Dealing With Morning Sickness During Early Pregnancy

Morning sickness has got to be one of the worst things about the early stages of pregnancy, and dealing with morning sickness seems to be on the top of every pregnant womans list of things to do. I used to laugh about it – I am a guy after all – until I was at a cafe with a good friend who was carrying her first child. She was already feeling a little woozy and just wanted to get some toast and hot cocoa, and trying to be a good friend I held back from getting the corned beef hash special even though it looked so grubbin. We were doing fine – at a nice table by the window with a little breeze, Tania was feeling a bit better sipping on her water while waiting for our food…right up until the server walked by.

Someone at the next table had ordered the hash.

In a flash Tania was up out of her seat and half-way to the restroom. I didn’t even know where the restrooms were but she had quietly scoped them out the minute we walked into the place. Later our food arrived and her stomach settled down though we had to switch seat so she couldn’t see the man eating the hash. I learned a real lesson that day about how dealing with morning sickness can take over your life – and rob you of a lot of the joy of early pregnancy. “I’m not freaking glowing!” Tania used to say only half joking “I’m flushed because I’m about to puke you idiots!”

So how do you deal with morning sickness and get your life back? Here are a few quick tips, and a big link to a solution that may help you end your morning once and for all.

Get your Vitamins: This is important for more than just morning sickness, and I’m sure that smarter people than I have already told you that – so do it. Follow your doctors advice and make sure you are getting the nutritian you need. Some people swear by vitamin B6 in particular to help ease morning symptoms but for many the added boost isn’t enough and they need stronger remedies.

Drugs and Medicine: Now I gotta tell ya, I hate taking medicine even to the point of avoiding aspirin – but this is your journey so you should know about your options.

One med that used to be available to women was Bendectin. This medication combined the antihistamine doxylamine with the vitamin B6. It was commonly prescribed for years until controversy over its safety–even though no scientific evidence supported this–caused the manufacturer to pull it from the U.S. market. It’s now only available in Canada. Today you can buy the two ingredients over the counter and the FDA has classified them as safe for use during pregnancy. If you want to try this option, try purchasing Doxylamine and vitamin B6 at your local drug store.

If these medications don’t work, you may need to consider a prescription from your doctor. There are three nausea medicines that are commonly used during pregnancy: Compazine, Phenergan and Tigan. Keep in mind, however, that Phenergan and Compazine should never be taken together. Lastly, you can try the medicine Zofran, although it’s very expensive and many insurance providers won’t cover it.

Natural Methods: Sleep, hydrate and eat crackers. Hmmm, seems like morning sickness cures are a lot like hangover cures. anyway,

The first thing is to get enough sleep. That little body inside you is developing at an unbelievable rate, and will take up an unbelievable amount of your energy. Get to bed early enough so that you can get eight hours of sleep. Also, rest or even nap during the day. While baby keeps growing, your own body can take a break!

Hydration is very important! Remember to drink water throughout the day. Drinking water before and after meals, instead of during, will help stave off feelings of bloat or queasiness. Water-filled fruits, such as watermelon, are light, delicious, and keep nausea at bay. Drinking mint, ginger or lemon tea or lemonade is also very helpful.

Now that you are awake, don’t get out of bed yet! Reach for some crackers, such as Saltines or other soda crackers, on your nightstand. Eating a couple of crackers prior to getting up will help settle your stomach. When you do eat meals, make them small ones. It is preferable to eat a few smaller meals throughout the day, rather than a couple of heavy meals, which will take longer to digest.

Every person and every pregnancy is different. What works for one person may not work for you and what works for you may send someone else scampering for the restroom. The key to dealing with morning sickness [] is to find what works and go with it. Here’s the big link for you to check out. Its a great guide called end morning sickness now [] its got a bunch of ideas, techniques, plans etc to help you end your morning sickness and since its available as an ebook, you don’t even have to get dressed, go to the mall, and deal with all of those nasty smells coming from the food court.

How to Know Which Morning Sickness Medication You Should Choose

For some women, morning sickness is a bother that will resolve itself early in the second trimester. But, for other women, it sickness is a threatening condition which can only be treated by morning sickness medication.

Only you and your doctor can come to the best conclusion as to whether or not you need some morning sickness medication. Study the drugs the best you can so you can be fully prepared for any reaction that might occur. The best way to know which one you should choose is to know everything possible about each drug.

But, in the end, you have to make the best decision for you and your baby – not the nosy neighbor who thinks that you are a terrible person if you don’t go herbal for everything!

