.dropcap {float:left; color:#4791d2; font-size:75px; line-height:60px; padding-top:4px; padding-right:8px; padding-left:3px; font-family:Georgia}

Google+ Followers


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Severe Chronic Coughing a Consequence of ACE Inhibitors │ Steroids Do NOT Ease Sciatica Pain

It was good to see my younger brother Mark in better control of himself last evening ─ no pass-outs, or drunken, droning drivel.

He toddled off to his bedroom at his usual time of 10:30 p.m., if not even 10:20 p.m.

The precise time of my own retirement eludes me, but it was before midnight.  I cannot recall the time in my break in initial sleep, either, when I made a bathroom visitation ─ but it was ahead of 4:00 a.m., I believe.

I remember that it was audibly raining outside.

And I think I commenced my day around 7:15 a.m. or soon thereafter.

We had some rain into the early morning, and then the day remained overcast.

I wanted to go on a beer hike, although it is not yet crucial.  I managed to get all dressed up to go, and then my resolve broke.  It was around 10:20 a.m.

I had shaved early last evening ─ something I only do every four or so days.  Shaving tends to leave my complexion blotchier than usual the following day ─ even the sides and back of my neck (I do a total head shave).

I had lost enough of my recent solar colouring that these various blotches unnerved me.

It has always been my bane.  So, too, has excessive emotional sensitivity.

So...with nothing else to deter me...I worked upon a new post at my Latin Impressions website that I will complete and publish tomorrow.

My irresoluteness has been troubling me, and adding undesired anxiety to my day.  It feels as if I am beset with unfulfillable demands upon my resources and my time as I helplessly watch my health and my barren life slowly slip away.

It is a low day for me.


I ceaselessly marvel how modern medicine and the pharmacological industry are so ingenious at making human lives miserable.

I have no idea if I have high blood pressure ─ I have not had a family doctor since the 1970s, so the only time I visit a doctor is if I may require hospitalization.  I am currently 65.

Obviously, I do not take annual physical check-ups.  Without a base physician such as a family doctor who would have retained possession of my medical records, what would the results of a check-up be compared to?

But I am side-tracking myself.

I want to present a report published about five days ago by the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) regarding a consequence of a class of blood-pressure medication called ACE inhibitors:

Oblivious to the obvious
People are calling it the cough from hell -- a hacking, non-stop cough that arrives out of nowhere and lingers for months.

It can leave you breathless and unable to speak. Some people have reported passing out after episodes that lasted for several minutes.

The thousands of people suffering through these agonizing coughing fits have been misdiagnosed with allergies… bronchitis… or even asthma. Many have even been handed large doses of dangerous steroids and narcotics.

But what they haven't been told is that the real cause of their misery may be one of the most common blood pressure drugs on the market today -- a class of meds that tops the sales charts year after year.

The cough from hell is just one of its terrible side effects. And doctors are having a nearly impossible time diagnosing and treating it -- even after you stop taking the pills.

Emma's coughing was so uncontrollable that she threw up "at least a dozen times." Her work as a real estate agent ground to a halt after she could no longer talk for more than five minutes without having an attack.

"It has cost me time, money, joy and basically I stay more to myself," she said.

Emma spent more than six months on a medical merry-go-round as her doctor sent her for chest X-rays and prescribed everything from steroid shots to narcotic cough suppressants. Nothing worked until an alert nurse finally asked the million-dollar question.

She wondered if Emma was taking an ACE inhibitor called lisinopril.

Emma is just one of countless people who developed a debilitating cough after being prescribed an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure. People on ACE inhibitors describe agonizing spasms of coughing, choking and watering eyes that leave them unable to work or even go out in public.

There are more than 100 million prescriptions for ACE inhibitors handed out in America each year, and as many as 35 percent of people who take the drugs experience a nagging cough.

But because chronic coughing can be caused by so many different conditions, many of these patients suffer for months or longer without being properly diagnosed.

Pharmacist Armon B. Neel, Jr. says that many patients he hears from who have this unstoppable cough are treated for a whole list of respiratory ailments such as sinusitis, bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma. That means having to take additional risky medications when their problems "are all a result of the ACE-inhibitor therapy."

One woman was even prescribed a bladder control drug when she told her doctor that she was coughing so hard she wet her pants!

The reason ACE inhibitors cause prolonged coughing fits in some people, and not others, appears to be connected to how well your kidneys are working, Neel says.

ACE inhibitors affect the way your kidneys filter toxins out of your blood. And when your kidneys aren't 100 percent effective, it's possible for toxic levels of byproducts from these meds, called kinins, to accumulate in your bloodstream.

These kinins can then become lodged in your bronchial tubes, resulting in recurring spells of coughing.

It can take up to several months to lose the cough once you discontinue one of these ACE inhibitors. But even when doctors warn patients about the coughing risks linked to the drugs, they may downplay the seriousness of the problem.

K.R., a nurse, said her doctor told her she might get a slight cough, but that "it wouldn't be too bad."

Unfortunately her coughing fits turned out to be so severe it became almost impossible to care for her patients, many of whom worried she was suffering from something contagious. Her husband even told her she sounded like she had tuberculosis.

"Hindsight is a virtue," she said, "and if I had known about how annoying this side effect could be, I never would have initiated the treatment."

So if you're taking an ACE inhibitor and are suffering from a nagging, constant cough, talk with your doctor about changing meds -- but make sure it's not to another one of these ACE drugs.

Some of the most popular ACE inhibitors are sold under these brand names:* Capoten, Lotensin, Vasotec, Monopril and Accupril. And the best-selling drug of all goes under the generic name lisinopril, sold as Prinivil and Zestril.

