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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Steer Clear of Blood-Thinner Cangrelor │ Migraine Medication Warning │ Natural Flu Treatment Proven as Effective as Tamiflu

Although my younger brother Mark never arrived home last evening until at least 10:15 p.m., he never sat down.  Instead, he ventured on upstairs to his bedroom...and never returned.

He remained in his bedroom until around 9:30 a.m. this morning.

I wish he would value his sleep more than he seems to.  I don't want him falling victim to a heart-attack or stroke.

The heat wave here in the Greater Vancouver region continues.

I managed to get some reasonably light exercising out of the way during the forenoon, for it will be far too oppressive doing any after midday.

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There never seems to be anything good to report concerning the blood-thinners that the pharmaceutical corporations ─ and hospital personnel ─ keep inflicting upon hospital patients. 

But there's a regular nasty one getting lots of push at present ─ this report from the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) from about three days ago merits some serious attention:

A devious sleight of hand
It failed its clinical trials. Its manufacturer was accused of "ethical lapses" during tests that may have killed heart patients. It was even rejected by the FDA three times.

And now the deadly new blood thinner Cangrelor is headed straight for a hospital near you.

When I first warned you about Cangrelor this spring, I told you how even the country's top cardiologists were worried that it could trigger fatal bleeding. How it may even be more likely to cause a hemorrhage than save a life.

Now the FDA has approved the drug based on shoddy science and a new label that isn't worth the paper it's printed on. And if you or someone you love is scheduled for heart surgery, it's never been more important to learn how to avoid becoming Cangrelor's next victim.

It took a full decade and millions of dollars for the Medicines Company to bring Cangrelor to market. FDA reviewers and cardiologists repeatedly raised concerns that the blood thinner's studies didn't prove it worked, and that it could cause a "substantial" risk of life-threatening internal bleeding.

But when the FDA recently approved Cangrelor, all it got was a reworded label. One that's a shade away from being meaningless, because now that the drug is available your doctor is allowed to use it in any way he sees fit.

Which is why you need to know what went on behind the scenes and why it's so important to avoid the drug. Because, as one expert put it, "this smells bad."

When the Medicines Company set out to do its big trial called CHAMPION on Cangrelor, the company pulled a devious trick.

You see, to make Cangrelor look good, the researchers conducting the study apparently delayed administering competing drugs to patients. Some may have died just to make Cangrelor appear more effective.

That was something the FDA's lead medical reviewer found "very disturbing." And he said that even though the CHAMPION trials couldn't prove that Cangrelor was in any way superior, it did prove one thing: it posed very real risk of deadly bleeding.

Another expert, Dr. Milton Packer, who is one of the country's top cardiologists, predicted that Cangrelor is just as likely to cause life-threatening internal bleeding as it is to save someone's life. He added that our government shouldn't sign off on drugs based on what "they ought to do and hope they would do."

But that's exactly what the FDA did when it finally caved to pressure from the Medicines Company and agreed to approve Cangrelor. All the company had to do was to make a new label that would limit how the med would be used.

The FDA approved Cangrelor for a "smaller subset" of patients, those who are undergoing a coronary angioplasty. Dr. James A. de Lemos from the University of Texas, said that Cangrelor should only be a "niche drug," and not one that is "widely used."

But even if doctors stick to that smaller group... which they're not obligated to do... it will still put around half a million people at risk every year. And that's according to the FDA's own numbers!

Hardly what I'd call a niche.

If your doctor decides to use Cangrelor, it will be administered in a hospital or clinic setting. And as you know, it's very difficult to keep track of what drugs you're being given in that kind of situation.

So if you're scheduled to have any kind of procedure to open blocked or narrowed arteries, it's important to talk to your doctor about Cangrelor as soon as you can. And make sure he understands the shady history behind this drug as well as you do.
Whatever you come away with from that article, try to keep that brand name in mind ─ Cangrelor.

The Health Sciences Institute are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com.

Also about three days ago, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II had a pair of reports ─ one concerned migraine headache medication, and the other a natural-source flu medication proven to be as effective as Tamiflu.


Let's check out the migraine report first:

Your doc could be making your migraine pain WORSE
You want a real headache? Trying telling a doc about your migraines.

Sure, he'll make all the usual sympathetic noises. He'll hold your hand and act concerned. He'll even ask very specific questions, as if the treatment he'll suggest depends on your answers.

But if he's like most docs, it's just lip service.

Because it doesn't really matter how you answer his questions, most docs know what they're going to do the moment the "M" word crosses your lips: drugs, specifically painkillers.

And since migraines are BIG headaches, he'll pull out the BIG guns, such as narcotic drugs.

