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Sunday, June 21, 2015

★ A Serious Flonase and PPI Warning ─ Medications to Totally Avoid

It was a bad one last night ─ I sat up in sordid dalliance here at my computer until just after 1:30 a.m.

Why can I not be liberated and delivered from this emptiness that fills my days and leads to such vile decay of self-worth?

After getting to bed, I managed to refrain from looking at the time until around 8:00 a.m.  It was then that I decided to rise, although it took a few minutes to gather myself for the effort.

Another hot, sunny day ─ certainly fitting for the first day of Summer.

I worked at editing an old post at My Retirement Dream.  I might have attempted the entire edit, but my wife Jack phoned me and asked me to take out a couple of packages of meat from the fridge icebox ─ she would be home at some point later on.

With that certain knowledge, I felt I had best save the edit-work I had done once I was about half-finished, and I then closed out of the post.

I will complete the edit tomorrow.

My younger brother Mark had gotten home shortly after mid-morning from overnighting at his girlfriend Bev's home.

We never talked beyond an initial good-morning to one another, and then just ahead of noon he mysteriously left ─ I thought that he was just off to run an errand, and would be coming back anon...but he never did throughout the afternoon.

I nearly spent some time outside in the backyard sitting in the Sun's glow early in the afternoon, but it occurred to me that perhaps my time would best be spent making a shopping expedition.  After all, Jack mightn't show up until the latter half of the afternoon.

Both of her sons were still in bed.

I had pretty much gotten dressed to go ─ I even had my sleeveless denim jacket on, and my boots ─ when I heard the car-honk that signaled Jack's arrival home.  I was thereby committed to remain here today. 

Doffing the sleeveless denim jacket, I went downstairs to help bring in whatever it was that she had brought home.

And soon thereafter, Jack was busy in the kitchen, preparing a few dishes of food.

I had not eaten anything, so for the first time in quite awhile I had a small meal with her and both of her sons (once they were up from their beds).

By shortly after 3:00 p.m., Jack was readying for her return to Vancouver.

After a bit of a kiss good-bye, she wished me a happy Father's Day, teasingly saying that her sons had remained home to take good care of me and spend the day with me.

I pointed out that they hadn't gotten up until the noon-hour, to which she explained that I was supposed to just overlook that and do my best to simply believe her version of them.

And then she was gone.

Some while later, 20-year-old Tho called my name as he softly approached me here at my computer, and he gave me a sealed envelope that clearly had a card within ─ he said that it was from him and his 17-year-old brother Pote.

I fully expect that Jack had brought home the card for them to sign, but I was definitely impressed by the sentiments both lads expressed ─ phony blandishment or not.

In fact, I was practically touched.

There is even a sealed envelope on the kitchen table for Mark ─ that ought to be interesting, whenever he brings his inebriated self home later today. 

Will he be moved by the gesture?  I guess it's going to hinge on what the boys personally wrote.

It is just 4:03 p.m. at this moment.  I wish to break now and take the sunshine session I did not have earlier.


I often complain of how during my night in bed, my nasal passages tend to stuff up.  Usually it's just one passageway ─ the one that is lowermost if my head is turned somewhat to the side.

If I change the alignment of my head, the clogging will eventually transfer over to the other passageway because it is now lower.

And all the while, the front of my passageways could be dried right out.

So how can they be dried out in the front, but suffering an overflowing deeper into the passageways that is more fluid in nature?

Beats me!

I sure do pity folks who suffer stuffing throughout the day, though, due to allergies.

Unfortunately, some people resort to various medications to obtain relief from that stuffing.

I honestly don't know if any are safe ─ in the long-term, anyway.

There is one medication available without prescription that can have a terrible side-effect ─ one that might even be lifelong.

If you've ever been tempted to try a product called Flonase, then please read this report of about five days ago by the Health Sciences Institute (HSI), a member site of NewMarketHealth.com:

I smell a rat
When the steroid nasal spray Flonase made the switch from prescription-only to OTC last year, millions more allergy sufferers were baited into using it.

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline even launched a fancy (and ironic) new website promising that Flonase could clear those clogged nasal passages and help you get back a "great sense of smell."

