"Health Freedom"

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polly bee

Sineed wrote:

Every week in my inbox I get alerts and warnings about products that have unforeseen adverse effects, or don't contain what the label says. 

If you get an alert regarding, say, unforeseen adverse affects - do you automatically remove that product from your shelves?

Sineed

polly bee wrote:

Sineed wrote:

Every week in my inbox I get alerts and warnings about products that have unforeseen adverse effects, or don't contain what the label says. 

If you get an alert regarding, say, unforeseen adverse affects - do you automatically remove that product from your shelves?

I don't work in retail anymore.  Whether I remove something from our formulary depends on what the adverse effect is, and how pertinent it is to my patients in the medical unit; for instance, if I have a couple of patients taking something, and they're young men, and the side effect in question applies to elderly women, I'm not going to worry so much.  I have made decisions not to stock all sorts of drugs, and the doctors have mostly agreed with my judgement (I work with awesome doctors).

polly bee

Thanks Sineed - I was more wondering what the standard practise would be, in a retail store.  Is there a system in place that removes dangerous drugs from the system as soon as they are discovered to create problems?

6079_Smith_W

Well there was this advisory that happened after several children died:

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/12/18/cough-drugs-children.html

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/res/cough-toux-eng.php

Of course there's nothing in the lede of that CBC story to indicate that there are soothing cough medicines that are perfectly safe and don''t contain the decongestants and antihistamines that killed people.

Fortunately we use Nin Jiom cough syrup in our house. It does have a children's dosage limit - clearly marked -  I presume because of the coltsfoot in it - but it does not contain the ingredients that were the source of the advisory.

 

 

Sineed

@ 6079_Smith_W - I never used to recommend those, and didn't use them on my kids.  But pediatricians used to recommend them.  I learned in school that those drugs weren't such a good idea in the wee ones.  On my kids, I used saline nose drops, Tylenol, and those nasal bulbs to clear their noses.  I don't like to suppress a cough, and just use cough syrups at night time, to sleep, if needed.  The wee ones didn't get any cough syrup until they were 3-4 years old.

Polly b wrote:
Is there a system in place that removes dangerous drugs from the system as soon as they are discovered to create problems?

Yes; Health Canada advisories are faxed directly to pharmacies.  

I also have, on request, gone through friends' medication cupboards and removed any drugs that have been pulled from the market.  

6079_Smith_W

I should say, Sineed, I'm not trying to hold you responsible for the whole medical system. I have several friends who are nurses and doctors, and I know people have their own way of doing things. So to be clear, I'm not trying to grind your gears at all, and I appreciate that you know a lot more about this than I do.

But it does tick me off that the response is usually very different when it is a drug produced by a major company, and a traditional or herbal remedy. Everyone heard all about how dangerous comfrey was, while many people aren't even aware of the toxicity levels of children's vitamins (though the first time a kid scarfs down a whole bottle because they are made like candy they find out).

 

Sineed

It's all good, 6079_Smith.  When I was four, I scarfed down an entire bottle of children's multivitamins fortified with iron and fluoride.  It was the 1960s, so people were like, meh.  (My dentist says I have mild fluorosis on my teeth.)

And yeah; people totally need to be more cognizant of the hazards of pharmaceuticals.  I would guess, though, that there's this reaction when it's an herbal because the prevailing viewpoint of herbals is they are totally harmless.

Bit of fun:

http://www.crispian.net/PTIR/Nonsense.html

6079_Smith_W

That is hilarious. I especially like the five chinese elements (though I add black cardamom to mine).

You know, I think they might be missing a conspiracy theory in there.... can't quite remember what it is, but it definitely reminds me of something somebody in here mentioned not too long ago.

polly bee

Sineed wrote:

@ 6079_Smith_W - I never used to recommend those, and didn't use them on my kids.  But pediatricians used to recommend

Yes; Health Canada advisories are faxed directly to pharmacies.  

I also have, on request, gone through friends' medication cupboards and removed any drugs that have been pulled from the market.  

 

Okay, thank you again, but not quite what I was trying to find out.  We have all heard of cases where a drug that causes adverse reactions remains on the shelf for ages after it has been shown to be dangerous.  Sometimes right up until the class action lawsuit.  What is the tipping point for Health Canada to pull a drug - is it the first "adverse event" or the tenth, or the 100th?  Or do they rely on the supplier to keep them informed, or a combination.

