Antipsychotics remained the top-selling class of medicines in the United States with $14.6 billion in sales, about equal to 2008 revenue.
Researchers have already reported that newer antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration put out warnings on this danger in 2004.
According to the new study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, patients taking antipsychotics tended to gain weight after one month and had increases in their cholesterol levels after three to four months.
Obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the risk of heart disease.
“This change in risk is evident early in the course of treatment, within several weeks of continuous use, but may continue to alter over several years,” Foley told Reuters Health in an email. The “risk varies depending on the specific drug taken and how long it is taken for,” she added.
About one in 100 adults in the U.S. has schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
But antipsychotic drugs are also given to some patients with bipolar disorder, personality disorders, or anxiety, said Dr. Karen Graham, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She was not involved in the study.
The drugs in Foley’s study included Janssen’s Risperdal, and Lilly’s Zyprexa, among others.
Foley and her team looked at 25 previous studies that had tracked risk factors for heart disease in patients taking older or newer antipsychotics. These included high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight.
They found that across all the studies, six to seven of every 10 people on antipsychotics were overweight after six months. Before taking the drugs, only about four of every 10 were overweight, the same as in the general population.
I’m seeing a dramatic increase in the number of my patients who are taking antipsychotic drugs. The number of folks being bamboozled into being labeled as bi-polar is truly shocking.
Does every young woman in America have bi-polar disorder? The drug companies want us to believe so.
Antipsychotics remained the top-selling class of medicines in the United States with $14.6 billion in sales, about equal to 2008 revenue.
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The article from The Daily Mail is perhaps the stupidest piece of yellow journalism I’ve ever read.
Complementary medicine ‘can be lethal for children
“Using complementary medicine on children can be fatal, experts warn today.
Parents can be misled into believing treatments such as homeopathy are more ‘natural’, with fewer side effects than conventional drugs.
But they may have direct dangerous effects, and even lead to death, when substituted for effective conventional medicines, according to a study.
It found the deaths of four children could be blamed on parents failing to use orthodox treatments for illness and using alternative remedies instead.”
Here’s the truth-
Over 700,000 Americans die each year from government sanctioned, FDA approved, AMA sponsored medicine.
Iatrogenic, or doctor induced, illnesses take the lives of 783,936 American each year. This makes conventional medicine the number one killer in the United States, ahead of heart disease and cancer. And, beware that as few as 5% of iatrogenic events are ever reported.
This implies that iatrogenic deaths are much higher and would be equivalent to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day. Now that’s news!
An October 2003 JAMA study from the US government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported 32,000, mostly surgery-related, deaths costing $9 billion and resulting in 2.4 million extra hospital days in 2000. Americans submit to over 600,000 bypass surgeries each year. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that up to 10% of bypass patients die from the surgery. Yet, the National Institutes of Health has estimated that 90% of Americans who undergo bypass surgery receive no benefits. Another study involving 14 major heart hospitals around the world showed that one-third of all heart bypass surgeries were unnecessary and actually increased the risk of death.
Americans using FDA sanctioned drugs, as directed, are dying at the rate of one every three to five minutes. In fact, the average American has a 26% chance of being hospitalized from a drug injury from the effects of a lifetime of drug taking. Of the 30 million people admitted to hospitals each year, approximately ten percent, or 3 million, are admitted specifically because of adverse drug reactions. In 1995, a JAMA report noted that, “…approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries.” And to top it off, hospital born infections kill another 26,000 (conservative estimate) patients each year. The General Accounting Office reports, “of the 198 drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985, 102 of them or 51% had serious post approval risks including heart failure, myocardial infarction, respiratory failure, seizures, and kidney failure.
The FDA estimates that NSAIDS cause 200,000 cases of gastric bleeding annually, leading to 10,000 to 20,000 deaths. Calcium channel blockers increase the risk of stroke by five-fold.
Americans take over 5 billion sleeping pills each year. And each year, 15,000 Americans die from these same sleeping pills. The heart drug Digoxin causes over 28,000 cases of life-threatening or fatal adverse reactions each year.
The very drugs that are being used to treat various illnesses are causing more American deaths in one year than occurred in the entire Vietnam War! Yet, in spite of the fact that these FDA approved drugs are killing over 100,000 Americans each year, people still believe health comes from a doctor prescribed pill bottle. Annual spending on drugs continues to grow by 12% or more each year. The public and the medical profession have been brain-washed into believing drug therapy is a safe and effective way to “cure” every ailment known to man. This starts at an early age as our kids become jaded and used to the idea of lining up for the school nurse to dispense their Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. To safeguard their stranglehold on public perception, the pharmaceutical industry makes sure doctors are thoroughly duped with half-truths and pseudo-science about the newest, greatest wonder drugs.