Let’s take a look at the medications that are available to pregnant women:

Over-the-Counter Help

I found several places where Unisom was suggested to help ease morning sickness. Here’s the low-down on it:

Doxylamine Succinate (Unisom) – it is a sedating antihistamine used as a short-term sedative. It is usually taken with B6 when used for morning sickness. A form of this combination was used up until the 80’s under the name Bendectin.

Safety in Pregnancy – generally considered safe in pregnancy but use at your own risk.
Possible Side Effects – dry mouth; if overdosed, can cause insomnia, dilated pupils, hallucinations, seizures
Dosage Form – pill

Bendectin Note: The drug combination was pulled from the market in the 80’s because of threatened legal action due to alleged links to congenital limb defects. These accusations were never proven.

Emetrol – is an anti-nausea, antiemetic drug that is safe for children. Many women turn to this medication first in order to calm their queasy stomach. It contains glucose, fructose and phosphoric acid. One alternative to this medicine is to take 1 tablespoon of caffeine free cola.

Safety in Pregnancy – considered safe during pregnancy

Possible Side Effects – phosphoric acid has been shown to decrease bone density and weaken the teeth. Many people ingest large quantities of phosphoric acid through soda.

Dosage Form – syrup


Your doctor can prescribe medication to help morning sickness go away, but will probably only do so if you are diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum or severe morning sickness. Otherwise, the potential risk of taking the drugs is greater than the morning sickness itself.

Here are some of the options you might be offered:

Metoclopramide (Reglan) – as we discussed in the article regarding causes of morning sickness, the elevated levels of progesterone in your body will cause your digestive muscles to relax, causing your stomach to empty more slowly. Reglan strengthens the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter (right where your esophagus and stomach meet, in about the middle of your chest). It can also stimulate the stomach muscles which will speed the emptying of the stomach. Reglan also interacts with the centers in your brain that trigger nausea.

Safety in Pregnancy – has not been well established. When used at low doses for a short period of time, it seems to be fine. But, the same source said that nursing mothers should avoid Reglan.

Possible Side Effects – restlessness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, sedation, neurological side effects that mimic Parkinson’s disease.

Dosage Form – Tablet or syrup

Ondansetron (Zofran) – blocks the action of chemicals in your body that trigger nausea, specifically by reducing the activity of the vagus nerve.

Safety in Pregnancy – is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. They aren’t sure if it passes to the baby through breast milk, so don’t take this if you are nursing.

Possible Side Effects – blurred vision or vision loss, slow heart rate, trouble breathing, anxiety, agitation, shivering, feeling like you might pass out, urinating less or not at all, can impair your thinking and reaction time so you can’t drive while taking it.

Dosage Form – IV or pill

Prochlorperazine (Compazine) – this is actually considered an antipsychotic drug which is 10 to 20 times more potent than chlorpromazine. It is a neuroleptic which means “nerve-seizing” and it has a semi-paralyzing effect on the brain and the nervous system. The effects of the dose, depending on how it is administered, only last hours from the research I was able to find.

Safety in Pregnancy – this drug does cross the placenta and is still considered safe during pregnancy even though in rat studies it produced increased fetal mortality, minor behavioral changes, cleft palate, among other observations.

Possible Side Effects – uncontrollable body or face movements, seizures or seizure-like symptoms, can cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), is a blood reactant and can cause circulatory damage when used as a push IV in the emergency room.

Dosage Form – liquid, tablet, cream, suppository, injection

Promethazine (Phenergan) – operates as an antihistamine and an antiemetic. It has a strong sedative effect and is prescribed for insomnia.

Safety in Pregnancy – crosses the placenta, not enough human data, seems to cause cardiovascular defects with 1st trimester exposure, can cause respiratory depression and platelet dysfunction in the baby when used in

Possible Side Effects – confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, chest discomfort or pressure, restless legs, irritability, seizures, NMS

Dosage Form – IV

Trimethobenzamide (Tigan) – it is unknown exactly how this drug works but it is thought to effect the lower half of the brainstem which receives input from blood-borne drugs and communicates with the vomiting center of the brain.

Safety in Pregnancy – limited human data available but seems to cause congenital anomalies, though this is unproven. May increase the chance of miscarriage.

Possible Side Effects – seizure, body spasms, depression, shakiness, skin rash, sore throat or fever, tiredness, vomiting. lists this as a “do not use” drug because they feel there is not sufficient proof as to its effectiveness.

Dosage Form – capsules, injection, suppositories

As you can see, some of the possibilities are pretty scary when it comes to morning sickness medication. The best thing you can do is to gather all the facts and weigh out the possibilities with your own reality. A very severe case of morning sickness might be more dangerous for your little one than the possible side effects of some of these medications.

I try to take the herbal road whenever possible, but sometimes extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. As I mentioned before, only you and your doctor can really make the final decision on whether one of these drugs can work for you.