 

I was taking vioxx when it was finally pulled.  After doing some research, I realized that the potential problems were already pretty much common knowledge, even before it was prescribed to me.

Sineed

Vioxx should have been pulled several years before it was - the drug company obfuscated data, saying that the other drugs compared with Vioxx that showed fewer heart attacks were "cardioprotective," rather than that Vioxx was risky.

The tipping point occurs when the risk of a drug exceeds the benefits.

N.R.KISSED

Sineed wrote:

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Sineed wrote:

Good quote, LP.  All healthcare treatments should submit to the same burden of proof.

Where is the burden of proof with psychiatry which continues to peddle drugs that purport to address chemical imbalances that have been demonstrated empirically not to exist. Yet the continue to promote these chemical imbalance theories that have been falsified. The wide scale promotion of these psychiatric drugs then result in disabling effects on those who are coerced into using them long term. What about people that are presribed benzodiazepines (that are only recommended for short term use), for 10, 20 years a life time, even though it has been empirically demonstrated to be both highly addictive wiht pronounced side effects, horrible withdrawl profile and are also reduced in effectiveness in long term use. This is medical fraud on a massive interntaional scale yet there is little outcry in the medical community. Instead they would prefer to create some altermative health boogermen.

I agree with a good part of this.  As a pharmacist who did post-graduate work in addictions, I was horrified by all the people being prescribed addictive drugs, and not told of the consequences.  All these people being prescribed huge doses of Oxycontin on an ongoing basis are NOT being treated according to evidence-based medicine.  As you point out, same goes for most folks getting long-term benzodiazepines.

There are a lot of us who are struggling to encourage more evidence-based medical practice.  That includes the issues you mention, as well as quackery.  People who have been poorly served by mainstream medicine don't deserve to get dangerous nonsense instead.

What I am talking about is dangerous nonsense. Psychiatry is dangerous nonsense and even though it lacks all of the attributes you ascribe to western traditonal medicine it is treated as though it has these attributes. You may be aware that recent research has found that SSRI's are no more effective than placebo. So if someone goes to a homeopath and gets a sugar pill why is this more dangerous than going to a psychiatrist and being given drugs that have been demonstrated to have a serious of damaging side effects including increased suicidalality and violent impulses. Maybe its possible that people are going to 'alternative" practitioners because what they are being offered by the mainstream is dangerous nonsene.

Sineed

NRK, I simply do not agree with your assessment of psychiatry.  I have seen it help a lot of people.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And I've seen it destroy many.  NRK has it nailed at the moment.  There is NO SCIENCE behind it. 

RosaL

RevolutionPlease wrote:

And I've seen it destroy many.  NRK has it nailed at the moment.  There is NO SCIENCE behind it. 

 

Same here. (I could say more - a lot more - but I don't have the time right now.)

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Well, I can say more.  It's all a NON-science constructed patriarchal dangerous nonsense.  I presented at my Doctor suffering from a little stress due to the corporacracy of holding down a job.  Got prescribed a drug that turned me into a potential criminal.  How does that work???  Lost my job and make less but could never be happier...It's a bit more dangerous than sugarwater, that's for sure... but yet we get the same old bleatings here.

Bacchus

Its the assumed superiority of them that makes me uncomfortable. No one knows everything yet they seem to feel they do and can make decisions on you that can ruin your life and theres no real thing to control their decisions

N.R.KISSED

Sineed wrote:

NRK, I simply do not agree with your assessment of psychiatry.  I have seen it help a lot of people.

well it is not just my assessment. The reality is that all of the chemical imbalance theories, Dopamine, Serotonin, catecholemine, have all been empirically demonstrated as being false. Yet psychiatry continues to promote them as true.

As I'm sure you are aware the use of drugs predated the theories following the dubious belief of the drugs effectiveness.

The dangers of  use of psychiatric drugs (especially long term) is well documented but ignored and attacked by psychiatry and mainstream medicine.

The power and influence of the the pharmaceutical/psychiatric lobby  is so great that even having a rational conversation about the use of psychiatric drugs is almost impossible.

corporate ghost writing of journal articles and other kinds of fraud are common in psychiatric journals.