But if that stuffed-up nose is keeping you from smelling -- or even tasting -- your morning coffee, here's some advice you'll never get from GSK or our own government.

Stay as far away from Flonase as you possibly can.

Because reports are flying in from around the country from people who have lost… perhaps permanently… their senses of smell and taste after taking the drug.

It's a predictable and even common side effect. So why did GSK and our government work together to make sure none of these victims were ever warned?

Lana used just one dose of Flonase -- and two days later, had "almost no sense of smell."

GSK knew that could happen. The FDA knew that could happen.

It seems like everyone knows about the risks of Flonase except poor Lana and the millions of other people who are buying the med right now to relieve their allergies.

When the prescription version of Flonase hit the market in 1994, GSK quickly began receiving complaints about people who could no longer smell or taste a thing.

In fact, the FDA's own drug interaction database has shown hundreds of complaints from people who suffered a loss of smell and taste after taking Flonase.

One woman from Georgia lost both senses after taking the drug in 2003 -- and, 12 years later, she hasn't improved at all.

Reports like this are why the label for prescription Flonase was required to carry a warning about "alteration or loss of sense of taste and/or smell."

But when Flonase was approved for OTC sale last year, the warning mysteriously disappeared. That's despite the fact that OTC Flonase is the same dose as the old prescription version and the directions for use are identical.

So how did GSK weasel out of carrying the warning on the OTC product?

The fact is, when prescription meds transition to OTC, the labeling discussions between the drug companies and the FDA aren't friendly sit-downs. They're intense negotiations with plenty of political and financial pressure.

And if there was one warning GSK was dying to drop from Flonase, you can bet it's the one that claimed the drug could keep you from ever enjoying a good meal or the smell of fresh-cut flowers again. That's an especially horrifying side effect for a drug that GSK is targeting to adults and kids as young as four years old.

But by letting GSK erase the warning from Flonase, the FDA gave millions of consumers the impression that this sledgehammer steroid drug is safer than it is. And our government paved the way for GSK to make a fortune while keeping consumers in the dark.

GSK sold $100 million worth of OTC Flonase in just four months last year, and it's on its way to becoming the next billion-dollar drug.

But with the same ingredients, strength and dose as the previous prescription version, Flonase continues to rack up victims.

One Flonase user named Mimi recently wrote in to a popular radio show to say that after using the drug for a couple of weeks, she couldn't taste her food any more. One older gentleman lost his sense of smell and worries he won't be able to detect a gas leak in his home.

The worst part is that Flonase isn't exactly some life-saving heart pill -- it's a drug that absolutely nobody needs to take. If you're looking for some natural -- and safe -- allergy relief, try hot showers, saline spray, butterbur supplements, and steaming a few drops of eucalyptus oil. These have all been proven to relieve congestion and help you breathe more easily.

And if you're taking Flonase and have noticed any change to your senses of taste and smell, stop using the drug immediately and talk to your doctor. The longer your senses are gone -- or impaired -- the harder they may be to recover.
Ain't it great that the FDA ─ in collusion with GSK ─ are perfectly happy to allow people to be unwarned victims of this product?

No doubt, whatever rewards GSK lavished on the FDA have made the pain of that decision magically disappear.

Or are the FDA just naturally conscienceless?

One certainly has to wonder ─ check out this second report from the Health Sciences Institute released five or so days ago that points out how deadly PPIs can be.

Imagine having a heart-attack just because you started taking such a medication in order to lessen stomach acid reflux:

Stealing your heart
They may be the most dangerous OTC meds on the market today.

I've warned you before about the long-term health effects of stomach acid-blocking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Zegerid.

I've told you how they rob your bones of vital calcium and can trigger dangerous and painful fractures. And even how they destroy your good gut bacteria and leave you vulnerable to life-threatening infections.

But now Stanford researchers are warning that the dangers of PPIs are far worse than anyone ever imagined. They've proven that these popular meds send your risk of a potentially deadly heart attack skyrocketing -- even if you've never had a heart problem in your life.

And the damage can start right from the first dose.

Big Pharma has spent so much cash convincing the public that PPIs are safe that 20 million Americans are taking them right now.

And many of those people are walking heart attacks, according to a new study from Dr. Nicholas Leeper and his fellow Stanford scientists.

