Drug Reactions & Side Effects – You Can Act

MH900104752When a negative ‘surprise’ (or abnormal experience) occurs after taking medications or using a medical device – you can easily take action.  Means are available and include bedsides the obvious of calling the pharmacy or medical subscriber – you can ‘go to’ the FDA! The FDA website (medwatch) is a plethora of information with plenty of research  and you can also report your concern.

Examples of concern include:

  •  it occurs to you that there might be a problem with the quality of the drug, product or medical device
  • often you were taking a drug that worked then you were switched to a different manufacturer (usually a generic company) by the pharmacy or your insurance plan only to have it not ‘work’
  • experience a reaction you believe to be a side effect – new symptoms or worsening symptoms after taking  a drug or using a medical product/device
  • took a drug, or used a medical device incorrectly and it may have had a negative/unsafe effect for you.

Know there are many ways for YOU to address any of the above possible concerns:

-anyone can call the FDA at 1-800-332-1080 or go to their help website.

– a specific form (MEDWATCH Consumer Voluntary Reporting)  can be filled in online or printed and mailed in. Please consider using this reporting mechanism.

If you are researching or want to know about a specific drug or device – your source should be  ‘medwatch’ – a free ‘.gov’ site of the FDA. Here anyone can have access to info about such things as tobacco products, cosmetics, including veterinary products it is a great ‘go to’ site. Want to know about foods and especially current recalls and outbreaks this site is the way to find out.  I was glad to see also covered was ‘dietary supplements’ – we all take so many of them.

This is a superb all-inclusive FREE info site!

Medical Diagnosis Testing -Not Always Needed

MH900409552MH900432538You may often thought  do I really need all those tests – well finally medical professionals from 17 medical societies have addressed this issue.

They have identified tests and procedures that are likely unnecessary for the 26 medical specialties. Examples of unnecessary tests from the specific medical society include:

  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Antibiotics for apparent viral respiratory illnesses such as sinusitis or bronchitis

American Academy of Neurology (AAN): Electroencephalography (EEG) for headaches

American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO): Antibiotics for pink eye

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): Population-based screening for vitamin D deficiency

American Urological Association (AUA): Routine bone scans in men with a low risk of prostate cancer

Society of Hospital Medicine, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI): PET/CT scans for cancer screening in healthy individuals.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which is new to the list, recommended against performing annual Pap tests in women ages 30 to 65, since doing so offers no advantage over screening at 3-year intervals

 

Visit  for more information ‘Choosing Wisely’ 

 

 

Heart Healthy Diet – Mediterranean

MH900412774 MH900215505Have you heard of this diet? The traditional Mediterranean diet  is characterized by generous use of unrefined olive oil (extra-virgin), fruit, nuts, vegetables, legumes (include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, and peanuts) and cereals, some fish and poultry, and small amounts of dairy products, red meat, processed (chemically treated) meats, and sweets. So think of the Mediterranean diet as a “plant-based” diet. Also a critical component of this diet is what DocHandal preaches – moderate amounts of wine (preferably red) with your meals. (Check with your doc first!)

A recent study in Spain showed that a diet incorporating extra-virgin olive oil or a diet rich in nuts was better than a low-fat diet to lower the rate of major cardiovascular events in folks already at increased risk for heart disease.

This study is unique in that it choose over 7,000 participants (of which 57% were women) who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events (never had ex: heart attack-MI, angina, irregular heard rate) at the start. Even though free at the start of CVD,  these participants all had positive risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease events – either Diabetes or at least three important cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, or obesity, family history, high cholesterol. Important to remember that all the participants were already at risk for cardiovascular events. All received education – face to face 4/yr. and depending on group assignment, either received free extra-virgin olive oil or free mixed nuts. The study’s goal was to find out what diet could prevent progression to a CVD event.

A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts saw a reduction in the rate of major cardiovascular events by nearly 30% compared with the control group eating a low-fat diet over 4.8 years.

This study does not say but one may infer that the Mediterranean diet is good for anyone even those without risk factors for heart disease.

Stroke: How to Decrease the Odds

A recent long-term study out of Sweden* enlisted 366,715 women some with known/diagnosed cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some w/o. The number with known CVD was 5,680 at the start of the study.  Correlation was sought between anti-oxidants in their diets and risk for stroke. Women were evaluated for 11 years.

Dochandal’s Nutshell of the Findings:

-In women w/o CVD. – were 17% less likely to have a stroke.

-In women with known CVD at start who consumed high dietary antioxidants – were 46%-57% less likely to have a stroke.

-Researchers studied ‘all’ possible antioxidants not specifics like Vitamin C or E but using values for each food in their diets.

-Outcome from this study found associations based on frequency of taking antioxidants not the amounts.

 You know antioxidants are good for many of health matters-right!

 

* Total Antioxidant Capacity of Diet and Risk of Stroke A Population-Based Prospective Cohort of Women” Susanne Rautiainen, MSc; Susanna Larsson, PhD; Jarmo Virtamo, MD; Alicja Wolk, DrMedSci