The Rising Costs of Medications

On March 26, 2010, as surely the whole country is aware, huge new changes occurred on a national level. The subject of health care certainly has the attention of the senior citizens of Florida. People who seek quotes for health care insurance and those who consider themselves adequately insured seem to share the same concerns about the quality and affordability of future care for themselves and their families. The “broad strokes” of the law are in place, but there are many fine points yet to be determined. When people voice worries about the current and future price of medicine, these are concerns well founded, and enormous amount of health care spending goes toward prescription medications.

Medications for the cardiovascular system, cholesterol reduction, pain relief, depression and diabetes are the drugs most frequently prescribed. Many drugs in these categories have had dramatic jumps in price in recent months and years. A report released in December 2009 entitled “Report to Congressional Requesters BRAND-NAME PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING was carried out by The Governmental Accountability Office (GAO). According to the report, the GAO examined “extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs.” The study focused upon “price increases of 100 percent or more which occurred at a single point in time between 2000 and 2008.”

The medications with extraordinary leaps in price consisted of 416 brand-name drug products. 321 different drug brands were represented. The study conclusions indicated that with every year that passed, these price increases more than doubled each year between 2000 and 2008. “The number of extraordinary price increases each year more than doubled. Price increases typically ranged between 100 percent and 499 percent, but at least one drug went up 1000%.

Examples of commonly used drugs found in the GAO report of extraordinary price increases through 2008 include Actos, Avandia, Claritin, Cipro, DIovan, Effexor, Flexeril, Lipitor, Lunesta, Lyrica, Motrin, Vioxx, Paxil, Pepcid, Phenergan, Prilosec, Synthroid, Zocor, Toprol, Valium, Valtrex, and Zoloft, to name a few out of hundreds.

In the last year, price increases have been steep. On November 16, 2009, the New York Times reports in an article entitled, “Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform”, that the industry has recently raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. Their sources have determined that this year had the “highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992.” The N.Y.T. points out that this growth in drug costs is in complete opposition to the Consumer Price Index, which fell last year. Analysts determine that the changes to this year’s Health Care Reform meant to help seniors in “the donut hole” of Medicare D will be completely off-set by these price hikes. With costs like these, it’s important to be well insured.

Long-term value and security are offered through Bay Marketing and BCBC of Florida. A variety of network-based Medicare supplement plans can be customized to fit the insured’s needs. There are five supplemental insurance plans offered through CompCoverage and low cost options (some with no deductables) through Blue Medicare RX for Medicare D.

Who Killed Heath Ledger?

The City of New York’s Medical Examiner Report concluded that Heath Ledger’s cause of death was “the result of acute intoxication by the combine effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine”. Recent investigations and medical warnings have concentrated on the lethal combination of prescription drugs such as narcotic analgesics and sleeping aids. However, the medical community have ignored – and have been ignoring for some time – the underlying prescription drug class that often leads to habitual drug dependency with dangerous lethal consequences. Two of the drugs listed on Ledger’s report are the most insidious, potentially dangerous, highly prescribed and, yet, the most overlooked and under-estimated by doctors. These drugs can start the chain reaction that potentially leads to Vicodin or sleeping pill abuse.

The first time I saw Heath Ledger, it was by accident. My date and later to-be husband, Nick, took me to see ‘The Sixth Sense’, finally succumbing to peer pressure to guess ‘the big surprise ending’. By now, ‘The Sixth Sense’ was off the major theatre chain circuit and only screening in small suburban independent theatres, which led us to experience one of those now rare events: a double-feature matinee. The first movie was ’10 Things I Hate About You’.

Well passed ‘teen’ movies, even those with Shakespearian-based scripts, we shyly admitted to liking ’10 Things’. Wow, I really like the male lead, what was his name? “He’s Australian, you know”, replied Nick. And in typical Aussie-fashion, I was doubly impressed and now stupidly filled with national pride. Another brilliant Australian up-and-comer to join the rapidly increasing queue to grace Hollywood screens.

Years later, I would often grab the DVD to fill a cheerless afternoon and find myself watching and rewinding the same scene. Over and over and over again. My secret guilty pleasure. Heath sliding down the pole, microphone in hand, singing “You’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you …” The brass band kicks in. And that charmingly defiant half-run, half-prancing across the school steps. The scene is brilliant. It’s inexplicable. He simply has that old-fashioned ‘it’ factor . I’m not a star-struck fan and was never one of those teenagers with movie-star idol posters plastered all over my bedroom walls, but this kid’s got talent.

And then came those scene-stealing roles that totally blew us away. The Patriot. Monster’s Ball. And finally leading-man status and an Academy Award nomination. By now, we were just used to having another famous Australian up there with the rest of the world’s great talent churning out an endless array of diverse, yet illustrious film roles.