Or better yet, see if you can get off of blood pressure drugs entirely. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can be all it takes to get your blood pressure under control -- without risking the cough from hell or any other terrible side effects.

*The generic names of these drugs are: captopril, benazepril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, Ramipril and trandolapril.
Before I forget and neglect to mention it, Health Sciences Institute (HSI) are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com.
I may not know if I have high blood pressure, but I know I do not suffer from sciatica.

Dr. William Campbell Douglas II has a report concerning a recent published study involving the synthetic corticosteroid prednisone and its effect on the pain of sciatica.

Although only the technical abstract or summary of the published study is available to the general public for free, I am certain this is the one he referred to:  Oral Steroids for Acute Radiculopathy Due to a Herniated Lumbar Disk │ A Randomized Clinical Trial (DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.4468).

Here is his report:

Steroids fail to beat sciatic back pain -- try these "tricks" instead
There's nothing special about back pain; everyone and his brother gets it at some point -- and you've probably had your own battles with a barking back over the years.

If there's anything worse than your run-of-the-mill back pain, it's when sciatica joins the party and sends pain shooting into your rear end and down your leg.

It's like getting your butt kicked, minus the actual kick.

Don't expect your doctor to help. He'll do two things, each one more futile than the other.

First, he'll tell you to take some Tylenol. When that doesn't work -- and trust me, it won't -- then he'll send you home with a steroid.

Prednisone isn't the steroid used by ballplayers, so it won't turn you into the home run king of the beer league during this summer's softball season. And since it won't fix your back, either, the only way you'll be joining your buddies at the game is if you're the one sitting on the bench passing out the beer.

In one new study, researchers gave either prednisone or dummy pills to 269 sciatica patients and found no difference at all in pain levels.


This is a drug docs are handing out like hot dogs at a Memorial Day cookout -- and it does nothing at all for pain levels, according to the study.

Folks on the drug had a tiny improvement in physical function, but what good is that if you're still miserable with pain?

And then there are the side effects, which can include headache, nausea, sleep problems, thinning skin, mood changes and weight gain to name just a few.

So forget the steroid. If you want real relief, just wait -- because in most cases, back pain will vanish just as suddenly as it appears. And to get some immediate relief, stick to the tried and true: Stretch a little, and apply a hot compress. This is so basic that many people never bother with it, but you'd be amazed at how well -- and how often -- it does the trick.

But don't stop there.

If you really want to chase away the pain, use a topical ointment with DMSO. Get your spouse to rub it in and it'll come with a free massage. ...
If you would care for a different report on that study, try consumer.healthday.comSteroids No Better for Sciatica Pain Than Placebo, Study Finds.


Here to close today's post is an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old and living in New Wesmtinster in a cheap housekeeping room.
SUNDAY, June 2, 1974

I awoke after 1:00 p.m., I believe.  I walked over and did my laundry, finding Avengers #126 with my Gar S. Vorthr letter in it at the store.

I came home, talked myself out of walking to Mark's for my exercises, and had gotten into the pursuit of evil, when Bill drove in with his mother.  He was taking her home and wanted to know if I cared to come along, going to Mark's after.  I agreed to this.

My late work-out was nominal due to the fact that I was hungover.  Cathy was on her way to see mom when we pulled onto Bentley; I phoned over and got mom to give her my mail; learning some stamps (Olympic) had come, I told her to take half for herself.

After my work-out, I walked home; I ran the bridge, and had extreme difficulty recuperating from the 5-minute ordeal.
I had been to a dance the previous evening and late into the night, drinking plenty.

My laundry would have been done by myself at a laundromat ─ something I casually accepted back then.

Marvel Comics were almost a passion to me back then, and I sometimes wrote in fan letters concerning various issues in different series.  In fact, I felt that maybe I wrote too many letters, and was likely being partly blocked from publication; so sometimes I used a pseudonym.

Gar S. Vorthr was one such pen-name, although I think Marvel.Wikia.com misspelled it in their mention of fan letters for Avengers #126

Either that, or Marvel made the mistake, and Marvel.Wikia.com just followed suit.  I don't have a copy of the comic-book anymore, so I cannot say for certain.

By indicating that I "had gotten into the pursuit of evil," I simply meant that I was perusing some pornography and working myself towards some sexual relief.

But my old friend William Alan Gill was to interrupt and spare me whatever consequences of guilt I would have borne.

It's possible that his mother Anne Warwick Gregory was living in the Maillardville area at this time.

That photo of Bill and his mother ("Annie," as she referred to herself) was taken by me on January 1, 1976.

My brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther (I called her "Cathy" in my journal, but she preferred to be known by her middle name) were renting a home together in Whalley.  I had a set of weights stored at their home that I sometimes used, but I was not up to the walk to get there on this day.

Their home was on Bentley Road ─ just off the King George Highway (now called King George Boulevard, for some stupid reason) and very near to 108th Avenue.

My mother Irene Dorosh also lived in Surrey ─ her home address was the one I used for my own mail.  Since Jeanette was going over to visit her, I decided that it would be timely to have my mother give Jeanette whatever mail had come for me since last I was there to check.

I sometimes mail-ordered for a pane of new commemorative stamps, and evidently some Olympic commemoratives had arrived.  I didn't retain them as a collector ─ rather, I did a lot of mailing, and far preferred to use fancy commemoratives over the boring definitives.

I failed to suggest when it was that I finally walked back home, but Bill must have long left.  From the sound of it, I likely tried to nearly sprint across the Pattullo Bridge into New Westminster. 

Rehearsing so much of my life those many years ago is hard on me now.  It makes me feel as if I have lost far too much over the intervening years.

Unless things dramatically change in my favour, I do not see the sense in continuing on as I am for  too many more years.  I might as well be dead as still living here in this house when I reach the end of my 60s.   
Post a Comment