I would recommend(as I always do) reading Robery Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic.

Finally your value judgement about psychiatry is just that and reflects precisely the faith in cure or treatment that you dismiss in claims of those who value "alternative treatments." How do you know when psychiatry is helping from placebo. We psych survivors are also very adept at making professionals believe we're doing better. Its often our only chance to get away.

RosaL

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Well, I can say more.  It's all a NON-science constructed patriarchal dangerous nonsense.  I presented at my Doctor suffering from a little stress due to the corporacracy of holding down a job.  Got prescribed a drug that turned me into a potential criminal.  How does that work???  Lost my job and make less but could never be happier...It's a bit more dangerous than sugarwater, that's for sure... but yet we get the same old bleatings here.

The only reason I have a life is that I got out of that system, after many years. But it's not just my personal experience. I observed and listened to other people while I was there. It became obvious to me what was going on: It's an ideology that serves the prevailing system. I came to that conclusion before I'd read marx, on the basis of my experiences in the mental health system. (I may have expressed the point somewhat differently at the time, of course!)

We have no reason to be depressed/despondent/upset! There must be something wrong with our brains! 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

RosaL wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Well, I can say more.  It's all a NON-science constructed patriarchal dangerous nonsense.  I presented at my Doctor suffering from a little stress due to the corporacracy of holding down a job.  Got prescribed a drug that turned me into a potential criminal.  How does that work???  Lost my job and make less but could never be happier...It's a bit more dangerous than sugarwater, that's for sure... but yet we get the same old bleatings here.

The only reason I have a life is that I got out of that system, after many years. But it's not just my personal experience. I observed and listened to other people while I was there. It became obvious to me what was going on: It's an ideology that serves the prevailing system. I came to that conclusion before I'd read marx, on the basis of my experiences in the mental health system. (I may have expressed the point somewhat differently at the time, of course!)

We have no reason to be depressed/despondent/upset! There must be something wrong with our brains! 

 

Heh!  I came to the conclusion before I read Marx too, I hope to get around to it.  ;)

 

They're definitely something wrong with our brains and I LIKE it!

 

Hopefully, this misleading thread title will make more aware of it.

 

 

 

Sineed

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Finally your value judgement about psychiatry is just that and reflects precisely the faith in cure or treatment that you dismiss in claims of those who value "alternative treatments." How do you know when psychiatry is helping from placebo. We psych survivors are also very adept at making professionals believe we're doing better. Its often our only chance to get away.

You have found what works for you.  But there are many people who find that the medications help them, as well as people who use a mix of drug and non-drug strategies.  The problem with advocating strongly against the medical model is it may sway people who stand to be helped by it, and there's the risk of straying into Church of Scientology territory.

6079_Smith_W

I didn't want to mention the CofS myself, but I certainly thought about it.... of course they know how to remove radiation from the body with high doses of niacin (that or vitamin A, I can't remember) and saunas.

But WRT psychiatry the fact remains that there are conditions which are the result of chemical imbalances. Not all of it is drugging people up, even though I know myself there are plenty of pill-happy doctors. I think to say there is NO science to it is false.

 

jas

http://www.canlyme.com/quackwatch.html

Quote:
Dr. Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch Exposed In Court Cases

At trial, under a heated cross-examination by Negrete, Barrett conceded that he was not a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam.

This was a major revelation since Barrett had provided supposed expert testimony as a psychiatrist and had testified in numerous court cases. Barrett also had said that he was a legal expert even though he had no formal legal training.

The most damning testimony before the jury, under the intense cross-examination by Negrete, was that Barrett had filed similar defamation lawsuits against almost 40 people across the country within the past few years and had not won one single one at trial.

During the course of his examination, Barrett also had to concede his ties to the AMA, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

 

http://www.quackpotwatch.org/WisconsinWar/barrett.htm

Quote:
Barrett, we know, along with his website, is currently named, among other things, in a racketeering (RICO) case in Federal Court in Colorado. 

He's also being sued for his nefarious activities in Ontario, Canada. 

In California, he's been FORMALLY discredited in Superior Court, and in a PUBLISHED Appeals Court decision, where he was described, by the three Judge panel, as "biased, and unworthy of credibility."

