Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Protecting Children from Drug Dealers

They are out there, and if they can't hook you, they want to target your children and grandchildren as potential users. I call them drug dealers and pushers; you may know them as pharmaceutical companies, doctors, schools and civil authorities.

Under the present state of affairs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) operates -- under Republican and Democratic administrations -- in full cooperation with drug companies to get their wares to market. Then drug company sales reps filter the information that gets through to physicians about the drugs they are urged to prescribe.

Counterpunch has done a public service by publishing Martha Rosenberg's article "The Year in Pills." The article lists over 35 very common drugs and some attendant dangers.

For example, do you have a teen with serious acne problems? The following excerpt from the article should make you want to check out whatever your doctor prescribes:

Humira, Prolia and TNF Blockers

The drug industry's highly promoted biologic drugs are made from genetically engineered hamster cells and suppress the immune system, inviting tuberculosis and several cancers. Yet Humira is advertised to healthy people for "clearer skin" and Prolia is advertised to prevent osteoporosis in healthy women.

Then there are the plethora of mood-altering drugs:

Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, SSRIs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Lexapro probably did more to inflate drug industry profits than Viagra. But many say the drugs have also inflated police blotters. In addition to 4,200 published reports of SSRI-related violence, including the Columbine, Red Lake and NIU shootings, SSRIs can cause serotonin syndrome and gastrointestinal bleeding when taken with certain drugs. Paxil is linked to birth defects.

Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq, SNRIs

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are like their SSRIs chemical cousins except their norepinephrine effects can modulate pain, which has ushered in your-depression-is-really-pain, your-pain-is-really-depression and other crossover marketing. SNRI's are also harder to quit than SSRIs. 739,000 web sites address "Effexor" and "withdrawal."
Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, atypical antipsychotics

The antipsychotic Seroquel tops 71 drugs on the FDA's January 2010 adverse event report and is linked to unexplained troop deaths and many research scandals. But it's the fifth biggest-selling drug in the world. Atypical antipsychotics cause weight gain and diabetes, the tardive dyskinesia they are marketed to prevent and death in the demented elderly. Yet FDA approved Zyprexa and Seroquel for children last year and the new atypical antipsychotic, Latuda this year. Maybe the FDA is bipolar.

Ritalin, Concerta, Strattera, Adderall and ADHD Drugs

ADHD drugs rob "kids of their right to be kids, their right to grow, their right to experience their full range of emotions, and their right to experience the world in its full hue of colors," says Anatomy of an Epidemic author Robert Whitaker. But they are a gold mine for the drug industry. During an August conference call with financial analysts, Shire specialty pharmaceuticals president Mike Cola lauded the "very dynamic ADHD market," and the "co-administration market" (in which kids don't need one drug but several.

Some drugs alter behavior, even though they are prescribed for other purposes. Consider these drugs used as migraine and pain medications:

Lyrica, Topamax and Lamictal

In August FDA ordered a warning on the seizure drug Lamictal for aseptic meningitis (brain inflammation) but it is still the darling of military and civilian doctors for unapproved pain and migraine uses. All three drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors according to their mandated labels, in addition to the memory and hair loss patients report.

I urge you to read the article (link here) and then purpose to protect your loved ones from the ravages of dangerous drugs. It may mean holding your own doctor at bay until you can research a drug's effects.

Standing against a culturally established authority figure  like your doctor may be hard. But sometimes you should "just say,'No!'"

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