We had no idea. It was not endless. It ended on 22 January 2008.

When people who I’ve never met but greatly admire die, I’m sad. But I’ve never cried before. I have never before felt that heart wrenching overwhelming shock that lasted for days after I heard the news. This time it was somehow more personal. As soon as I read the detailed list of the first report of his deathbed scene, I intuitively knew how he died.

Ten days later the final medical examiner’s report confirmed my suspicions.

Hollywood is ‘Xanax-city’. Feeling down, pop a Xanax. Feeling stressed, pop a Xanax. Need to perform at your very best, pop a Xanax. A-list stars feel the pressure to provide A-grade performances when working on multi-million dollar films. There’s too much money at stake. The intense stress, both internal and external, is immeasurable. The studios are risking billions, paying the stars millions, and the actors are unnaturally subjected to more pressure than we mere mortals can imagine.

Heath Ledger, himself, admitted that after the worldwide release of ‘A Knight’s Tale’ with its instant paparazzi-bulb-flashing stardom, his stress levels increased ten-fold.

Xanax is the trade name of the generic anti-anxiety/tranquilliser prescription drug, alprazolam, listed in Ledger’s toxicity report. The other anti-anxiety drug was diazepam, or more commonly known as Valium. These drugs are from a class of commonly prescribed tranquillisers known as benzodiazepines or simply referred to as benzos.

According to the latest National Health Study, approximately 10 million scripts of benzos are written annually in Australia alone with its meagre population of 20 million compared to 300 million in the US. Many doctors will write a script for benzos faster than a speeding bullet. But the real danger is that too many of them do not know the long-term effects these drugs have on your system, how to give their patients the correct advice when administering or monitoring the dosages, and – more frighteningly – how to manage their patients’ benzo withdrawal program.

Firstly, this is how benzos affect your body – or more importantly – your brain. Benzodiazepines increase, or rather, enhance your brain’s main neurotransmitter, commonly known as GABA. Eventually, and this can be as quickly as 3 to 4 weeks if taking a daily dose, your brain will stop producing its own GABA and rely totally on the artificial benzo.

GABA is the most important neurotransmitter because it affects just about everything else. Primarily it enhances the brain’s other neurotransmitters such as Serotonin and Dopamine. All of the brain’s neurotransmitters have important functions such as, voluntary movement of the muscles, wakefulness, sleep, memory function, sensory transmission – especially pain, and much, much more.

The problem is that from this point on your brain needs more benzo as tolerance starts the downward spiral, and the brain needs higher and higher dosages to obtain the same effect. If the patient is not given the correct dosage or management advice, that insidious and often-undiagnosed disorder known as Benzo Withdrawal Syndrome (BWS) will start its ugly and potentially dangerous descent.

BWS is known by experts in the field for its severity and prolonged nature. It may take years to fully withdraw from benzos, even with proper care and supervision. Without this knowledge, the unwitting patient can suffer from over 30 symptoms, the most common being unrelenting insomnia, severe pain and mood changes. People who have been taking benzos for a relatively short time can experience withdrawal symptoms even whilst taking the drug. In addition, if you have been taking them for a prolonged time, and then suddenly stop, dire circumstances may happen. Or, at the very least, more pain, more depression and unrelenting insomnia.

When we now read about Heath Ledger’s complaints his about his incessant insomnia and the possesseion of strong painkillers, does this sound familiar? Everything points to extreme Benzo Withdrawal, but no-one is exclaiming its dangers. In fact, most MDs and even hospital doctors admit they know very little about Benzo Withdrawal. Some even refer their patients to drug rehabilitation centres – an absolute no-no according to benzo counsellors. Benzo withdrawal is the exact opposite to alcohol or street drug dependency. You don’t want to abruptly eliminate the benzo from your body, as they often do in drug rehabilitation. The brain needs the benzo. One must gradually withdraw the artificial benzo until the brain can eventually increase its own GABA. Sudden cessation of benzos can cause severe problems such as seizures and blackouts.

When in BWS, the counsellors advise against taking any medication or drugs whatsoever. Paracetamol is probably the only thing the body can cope with for pain relief. Nothing else. Even codeine is forbidden. Also, one should totally refrain from alcohol, caffeine, and all stimulants. There is a strong protocol to be followed and without this knowledge, the patient is easily put at great risk.

