Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Prescription Tidbit

One of my many doctors said something interesting to me today that I thought I would share with all of you. I'll leave it to your discretion to think of it what you will.

LOL. With a lead-up like that, I can hear about half of you groaning. "Great, what did some quack say this time?"

I was at the Allergist, for once, not for me but for my daughter and when we were discussing medication, she held up her hand and said "Don't ask me about XXXXX" I've X'd out the name to keep the lawyers at bay.

When I assured her that it hadn't been on my list of questions (Yes, I have to make a list or I forget the things I want to talk to the doctor about.) I asked her why she had such animosity towards the drug.

Her answer was this: "As an allergy medication which the pharm companies tout in the commercial that it can be, it does nothing because it is an asthma medication. It's not even a good asthma medication either and it isn't worth the paper to prescribe it on."

So what is with all of the commercials? You'd think with all the advertising for this drug, it would work well. She smiled (You know the kind of she wanted to pat me on the head for being cute.) and said "Medications that do what they are supposed to and are the best in their field, don't need to waste the advertising dollars...doctors prescribe drugs that work. Now if their are two that are similar and are put out by opposite companies, you might see them battle it out on television."

Huh. Now she had my attention. I felt a little foolish for thinking that pharm commercials = good medication. From my stand point I thought the most advertised medications meant they were worth the money it would take to make a commercial. No wonder I'm not in business!

She's an allergy doctor, not a fibro specialist, but I heard myself asking anyway. "I hear a lot about XXXX helping with Fibromyalgia but when I tried it, it did nothing for me yet it is all over the television. Still, a lot of doctor's seem to prescribe it."

Her answer?

"When Doctors don't know how to treat or cure something, they go with what is available and hope for the best."

I thanked her for her time, but the thought stuck with me for a while. Normally, I would take what she said and store away what made sense and think on the rest. However, I remembered my R.A. saying something that gave me just as much food for thought a long time ago. She wanted to prescribe me anti-depressant meds and I informed her that I have a horrible reaction to them. Had even had thoughts of suicide while on them.

I said, "I can't trust them not to mess with my head. If you tell me it will work for sure, I'll give them a shot."

Her answer: "These medicines make Fibro patients feel better by tweaking their brain communicators. Are they in less pain? Some, or maybe they just don't think the same way they used to."

I know she didn't mean to make it sound like that but I pretty much got out of that pep-talk as... Anti-depressants can make people think they feel better.

Many people swear by their anti-depressants and I'm all for whatever feels good, whether it is feeling good in truth or in our heads. Who cares as long as it works.

Still...thinking about what I've been told, I'm even more reluctant to try new drugs, especially ones I see on TV!


Tell me what you think, My Friends
All my best wishes for 98% days!


  1. Please pass this info along to all of your friends and family.
    Ozone-friendly inhalers could face early demise

    Benefits vague, problems clear in inhaler ban

    Asthma Patients Outraged at Indifference to Problems with New Inhalers:

    Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee: FDA "Insensitive" to Asthma Patients' Problems:

    The number of patient complaints is skyrocketing:

    Read the thousands of complaints at this petition:

    Patients at are reporting HFA inhalers as "useless" with a rating of 1.2 on
    a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst:

    You can only wonder if the FDA is trying to kill asthmatics:

    Also worth mentioning from the FDA website is the fact that a manufacturer of one of the HFA inhalers admits in it's own new drug application to the FDA that it's HFA based albuterol is less safe and effective than it's CFC based albuterol:

    These quotes taken directly from the new drug application for Ventolin HFA.

    "In the multiple dose adolescent and adult studies, albuterol HFA showed a numerically smaller improvement in FEV1 than was seen with albuterol CFC"

    "There was other evidence that the HFA formulation delivers a lower/less effective dose on a per acutation basis than the CFC product. In the single dose, dose ranging study in adults, and in the single dose methacholine challenge study in adults one and two acutations of albuterol CFC were statistically indistinguishable in terms of effect, whereas significant differences were seen between one and two acutations of albuterol HFA. Finally, the combined adolescent/adult studies showed that the HFA formulation had a longer median time to onset of effect(4.2-9.6 minutes versus 3.6-4.2 minutes), had a shorter duration of effect(1.55-3.30 hours versus 2.29 - 3.69 hours), and was associated with more albuterol 'back up' use than the CFC formulation."

    "We note that in the two 12 week clinical trials in adolescents and adults, Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol consistently showed a smaller effect size than Ventolin CFC Inhalation Aerosol"

    "Because it is expected that many physicians will prescribe Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol for patients who have previously used the CFC formulation, it would be appropriate to include some description of the relative effectiveness of these two formulations in the product label."

    "Unfavorable changes in physical examinations were observed in the ears, nose, and throat category as follows: 8% placebo HFA; 13% albuterol HFA; and 5% albuterol CFC."

  2. Wow! That is a lot of information to digest.


    Albuterol is what we give my daughter when she can't breathe. It usually does okay by her but I will do the research from the links you've provided and more.