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.

 

 

 

Aug 15, 2016 Chris Foley

In Iowa Lyme disease only lasts a few weeks…

Inquisition

…a position which is now so out of touch with reality so as to be “anti-Copernican” in its ignorance.  Recently, an 18 YO girl who had been treated by an Iowa physician for Lyme disease with antibiotics, improved, significantly with this treatment, but now can no longer treat that condition in Iowa.  You read that right… »

Aug 13, 2016 manager

Smart data for whose benefit?

Illumina

 

Dave Racer

 

We are witnessing the transformation of Big Data to “Smart” Data. Will this benefit you or bind you down?  Are you comfortable with data analytics that can peruse your unique medical indicators and predict what ailments await you in the future? Would you agree to abide by medical managers prescribing – or requiring – you to live a certain way to reduce your chance of chronic illness or early death? What would you do if today’s mail included advertisements promoting a cancer treatment center near you, even though your doctor has never mentioned the “C word” to you?… »

Aug 06, 2016 Chris Foley

ObamaCare…sounding the death rattle

ObamaCare signing

It goes without saying that the cataclysmic legislation that very few of our intellectually challenged Congresspeople read — I hope this reminds everyone of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi — is very likely going to die under the weight of its ill conceived business plan. Aetna is now pulling out, and the reasons are not subtle: $300 M in losses this past year….

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Jul 24, 2016 Chris Foley

The great unknowns about Mary Jane….

I am330px-Cannabis_sativa_plant_(4) often asked about the true medical value in marijuana.  There are, of course, many who feel it is a curse — an entry level portal to the dark world of drug abuse.  In many cases they are correct.  There is plenty of data to suggest that cannabis provides a cheap and convenient (and enjoyable) apprenticeship to the use of heroine and many other substances that have a consistent if not guaranteed tendency to make unproductive citizens of good people.  Not to mention that the trade in this substance has been controlled by elements who tend to kill anyone who tries to take over any good sales contracts.  But the Gateway theory has some flaws, and the predictability of harder drug use by recreational marijuana users is a little more complicated.  And the actual science of cannabis is very compelling when used properly… »

Jul 17, 2016 Jonathan Otten

Senate voted 65 to 32 against your right to know what’s in your food

Are we going to continue to allow our personal liberties to be stripped from us even as industries that are in bed with our government continue to gross huge profits at the expense of our health?  For a nation founded on liberty and considering the sacrifice made by many throughout our history to preserve these liberties, I am appalled.

In case you missed this new’s piece earlier this month, the Senate voted 65 to 32 against the right to know what is in your food. When is transparency ever a bad thing when it has to do with understanding what is in the food you eat, the water you drink, or perhaps the drugs you may take?

This particular piece of legislation is regarding GMO labeling. If GMO foods are so wonderful, why not let an educated public choose whether or not to eat these glorious Frankenstein creations? Speaking of Frankenstein, our very own Al Franken from Minnesota voted in Monsanto’s favor and against your right to understand what you are putting on your dinner table. Please let Al Franken know that you don’t want your child eating frankenfoods!

For more info: http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2016/jul/8

Jul 12, 2016 Chris Foley

The Vaccine Tragedy…hiding in plain sight…

This will likely be a polarizing movie for those who manufacture and sell vaccines (insert numerous drug conglomerates), distribute them (pediatricians and insurers), and who argue for their efficacy (many ignorant citizens and MDs who have been drinking the Kool Aid).  But the connection between vaccines and autism continues to be debated due to the compelling nature of just too many cases where it appears obvious.  »

Jul 06, 2016 Chris Foley

Another vaccine failure…but the public keeps buying.

“Despite federal gogardasiladvernment recommendations, only 45% of boys and 60% of girls are getting vaccinated against HPV”.  This is a quote from a medical correspondent on CBS.  Interesting statement since this vaccine does not prevent the STD, human papilloma virus.  A condom would actually prevent HPV, but with the widespread use of oral contraceptives in teenagers and young adults the condom wouldn’t seem as crucial.  This vaccination is marketed in this manner so often, but it actually prevents just four strains of HPV infections from becoming genital warts or cervical cancer.  Yet the campaign to induce an ignorant American public continues… »