In 2001, drug companies paid for over 60% of the costs of all doctors’ continuing education classes. And over 80,000 drug reps give away $11 billion worth of samples each year. There is now one drug rep for every doctor in the United States.
However, today’s latest greatest drug is often tomorrows widow maker. Does Rezulin, Zelnorm, Baycol, Fen-Phen, Propulsid, Avandia, Vioxx, and Bextra ring any bells?
Vioxx alone has been linked to 27,000 cases of heart attack. The diabetes drug Avandia, increases heart attack risk by 43% and increases risk of death from heart disease by 64%. Dr. David Graham of the Food and Drug Administration estimates that Avandia may have caused 30,000 to 140,000 heart attacks or deaths since it was introduced in the U.S. in 1999.
I don’t know about you but I’ll take my risks, I’ll choose complementary medicine over traditional medicine every time.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1340985/Complementary-medicine-lethal-children.html#ixzz18xW8lMcv
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In today’s gloom and doom economy everyone wants to save money. People are cutting back on vacations, shopping at discount stores, eating out less, and generally looking for bargains.
For those looking to save money on health care expenses, please consider-
In 2008 Americans spent $2.1 trillion dollars, or 16.5% of the gross national product on medical care- the majority of which went to treat chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, both of which are preventable and certainly reversible.
Rather than focusing on prevention, our “health-care system” is primarily a disease-care system.
The unspoken message has generally been to ignore prevention, wait until it’s broken and then seek out the “magic bullet” or latest, greatest, usually most expensive drug to cover up the symptoms. Or if that doesn’t work, simply cut it out.
This is a severely defective and expensive approach- one that is threatening the welfare of a growing number of American households. Some 54 million Americans will go without health insurance this year alone.
I’m sure you would agree that spending money on expensive medical procedures that are worthless is foolish.
Take for example the data provided by the American Heart Association showing that 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed in 2006 at an average cost of $48,399 each. And in the same year 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 each.
Americans spent more than $100 billion in 2006 for these two procedures alone.
Yet a randomized controlled trial published in April 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that angioplasties and stent-therapy don’t prolong life or even prevent heart attacks in stable patients (i.e., in 95% of those who receive them).
Coronary bypass surgery prolongs life in less than 3% of patients who receive it. In spite of the studies and there are several which show that bypass and stent therapy are ineffective, physicians, insurance companies, and the public at large, all continue to robustly support these expensive and dangerous procedures.
Save Money and Live Longer
If you really want to save some money invest prevention- diet, exercise, good heath habits, and proven nutritional therapies.
Consider these life enhancing bargains- fish oil reduces heart related death by 45%, multivitamins significantly reduces heart disease deaths, and vitamin E reduces risk of death from all causes.
When it comes to our health we should heed the words of the great philosopher, Virgil, who said, “The greatest wealth is health.”
And we should always keep in mind a pound of prevention is always the best bet.
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Natural medicine uses naturally occurring foods, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and herbal supplements to augment the nutritional status, and therefore the health, of the body.
Herbs have always been integral to the practice of medicine. The word “drug” comes from the old Dutch word drogge meaning “to dry,” as pharmacists, physicians, and ancient healers often dried plants for use as medicines.
Today approximately 25% of all prescription medications are derived from trees, shrubs, or herbs. The World Health Organization notes that of the 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74% are used in modern medicine in ways that correlate directly with their traditional uses as plant-based medicines by native cultures. Yet, for the most part, modern medicine has ignored the potential benefits of using pure herbs in treating disease. One of the reasons for this is due to the political and economic factors involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Herbs are naturally available, and drug companies can’t patent their use. Without exclusive patents, these companies are not able to reap profits from the millions it may take to bring the product to market.
According to James Duke, PhD, a scientist and USDA specialist in the area of herbal medicine, “one of the reasons that research into the field of herbal medicine has been lacking is the enormous financial cost of the testing required to prove a new drug safe.” This price is more than 200 million dollars. “What commercial drug company is going to want to prove that saw palmetto is better than this multimillion dollar drug, when you and I can go to Florida and harvest our own saw palmetto?” This paradigm seems to be changing as our country is starting to mirror the European model of treatment with herbals and natural therapeutics. In Germany, the Ministry of Health has a separate commission that deals exclusively with herbal medicine. German doctors study herbal medicine in medical school, and since 1993, all physicians in Germany must pass a section on these medicines in their board exams. European physicians, health professionals, and researchers have formed the European Scientific Cooperative for Phytotherapy (ESCOP). This organization has published (and continues to do so) monographs on individual herbs used in clinical medicine. These monographs, representing the culmination of all the scientific information known on each herb, are published in the European Pharmacopoeia.
