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Book Excerpt: Prescriptions Killing You?
Old 01-24-2013, 06:42 AM   #1
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Book Excerpt: Prescriptions Killing You?

This book was mentioned in the pill thread (thanks) but after reading the first chapter I thought is was worthy of sharing:

Books : Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? : Excerpts
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #2
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No doubt Americans are probably the most over medicated society in the world. We have pills for anything that ails you, from restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome to can't get my Johnson hard syndrome. When Gracie Slick sang, one pill makes you larger she no doubt had some insight into the future. My old wise grandfather once told me most Doctors are nothing more than legalized drug pushers.

I try to avoid all meds. except vitimans.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #3
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I read it. Pretty good. I never knew that many meds have a stronger effect as you get old and can become downright dangerous. I also never knew that a substantial portion of nursing home dementia patients may actually be suffering from drug interactions rather than fundamental dementia.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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Nothing new here. Sites like WorstPills.org - your expert, independent second opinion for prescription drug information (and various books) have been around a very long time. It should be noted that there is a flip-side too.
Quote:
While this book has some good information...it can also be bad. My mother has ordered this book for years and as a result of her strong belief in every word that's in it - it almost cost her her life a week ago. She had stopped taking her blood pressure and cholestrol medications without the family knowing (because of the book telling her the medications were dangerous) and as a result almost died. Had she not have taken 2 aspirin when she felt the stroke symptoms coming she would be in a coma or dead today. Be careful if you buy this book that you realize most [ALL]* perscribed medications DO have some kind of side effect...but you must have confidence in your doctor and communicate with him.
Worst Pills, Best Pills: A Consumer's Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death ... - Sid M. Wolfe - Google Books
* my edit

Everything (drugs, supplements, herbs, even foods) we put in our bodies has, or has the potential for, side effects. Doctors get most of their information about drugs from drug company reps -- most do not have time to research meds and their risks thoroughly themselves, and rely on studies from National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health, etc.

We all have to be informed consumers, about healthcare as well as consumer goods & services, and take a pro-active role in our own healthcare.

Tyro
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Obviously medication effects can be life-saving or deadly depending on specific circumstances. What has bothered me for long time is how little study is done on drug interactions considering that many patients are on 5+ diff meds at a time. During a busy clinic visit a doc may prescribe drug in good faith without knowing pt is on another drug which could produce bad interaction. Good idea to ALWAYS keep up a current list of all your meds (inc over-the-counters and vitamins/supplements) & provide it to any doc you see.

BTW- In US drug rep contacts with docs have become highly regulated over past few yrs, and many hospitals & HCO's essentially ban rep visits. With increasing #'s of US docs becoming employees (vs private practice), HCO rules have become more important. I know several formerly well-paid pharm reps who have been cut back significantly or lost jobs completely.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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I hate not being able to pee. I'll stay on my meds.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
......When Gracie Slick sang, one pill makes you larger she no doubt had some insight into the future..
Just spit my coffee.....ROFLMAO
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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I missed this thread, so bumping to ask a question.
The book excerpt scared me, when it cited Metformin as an interaction risk.
Perhaps someone here can give the answer that I can't seem to find online.

Several years ago I received the diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome... The doctor made light of it as I was marginal... (a bit tubby, and with a sugar count of 98, which is apparently prediabetic.) So just in case, she prescribed metformin.

Here's the question... each time I go for blood tests, I have to fast. Each time, the test comes back with the same 96 to 100 reading. Does the fasting mean that the metformin has controlled the reading? or does the fact that I was fasting mean that the reading was independent of the drug and would be at that level anyway?

I'd prefer not taking metformin based on possible interactions, but I respect the doctor, and hate to make a change that could cause a problem...

I like this link for checking drug interactions.

Medscape: Medscape Access
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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Metformin is the first drug prescribed for those tending toward diabetes (well before insulin is needed). But I'm surprised because 98 is below the point most doctors would prescribe it. Seems to me that around 110 is more usual (I am NOT a doctor, so don't listen to me!).

The fasting is necessary to get an accurate blood glucose reading no matter what -- nothing to do with what you're taking.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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Metformin is the first drug prescribed for those tending toward diabetes (well before insulin is needed). But I'm surprised because 98 is below the point most doctors would prescribe it. Seems to me that around 110 is more usual (I am NOT a doctor, so don't listen to me!).

