Thursday, April 26, 2012

Levitra and sex discrimination

In the good old days when men were men and women knew their place, laws were implemented no matter how much they offended the principles of equality. Now the wheel has turned, and the law has recognized the principle that, in order to enjoy the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution, the treatment accorded men and women must be the same. Except there are issues when, somehow, this principle seems to be ignored. For some, the dictates of religion trump secular ideas of equality, particularly when it comes to abortion. In recent bills brought before the lawmakers in various states, there's a new aggression in the air. For example, the Senates in Idaho, Virginia, Texas and eight other states are slowly edging toward the passing of laws to require women to have a fetal ultrasound examination before being allowed to proceed with the abortion. In Virginia, the issue has reached such a point that police in riot gear were recently called to defend the steps into the Capitol. To the majority of women, this is an invasion of the privacy between a doctor and the patient. Worse, it legislates on a strictly medical matter for a political purpose. There's no medical reason to have a fetal ultrasound. Indeed, since it requires a probe to be inserted into the vagina, it's considered inappropriate. In this instance, its only purpose is as a deterrent to women about to go through an abortion procedure.

To correct the balance, Larry Farnese, a Democrat Senator in Pennsylvania, has drafted a bill to require all men to have a full prostate examination before being allowed a prescription for an erectile dysfunction drug. If it's suggested there's no physical cause for the dysfunction, the requirement would shift to require attendance in sex therapy sessions to determine whether there are psychological problems that need to be addressed. In both cases, there would also be a video to watch that would detail the known side effects to using the dysfunction drugs. As you will understand, the purpose of the bill is to make it as much a hassle for men to get treatment as it would be for women to get an abortion. It's actually a direct response to a bill introduced by Kathy Rapp, a Republican, called "The Woman's Right To Know Act", i.e. to know the fetal age of the baby and to confirm its heart is still beating by inserting a transvaginal probe.

It would be pleasing to be able to write that battle has now been joined in Pennsylvania but, unfortunately, the Republicans have a ten-seat majority and can quickly vote down any Democrat bill. But it has at least got people talking which is always a good thing. Up to now, it's largely been seen as a women-only issue. But if men actually believed they might be made to jump through hoops to get their levitra, they might have a little more sympathy for women. So here's the sixty-four-thousand dollar question for you. Do you believe it appropriate for our law-makers to be legislating to mandate unnecessary medical procedures? With the Supreme Court about to hear argument on the mandate of health insurance, it would be ironic if access to both levitra and abortion were also subject to mandated procedures.

Carisoprodol and the process of relaxing muscles

Everything connected with movement in the body depends on muscles. From the heart pumping blood around to the bowels moving the spent food from the body, we would all be seriously inconvenienced if the muscles became so relaxed they stopped performing basic tasks like breathing. So never forget how much we depend on our muscles to keep on expanding and contracting when they should. If everything became too relaxed, we would be dead within a minute. For a moment, let's disappear into the deepest reaches of the Amazon where headhunters tip their arrows and darts with curare. All it takes is a scratch to allow the full-strength poison to enter the bloodstream, and it's almost instantaneous death. The advantage to the hunters is that the cooking process means the meat can be eaten safely. One wonders how they found out. No matter, this history demonstrates one of the problems in trying to use curare as a part of an anesthetic. If the dosage is even slightly off, patients never wake up. Today, independently of the need to sedate the patients, muscle relaxants are routinely used in certain types of surgery but, in most cases, curare has been abandoned - except by tribes in the Amazon who like to keep the traditional forms of hunting alive (there's a black market for heads, it seems).

So there are a range of drugs currently in use for relaxing muscles. However, we need to be clear on how this is to work. If you gave someone a sleeping pill, you would find their sleeping body almost perfectly relaxed. Similarly, pills coming from bottles with labels suggesting sedation, tranquilization, anti-anxiety and anti-depression would relax people. Even pills to relieve the symptoms caused by allergies can make people sleepy and so relaxed. The drugs actually labeled muscle relaxants aim to reduce the tension in muscles without putting you to sleep. However, you should notice many of the instructions given with these drugs suggest they should be used in combination with rest. This reflects the reality that most of the drugs can make you feel like closing your eyes and "resting". At this point, we need to distinguish between the neuromuscular blockers and the spasmolytics. The neuromuscular blockers are quite dangerous and are usually only used in hospitals and other supervised environments. The level of relaxation they induce approaches paralysis, as you might expect with anything that shuts down a part of the relevant brain activity. As you might judge from the name, spasmolytics are designed to produce a level of relaxation sufficient to prevent the sudden contractions of a muscle spasm. In general, these are less dangerous and can be used in the home environment.

Now we need to complete the circle. One of the major problems by many people who suffer from different muscular injuries and disorders is the loss of sleep. The greater the level of pain, the more difficult it is to get to sleep or stay asleep. So the power of any muscle relaxant to help people get a good night's sleep is actually highly desirable. People who feel more rested tend to have a more positive outlook. This means drugs like Carisoprodol are used in a wide range of situations. Indeed, it's not unknown for people to take Carisoprodol instead of antidepressants.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Change Your Diet to Enhance Effect of Prednisone pills

Some medications, including corticosteroids, require special dietary considerations for the medication to work at its maximum level. Certain foods can inhibit effectiveness of drugs for a variety of reasons. Each individual reacts differently when taking corticosteroids so you should consult with your physician who can help with recommendations. There are specific steps consumers can take to address certain dietary issues related to using corticosteroids.

