Testing It Up » September 2009

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Phenergan is Required to Have a Strict Warning Label by the FDA

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Phenergan (also known as promethazine), a drug intended for use as an intravenous anti-nausea drug has been required to have a strict safety warning placed on its label by Food and Drug Administration. What’s caused the FDA to act so strongly? Apparently Phenergan when injected by accident into an artery can cause serious tissue damage and even gangrene, issues that could become serious enough to require amputation.

The decision to demand a warning comes after a Supreme Court case was made forcing Wyeth, the drug’s maker to pay 6.8 million to a Vermont musician who lost her arm and hand to the drug after it was accidently injected into an artery in 2000. In an appeal Wyeth pled that the FDA had labeled a less strict warning adequate enough for the drug. At the time drug companies were hoping that cases like this one would kill lawsuits made by people who felt that drug warnings weren’t clear enough about the potentially harmful and debilitating effects of certain drugs and therefore caused their injuries. Was drug maker Wyeth or the FDA more responsible for any harmful side effects that occurred due to the less than clear warning placed on the drug?

It seems clear based on this change in the warning that the FDA is starting to be more concerned with protecting patients and upholding safety than they once appeared to be.

Alcohol Testing

Should Breastfeeding Moms Avoid Alcohol?

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Women are always advised to avoid alcohol when they are pregnant because anything they consume is also absorbed by their unborn babies. Alcohol has many known adverse effects on unborn infants. However, there is still the question of whether or not women can drink alcohol after they have given birth and have begun breastfeeding their babies. Medical experts are divided over this, and there is no conclusive evidence that babies are negatively affected by alcohol in their mother’s milk.

Some medical experts believe that women should still completely avoid alcohol while breastfeeding to prevent any alcohol in their milk to be consumed by their babies. Some medical experts, on the other hand, think that it is acceptable for women to drink alcohol as long as they wait for the alcohol to clear their bloodstream before breastfeeding. It is the mother’s choice whether to drink alcohol or not, but in order to be safe, she can use measures that will prevent her baby from absorbing any alcohol from her milk.

For full version of this article, please visit “Should Breastfeeding Moms Avoid Alcohol?“.

Drug Testing

PFA Chief Executive Objects to Home Drug Testing

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The chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, Gordon Taylor has revealed his opposition to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s expected pronouncement that home drug testing be done on soccer players before the World Cup finals. Citing the view that such action would be an invasion of privacy for players he also expressed concern that it might be directed at certain key players who he feels will also be expected to dictate where they are and what they’re doing 365 days a year.

Taylor goes on to say that he has no problem complying with the standard drug testing already used by the WADA policy but is concerned that these new regulations will focus on injured players in order to make sure they heal without the use of drugs that could “speed up” the process of healing. Focusing on healing back to a state of fitness by standard means, he feels WADA is trying to force the players to conform to a certain standard even in their private lives where social drugs could be in use outside the sports competition that WADA was made to regulate.

Drug Testing

From Adam to Ecstasy: How the Drug Known as MDMA Got Its Names

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Ecstasy has been given many names throughout the decades. Before it became Ecstasy, it was known as MDMA, a by-product of the drugs manufactured by Merck to stop abnormal bleeding in the early 1900s. As early as then, scientists have already recognized the potential of MDMA as a therapeutic drug. In fact, both Germany and the United States did research on the potential of the drug as a brainwashing agent.

In 1976, MDMA was synthesized by Dr. Alexander Shulgin for use in psychotherapy. This usage was reputed to be a success. The drug was then called Adam to signify hope for psychotherapy patients. However, the drug came into the hands of non-psychotherapists who abused the drug for recreational purposes. Companies that manufactured the drug for such a purpose called it Ecstasy for marketing. The drug became so popular that it attracted the attention of the US Senate. It was then classified as a Schedule I drug that has no medical benefits.

For full version of this article, please visit “From Adam to Ecstasy: How the Drug Known as MDMA Got Its Names“.

Drug Testing

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: A Drug Story

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The song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” has long been the subject of debate among music experts and fans of the Beatles as to whether or not it is a reference for LSD. According to the official story, the song had nothing to do with LSD and was instead inspired by a painting done by Julian Lennon, the son of John Lennon, of his schoolmate Lucy O’Donnell. Lucy was also the daughter of the antique shop owner whose establishment was often patronized by the band.

However, Paul McCartney gave hints that the song was indeed a reference to the drug, as John Lennon may have composed it while he was on an acid trip. The song accurately describes the kind of high that this acid trip can bring, which includes hallucinations and seeing brilliant colors. This is the reason why “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” became slang for LSD.

For full version of this article, please visit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: A Drug Story“.

