More Black Box Warnings . . .and life goes on
It happened again this week. Some news came across my desk about new black box warnings on another drug. It seems that this new rock star of a drug for gout (a condition easily corrected by diet) can cause sudden cardiac death! But does the FDA pull it off the market? NO! They put a black box warning on that your doctor is likely unaware of and life goes on. Cha-ching! Cha-Ching! (That’s the sound of money going into the drug company coffers.)
Then today, something else came across my desk. It was information for physicians on the same drug. Seems this drug can also cause anaphylactic reactions (life-threatening shock) . Further, one of the most common untoward reactions of this drug is an INCREASE in acute flareups of gout! Cha-ching! Cha-Ching!
Yes, get this straight: the new block-buster drug can cause acute flareups of the very thing you are using it to treat! (most people START on such drugs BECAUSE of an acute flareup!)
Oh & BTW, it also said the “most common adverse reactions” are “gout flareups, . . . chest pain, anaphylaxis. . .”(and 7 other slightly less disturbing symptoms). Cha-ching! Cha-Ching! (Ok. That’s the last time. . .it’s probably getting old.)
But you don’t have gout so why should this matter to you?
Simple: according to a study I pulled up; the FDA issued over 100 black box warnings between 2008 and 2015. That’s more than 1 per month. Your doctor can’t possibly keep abreast of this, along with everything else, no matter how hard they try.
It’s stuff like this makes me passionate about the work I do educating people so they can get off medication and usually live a healthier and longer life as a ‘side effect’ of lifestyle changes.
But it’s not just about diet and exercise. It’s also about becoming an informed medical consumer so you don’t become an unwitting victim of stuff like this.
You see, sooner or later, all of us will need to make decisions about which tests to have (or not have), which procedures to consent to or not and what medications to take or allow a loved one to.
Most will listen to their doctor or a trusted friend.
I’d like to suggest a different way.
That’s why “Empowering Your Health & Choices: Food Over Medicine” (my program that begins April 2nd) spends a significant amount of time helping you understand the potential hazards of tests and procedures and the stats associated with them so you can start to make informed choices.
Think of it this way: you wouldn’t sign a mortgage contract without understanding how much money the loan will cost you monthly for how many years. Yet we don’t typically ask for similar data on the procedure we are about to have on our own body!
Some procedures, for example PAP smears DO have good supportive data & we discuss this as well. Others, when you see the data, will give cause to pause and reconsider.
Last week, in my blog, I talked a little about cardiac procedures. One study I reviewed found that 94% of people that had a cardiac procedure had to have another one over a 30 year time span. If you’re a 45 year old having a stint put in; don’t you think you have a right to know that? Don’t you also have a right to know that statistically, you’ll probably need another stint within 10 years unless you drastically change your diet?!
Now, understand, I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t have procedure X, Y or Z. I’m saying you should understand the full gravity of what your about to do and find out if there are safer things you could do that have good outcomes attached to those as well. Then, you can make a more informed choice.
I hope to see you there. Your life or the life of someone you love really COULD be saved by getting this information.