The Ashton Manual, the acknowledged benzodiazepine ‘bible’, warns:

“Drug interactions: Benzodiazepines have additive effects with other drugs with sedative actions including other hypnotics, some antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline [Elavil], doxepin [Adapin, Sinequan]), major tranquillisers or neuroleptics (e.g. prochlorperazine [Compazine], trifluoperazine [Stelazine]), anticonvulsants (e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin [Dilantin], carbamazepine [Atretol, Tegretol]), sedative antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine [Benadryl], promethazine [Phenergan]), opiates (heroin, morphine, meperidine), and, importantly, alcohol. Patients taking benzodiazepines should be warned of these interactions. If sedative drugs are taken in overdose, benzodiazepines may add to the risk of fatality.”

The real problem is that there are extremely few experts in treating BWS; they will not include your local doctor, hospital, or drug clinic. However, there are good BWS specialists that can be extremely helpful, but they are usually found in specially funded tranquilliser recovery clinics.

One must ask, why don’t doctors know about this? The problem is they simply don’t. Is it their fault or the pharmaceutical companies that profit from these addictions? There is little or no dissemination of information within the community, the medical fraternity or from the pharmaceutical companies about benzodiazepines. And, according to BWS counselors working in the field, there is insufficient research or empirical studies on the effects of benzos and BWS management to assist them with their intensive workloads.

Why? Who is at fault? Who is responsible for remedying the situation? Why are the people who write the scripts uninformed about the after-effects and potential dangers associated with benzodiazepines?

Can our beloved Heath Ledger’s death be at least one catalyst that will draw this devastating travesty to the public’s attention to demand more information?

Parkinson’s Disease – Ten Tips For Patients

Parkinson’s disease is a condition for which available treatments are both wonderful and inadequate. They’re wonderful because they improve the ability of patients to function and maintain independence. They’re inadequate because they don’t stop the underlying disease from worsening over time and they don’t address all the patient’s needs. If you have Parkinson’s disease, you need to grab every edge you can. Here are ten tips that your doctor probably agrees with, but doesn’t have time to emphasize at each visit.

The first five points have to do with getting the most benefit from your medication. The next three have to do with maximizing function. The last two have to do with staying healthy.

1. Put your morning dose of medication and a glass of water on your nightstand.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease find that their ability to move around freely is worst in the morning. This might be because their last dose of medication, taken the previous evening, is already wearing off. By the time their morning dose has a chance to take effect, they have already been up and around for a while. The trick here is to plan ahead. Before retiring for the night, set tomorrow morning’s first dose on the nightstand along with a glass of water. In the morning, take your dose as the first thing you do. Then the medication is already getting into your system while you’re going through your morning routine. You can even set the alarm clock for an hour before you plan to awaken so you can take the dose and then roll over for another hour of sleep. By the time you get up for good, the morning dose has already gotten a head start.

2. Pay attention to whether you take your pills with food.

It’s neither wrong nor right to take your pills with food, but there are consequences. In general, when you take your medication on an empty stomach, more of it is absorbed into your bloodstream. On the other hand, if your medication makes you queasy, then you can minimize this by taking it at mealtime.

3. Avoid most anti-nausea medications.

Most anti-nausea medications can worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or interfere with the benefits of Parkinson medication. Some of the most common anti-nausea drugs, e.g. metoclopramide (Reglan), promethazine (Phenergan) and prochlorperazine (Compazine) block the body’s chemical dopamine receptors. These are the very receptors that most Parkinson medications seek to activate. Taking anti-nausea drugs while also taking Parkinson medications means that you’re taking a drug and its antidote at the same time. They cancel each other out. However, one anti-nausea drug, ondansetron (Zofran), works on a different chemical receptor and avoids this problem.

4. Be mindful of forgetfulness.

People with Parkinson’s disease may already be more prone to forgetfulness because of either their disease or their age. But certain medications used for Parkinson’s disease, e.g. benztropine (Cogentin) and trihexyphenidyl (Artane), or urinary incontinence, e.g. tolterodine (Detrol) and oxybutynin (Ditropan), can worsen memory. So if you’re having trouble remembering things, you should tell your doctor. A simple medication adjustment might resolve the problem.

5. Know the difference between tremors and dyskinesias.

Parkinson’s disease often causes tremors, which are rhythmic oscillations of hands or other parts of the body. However, many Parkinson medications, when dosed high enough, can produce another kind of excessive, involuntary movements called dyskinesias. These might involve muscles of the face, neck, trunk, arms or legs, and have the appearance of wiggles and fidgets rather than of rhythmic oscillations. Distinguishing between these different movement disorders is important because the presence of one might mean that the dose of medication should be increased, while the presence of the other might mean that the dose should be decreased.

6. Swallow your pride and use a walking stick.

As symptoms of Parkinson’s disease slowly worsen over the years, imbalance can make walking less safe and secure. Yet many patients avoid using walking sticks, canes or walkers. Sometimes they even buy these gait-stabilizing devices, but leave them in the closet, unused. I hear patients say that they don’t like the idea of “giving in” to the disease by using such devices. I usually reply that wounding one’s pride is better than breaking one’s hip in a fall.