In general, herbal medicines work in much the same way as do conventional pharmaceutical drugs, via their chemical makeup. Herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals, and those chemicals have biological activity. In the past 150 years, chemists and pharmacists have been isolating and purifying active compounds from plants in an attempt to produce reliable pharmaceutical drugs. Examples include digoxin (marketed Lanoxin) from the foxglove plant, resperine (marketed Serpasil) from Indian snakeroot, and morphine from the opium poppy.
According to Andrew Weil, MD, of Tucson Arizona Medical School, because herbs and plants use an indirect route to the bloodstream and to target organs, their effects are slower and less dramatic than those of purified drugs administered more directly. “Doctors and patients accustomed to the rapid, intense effects of synthetic medicines may become impatient with botanicals for this reason.” However, the common assumption that herbs are slow to act and therefore free of side effects is not true. Herbal medicines should be prescribed by a professional who is familiar with the actions and interactions of herbals and prescription medications. Still, herbals have an extremely large window of safety, especially when compared to synthetic prescription drugs.
Most U.S. medical schools are still woefully deficient in training physicians in nutrition and herbals. But it’s estimated that over 80% of the population takes at least one nutritional supplement a day, and sales of nutritional supplements have contributed greatly to the $27-billion natural-health industry. With this much money involved, it is no wonder that many of the large pharmaceutical companies that were previously opposed to nutritional supplements have started marketing their own line of vitamins, minerals, and herbals.
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In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from depression.
The indirect and direct costs of mood disorder illnesses totals over 43 billion dollars a year. Depression and related mood disorders rank behind high blood pressure as the most common reason people visit their doctors.
Most individuals who consult their medical doctor for mood disorders are placed on prescription medications.
And in fact as many as 10% of the U.S. population has taken one of these medications. Prescription antidepressants sales reached a total of 37 billion in sales in 2003, which came out to $9 million more than was spent on treatments for the heart, arteries and blood pressure.
The largest growth spurt in antidepressant use has been among preschoolers, ages 2-4.
In 2003 over one million American children were taking an antidepressant medication.
However, several studies show that between 19-70% of those taking antidepressant medications do just as well by taking a placebo or sugar pill.
And while patients are attempting to correct their mood disorders with prescription dugs that may or may not be more effective than a sugar pill, all of these drugs have potential, sometimes serious, side effects.
Prozac has been associated with over 1,734 suicide deaths and over 28,000 adverse reactions.
Prescription antidepressants can cause depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal tendencies, tremors or involuntary muscle spasms, and senility. Yes, prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can and do cause depression and anxiety.
The most popular antidepressant drugs are known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). SSRI’s including the drugs Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Zoloft are supposed to help the brain re-uptake the brain chemical or neurotransmitter known as serotonin. Effexor and Cymbalta, are designed to re-uptake the neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine. Using these drugs is analogous to using a gasoline additive to help your car get more mileage out of the gasoline in the tank.
Unfortunately, many of the individuals who suffer from mood disorders, don’t have any serotonin in their brains to re-uptake. A gasoline additive poured into an empty gasoline tank doesn’t help much, if at all. They may explain why patients often switch from one antidpressant drug to another in hopes of feeling better.
Fortunately for those looking for a safer, often times more effective way to beat mood disorders, a group of progressive minded physicians helped pioneer a new way of treating mental disorders, known as orthomolecular medicine.
In 1968, two-time Nobel Prize-winner Linus Pauling, Ph.D., originated the term “orthomolecular” to describe an approach to medicine that uses naturally occurring substances normally present in the body. “Ortho” means correct or normal, and orthomolecular physicians recognize that in many cases of physiological and psychological disorders health can be reestablished by properly correcting, or normalizing, the balance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other similar substances within the body. And unlike drug therapy, which attempts to cover-up the symptoms associated with a mood disorder, orthomolecular medicine seeks to find and correct the cause of the illness.
Amino Acid Therapy
Neurotransmitters are produced from the amino acids in the foods we eat. Certain amino acids along with B vitamins and minerals, produce the neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters that cause excitatory reactions are known as catecholamines. Catecholamines, epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline) are derived from the amino acid phenylalanine and tyrosine.
Inhibitory or relaxing neurotransmitters including serotonin, is produced from the amino acid tryptophan.
Are You Low In Serotonin
It’s hard for you to go to sleep.
