prescription drugs

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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?…

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Anaphylaxis is frightening — it can and does kill people. It is an acute allergic reaction that affects about 0.5  to 2% of the population, at some point in life, and the frequency seems to be rising as we speak. Symptoms include hives and itches and swelling, which about 20% of the time can affect the upper breathing system and close the windpipe.

In theory any substance that is not included as part of the body can cause it.  I have heard about it being caused by bee stings, snake bites, foods and drugs and such. I have actually treated people for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by an allergic attack.  It is a serious stress to find your windpipe closing up and not know why. The lifesaving immediate emergency treatment is injected epinephrine (adrenaline) and getting the victim to a medical center to follow up with antihistamine and steroids as needed. My own allergies have given me some weird things over the years — lots of positive skin tests.  I used to suffer through “desensitization” protocols — allergen injections that made me sick, and prize-winning hay fever attacks. Read more on The EpiPen Mess and How To Work Around It…

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I enjoyed a social evening with a respected colleague who is one of my closest friends.  He and his wife are great conversationalists, and during the course of the dinner he wondered about the dangers of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) in precipitating dementia.

Read more on The Dangers of Benadryl…

Filed under Doctors, News, prescription drugs, Research by on . Comment#

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It takes a high-profile celebrity death — the most recent example is Prince — to highlight problems with legally-prescribed medications such as opioids.

Pain is a horrible thing, and those who suffer any level of pain from mild to extreme are deserving of relief.  A doctor is trained to give relief and is trained to do so safely and responsibly. Read more on Doctors Have Been Brainwashed By Pain Medicine Guidelines…

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Prince’s death was less original than his music. When Prince died of a self-administered dose of Fentanyl, he was far from the first celebrity to succumb to the use of addictive prescription drugs, and far from the first to succumb to the most dangerous of legal pharmaceutical opioids. Fame has long conferred a sense of entitlement.  The rich and famous who are powerful enough to have things they want have wanted freedom from both physical and emotional discomfort.  The list of them is long.  Their scandals nourish their admirers, often helping them feel superior to their idols. The list is long. The best news is that at least some, like Jamie Lee Curtis CITED HERE, have managed to vanquish addiction and continue with their lives. I applaud them, for I believe their public admissions inspire many.

Read more on Prince’s Death, Unlike His Music, Was All Too Familiar…