7. Take advantage of useful gizmos.

When loss of motor skills interferes with getting dressed, eating food or taking a bath, then it’s time to make use of devices designed to make these and other activities of daily living easier. Objects as low-tech as button-hooks, dressing sticks, fat-handled utensils, large-buttoned telephones, grab bars and shower chairs can make life simpler and promote independence.

8. Mentally rehearse your next move.

Sometimes getting out of a chair requires multiple attempts. Or, when walking is interrupted by a “freezing attack,” an uncomfortably long period of time is required to get unfrozen and moving again. In these circumstances, the trick is to mentally rehearse the next move so thoroughly that you can actually picture yourself accomplishing it. Then, when you actually do try to move, you’re more successful.

9. Maintain body weight.

In patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the mere act of chewing food can require so much work and effort that dietary intake plummets. If the patient is overweight to start with, this might be useful to a point, but continued weight loss can threaten health. In such circumstances, one should take advantage of food supplements that permit intake of important nutrients with a minimum of effort. This is a good time to indulge one’s love of ice cream and milk shakes, which are packed with protein and calories, and require a minimum of chewing. Supplementing one’s usual diet with a can or two of pre-packaged products like Ensure or Sustacal adds missing ingredients that prevent weight loss. Carnation Instant Breakfast provides many of the same ingredients, but at lower cost.

10. Stay flexible by exercising.

You’ve heard the expression, “Use it or lose it.” As a saying, it’s trite and overused, but in Parkinson’s disease it is nonetheless true. By exercising the very movements that Parkinson’s disease affects, one can improve them. The emphasis is on flexibility rather than strength-building. Although pumping iron can be helpful, too, one should focus on stretching, limbering and range of motion.

Headache Treatment Using Current Drugs Part 1

Not too long ago, the only drug available for a headache was a couple of aspirin. Today there are a number of drugs designed specifically for the treatment of migraine and other chronic headaches. Many popular drugs used today to treat severe headaches were originally used to treat other problems such as high blood pressure and wrinkles. There are two categories of drugs used for headache treatment, those that relieve the pain, and those designed to prevent the headache from occurring. The use of drugs for headache relief is constantly changing.

Neurologists will usually choose a treatment plan based on the frequency and severity of the headaches. Those patients who suffer from two or more severe headaches per week, get no relieve from pain medication, or are using large quantities of pain relievers, are placed on a preventative plan. One of the big issues with current medications is that their side effects can be very serious. Certain medication cannot be used with children while others cannot be taken by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

Pain-relieving medications are the first drugs of treatment. These drugs are usually taken at the start of a headache. There are a few major categories used. First are the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are the common over the counter drugs like Ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin), Acetominophen(Tylenol) or Naprosyn(Aleeve), or Aspirin(Bufferin, Bayer). These drugs are useful with the everyday common headache. A number of manafacturers market combinations of drugs like these specifically for migraine headache. Excedrin Migraine is an example of such a drug. It contains Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Caffeine and seems to be effective on slightly more severe pain. The biggest problem with the NSAID’s is that if they are taken to often they can cause ulcers of the stomach, bleeding in the intestines, kidney and liver damage.

The next class of drugs are known as the Triptans- Sumatriptan (Imitrex) was the very first drug designed specifically for migraines. Imitrex binds to the neurotransmitter receptors, resulting in the blood vessels of the head constricting. One of the nice things about Sumatriptan is that it can be used in nasal, oral or injectable form. However, Sumatriptan can have some serious side effects including heart attack or stroke. Although these side effects are rare, people who have a history of heart disease, angina, high blood pressure, ischemic bowel disease or a heart attack or stroke should not take Sumatriptan. Other people who should not take Sumatriptan are those taking MAO inhibitors and certain antidepressants.

Sumatriptan will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks. Since the introduction of Sumatriptan, a number of similar drugs have become available. These include Rizatriptan (Maxalt), Naratriptan (Amerge), Zolmitriptan (Zomig), Almotriptan (Axert), Frovatriptan (Frova) and Etriptan (Relpax). These newer agents provide pain relief within two hours for most people, have fewer side effects and cause fewer recurring headaches. Side effects of triptans include nausea, dizziness, and muscle weakness and, rarely, stroke and heart attack.

