Jul 09, 2017 Chris Foley

The new opiate…but it’s not a controlled substance…

The substance above is commonly used to treat “nerve pain” but is also prescribed and used for just about every kind of pain — muscle, joint, headaches, you name it — is the new “companion” drug for opiate users to gain a better “high”.  Gabapentin, aka, Neurontin, is the de rigueur new designer drug to go into your opiate sandwich.  In fact adding some gabapentin — or it’s much advertised cousin, Lyrica — to the treatment mix is frequently the quickest way to end a visit with a chronic pain sufferer whose diagnosis continues to be frustratingly ambiguous.  Hmm.

 

Last December, Ohio’s Board of Pharmacy began reporting sales of gabapentin prescriptions in its regular monitoring of controlled substances. The drug, which is neither an opioid nor designated a controlled substance by federal authorities, is used to treat nerve pain. But the board found that it was the most prescribed medication on its list that month, surpassing oxycodone by more than 9 million doses. In February, the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network issued an alert regarding increasing misuse across the state.  (Internal Medicine News 7.6.17)

 

Just like the laws of thermodynamics, for every action there is an equal an opposite re-action.  Here, my detective nose is once again going down that road that begins with asking the question, “What is REALLY happening here?”  So often I see patients who have been bounced around from clinic to clinic, specialist to specialist, Mayo to Mayo.  Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.  We live in a medical world increasingly dominated and frustrated by ill-defined, chronic, painful, and dysfunctional conditions for which we have seemingly continued to add one Band-Aid drug after another. Very little gets resolved. Did I mention Lyme disease? Now, we have created a new Pharnkenstein, and there will be more. Until the medical system begins to honestly address underlying causes and reasons for these chronic conditions, the drug industry will continue to spawn new black market epidemics.

So, what could be the harm in this seemingly innocuous add-on medication?   There is strong evidence that gabapentin and its cousin, pregabalin (Lyrica), actually inhibit dendritic plasticity and may also adversely affect reproductive functions. In other words long-term use of these two drugs will create infertility and inhibit one’s ability to learn. One might even say that it would accelerate brain aging and limit cognitive function.  The apparent benefit of these drugs in their use for chronic pain seems to largely come from limiting new “pain synapses”. That is certainly not a bad thing. However, unless the underlying reason for the pain is more aggressively sought, the patient is left to a future of simply covering it all up. Eventually, the brain is affected adversely. But also, eventually, novel and abusive uses of these drugs are discovered. This seems to be just the beginning.

 

 

 

Sep 18, 2016 Jonathan Otten

Roundup Ready® Children?

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Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller has now been found in several routine childhood vaccinations, with the highest concentration being in the MMR II by Merck. This is the same vaccine that CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, has demonstrated is linked to autism. The laboratory analysis was done at Microbe Infotech Laboratories Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri. Glyphosate is a powerful toxin to the human microbiome and is very likely a carcinogen. Interestingly, one of the most consistent medical findings in children with autism is the derangement of the health of gut, including the health of the microbiome.

Read more here: http://www.ecowatch.com/glyphosate-vaccines-1999343362.html

And this week Arkansas has seen a large mumps outbreak in which over 90% of school-aged cases were fully vaccinated! Again, as physicians we should primarily be concerned with safety and efficacy…and it appears that the manufacturers of the MMR have much work ahead to allay the concerns of an increasingly skeptical and educated populace.

More on mumps outbreak: http://5newsonline.com/2016/09/14/nwa-mumps-cases-now-up-to-150-cases-in-springdale-schools-rise/

Sep 17, 2016 Chris Foley

Follow the bouncing molecule…

telford-taylor-ig-farben-quoteSo, it is announced that Bayer is buying Monsanto. Combine Frankenstein with Dracula, the Hulk with Mr Hyde. Whatever. But the combination of these two giants — coupled with the enormous amount of $$$ they can bring to bear on governments and what they mandate — please once again review the definition of “fascism” — portends enormous implications for the general, and overall unsuspecting, citizenry… »

Sep 11, 2016 Chris Foley

Hillary’s health might be a bigger matter than you think…

hrc-sickAfter Madame Hillary’s very untimely collapse at the 9/11 Memorial today — all of which was caught on video and is now viral — there has to be some grave concern about both perception and reality. The perception, of course, is that she might simply be tired, require some thyroid adjustment, was actually a little overheated (though it was only 84 degrees), etc, etc. But there is certainly a growing perception that she just cannot handle the pressure and the pace. But there might be a much more nefarious cause with a silver lining….

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Aug 26, 2016 Chris Foley

It’s not my job…

One of the troubling elements in moNot my jobdern healthcare is the degree to which over-specialization can distill common sense out of the complex equation of patient care. It is certainly not rare for a patient to go to prestigious clinics like Mayo, see an internal medicine specialist who notes a complaint of a sore shoulder, and be told that they are being referred to an orthopedist specializing in shoulder surgery.  Extra day(s), new visit schedule, additional extra tests at patient and insurer expense (“But it’s MAYO!”), and not a wit of additional investigation on the part of the original physician. Often, no real exam of the shoulder. How about a simple x ray? Did you fall on it?

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Aug 21, 2016 Chris Foley

The FDA once again does the bidding of the drug industry…

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…by now changing the rules of the original Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.  This was designed to allow Americans more access to health freedom and supplements in doses that previously had been very small.  Prior to that vitamin C was only available in doses of 60 mg or less, eg.  Under the guise of providing the patient public with a “greater level of safety”, the whole thing stinks of drug industry collusion with the government agency it essentially owns in order to impair competition and perhaps allow a drug company to patent a supplement.  Care to guess if this will possibly increase the price?  To wit…

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Aug 20, 2016 Chris Foley

Medical fascism by any other name…

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There is often a need to help people out with the definition of “fascism” — a term used quite loosely to describe any politican or party with whom you might disagree (or despise).  But it actually is derived from the Italian “fascimo” which means “bundle”.  Some say that bundling corporate power with government achieves the necessary level of autocracy that can impose the will of dictator on the citizenry.  Others refer to the wrapping of rods around an axe handle to make it stronger and unbreakable.  In any case when the government imposes regulatory burdens that favor only a few (ie, those who have paid someone enough), we have a form of “fascism” if you will.  This works well when it comes to making the American public pay a lot for medications.  It is most definitely NOT a marketplace…. »

Aug 20, 2016 Chris Foley

Denying care with a touch of ignorance….

Imagine being able to take a simple oral swab and analyze a set of genes that would allow incredibly more accurate prescribing for drugs that affect paAmbienin and the brain. A number of new (for profit) companies are offering just that type of information that promises to take a lot of the guesswork out of prescribing antidepressants, pain meds, soporifics (sleep meds), and others. This type of testing is easy now with results available in 3-4 days.

 

 

 

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