The fasting is necessary to get an accurate blood glucose reading no matter what -- nothing to do with what you're taking.
That is also my understanding of the numbers.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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I do not think I could live very long without blood pressure meds. I tried for years to stay off and did a good job. After I hit 65 no matter what I did the blood pressure went high. I am now on three pills a day and finally my B/P is 110/65. Before I got it under control I would test and it would be 190/115 especially when I first got up in the morning.

I walk three miles a day and watch what I eat. I am also not overweight. The meds are working and I am thankful for who discovered these life savers. . My fasting blood sugar is always under 100, usually under 90. That is not a true test for diabetes. It just happens to be what the insurance companies pay for. It is much cheaper than the glucose tolerance test which by the way is the only accurate test for diabetes.

I am not a Doctor but I pretty much know about this terrible disease. Let it get out of control and you pay dearly. If one waits until this disease has progressed to late stages and it becomes much harder to keep under control. If someone is reading this and wonders if they might be diabetic I suggest you get tested now. When you start having symptoms it usually has moved to later stages.

I have been watching my B/S for over 10 years now. Not a bad idea for anyone to check every so often. I buy my test strips on ebay. My doctor will not check me any more until my fasting numbers go over 126. Many times you will have been diabetic for years when that happens. My 2 cents on this. I also am one who does not believe in someone being pre diabetic. Not sure who made up that name. You are all diabetic when you see numbers that are out of range from normal people unless you are taking steroids. Get a Cortisone shot and test your B/S that night. It will drive those numbers to the sky. Finding out early about this disease is a big plus if you start doing something about it. You keep thinking you are one of those pre's and you might be in trouble in a few years. oldtrig
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:25 PM   #12
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The glucose tolerance test is not used nearly as much now as it was in the past. Type Two diabetes is now more commonly diagnosed with the Hemoglobin A1C test.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:22 AM   #13
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My doctor would not do an A1C test on me. He said because my fasting numbers were good there would be no need. I did have a doctor do the A1C test on me 9 years ago. It was 5.9 then so I was creeping toward the disease. I now just order the test from a website every year or so. My last one was 5.5 but probably now I would be well over 6. I could fake an A1C if I prepared a few months in advance so the A1C is not a true test. I would not pass a GTT. oldtrig
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:46 AM   #14
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I could fake an A1C if I prepared a few months in advance so the A1C is not a true test. I would not pass a GTT. oldtrig
When you say you could fake an A1c, you are actually saying that you can eat and exercise and whatever to improve your carbohydrate metabolism, unless you plan to give bood frequently or something else that will change the lifespan of your red cells.

An A1c is not a perfect test, but it is a true test, given normal rbc turnover. The only other scenario where a noirmal A1c can exist along with damage from high sugars is when someone gets high spikes after eating, but then goes hypo later, such that the area under the curve remains normal, while the the extrme highs and lows do damage . An occasional meter check after meals will check for this.

When you say you would not pass a GTT, this only means that your metabolism cannot handle extreme carbohydrate loading. This is only relevant if you plan on eating high carbohydrate foods, which no one with suboptimal carbohydrate metabolism should ever do.

So you are not faking anything, you perhaps are just not motivated enough to take these same measures when you do not expect to take an A1c.

In your shoes, I would adopt that lifestyle all the time. These metrics are not on/off switches. An A1c of 6 indicates a higher risk of complications than an A1c of 5.5, which in turn is somehwat higher than 5.

Push it down as far as your tolerance for lifestyle will allow. If you need the stick of A1c's to keep it up, then do them more frequently.

Ha
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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I've had several A1C and glucose tolerance tests -- all negative. I've been told by several doctors, including the 2 best PN specialists in my area that I am not diabetic, prediabetic, or impaired glucose tolerant, yet I have peripheral edema and peripheral neuropathy that are definitely related to blood sugar.

Tests aren't everything.

Tyro
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #16
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Tests aren't everything.
Excellent point. They can be good indicators, though.

All a primary care physician can do is try to pick decent tests that give useful indications for most people, and follow through from there.

There are so many of us on this board who are relatively knowledgeable about many of these tests, and savvy enough to keep a watchful eye on our own health that it's very encouraging to me. I've also learned an enormous amount from many of the posters here, for which I'm extremely grateful.
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