Barrett, we also know, was forced to give up his medical license in Pennsylvania in 1993 when his part-time employment at the State Mental Hospital was terminated, and he had so few (nine) private patients during his last five years of practice, that he couldn't afford the Malpractice Insurance premiums Pennsylvania requires.

http://www.anh-europe.org/news/quackbuster-stephen-barrett-md-loses-appe...

Quote:
Who Is Steven Barrett, What Are Quackbusters?

Steven Barrett is an unlicensed Pennsylvania psychiatrist, who,  though he failed his psychiatric boards and has been criticized for his lack of expertise by several courts, still claims to often advise the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FBI, State Attorneys General, HMOs, Consumer Reports, medical journals and state medical, chiropractic and dental boards.

The insurance industry cites Barretts highly opinionated Quackbuster attacks to deny paying claims for chiropractic and other natural healthcare.

Barrett and the Quackbusters, a vigilante group of self proclaimed skeptics of any medical or health modality that avoids drugs, surgery or radiation, attack almost all non-conventional healthcare practices as quackery. Ignoring all scientific research to the contrary, they dismiss Gulf War Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and dietary supplements as rubbish. Double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling is on their quack hit list along with many well known and respected doctors and scientists, including Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and dozens of others.

What's more shocking is that Quackwatch is regularly cited on Babble.

6079_Smith_W

@ jas

When I went to their site some time ago and saw "organic foods" on their list of quackery I realized they were not an entirely credible source. Not to say that they aren't right in some cases, but I certainly wouldn't take their word as gospel.

 

RosaL

Sineed wrote:

You have found what works for you.  But there are many people who find that the medications help them, as well as people who use a mix of drug and non-drug strategies.  The problem with advocating strongly against the medical model is it may sway people who stand to be helped by it, and there's the risk of straying into Church of Scientology territory.

Well, of course drugs help! If they didn't, you wouldn't have people sniffing alcohol and glue. 

(I do think some people's "mental health problems" have a physical basis. But they a small minority of the "mental health population".)

RosaL

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ jas

When I went to their site some time ago and saw "organic foods" on their list of quackery I realized they were not an entirely credible source. Not to say that they aren't right in some cases, but I certainly wouldn't take their word as gospel.

 

No of course not, although Deepak Chopra is an idiot. But wait, would someone I disapprove of say something like that? Maybe I shouldn't say it! What if the pope doesn't like Deepak Chopra! Do the scientologists like him? What if the pope criticizes him and the scientologists praise him. What a dilemma! I just don't know what to think! 

jas

Rosa's sarcasm is interesting because it sounds very much like what our resident kwackwatchers cry about: the inability of consumers of health services to evaluate information and make decisions about their own well being. And they cite the amateur, basement-run website of a discredited psychiatrist and professional litigant as "proof" of this.

N.R.KISSED

Sineed wrote:

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Finally your value judgement about psychiatry is just that and reflects precisely the faith in cure or treatment that you dismiss in claims of those who value "alternative treatments." How do you know when psychiatry is helping from placebo. We psych survivors are also very adept at making professionals believe we're doing better. Its often our only chance to get away.

You have found what works for you.  But there are many people who find that the medications help them, as well as people who use a mix of drug and non-drug strategies.  The problem with advocating strongly against the medical model is it may sway people who stand to be helped by it, and there's the risk of straying into Church of Scientology territory.

The scientology reference is a cheap shot and scare mongering. People have the right to be informed to be aware of the fraud and campaigns of disinformation that are presented by psychiatric/pharma. People have a right to access information that truthfully acknowledges the risk and damage caused by these drugs. The pharmaceutical companinies knew about the suicide risk of ssri's the knew about the risk of diabetes and olanzapine, they know about the risk about benzodiazepines and they say nothing and do nothing. These are only some of the debilitating side effects.

It is not a matter of what "works" for me. I am not talking about me,there is nothing wrong with my mind or brain, so please do not shift the focus. I am talking about the pseudo science that is psychiatry. I am making the point that you are proving that those who construct an idealized vision of western medicine do so by ignoring(fraudulently  the pseudo science and quackery that exists within its ranks. Your claim that psychiatry helps people as well as people claiming that psychiatry helps them is no more scientific evidence than the claims that people make for the alternative methods that you debunk. There is actually a growing body of evidence that psychiatry does more harm than good.