The next class of drugs are the Ergots. Drugs such as ergotamine (Ergomar) and dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45) and dihydroergotamine nasal spray (Migranal) help relieve pain. These drugs may have more side effects than the Triptans do.. Medications for nausea are often used with other headache treatment drugs. The drug Metoclopramide (Reglan) is useful for relieving the nausea and vomiting associated with migraines, but not the migraine pain itself. It also improves gastric emptying, which leads to better absorption and more rapid action of many oral drugs. It’s most effective when taken early in the course of a migraine or even during the aura before the headache begins. The drugs prochlorperazine (Compazine), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), promethazine (Phenergan) and hydroxyzine (Vistaril) also may relieve nausea, but don’t affect gastric emptying. Part 2 of this article will discuss more current drugs used for headache treatment.

Antihistamine Drug That Works

Promethazine, which belongs to the phenothiazine group of drugs, works by changing your brain’s chemical actions. It is effective in treating allergy symptoms as well as motion sickness.

Marketed under the brand names Pentazine and Phenergan, Promethazine is an antihistamine that belongs in the phenothiazine group of drugs. Promethazines are available in tablets and suppositories and work by changing the chemical actions of your brain.

As antihistamine, the Promethazine blocks the effects of your body’s naturally occurring histamine. It is used to treat allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, hives, itchy skin rashes and watery or itchy eyes. Additionally, it also treats vomiting and nausea or post-surgical pain and prevent motion sickness. You can also use the drug as a sleep aid or sedative.

Dosages and Indications:

Promethazine tablet is available in 12.5 milligrams, 25 milligrams and 50 milligrams. Meanwhile, each rectal suppository is available in 12.5 milligrams, 25 milligrams and 50 milligrams.

Whether orally or suppository, Promethazine is useful for vasomotor rhinitis, seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, uncomplicated or mild allergic skin manifestations of angioedema or urticaria, relieving allergic reactions to plasma or blood, anaphylactic reactions, postoperative sedation, pre-operative sedation, obstetric sedation, antiemetic therapy in post-surgery, adult and children sedation, control and prevention of vomiting and nausea associated with anesthesia and surgery.


Promethazine is not recommended for use in treating pneumonia, asthma or any lower respiratory tract diseases. If you are experiencing uncontrollable movements of the eyes, lips, face, arms, legs, tongue, arm and face or twitching, these are some early signs of dangerous adverse reactions. Take note that the drug should not be given to children 2 years and below because it can cause death or severe breathing problems. Some conditions that you need to tell your doctor before you take this drug are history of seizures, severe asthma, kidney or liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnea.

Side Effects:

The most identified side effect of this drug is drowsiness. Other adverse effects are somnolence, blurred vision, confusion, disorientation, decreased or increased blood pressure, faintness, bradycardia, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea, janduice, leucopenia, angioneurotic edema and hyperexcitability. In rare cases, Promethazine may cause respiratory depression, agitated behavior, delirium and nightmares.

Read more about Promethazine [] in the newly published Promethazine Review [] for more information.

Drug Costs and the Governmental Accountability Office Study of 2009

The new federal sweeping health care laws passed on March 26, 2010. It is a month after the fact, and just about everyone will agree that the subject of health care is still front and center.

Individuals with North Carolina insurance plans and those looking for health insurance quotes share the same concerns about the quality and affordability of future care for themselves and their loved ones. While the law is now passed, there are still rules being written now which will have unpredictable outcomes. In addition, many have posed good questions about the wide-ranging and long-term economic effects of inflation in the drug industry.

While a great deal is not yet known, our articles will focus on some of what we do know. Everyone realizes that an enormous amount of health care spending goes toward prescription and other medications. The most frequently prescribed drugs are those for the cardiovascular system, cholesterol reduction, pain relief, depression and diabetes.

The Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in December 2009 entitled “Report to Congressional Requesters BRAND-NAME PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING. According to the report, the GAO examined “extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs.”
The study examined price increases of 100 percent or more which occurred at a single point in time between 2000 and 2008.
They found that the drugs with huge leaps in price consisted of 416 of brand-name drug products and represented 321 different drug brands. The study conclusions reported, “The number of extraordinary price increases each year more than doubled from 2000 to 2008 and most of the extraordinary price increases ranged between 100 percent and 499 percent.”

Examples of commonly used drugs found in the GAO report, include Actos, Avandia, Claritin, Cipro, DIovan, Effexor, Flexeril, Lipitor, Lunesta, Lyrica, Motrin, Vioxx, Paxil, Pepcid, Phenergan, Prilosec, Synthroid, Zocor, Toprol, Valium, Valtrex, and Zoloft.

While the GAO reported on price increases made earlier in the decade, on November 16, 2009, the New York Times article entitled, “Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform” reported, “In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts.” “By at least one analysis, it is the highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992.” The N.Y.T. points out that this growth in drug costs is completely at odds with the Consumer Price Index, which fell by 1.3 percent for the year. The article cites a typical increase, “Singulair, the blockbuster asthma drug, at a wholesale price of $1,330 a year – $147 more than last year. Singulair is now selling at retail, on, for nearly $1,478 a year.