You can’t stay asleep.
You often find yourself irritable.
Your emotions often lack rationality.
You occasionally experience unexplained tears.
Noise bothers you more than it used to. It seems louder than normal.
You “flare up” at others more easily than you used to.
You experience unprovoked anger.
You feel depressed much of the time.
You find you are more susceptible to pain.
You prefer to be left alone.
If three or more of the above apply, then you’re most likely low in serotonin and I recommend 5HTP.
Studies (including double-blind) comparing SSRI and tricyclic antidepressants to 5-HTP have consistently shown that 5-HTP is as good as—if not better than—prescription medications. Furthermore, 5-HTP doesn’t have some of the more troubling side-effects associated with prescription medications. One study evaluating the effects of 5-HTP in individuals with uni- and bipolar depression showed that patients had a 50% reduction in their mood-disorder symptoms. 5-HTP has also been shown to be as effective as SSRI drugs in relieving both anxiety and depression. A study comparing 5-HTP to the SSRI Luvox (fluvoxamine) revealed the following results: Anxiety improved in 48.3% of those on Luvox and in 58.2% of those on 5-HTP. Depression improved in 61.8% of those on Luvox and 67.5% of those on 5-HTP.
SSRI antidepressant drugs are 25%–60% effective for depression disorders. This means that on average, four out of ten patients will not respond to their SSRI medications. Of these 40% who then switch to older tricyclic drugs, 70% will respond. This still leaves a subgroup of patients who just don’t respond to any of the prescription medications. Fortunately, the administration of 5-HTP to these nonresponders helps 50% of them become depression free.
This is a pretty dramatic finding, since these nonresponders had been suffering from depression for an average of nine years. Many of my patients with depression have tried dozens of drugs over the years, and nothing helped. But 5-HTP does!
The “N” Group (N for Norepinephrine)
Please note the items which apply to your present feelings:
You suffer from a lack of energy.
You often find it difficult to “get going.”
You suffer From decreased drive.
You often start projects and then don’t finish them.
You frequently feel a need to sleep or “hibernate.”
You feel depressed a good deal of the time.
You occasionally feel paranoid.
Your survival seems threatened.
You are bored a great deal of the time.
If three or more of the above apply, then read below.
S-Adenosyl-methionine (SAMe)- is involved in regulating the brain’s neurotransmitters. Normally the brain manufactures all the SAMe it needs from the amino acid methionine. However, low protein diets, malabsorption and deficiencies developed from excess methionine use in certain detoxification pathways can create a need for SAMe replacement. SAMe has been shown through several recent, well designed, studies to be one of the best natural antidepressants available.
SAMe helps boost serotonin and epinephrine levels. It also helps increase the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain blocking chemicals and are more powerful than morphine. Because it produces quick results, SAMe has been used to hasten the onset of action of the antidepressant imipramine.
SAMe Helps Boost the Effects of Antidepressants
Prescription antidepressants fail to work for fifty percent of those take them. One way to boost the beneficial effects of antidepressant medications is to take them with SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine). Research has already shown that SAMe increases both serotonin and norepinephrine levels (brain chemicals) and is a potent antidepressant by itself. Now researchers have shown that combining SAMe with prescription antidepressants reduces the failure rate by 43%.
SAMe elevates endorphin levels and reverses low moods.
SAMe and 5HTP are two of my favorite nutritional supplements. I routinely use them in my practice treat depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and pain disorders.
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From the LA Times-
As the world’s most-prescribed class of medications, statins indisputably qualify for the commercial distinction of “blockbuster.” About 24 million Americans take the drugs — marketed under such commercial names as Pravachol, Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor — largely to stave off heart attacks and strokes.
At the zenith of their profitability, these medications raked in $26.2 billion a year for their manufacturers. The introduction in recent years of cheaper generic versions may have begun to cut into sales revenues for the brand-name drugs that came first to the market, but better prices have only fueled the medications’ use: In 2009, U.S. patients filled 201.4 million prescriptions for statins, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription drug trends. That’s nearly double the number of prescriptions written for statins in 2001, four years after they arrived on the American pharmaceutical landscape.
But in recent months the drugs’ touted medical reputation has come under tough scrutiny.
In the first of three studies published in the Archives last month, medical researchers found that, contrary to widely held belief, statins do not drive down death rates among those who take them to prevent a first heart attack. A second article cast significant doubt on the influential findings of a 2006 study, called JUPITER, that has driven the expansion of statins’ use by healthy people with elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation.
A third article suggested potential ethical, clinical and financial conflicts of interest at work in the execution of the JUPITER study and concluded the widely hailed trial was “flawed” and raises “troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors.”