Substance Abuse

Steroid Abuse in Tennis, Skiing, Golf and NASCAR Racing

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Athletes abusing steroids is old news in sports like baseball. There is always a rumor that there is some baseball player using performance enhancing drugs. However, you may be surprised to find out stories of steroid abuse among athletes in sports that do not seem to require performance enhancers.

In tennis, players do not seem to need to pump iron to boost their performance, but former champion John McEnroe said in 2004 that he took steroids without knowing what they are. In skiing, ironically another sport that does not seem to require performance enhancers, a team from Finland tested positive for the drug.

Golf is not spared from news of steroid abuse. Golfing legend Gary Player claimed knowing about some players who took steroids to improve their performance on the green, but this claim was refuted by Tiger Woods. NASCAR driver Ron Hornaday tested positive for steroids in recent years.

For full version of this article, please visit “Steroid Abuse in Tennis, Skiing, Golf and NASCAR Racing“.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Parents Withholding Pain Meds Post-Op

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According to a new study at least 25% of kids aren’t receiving the full amount of pain medication prescribed by their doctors after common surgeries like tonsillectomy. While these numbers have been found the reasons for this parental limitation and the corresponding ramifications are less clear. What is known is that this practice could be slowing the healing process and putting these kids at risk. Many of these kids come back to be treated for unresolved pain issues and face trouble swallowing fluids which could lead to dehydration and eventually a return stay at the hospital.

Medication is handled more and more in the home due to the shorter stays all patients experience post-op. By no means should parents consider lessening or stopping meds simply because their children are home under the mistaken assumption that they no longer need them. These medications are part of the ongoing healing process and are vital for some time after returning home. Stopping their use or going against the prescription in any other way could have some serious consequences for the children involved.

It’s thought that these changes could be occurring out of a misplaced fear that children could become addicted to the pain meds they’re being given by their parents. If this is the case parents should know that they’re unnecessarily causing their kids pain that their children may not have the ability to express to them in words. As a result the emotional and physiological damage made by these changes along with the physical ones could put these kids in a pretty bad spot that could have been avoided by following the doctor’s instructions.

Early Disease Detection

Different Cholesterol Testing Methods

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Cholesterol is an important building block of the body. The body needs it to perform certain functions. However, too much cholesterol in the body can lead to a number of serious ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

It is important to monitor the levels of cholesterol in your body. You can do that by watching what you eat and by using various testing methods. Common methods used for testing cholesterol levels include laser eye cholesterol testing, which is a non-invasive method that measures cholesterol by how light is scattered from the eye surface. Another method is digital cholesterol testing, which is a portable blood testing system for complete lipid profiling. And yet another popular method is thin-layer chromatography, which is used to test cholesterol in food before you eat them.

High cholesterol levels in the body can be dangerous and must be treated immediately. It is important to consult a doctor to bring down your cholesterol levels and to stay healthy.

For full version of this article, please visit “Different Cholesterol Testing Methods“.

Substance Abuse

Common Steroid Pills (Types & Side Effects & Symptoms of Use)

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Steroids, known for their various street names, come in several types and can have several effects on the body. The steroid types the public would be most familiar with are the female sex hormones in birth control pills, the male sex hormones in androgen-anabolic steroids, and corticosteroids in drugs used to treat diseases.

The steroids used in body building are androgen-anabolic steroids. They can be taken orally or can be injected. Their anabolic effects promote cell growth while their androgenic effects lead to the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics. However, they can also cause a number of harmful side effects such as elevated blood pressure, increase in bad cholesterol, premature baldness and liver damage.

As thus, if you want to use steroids in body building, you must make sure that you do your research first. Consult with your doctor and have your doctor monitor your steroid use so that it does not harm your health.

For full version of this article, please visit “Common Steroid Pills (Types & Side Effects & Symptoms of Use)“.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Substance Abuse

UK Doctors Call for Ban on Alcohol Ads

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UK Doctors are calling for the complete ban of all alcohol advertisements and a minimum price set on drinks to prevent binge drinking in Britain. The British Medical Association further suggested that restriction of the 800 million pound ($1.3 billion) budget spent annually on advertising should also cover money spent on sponsoring sports teams and arts events. Along with these budget changes they also asked that alcohol be taxed higher than the inflation rate and that licensing hours should be reduced.

These changes, which may seem drastic, are the result of the increase in alcohol consumption (and as a result health care costs) in the last 20 years. The BMA points out that for the last several years the alcohol industry has been calling the shots on alcohol regulation, a change that should have been made long ago to prevent conflict of interest from blurring the importance of proper consumption.

While the BMA hesitates to put forth a specific number for its minimum price on alcohol it does make it clear that the action should be taken to reduce the amount of alcohol can be bought for too cheap (and therefore readily available) a price. Between 1992 and 2006 the amount of household money used on alcohol increased by 81%, this, the BMA says, is likely based on the cheaper cost of alcohol in Britain during that time.

Will these changes come through? Will they help?