With financial burdens like these, one can see the long-term value and security provided through a number of different plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (BCBSNC’s) HMO and POS products have earned Excellent Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

North Carolina’s first and only NCQA accredited PPO plan is with BCBSNC, which also has products like Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (BCBSNC’s) Medicare Supplement Plans (including Plan D), Blue Medicare, Blue Advantage®. Blue Options HSA plans are excellent choices. Direct Marketing has it all!

Drug Companies Accountable For Damage

The Purdue Pharma $634 million fine incurred for misleading the public, and doctors, about the addictiveness of OxyContin really made the headlines. But the Purdue fine is only the tip of the iceberg; billions of dollars are paid out in settlements every year for prescription drugs’ dangerous side effects, not the least of which is prescription drug addiction.

In 2007, Merck agreed to a $4.85 billion settlement for their Vioxx painkiller alone.

Big pharma is the most profitable industry going, but as the lawsuits pile up and cut into those dollars some drug companies are feeling the crunch.

Desperate to hold onto more of their ill-gotten money, drug companies waited with baited breath for the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Diana Levine, a Vermont guitarist who lost the use of her arm to gangrene after using an intravenous push injection injection of Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug made by Wyeth.

Levine said the warning label was inadequate, sued in her home state and was awarded $6.7 million. Wyeth appealed, affirming that they had fulfilled their obligations on a federal level, through the FDA, and were therefore immune to any state charges.

Had the appeal been successful, it would have set a precedent that could prevent any state from hearing a suit against a drug company, assuming their drug or device had FDA approval, and awarding damages.

The Supreme Court, however, upheld the Vermont verdict, much to the dismay of the drug companies.

A Merck spokesman said that state courts that accept suits and award damages are second-guessing the doctors and scientists at the FDA. Wyeth’s lawyer made a similar comment.

Judging by the number of deaths and injuries caused by prescription drugs the FDA approves, it’s clear that much more second-guessing has, in fact, been needed. The agency is apparently incapable of determining when a drug or device is safe and when it’s not, or they’ve been duped by the drug companies. Or both.

Have you been damaged by prescription drugs? Has someone you care about had to go into an addiction treatment center to get off them? Or worse?

The drug companies may not be on your side, but the law is. Drug companies are responsible for ensuring their drugs are safe. If their products have hurt you, they’re accountable. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your problem and stand up for your rights.

Gloria MacTaggart is a freelance writer that contributes articles on health.

The Ultimate Guide to Boosting

How to Boost Work Ergonomically

Any enterprise that wants to remain fruitful, should ascertain that they have the right plans and objectives. Entities of all kind should work on perfecting the condition of their workspace. Substandard activities can lead to reduced output and illnesses. Read more here on how to create a fit, ergonomic and creative culture in your office.

Remember the position of an employee will influence how much they can deliver. It is fundamental to verify that your workers are in the right posture. The employees ought to be able to stand and sit in a neutral body position that does not require straining. Every worker need to have a comfortable seat and desk that will not lead to any pressuring of the muscles Visit a renowned site and check their homepage to learn more about working positions.

Employees prefer seats and tables that they can bend to match their preference. Go for high-quality furniture to save on replacement and repair costs. People using the desks will feel appreciated as they get what fits their height and weight. Ensure that you have different seats and tables for people of all shapes and sizes to achieve an ergonomic setting. Find out the benefits these desks have brought to other firms about productivity as you acquire useful info.

Remember to look at the distance from the monitor to the user. Make certain that the monitors and other devices that allow one to view fonts and graphics are on the right level. A perfect arrangement means that one is not bending or twisting their necks to type or read content on the computer. Workers in such environments leave the premises without any back problem.

The computer accessories ought to be placed in a manner that the technician does not bend their necks or raise their hands. It is tiresome to keep lifting your hand to use a gadget. The placing spot must be reachable to anyone using the computer. Users with special needs, must be using customized supporting devices. Many employees want an entity that has the right furniture to support their production.

To achieve a perfect workspace, make sure that there s no work duplication. Carrying out an activity repeatedly leads to stress or physical injury. Think of breaking down the projects into manageable parts to make it less tedious. When a worker does something else or performs a different movement, they will lower the potential for tissues stress. It is recommended that you encourage your staffs to sit upright or stand when tired.

Ergonomic trimmings are perfect n improving workspace. Buy enough footrests in case the company has furniture that cannot be modified. The headsets are perfect to free hands and save the necks for workers at the reception department.