quickly as possible…

Trading Health for Something that Doesn’t Work Anyway

It really amazes me how effective the drug companies have been at manipulating the culture so that we now allow them to sell these toxic, ineffective and expensive options in pharmacies, airports, college campuses, grocery stores and countless other outlets, without taking into account your medical history or doing any follow-up.

Study after study (that was not unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry) has reached the same conclusion—that flu shots simply do not work as advertised. For example:

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Giving young children flu shots appeared to have no impact on flu-related doctor visits or hospitalizations during two recent flu seasons, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.
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The flu vaccine is no more effective for children than a placebo, according to a large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
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NO studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly.
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A study published in the Lancet just found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. Why is this important? Because 35,000 of the 36,000 “flu” deaths the government claims happen each year are actually caused by diseases like pneumonia, and NOT the flu.
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Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.

For even more information, studies and statistics about the flu shot, please review this previous article.

What Should You Do?

I strongly advise against getting any flu shot, and that includes the swine flu shot.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Here I’ve given you a sampling of evidence against the flu shot, but I’ve written hundreds of articles about the flu, flu vaccines, vaccine additives such as mercury, aluminum, and squalene (just to name a few), as well as numerous articles about the coming swine flu vaccine.

You can find them all simply by using the search engine at the top of this page.

Educating yourself on this issue is becoming more important than ever before.

Look, the pharmaceutical industry is not leaving anything to chance to protect their profits. They even have studies showing them just how much risk parents will accept and still inoculate their children, and how much they’re willing to pay while still accepting that risk!

Believe me, if we had the REAL numbers of serious adverse reactions and deaths from vaccines, the vaccine industry would go bust in short order. Unfortunately we don’t know the exact devastation caused, because there’s no mandatory follow-up and reporting of side effects.

Studies have estimated that only 1 to 10 percent of all side effects, including deaths, are ever reported, so the numbers in existence are very deceptive and in no way gives you a realistic view of the true impact of all these vaccinations.

Educational Resources

One of the best and most trustworthy vaccine information sources is The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the American vaccine safety watchdog. Exploring their information, as well as reviewing the links provided in the text above and searching my site for previous articles, will help you to get educated on this vital topic.

Last but not least, for my recommendations on how to avoid the flu without resorting to dangerous drugs and vaccines, please review my previous article “Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks.”

Related Links:

Why You Should NOT Vaccinate Your Children Against the Flu This Season

Flu Vaccine Exposed

Squalene: The Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed

A Negative Verdict for Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements

In 2006, the National Institutes of Health’s Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) showed that these popular arthritis supplements don’t help. But many patients held out hope that an ongoing second GAIT would uncover some benefit.

Now results are in for the second part of this landmark trial, and the final analysis suggests more of the same: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements do not effectively treat osteoarthritis.

Cartilage cushions and protects joints. As osteoarthritis progresses, this cushion wears away, causing joint pain and disability. Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements (they are sold both as a combination pill and separately) contain compounds found in cartilage and are touted to help repair and slow joint deterioration. But it’s unknown how the body processes these compounds or if they ever make it to the cartilage.

The first GAIT analysis included 1,600 participants and measured how well glucosamine/chondroitin supplements reduced pain compared with a placebo and the proven pain reliever celecoxib (Celebrex). After six months researchers reported that, overall, these supplements were no more effective than placebo at relieving pain. As was expected, people taking celecoxib reported the greatest improvement.

Among a small group of participants with moderate to severe knee pain, those taking the combination supplement reported greater pain relief than people taking placebo, but this group was too small for researchers to say for sure that the combo works. Moreover, within this small group, placebo users reported as much pain relief as those taking celecoxib, which casts further doubt on the purported benefits of supplements.

Researchers hoped that the second GAIT analysis, which used x-rays to measure the physical effects of these supplements on knee joints, would clarify matters. Knee images from 357 people with osteoarthritis were analyzed to see if daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplements prevented a loss of joint space — the distance between the ends of bones in the joint. (Bones get closer together as cartilage wears away.) There were no meaningful differences among people taking glucosamine/chondroitin, celecoxib, or placebo.

Glucosamine and chondroitin together did worse than when each was taken alone, but again, these differences were insignificant and no better than placebo. As in the first trial, a small subgroup of patients showed a trend toward improvement. This time, however, the trend was seen in patients with less severe osteoarthritis pain who were taking glucosamine alone — not a combination supplement.

Many people will probably continue to take these supplements despite the new data — osteoarthritis hurts, relief is hard to find, and the small group of participants who benefited is still a nagging issue. About 1,500 mg a day of glucosamine alone is the most promising dosage.

But be aware that well-designed trials done independent of supplement manufacturers have not been able to prove these supplements work, despite their enormous popularity. Moreover, pills can cost more than $30 a month; this is a lot of money to spend on what might be a placebo effect.