This approach is all-too-common, as new research shows that half of all migraine patients have been given narcotics for their headaches. And if that doesn't make you loopy enough, the study finds docs are also passing out barbiturates like they are firecrackers on the 4th of July.

It's absolutely bonkers, because these drugs fail on every possible level.

Over the short term, they don't even work very well -- many patients get little relief, and a good number get none at all.

In the meantime they're addictive, and can turn you into a certified pill-popping jittery junkie. And that addiction means that before long you'll be taking higher doses more frequently and soon be at risk for a deadly overdose.

And over the long term, they can actually make migraines WORSE. Yes, you read that correctly -- the migraine treatment given to half of all patients can actually put you in MORE pain.

This isn't the conclusion of a single rogue study. We've got years of science to back this up -- so much, that any doc who's still giving out narcotics for migraines is dangerously out of touch with reality.

Luckily, you've got a down-to-earth guy like me in your corner, and I've got a back-to-basics solution so simple you won't believe it works: color therapy.

Years ago, color therapy was considered quackery. But a wave of studies proves it's the most effective weapon against migraines, with specially tinted lenses chasing pain levels down by as much as 70 percent.

There's one "side effect" to this treatment: You will stand out in a crowd, since the best color lens for migraines is somewhere between purple and pink.

The technical name for it is FL-41. You can order it from an optician or find it online.

With my rose-colored glasses,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. 
The "new research" he spoke of that "shows that half of all migraine patients have been given narcotics for their headaches" is thus far in print only as an abstract or summary that was presented at the 2015 American Headache Society.  

The abstract is titled Survey of Opioid and Barbiturate Use Among Patients Evaluated in a Headache Clinic; and it can be found by scrolling through this:  Abstracts from the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society (DOI: 10.1111/head.12600). 

You need to scroll past OR1 through OR18, and the item you would be searching for is the first in the 'PF' range ─ thus, PF1.

However, I also found it all by itself in this one-page .pdf document.

There is a very brief interview with the lead researcher (Dr. Mia T. Minen) at medicalresearch.comOpioids and Barbituates Commonly Prescribed For Headaches.

And there is another report about the study results ─ go to nlm.nih.govMany Migraine Sufferers Given Narcotic Painkillers, Barbiturates.

Dr. Douglass' report on dealing with influenza without resorting to the likes of Tamiflu ought to be welcome information for many people:

Flower power the key to beating the flu without drugs
Summer BBQ season has barely begun, but you can bet an annual rite of winter will be making its first appearance before Labor Day.

Flu season!

No, it's not the flu itself; that'll arrive as usual closer to the end of the year. It's flu marketing that's out to destroy your summer fun -- because like Christmas, it starts earlier and earlier every year. And by Labor Day, the propaganda machine will be operating in overdrive.

You don't need a flu shot. As I've told you before, your odds of getting sick with the shot are almost the same as going without.

And if you DO happen to get sick anyway (hey, it happens) it's not the end of the world, because you can beat the flu without drugs -- and new research spots a time-tested natural remedy that can do the job without drug side effects.

You may think of elderberry as that "extra" ingredient in a lot of cold remedies. It rarely gets top billing, but is often thrown in with zinc and vitamin C to help boost an ailing immune system.

But I think it's time to give elderberry its due -- because the new study finds a formula combining this herbal remedy with Echinacea is as effective as the drug Tamiflu.

At the five-day mark and 10-day mark, patients on the natural remedy had the same recovery rates as those on the drug -- but less than half the risk of complications.

This is the latest in a long line of research that backs elderberry for flu. In a study from the 1990s, for example, 93 percent of patients with influenza B given elderberry recovered within two days, while those on a placebo needed six days. In 2003, a study of patients with influenza A had similar results.

Combine it with Echinacea, a powerful immune-booster and virus-fighter on its own, and you've got something any ugly bug will fear -- even one as nasty as the virus that causes the flu.

The study used a specific blend of elderberry and Echinacea that isn't available here. But elderberry extract and Echinacea supplements are easy to get your hands on. Buy some now to keep in your medicine chest in case you get sick.

And when your doc offers you a flu shot, tell him you've already got all the protection you need.

With what's new for flu,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. 
The "new study" he spoke of that found an elderberry/Echinacea formula to be "as effective as the drug Tamiflu" is evidently this:  Echinaforce Hotdrink versus Oseltamivir in Influenza: A randomized, double-blind, double dummy, multicenter, non-inferiority clinical trial (DOI: 10.1016/j.curtheres.2015.04.001). 

