prescription drugs

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Too many Americans can’t afford to and simply do not–take their medicines as prescribed. That estimate is based on information from the (American!) Centers for Disease Control). I have had patients come into my office who take their medications –in both cases, for life-threatening infectious diseases — only every other day, simply because that is all they can afford. I explained to each one individually the idea of the half-life of a drug. They only stay in your body for a certain length of time, then they leave your body in waste products.  That is why taking a drug every other day is not really effective. They both gave me almost exactly the same response — It was all they could afford, and it was probably better than nothing. Read more on Big Pharma Is Capitalism Out Of Control…

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Chantix is a prescription smoking-cessation aid and has a lovely official website that will give you the information about the drug that the company that makes it provides for patients. This is the package insert a doctor is supposed to read before prescribing.  You will love paragraph 6, about neuropsychiatric side effects. Read more on Drug Companies HAVE To Tell You The Bad News…

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It is only a dim memory for me. Sitting around the black and white television with my folks, watching Alfred Hitchcock walk into his profile, and say things to America in a snarky sort of tone that I could never have used with anybody. Strange, I don’t remember the content of she shows.  Not too surprising — I was only two years old when he came on the air. Read more on Was Alfred Hitchcock the best pharmaceutical rep ever?…

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Okay, those lovable folks at Purdue Pharmaceutical decided to claim that Oxycontin, one of the favorite drugs at least of the street addicts I have seen and treated at an addiction center, is less “addictive” and less “abusable” than similar drugs.

Read more on Can’t They Sell Enough Oxycontin?…

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While I was training in psychiatry 30 years ago, the field was changing around me.  The older psychoanalysts were forced — reluctantly — to add prescription of psychotropics to their practices or else patients would never make it to their door. Of course, they had little to no training in pharmacology and less interest so they didn’t usually know what they were doing. While I was ascending in the ranks of psychiatric trainees, the best and the brightest of us were ushered into special training in pharmacology research.  I was (and probably still am) about as idealist and apolitical an up-and-coming psychiatrist that anyone could have invented. Read more on The Politics of Drug Development…

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My favorite way to put people to sleep is Aromatherapy.  To help a person sleep, the requisite molecules have to get to the brain.  They certainly to not have to drag around the circulation of the entire body. The sense of smell is perhaps the most sensitive of all senses.  You need to smell only a few molecules of something, compared to how much it takes to see and hear, they say. I have heard it said many times, although it does sound a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Read more on A Sweet Way To Go To Sleep…

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I don’t like to give prescription sleeping pills.  They are a great source of disappointment to me.  It is hard to think any of the prescription stuff that is not habituating, requiring higher and higher doses to get the job done.

I have been worrying about patients taking them, literally, for years and years. I remember one of those studies that they release to the media.  It happened shortly after we moved to the San Diego area about 2004 when I heard on the radio that people who used prescription sleeping pills just did not live as long as people who did not. Read more on Sleeping Pills Are Not The Best Things For Sleep…

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You may never have heard of bromelain — but then again, we are in a land where big drug companies get all the publicity (and some say suppress their natural product competition). However this enzyme extracted from pineapple is a very powerful anti-inflammatory, and I say this because I have first-hand experience with it, and not because I read it on the internet somewhere. Best of all, it is readily available in most health food stores and pharmacies.

Read more on My Bromelain Experience…

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Everyday health advice. If I read any more “health advice,” mental or physical, that is supposed to be practical advice but is totally wrong and built on mythology, I might explode. Given the “mainstream” unproven drivel that gets reproduced in popular magazines, I think it is pretty amazing any Americans are still alive at all. A little relaxation (deep breathing and focused meditation) — I am doing a lot better.  After all, we still have freedom of speech, although it sometimes gets fragile and needs loving protection.  And you have me, the Renegade Doctor, to tell you what is truthful and right. I didn’t start out to trash “Reader’s Digest” (RD).  My parents of blessed memory had some kind of lifetime subscription, and kept it with a very few cherished books by their bedside, on top of my mother’s premarital “Hope Chest,” which she told me contained clothes she could only “hope” she would fit into again one day. She never did. Read more on Everyday health advice drives me nuts!…

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Does medicine really work to cure people anymore? How can we do better? I’ve said before in public, “I’m angry and I can’t take it anymore.” I can’t believe it’s been 36 years since some good folks in France buttoned a black scarf trimmed with white bunny fur onto my shoulder and told me I was now a physician, with all the rights and privileges associated with that exalted profession.

Read more on Does Medicine Really Work to Cure People?…