Your only argument is that the medical model cannot be critically examined or challenged because then people may make the informed choice not to use its services. I am not anti-drug psychiatric or otherwise. Drugs can be helpful for people coping both legal and illegal. I do believe that people should have access about both the dangerousness and the effectiveness of the drugs they take.

N.R.KISSED

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I didn't want to mention the CofS myself, but I certainly thought about it.... of course they know how to remove radiation from the body with high doses of niacin (that or vitamin A, I can't remember) and saunas.

But WRT psychiatry the fact remains that there are conditions which are the result of chemical imbalances. Not all of it is drugging people up, even though I know myself there are plenty of pill-happy doctors. I think to say there is NO science to it is false.

Well if you can provide me with a body of scientific studies that support the dopamine, serotonin or catecholamine hypothesis please provide them. There are plenty of claims from psychiatry and the pharmaceutical evidence and no empirical evidence.

"The odds are high that someone close to you has been told he or she has a "chemical imbalance" in the brain, but the odds

are slim that the doctor who said it could point to any convincing evidence that it was true. The increasing awareness that most

biological theories underlying diagnoses of depression, schizophrenia, and other mental problems are based very loosely on

accidental drug discoveries and promoted heavily by pharmaceutical companies is the basis for neuroscientist Elliot S.

Valenstein's book Blaming the Brain. Compelling reading for the age of Prozac, Blaming the Brain looks at the history of medical

treatments for psychiatric disorders, and particularly the modern era of drug therapies, with the intent of uncovering whether science

or rhetoric determines courses of treatment."

 

Eliot Valenstein Blaming the Brain

http://www.amazon.com/Blaming-Brain-Truth-Mental-Health/dp/068484964X

 

"In the 1960s a scientist in Edinburgh, George Ashcroft,

who was studying serotonin in the brain, created the hypothesis that lower levels of serotonin could be the cause of depression, but

he abandoned this theory in 1970 because none of his research supported it. In the USA, in 1965, Joseph Schildkraut put forward the idea that lowered levels of norepinephrine in the brain caused depression. This idea was seized upon by psychiatrists, who wanted an explanation that would impress their depressed patients, and by the media. David Healy wrote, "This key myth still flourishes in popular consciousness almost forty years later".

Alas, it flourishes in more places than that. The SSRI drugs and SNRI drugs (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) were

created and are sold on the idea that the function of these drugs is to replace the serotonin or norepinephrine missing in the brains

of depressed people. These drugs do add these substances to the brain but, whatever they do, it isn't restoring a balance as there

was never any imbalance to restore. Nevertheless, there are many doctors who happily tell their patients,

"You've a chemical imbalance; these pills will restore your brain to normal"."

 

 

 http://www.positivehealth.com/articles/depression/2233

 

See also David Healy "Let them eat Prozac"

Robert Whitaker's Mad in America: Bad science, Bad medicine and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill.

 

N.R.KISSED

RosaL wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Well, I can say more.  It's all a NON-science constructed patriarchal dangerous nonsense.  I presented at my Doctor suffering from a little stress due to the corporacracy of holding down a job.  Got prescribed a drug that turned me into a potential criminal.  How does that work???  Lost my job and make less but could never be happier...It's a bit more dangerous than sugarwater, that's for sure... but yet we get the same old bleatings here.

The only reason I have a life is that I got out of that system, after many years. But it's not just my personal experience. I observed and listened to other people while I was there. It became obvious to me what was going on: It's an ideology that serves the prevailing system. I came to that conclusion before I'd read marx, on the basis of my experiences in the mental health system. (I may have expressed the point somewhat differently at the time, of course!)

We have no reason to be depressed/despondent/upset! There must be something wrong with our brains! 

I agree completely. It is unfortunate though that many people on the left fail to apply a critical eye to both psychiatry and institutionalized medicine, being critical does not automatically mean an endorsement of "alternative medicine." It does raise the question of pathologizing indidual experience that is a normal response to a oppressive and fucked up social system.

Lord Palmerston

This is really just a grown-up version of "I know you are but what I am?"

Tim Bolen has been smearing Barrett for years about being be "de-licensed" etc.

It doesn't mean Quackwatch should necessarily be taken a gospel, as Smith says, but it's better to deal with the actual CONTENT of the site.

jas

Uh huh.

 

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