You can read the entire LA Times article using the link below:
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Benzodiazepines have numerous side effects, including poor sleep, seizures, mania, depression, suicide, ringing in the ears, amnesia, dizziness, anxiety, disorientation, low blood pressure, nausea, fluid retention, sexual dysfunction (decreased desire and performance), weakness, somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like condition that may continue for a number of days), headaches and tardive dyskinesia. A mind boggling 40% of adults, 60 or older experience drug-induced tics or tardive dyskinesia (tremors or uncontrollable shakes) from taking a benzodiazepine drug. Sadly, for many, these tremors are permanent. Over 61,000 older adults have developed Parkinson’s disease from using antipsychotic drugs (benzodiazepines and antidepressants). The crippling side effects and addictive nature of these drugs has been known for at least 40 years, yet doctors continue prescribe them at an ever-increasing rate. Surveys show that over 5.6 million adults over the age of 65 are now taking benzodiazepines.
A mouth dropping 50% of all women 60 and older will be prescribed a benzodiazepine drug. And since addiction often occurs within 2 to 4 weeks of starting these drugs, the majority of folks are now dependant on these drugs. Tolerance to the hypnotic (sleep) effects of these drugs may occur within one week.
Symptoms of tolerance are identical to drug withdrawal symptoms and may include anxiety, panic, severe insomnia, muscle pain and stiffness, depression, suicidal thoughts, rage, heart and lung problems, and agoraphobia (extreme fear of public or crowded spaces). Tragically, only 10 to 30% are able to successfully stop taking these drugs, most are addicted for life.
Neurotransmitters and Essential Nutrients Our patients and the public at large should know that the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) come from the vitamins, minerals and amino acids contained in our foods. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can cause an assortment of health related illnesses, especially mood and sleep disorders.
Inhibitory or relaxing neurotransmitters include serotonin and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). The neurotransmitter serotonin is produced from the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP). GABA is mainly produced from the amino acid glutamine. GABA, 5HTP, and L-Theanine Both GABA and 5HTP, have a calming effect on the brain. Benzodiazepines work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA. But, as we’ve learned these drugs have potentially lethal side effects.
Instead of using a GABA additive loaded with potentially dangerous side effects, why not use an over-the-counter GABA or 5HTP supplement to reduce anxiety, stress, or help with sleep? Both work rather quickly, have few side effects, and can be found at the local health food store. Usually only a small dose of GABA is needed, 500–1,000 mg. taken twice daily on an empty stomach. The brain doesn’t readily absorb GABA, but another amino acid known as L-theanine, can boost GABA levels.
I often recommend L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. It has a calming effect on the brain. For anxiety related disorders the usual dose is 50-100mg taken on an empty stomach, two to three times daily. Research with human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates its relaxing effect in approximately 30 to 40 minutes after ingestion.
Supplementing with the supplement 5-hydroxytrryptophan (5HTP), a form of the amino acid tryptophan, helps raise serotonin levels. Studies show that 5HTP is as effective in normalizing moods as antidepressant drugs. 5HTP also boosts melatonin levels by 200 percent. The recommended dose is 100mg three times a day.
Amino acid therapy offers a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety-without the numerous side effects associated with benzodiazepines.
“Three hundred sixty-four male and female adult patients completed the MAE survey between January 2002 and June 2008. Six patients were excluded because of incomplete or inconsistent reported data; two patients were excluded because muscle-related symptoms were not attributed to cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g., previously existing ailments); and two patients reported symptoms primarily consisting of peripheral neuropathy, which was not the focus of this analysis.
The remaining 354 patients were included in the analysis. Male and female patients were similarly represented. Patients were pre-dominantly Caucasian and were generally well educated, with 86% of all patients having attended or graduated from college.
Among all patients, 93% cited muscle pain associated with statin use, 88% muscle fatigue, and 85% muscle weakness. Two-hundred thirty two patients (66%) reported cessation of statin therapy after experiencing muscle-related symptoms; of these, 174 patients (75%) cited some recovery on discontinuation of the statin, with 66 patients (28%) citing complete recovery of their muscle-related symptoms with discontinuation.”
There should be no doubt that statin drugs cause muscle weakness, pain and fatigue.
I bet this research survey and the overwhelming evidence that shows the dangers of statin drugs, never get reported beyond a few obscure journals.
Don’t fall victim to medical myths. Learn the truth about heart disease, cholesterol, the dangers of blood pressure and heart disease drugs, and how you can treat your condition naturally with proper diet and nutritional supplements.