Stanford researchers poured through more than 3 million health records for people taking PPIs -- and they found that they were up to 21 percent more likely to suffer life-threatening heart attacks.

Worse still, they were twice as likely to die from heart disease -- even if they had no previous history of heart trouble.

PPIs are bad for your heart because they damage the Teflon-like coating that lines your arteries -- and that's something these meds start doing right after the first dose.

That's dangerous for two reasons. First, it can allow artery-clogging plaque to accumulate.

Second, the cells that line your arteries are responsible for producing nitric oxide, a vital heart protector that also keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Without enough nitric oxide your blood pressure rises and blood platelets can get stickier, leading to blood clots.

"Proton pump inhibitors may not only lower stomach acid, they may also affect the health of the blood vessel itself," Leeper said.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to the FDA. The agency has been dancing around the heart risks of PPIs for years and missed an opportunity to protect millions of people from the drugs.

In fact, six years ago the agency issued an official warning about taking PPIs if you have coronary artery disease and are also on the blood thinner Plavix.

So the FDA knew there was a link between PPIs and heart problems. But that's where the warnings stopped. And instead of insisting that further research be conducted, the FDA went ahead and allowed even more of these drugs to go OTC.

We may not see official drug guidelines or warnings change any time soon -- but you don't need to wait for the government to act to get PPIs out of your life. And there's plenty of upside, because Leeper and his colleagues have found that once you stop taking the drugs, your nitric oxide levels should return to normal.

If you're interested in quitting PPIs, don't stop cold turkey. That can cause something called "rebound acid hypersecretion," a sort of trampoline effect that will put you in more acid agony than ever before. You have to taper your dose down slowly but surely.

And once you ditch them for good, there are numerous ways to control heartburn without damaging your heart in the process, such as:
  • Taking probiotics -- either in supplement form or with high-quality organic cultured foods such as kefir and yogurt (but not most of the sweetened fake kinds you'll find lining the dairy case).
  • Cutting down on coffee, especially later in the afternoon.
  • Drinking a glass of water each day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I know that sounds crazy, but it works!
  • Not eating too close to bedtime. And if you crash on the couch after dinner, sit up, don't do the lying down couch-sleeping position that can cause a backflow of acid.
The FDA clearly knows that the pharmaceutical corporations only have your best interests at heart ─ altruistic souls that they all be.

Dr. William Campbell Douglass II came out with a report four or so days ago that took a big kick at the butt of the NIH (National Institutes of Health):

BUSTED! Feds caught sending out tainted meds
Anyone who STILL thinks the feds should be more involved in medicine needs to take a look at the latest scandal rocking the National Institutes of Health. The NIH was just caught red-handed pushing contaminated drugs on some of the nation's most desperate patients.

Dying cancer victims who've turned to experimental medicine in the hopes of a cure -- or at least a little extra time -- were instead given dirty drugs contaminated with funguses.

The agency claims "only" about six patients were given the bad meds and none of them are sick... yet. But the problem could affect hundreds of patients involved in some 46 clinical trials, all of which are now in limbo.

This is the same federal government that's trying to slap heavy-handed new restrictions on the entire compounding pharmacy industry because just a couple were caught selling steroid injections contaminated with a fungus.

Since turnabout is fair play, perhaps we now should be demanding new restrictions on the entire Department of Health.

The fact that the NIH is even involved in this process at all, beyond setting some general guidelines to make sure everyone plays by the same set of rules, is nuts anyway. And let's face it, the entire process is set up to screw you.

You're the one paying for these drug experiments, and if the drug fails they'll just take MORE of your tax dollars and keep trying.

But if the drug succeeds, you don't get a taste if you happen to need the stuff. Nope, Big Pharma takes over, marketing and selling the drug YOU bankrolled right back to you.

No wonder drug companies are among the most profitable on the planet. It's like opening a burger joint where the government raises, slaughters and butchers all the cows for you, but you rake in all the profits.

There's simply no way to lose with a business model like that.

It's time to put an end to this ugly form of crony socialism and get government out of medicine once and for all. Contact your lawmakers and demand they put a stop to free-cash subsidies for Big Pharma fatcats.

If a drug company wants to sell drugs, let THEM pay for their own research and development for a change.