For anyone interested, here are a couple of other reports about that study:
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My brother Mark's birthday is now five days away, so I felt that I should venture forth today and buy him a bottle of Scotch.  I also had a check from him for his share of our house's annual property taxes to deposit.

It was definitely a hot walk to that government liquor store about two miles distant (108th Avenue & King George Boulevard here in Whalley).   

Mark was in his bedroom when I set off at 12:55 p.m., and neither of my step-sons noticed me leave ─ a perfect getaway.

As I passed through Holland Park over by Surrey Place (Central City), I saw that some rather large event was taking place there ─ I have just now researched it, and I see that it's something called FVDED in the Park.

It's meaningless to me!

Anyway, there was nothing remarkable about my four-mile round-trip hike, except the heat ─ and the fact that I had to lug home not just a 1.75-litre bottle of Grant's Blended Scotch Whisky, but I also resupplied myself with two dozen cans of beer.

I doubt there are many people who would care to haul that load two miles in the kind of heat prevalent hereabouts this afternoon. 

As I was returning through A.H.P. Matthew Park, I received a call from my wife Jack ─ she was at home, and wondering where I was.  Only her youngest son Pote had been home, but he took off on her, and so she was alone. 

I was less than two blocks away, so she seemed relieved.

So what does a 1.75-litre bottle of Scotch and two dozen cans of cheap beer cost here in Surrey, B.C.?

The tab was $90.52. 

I had been considering doing some pull-ups in the small shed in our backyard, but it is too infernally hot ─ my trek will have to suffice.

My wife Jack looked better than I have seen her in some time ─ she was dressed very 'Spring-like,' and the effect looked good to me.

She was busy cooking up several dishes, but I had a bit of a sandwich as breakfast or lunch ere leaving on my walk, and so I was not hungry.

By 4:00 p.m., she had left to return to Vancouver.

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I have an especially long entry from my journal of 41 years ago to post here, so I  had best get at it.

On that date, I was 24 years old, and living in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster

At the time, I normally worked just one day a week ─ Friday ─ at a New Westminster charitable organization called (S.A.N.E. Self Aid Never Ends), as a truck swamper on their blue pick-up.

Art Smith ─ a Nova Scotian in his early 40s ─ also worked part-time at S.A.N.E., often driving the truck. 

Since I am going to be reporting about him in the journal entry, I might as well explain that he was married to a dear woman in her early 30s ─ Angelina (or Angie).  The two had three children:  the eldest was Samantha, then came Angela (Dee Dee); and finally, young Stevie.
THURSDAY, July 4, 1974

Yesterday my breakfast was interrupted by Art; he needed me for a move.  His only emergency aid in the truck was Verna and Trudy.

We made a collection or two, then took them back to the store.  It was really raining.

The move was an old lady with a white, large, friendly dog; she lived deep in Richmond, and proved to be moving into the Fraser apartments.

After work (we drove around earlier for a while with downed Dave) Art treated me to a drunk.  I arm-wrestled his bearded 27 year old neighbour "Flat" to a standstill.

Much later after the kids were abed, and Art & wife and I were alone, Art talked her into a swinging scene.  They both tried to get me to go to bed with them.  She tried to seduce me with sight and contact in the kitchen while Art tried to verbally sway me.  I did wind up in the bedroom, but took off when things got too hairy.

I wonder how Art is going to feel when he sobers up?

I went and saw David, and dragged him to Venus where I ate 5 of the 8 slices of the large beef & onion pizza we bought.  I walked him home, then went home myself.  I have $13.

I shall mail for the 50 post office special stamps today.

I hiked out to Kennedy; mom & Alex had company ─ a woman from the States.  I was fed leftovers which included some home-grown chicken.  My only mail was the Armstrong newsletter.  Sherry was around.

I left nearly 6:30 p.m., walking the last bit with my caretaker.

I got to S.A.N.E. all duded up about 8:10 p.m., but the meeting was cancelled.  

I phoned Georgie from the Russell, but the boy babysitting said she was out with another lady.  I phoned Art next to learn about the cancellation.  He invited me over.  I agreed.

I met Mike right in front of his door; Mike was bombed.  Then the daughters and Tina came along.  When I finally got inside, Art imposed on me to go to the liquor store.

I spent nothing.  A tall lad outside got me to get him a mickey of Smirnoff's vodka.  Inside, the cashier inquired whether my purchases were for "the man with the little dog that looks like a lamb."  He knew.

Back at Art's, things went cool, concerning last night.  We discussed matters, including my inhibitions.  'Twas after 12:00 a.m. when I finally left.

I walked a lost Indian woman directly outside to the Russell.  Then on 4th Street, I encountered my caretaker again, and walked home with him.