Increased Appetite

People who take corticosteroids can expect an increase in appetite. This along with fluid retention that typically occurs while on the medication can result in unwanted weight gain. Overeating has its own set of risks. You will need to get your appetite under control as soon as possible. If you notice you are suddenly eating more than usual or you are staying hungry, let your doctor know so a suitable eating plan can be established.

Foods to Eat

Consuming additional protein is one of the best ways to fight these side effects. Foods high in calcium and Vitamin D are also beneficial for people who use corticosteroids. Your doctor can test you to see if you need to increase your potassium and phosphorus intake. You can reduce fluid retention with a diet high in potassium and low in sodium. Foods that contain potassium include bananas, oranges, raisins, and baked potatoes. Low-fat dairy products can improve phosphorous as well as calcium levels. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily.

Foods to Avoid

Foods high in sodium should be limited or eliminated completely from your diet. You should avoid canned as well as processed foods which have high sodium levels. Try not to add salt to your meals. It is important to monitor your calorie intake. Fatty foods can cause you to gain weight faster. Many medications negatively interact with grapefruit juice so ask your doctor about including grapefruit in your diet.

Additional Supplements and pills such as Prednisone

Nutrients may need to be balanced out to prevent certain side effects when taking the medication. For this reason, your doctor may recommend you take vitamin supplements to improve treatment results. Prednisone pills can affect your calcium level which can be countered with calcium supplements. Vitamin D supplements may be necessary while on the drug.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to manage pain

Dealing with pain is one of the most uncomfortable aspects of many health conditions. Quite often it's the pain that makes it hard to address the initial health problem so it becomes more important to address the symptom rather than the cause. That's why we use painkillers like tramadol and other medications whenever there's pain involved. Still, in some cases conventional oral painkillers can be too potent or cause negative side effects. That's when people consider alternative pain management and get surprised by the abundance of methods that can eliminate pain with. Here are just some of the most popular alternative pain management techniques:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is one of the oldest methods of pain management yet requiring a high qualification of the person perming it. Otherwise, the lack of necessary knowledge can make the pain even worse. Physical therapy involves manipulation and massage of the affected area with the goal to reduce inflammation in the damaged tissue and promote its faster recovery. This technique is most beneficial in cases of trauma, joint conditions, muscle sprains and other painful conditions associated with the muscular and skeletal systems. It can work both for chronic and acute pain but the actual effectiveness strongly depends on the qualification of the person performing it.

Herbal painkillers

Herbal painkillers have been around for thousands of years and with time they only got better and better. People observed analgesic properties of different herbs long ago and used them for different purposes. Today you can easily purchase different herbal painkillers without a prescription. Yet, don't expect them to be as rapid and effective as potent modern analgesics like tramadol. The body needs to adjust to the herb and you will probably have to take the drug for some time in order to observe certain effects. That's why herbal painkillers are suggested as an alternative to chronic pain management and aren't very well suited for acute pain relief.

Heat and cold

Another simple and well known method for pain management that can work both for acute and chronic pain conditions of mild to moderate severity. By applying moderate heat (a warm towel or water, not too hot though) to the affected area you will promote blood circulation that will reduce inflammation and eliminate the painful sensation caused by it. Cold on the other hand is known to achieve comparable pain management effects by numbing the nerves in the affected area thus working as an anesthetic. These methods are often used as first aid after trauma or for relieving chronic joint pain conditions, however it's best to ask your doctor first.


Acupuncture has earned much recognition and popularity in the West in the last decade yet it was well known in different forms for ages in the Far East. It is claimed to be very effective for chronic pain conditions among the wide range of health conditions that are stated to be treatable through this technique. Acupuncture involves the application of very thin needles to specific points all over the body that are thought to regulate the circulation of vital energy through the organs and promote recovery. Traditional medicine leans towards an opinion that this technique triggers the release of body's endogenous painkillers called endorphins that provide the required effect. But no matter what opinion you stick too it was confirmed through numerous studies that acupuncture can be very beneficial for chronic pain conditions.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What is the competition to PDE inhibitors?

A short while ago, viagra managed to get its patent protection extended in the US. This will prevent the generic manufacturers from introducing cheaper versions of the drug. Obviously, this is bad news for men with erectile dysfunction. Without effective competition, prices stay high and sexual activity could become unaffordable. So what's in the pipeline as an alternative and how effective are these treatments likely to be? One of the problems with condoms is many men find them inconvenient and distracting. That makes the launch of a new condom packed with gel a good way forward in preventing unwanted pregnancies and reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The gel helps men maintain their erections for longer. This is going through regulatory approval in Europe and expects to be on the market later this year. Obviously, the gel can simply be rubbed into the penis for the same results. So far, there's no sign of an application for the FDA for approval but it should not be difficult. The drug is currently used in the treatment of angina and all it will take is an extension of its existing US license. We have the same idea of absorption through the skin applied to patches. These can be stuck on to the body anywhere and once the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, the erection forms when the body is stimulated.

There's also a new drug in development to increase libido. This is a hormone treatment and would be marketed to both men and women. It works in the brain to increase the desire for sex. In the first stage of testing, it also seems to reduce the appetite for food so this could be a double treatment. Enjoy great sex and lose weight at the same time. The real benefit should be in reducing the problem of performance anxiety. Already available in some countries comes Zydena which is mainly aimed at the problem of premature ejaculation but is also said to improve hardness.

Is Viagra changing?

Other than this, all the development effort is going into providing the PDE5 inhibitors like viagra in different formats. So, for example, pills that melt in the mouth are now available in different flavors - mint seems to be popular. Look around and you will find soft and chewable versions. The longer term solution may come from gene therapy but this is too far away for it to be considered real.