Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to tell if drugs are best avoided....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 6-24-2014

Technically the FDA is supposed to look at whether or not a drug is safe or has unacceptable side effects and whether or not it does the job it is or will be prescribed for.

 They might do this if all their funding came from the government and the government taxed the drug companies to generate the needed funds.

The reality is that in the United States the FDA is funded by fees paid to it directly by the drug companies.

So the FDA is a vendor to the drug companies.

That means that the drugs it OK’s or leaves on the market may not be safe or effective if the drug companies are already making money on them.

It also means that if lifestyle upgrades are a more effective and protective long term solution to a problem, the drug companies work very hard to ensure doctors only hear the drug company’s side of the issues involved.

There are 3 solutions if you want to avoid these problems:

I.  Don’t use the three classes of drugs where the drugs are not that effective; have quality of life damaging and or health damaging side effects; and some even are hard to stop safely.

a)  Unless you have been tested with the $150 genetic test that shows you are in the minority who benefit from statin drugs; are hospitalized; and just had a heart attack, don’t take statin drugs.  They have no effect on your chances of dying either from a heart attack or other reasons.  They cause more people to have low energy; harm from exercising; and type 2 diabetes than the very small number of nonfatal heart attacks they prevent.

Eating 6 or more servings of vegetables a day; getting vigorous exercise most days of every week that you built up to gradually; and completely stopping any eating or drinking of foods and drinks made of heart attack starters like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils and refined grain wheat flour.  THAT set of things strongly prevents heart attacks and has many other health benefits AND cuts your risk of dying of any cause by 42 to over 60%.

b) Virtually all drugs to lower high blood pressure have comparable problems.  Almost all of them have dreadful impacts on your quality of life.  And they cause health problems with some even causing death to some people who take them.

Research has found that unless your blood pressure is over about 160 over 100, the lifestyle upgrades that prevent heart disease provide such strong protection that taking blood pressure drugs are a harmful waste of money because they add zero increase in protection.

c)  Anti-depressants today are also NOT a good idea.  The original tests found no effect beyond placebo and even when they seem to work in individual cases, the people involved had to take them for several weeks before getting any effect at all.

Worse, they are addictive and have other nasty side effects that get worse when you try to get off them.

Meanwhile the Ilardi Protocol developed by Stephen Ilardi and talk therapy based on the work of Martin Seligman, PhD do work for over half the people who use them. People who use them well have an over 75% cure rate.

Secondly, since minor brain damage causes some cases of depression following the lifestyle that cause your body to repair and regrow your nerve and brain cells can gradually turn depression down or off. 

Since the current drugs are so ineffective and have so many bad effects, the best treatment is to skip them entirely and rely entirely on the drug free methods that have been tested to work.

(At least in this area there is some reason to hope for better drugs.  In Medical News Today an Israeli development may have found a class of drugs that are effective and take effect immediately.

And, in the last few days it was announced that a metabolite of Ketamine that does turn off depression almost instantly may be a safe drug to take.  This HNK also has the instant depression lifting effect but does NOT have the anesthetic and hallucinogenic effects of Ketamine.

This means that doctors will then be able to turn off depression with one of those two drugs while the people put the other nondrug methods in place and use them long and well enough for a permanent cure.

Now, the failure rate of the nondrug methods comes from the people being too depressed to use them or become skilled in their use.  These new drugs would solve that problem.)

II.  Jenny Thompson is not perfect; but she is very well informed and most of her health letter consists of listing drugs that are harmful of don’t work or both.

She publishes the HSI eAlert email. In a recent email she lists an osteoporosis drug that was banned in Canada & Europe.  And, the FDA’s own panel suggested they do the same and remove the drug from the market even though it was approved initially.

It seems it has NO effect in preventing fractures and DOES cause cancer!

(This drug is called Calcitonin-salmon, Fortical ,and Miacalcin.)

But the drug you need to check may not be in a current email and unlike me you may not want to read that much about health issues every day.

III. Since the FDA is not a good source and you may not want to follow all of Jenny’s emails but want to look up a specific drug that you want to be sure isn’t such a drug, you have two choices.

You can look up the drug and its side effects online using WebMD and Wikipedia and other sources.

Sometimes that will do it as you may take a drug that the new drug has a bad interaction with or find out the new drug has a common side effect that you absolutely want no part of.

But isn’t there a responsible place that lists the worst drugs that should have been removed from the market but have not been?

Yes!  It was in Jenny Thompson’s email about the harmful osteoporosis drug, Calcitonin-salmon.

"Public Citizen, which has had this drug [Calcitonin-salmon] on its "Do Not Use" list since 1995, has done all it can to get this dangerous med off the market. And the FDA, which obviously has no concept of how to do its job of protecting us, has refused to act."

Their information arm on drugs does have a for fee subscription service at http://www.worstpills.org/

If you are older and often encounter new drugs at your doctor’s office, you might want to subscribe.  Or you may have a community health library or in some areas your public library may subscribe.  In our area the Stanford Health Library offers such expertise and may subscribe and has trained staff to help you research specific drugs in multiple ways.   

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