I believe, earlier on my way to the booze store, I passed Dave Wyatt.

Angela kissed me good-night, as has been usual.  Art said David was in early for awhile.
It seems to me that Verna (Williams?)  may have had capacity as manager of S.A.N.E., and "Trudy" was likely another of the part-timers. 

Apart from making collections with the truck ─ and of course, deliveries ─ we sometimes moved small households if the job was going to be within reason.  However, driving out to Richmond was something of an extension of our range. 

I am supposing that we brought the woman and large white dog who were making the move, back to New Westminster; but I now do not know what nor where the Fraser apartments were.
   
"Downed Dave" had to have been my old friend, Philip David Prince.  He also lived in New Westminster in a cheap room somewhere, and worked part-time at S.A.N.E.  But he and I first came to know one another when we both commenced Grade VIII at Newton Junior High School during the 1962/1963 school term. 

I expect that David was especially depressed this particular day ─ i.e., Wednesday, July 3, 1974.

Anyway, after Art and I were done working, he invited me back to his home, for he usually had Villa medium dry sherry and Alberta vodka on hand.

I remember the guy named "Flat."  He was very short, and had a thick, dark beard that seemed to start right beneath his eyes.  Heck, even his hairline was unusual ─ it seemed to extend upwards from less than two inches above his eyebrows.

The guy was something of a martial artist.

Unbeknownst to Art, his wife Angie had been making overtures to me on previous occasions, and I had always done my best to elude her when she got too aggressive about it.  Thus, I am sure that it was just to save some face that she feigned any resistance to his talk of the three of us 'getting it on.'

I don't recall actually going into the bedroom with them, however; and then betaking myself smartly away.

Apparently I hied it to my friend David Prince's room, and got him to go with me to Venus Pizza ─ they made awesome pizza back then! 

When finally I got home for the night, I had $13 to my name.

The stamps I spoke of ordering on Thursday (July 4, 1974) were probably commemoratives featuring the Canadian Post Office (now called Canada Post).  I used to buy commemorative stamps for my mail, for the definitives were just too boring ─ I sent mail to the States, and sometimes even to England.

My mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  Their address ─ 12106 - 90th Avenue ─ was my main mailing address, so I regularly hiked out to there from New Westminster to see what might have arrived for me.

The "newsletter" that was there on that Thursday, July 4, was from Herbert W. Armstrong ─ I had been something of a follower for maybe a dozen or even more years.  

Although I do not now remember it, my mother and her husband must have been raising a few chickens ─ one of them evidently became a dietary chicken, alas.

My maternal half-sister Phyllis' daughter Sherry must have been visiting ─ I remember that she had struck up a friendship of sorts with one or more neighbour kids. 

So at 6:30 p.m. that Thursday evening, I made the return hike back to New Westminster, believing that I had a S.A.N.E. staff meeting to attend.

The Russell Hotel was the location of quite a popular drinking establishment.  I must have left nearby S.A.N.E. and stopped in there upon finding S.A.N.E. all locked up.

"Georgie" had to have been Georgina Junglas, another S.A.N.E. part-timer.  We shared a strong attraction to one another, but nothing ever seemed to work out insofar as getting any serious action happening.

Failing to reach her, I then phoned Art and got invited over.

I wonder if "Mike" was Mike Shutz or Shutze?  It sounds like he had been drinking with Art.  Mike was a very tall chap who was roughly my age (24) back then.  I always liked him.  It seems to me that he also did part-time work at S.A.N.E., so it was likely him.

I suppose that "the daughters" I next encountered before getting inside Art's door were his two girls, but I have no idea who "Tina" was.

Art must have been too drunk to drive, even though the liquor store was not far away.  He clearly gave me the cash to buy whatever it was that I was sent for.

I don't remember anything about the possible minor I bought the mickey of vodka for.

As for walking the "lost" native woman to the Russell Hotel after I had left Art's home for my own room that evening, it would have been going a tad out of my way.  However, I regularly walked distances that most young people today would not believe.

It's peculiar that I accidentally hooked up with my caretaker on two consecutive evenings as I was walking home.  I have no memory of him ─ only that we each had a bad impression of the other.  Possibly, these two social encounters would help soften our perspectives.

The name "Dave Wyatt" rings a bell, but I honestly do not know who he was now.  I had said that I thought that I had passed him on my way to the liquor store for Art.

Those good-night kisses from cute little Dee Dee (Art's middle child) really meant something ─ it always touched me that the sweetheart felt that affectionate for me.  

It's interesting to me that Art had gotten David to visit for any length of time ─ David was very unsocial.  I was his only enduring friend.
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