With some common sense,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
I don't know if I heard anything of the incident he was reporting on, but I located a couple of articles about it for you: 
Dr. Douglass makes a superb point if it is indeed the taxpayer who foots the bill for the tests of all the new potential cancer drugs ─ and then when something is found through that testing that looks promising, the pharmaceutical corporations get to take over and rake in the profits.

Without having spent a preliminary dime in the research. 

What in Blazes is wrong with the government?


It is time for me to close with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and living in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster.
THURSDAY, June 21, 1974

I don't know if it's my drinking, or what; but my face is in awful shape.  Seems I'll never be good enough to call on Georgina; I'll conserve the cider I bought Wednesday anyway.  

Art and I had a fairly easy day (had a few with Mike in the Towers).  I came here, rather than go to Art's for supper; ostensibly because of Mark's animals, but really cause of my ugliness.  I got quite lit.  (Saw David while coming home.)

I'm awaiting dark before leaving for Mark's (my appearance).
My complexion was such a bother to me.  Someone as emotionally sensitive and vulnerable as I was did not require any such hurdle in life.
Generally, I worked each Friday for a charitable organization in New Westminster called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is now called Fraserside Community Services Society.

My assignment was to serve as a truck swamper on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck ─ the sole company vehicle for absolutely any duty.

Esther St. Jean was the regular driver, but she had recently undergone some sort of voluntary hospital procedure, so fellow part-timer Art Smith had the helm.

Art was in his early 40s, and probably worked two days a week for S.A.N.E. 

He and I had grown very chummy ─ it helped that we both enjoyed drinking.

Georgina Junglas was a beautiful young Single mother who also worked part-time at S.A.N.E.  There was some fantastic chemistry working with us, but I was too damned backward to take the initiative and knock down the barriers.

I have no idea now what ciders I was speaking of ─ there was no earlier journal mention of them.  She must have been partial to ciders, and I bought some in the vain hope of eventually trysting with her.

I bet "Mike" was very tall Mike Schutz, if I'm spelling his name correctly; he was roughly my age.  Perhaps he was also working on the truck that day?

I quite liked Mike ─ he was a very nice guy.

The Royal Towers Hotel in New Westminster was the first public drinking establishment I ever drank in ─ that was in 1970.  I was a fairly 'late bloomer' at indulging.  It was actually a very sexy girl who got me to first try beer in 1970 ─ I might never have started drinking had she not tempted me into it.

As for the Royal Towers, I don't know if it has a beer parlour cum bar or pub in the present, nor if it is even a hotel any longer; but it still exists as a building at Sixth Street & Royal Avenue.   

My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend back then (Catherine Jeanette Gunther) had gone on a holiday of sorts for a week or so, visiting Alberta and Saskatchewan ─ Jeanette hailed from the latter province.

I was mostly staying at their rented home off in nearby Whalley.  Obviously, that would have entailed feeding and watering their German shepherd Daboda, but I don't recall any other "animals" ─ perhaps they had a cat? 

If so, why do I not recall one?

Philip David Prince was an old friend I first got to know when we found ourselves in Grade VIII at Newton Jnior High School during the 1962/1963 school term.

He had a room elsewhere in New Westminster at this time ─ he had been living there for a few years, probably because that's where I was.  He had no other truly close friends.

However, he could be an onerous visitor who was disinclined to leave, so I often avoided him.  I may have done so that evening ─ in other words, I had espied him in the night on one of the city streets, but did not connect with him.

I wish he was around now ─ it would be nearly a dream realized to have an old friend with whom to socialize and share some drinks with.


Addendum:  Mark came home early this evening, and set aside the boys' unopened envelope that is likely bearing a Father's Day card.

At the time, he had helped himself to some of the food that Jack had earlier prepared, and was making space at the table.

But he never did bother opening the envelope.

With that reminder to myself, I am right now going to go and place it foremost at the table for him to notice in the morning when he is having his first cup of coffee prior to leaving for work.

Apparently he had brought home a card from someone else, and had just tucked the boy's unopened envelope under the opened envelope of the other card. 

A boorish act...or just drunken negligence?

Whatever the case, it is now foremost for him to review come the new morn.
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