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Friday, February 15, 2008

New FDA Warnings & Recalls for MANY Drugs

I am trying to make this blog about ALL ways to heal pain and to write about varying topics on the subject. The Pharmaceutical companies are making that challenging since every week now I feel I need to post warnings on the newest batch of drugs that have been deemed unsafe or recalled. PLEASE use caution if using ANY drugs to control pain and make sure you and your loved ones are tuned into the weekly warnings coming out. This week the Fentanyl patches and over 10 anti-epileptic drugs also prescribed for Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Neuropathic Pain (and more) have come out with warnings and recalls. One was even for the drug I wrote about last week, "Lyrica".

I don't know whether drugs are not being given time to be tested like they used to or if they are being rushed to market for their seen potential OR simply for greed. One thing is for sure -- more drugs than ever are being recalled and are getting "extra" warnings AFTER they are released. Maybe if the Big Pharmaceutical companies would start spending less on advertising and dedicate more of their resources to research this would not be an issue. People are dying because of these oversights and these are people that are actively seeking relief FOR their pain.

From the Associated Press, "Patches sold in the US under the brand name Duragesic which contain the painkiller Fentanyl were recalled on February 12, 2008. The recall includes all 25-microgram-per-hour patches that have expiration dates on or before December 2009. The cause of the recall is a possible cut in the lining of the reservoir where the drug is stored in gel form. A gel leak into the drug's packaging could result in difficulty breathing and a potentially fatal overdose."

"The cut in the patch can be seen when the foil pouch container is opened. Any damaged patch should be flushed down the toilet, and the handler of the drug should be immediately rinsed with water, but not washed with soap. The powerful drug is used with patients such as cancer patients, who are experiencing chronic pain and are used to narcotics. Therefore, it can cause trouble breathing in people not used to this class of painkillers. In December, the FDA put out its second warning in two years about the dangers of misusing the powerful drug. PriCara estimates that two patches out of every million included in the recall have the defect that causes the leak", according to Associated Press. If you or anyone you know has used these patches I recommend going to Associated Press article and finding the links to contact the manufacturers for updates or concerns.

For the second BATCH of drugs the FDA is issuing a relabeling but not a recall. The FDA has now has analyzed reports of suicidality (suicidal behavior or ideation) from 199 placebo-controlled clinical studies of 11 of these medications:

  • Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR)
  • Felbamate (Felbatol)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • Oxcarbazepine ( Trileptal)
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • Tiagabine (Gabitril)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)
  • Valproate (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon)
  • Zonisamide (Zonegran)

The results show that the risk of suicidality (suicidal behavior or ideation) is double while taking these drugs. If you or anyone you know show signs of depression or extreme sadness PLEASE see your doctor. For more information about this study, read MyMigraineConnection Expert Teri Robert's article: Risk of Suicidal Thoughts Linked to Anticonvulsant Medications.

These recent additions make it even clearer to me that people need to start looking to be on as FEW of these medications as possible. Your body HAS natural healing mechanisms built in. It is time to start using them and to take a more holistic approach. There are an unlimited amount of resources online to learn about natural healing. You need to find what methods and teachers resonate with you. I wrote a guest article on Alex Blackwell's site "The Next 45 Years" on the system I adopted to heal myself. Through studying you can find ways to heal yourself. Even if not 100% like me -- I would love for everyone to recognize the healing power of the mind and the body. I want people to be as healthy as they can be without medications and to be taking as few medications as necessary. If you are currently on medications and want to cut back please see your doctor and find out a safe way to go about this. Most of these drugs require being "weaned" off of for your safety.

I am available to talk to readers, offer my e-book as a total look at how I healed myself and offer a lot of resources on my site to find natural means to heal that resonate within. Take control of your health and make sure you have a good doctor that treats the whole you and not just your diagnosis. Remember in most cases Prescription Drugs Numb Pain but do NOT Heal Pain. To heal you need to look within.

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