- Remember the commercial in which an elderly couple were
dancing to the strains of "Celebrex....Celebrex" ? Without being
unnecessarily grave.....I wonder....where is that couple now?
- This has been a tough year for painkillers. One by one,
they are being accused of crimes more heinous than the pain they promised
to alleviate. One by one they are being dishonorably discharged from their
proud positions on pharmacy shelves. What a disgrace for pills that once
so proudly claimed to cure our ills. Vioxx, applauded in the past, has
been kicked out of the medicine cabinet. Soon afterwards, Celebrex followed.
- Whose next?
- Anyone who has watched a pill commercial has had to have
been scared painless. The commercial usually opens with a person or persons
having a peak experience. Sometimes they are dancing ecstatically. Other
times they are playing ball with their children, their previously incapacitating
arthritis no longer interfering with their joie de vivre. After witnessing
the miracle of the miracle drug at work .......the voice on the television,
as a sort of afterthought, mentions some side effects. "Do not use
if you are pregnant or suffering from diabetes. Tell your doctor if you
are experiencing cramping, shortness of breath, palpitations or sudden
- Recently, I read about small intestine damage in more
than 70% of patients who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug painkillers
for more than three months. I am not certain what small intestine damage
translates into but it doesn't sound pretty.
- I grew up having a doctor for a father. Now don't go
thinking that I am some wealthy doctor's daughter and start looking up
JUDE10901 in the phonebook. My father never made much money. He did, however,
warn me about the evils of certain common drugs. Dad put the image of a
bleeding stomach on the aspirin bottle. I was never a candidate for aspirin
since I was one of the people who, upon ingesting it, merely "traded
a headache for an upset stomach." .......a trade agreement as undesirable
- Recently I read that Ralph Nader's Public Citizen organization
is calling for 181 drugs to be removed from the marketplace because of
lack of safety or ineffectiveness. The article went on to say that "an
estimated 30,000 - 40,000 lives were lost before the FDA begrudgingly took
action to recall Vioxx. These are astounding numbers. We all shake our
heads in sadness and grief over losing 3,000 Americans in the World Trade
Center tragedy, but far too few people talk about how pharmaceuticals are
killing huge numbers of people.
- In 1997, Britain recalled Rezulin, an anti-diabetic drug,
when it was shown to be toxic to the liver. Why did it take another three
years before it was removed from the marketplace in the "colonies?"
Aren't our livers equally as vital?
- When I started working for Social Services, I was placed
in The Employment Unit. It was my job to help clients find work. I recall
one man who came to me shortly out of prison. He told me that before he
was released, he had tested positive for HIV. They put him on AZT. Prior
to receiving the drug he had felt fine, but afterwards he had chronic diarrhea
and lost 40 pounds. He took himself off the medication, started gaining
weight and was feeling great when he came to my office. I don't know what
ultimately became of him.....but I do know that AZT was not the answer
to the question his life was asking. Remember that AZT was first tested
at The National Cancer Institute, where it proved too toxic for further
trials. AZT was said to "cause' or "exacerbate" immune deficiencies
- " So...why give it to a person with a compromised
immune system?" you ask. I ask too.
- My mother, on her deathbed, told me that the cure for
her cancer was worse than the disease. How often is this the case? After
being cut, burned and poisoned for three years, my mother passed away.
I can only wonder how much needless suffering she experienced. I also wonder
how many more effective and less toxic treatments were available.
- We are in the clutches of the medical / pharmaceutical
establishment as we crawl into the doctor's office begging for relief from
our maladies. We put our faith and trust in the man or woman with the white
coat. Most often, I believe, the physician is doing his best to help. He
wants to see an end to the suffering as much as the patient does. Too often,
however, he has taken Brainwashing 1.1 in Medical School and is unaware
that the treatment being prescribed is deadly. Too often, he has been conditioned
to laugh at alternative medicine and call it quackery. ( I will resist
a nonsensical duck pun, and not make any comments about the "bill")
- As more information becomes available.....more doctors
are becoming aware of how they have been misled.
- Doctors were told by NIH researchers that high-dose vitamin
C (beyond 200 milligrams per day) is excreted and produces "expensive
urine." A newly published report reveals earlier studies were flawed
if not intentionally designed to fail, and oral-dose vitamin C can achieve
blood concentrations three times greater than previously thought possible.
[Annals Internal Medicine 140:533-7, 2004]
- Two years ago, Bill Sardi authored an e-book called The
Collapse of Conventional Medicine after reports that estrogen replacement
therapy, arthroscopic knee surgery, prostate cancer surgery, bone marrow
transplantation and radical mastectomy for breast cancer were "worthless
and possibly problematic" treatments.
- More and more Americans are considering alternative treatments
for their medical problems.
- An article in the Washington Post called "Alternative
Remedies Gaining Popularity" by Rob Stein (Friday, May 28, 2204) stated
- "A new government survey of more than 31,000 U.S.
adults nationwide, the most comprehensive assessment of the use of alternative
medicine in the United States, found that 36 percent are using some kind
of "complementary and alternative" therapy. "
- Obviously, there are extremes on both sides. I have seen
my share of snake oil salesmen claiming that their potions cured everything
from erectile dysfunction to cancer. I am not suggesting gullibility as
a substitute for good medical treatment. Maybe it is time for the alternative
and the conventional to draw up a peace plan. Perhaps the most efficacious
treatments lie somewhere between the two.
- Copyright 2004 Judy Andreas