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2 Pages<12
Vicodin - Your Brain on Drugs - Hydrocodone (College Health Guru)
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#11 Posted : Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:48:44 PM(UTC)

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I wish I watched this video a long time ago!

Postpartum Depression What You Need to Know

Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Courtney Cox and more have experienced postpartum Depression. It's time to talk! There's nothing to be ashamed of. Host Shay Pausa talks with Dr. Shoshana Bennett as brave mom, Melissa McGarry speaks out about her nightmare.
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#12 Posted : Friday, May 13, 2011 5:37:39 PM(UTC)

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FDA about depression

I'd like to quote from the web site and then add my understanding of the problem.

---------------------- Quote starts here. ----------------------

Depression affects about 121 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"In my experience as a practicing psychiatrist, I've seen that many people with depression don't realize that they have the condition or that it's treatable," says Mitchell Mathis, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Psychiatry Products at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some who suffer from depression don't recognize the symptoms, or they attribute them to lack of sleep or a poor diet. Others realize they are depressed, but they feel too fatigued or ashamed to seek help.

Not all depression requires treatment with medication.

"Studies have shown that the best way to treat a patient with the more severe form of major depressive disorder is through both therapy and prescribed antidepressant medication," Mathis says. "They work best in combination with one another."

Diagnosing the Disease
Medical professionals generally base a diagnosis of major depressive disorder on the presence of certain symptoms listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Diagnosis depends on the number, severity, and duration of these symptoms:

  • depressed mood
  • loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • disturbed sleep
  • slowed or restless movements
  • fatigue, loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • trouble in thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Types of Antidepressants
Antidepressants work to normalize naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters—primarily serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Scientists have found that these particular chemicals are involved in regulating a person's mood.

There are several different classifications of antidepressants:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): Examples are Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), and Paxil (paroxetine).
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNIs): Examples are Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs): Examples are Elavil (amitriptyline), Tofranil (imipramine), and Pamelor (nortriptyline).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Examples are Nardil (phenelzine) and Parnate (tranylcypromine).
There are other antidepressants that don't fall into any of these classifications and are considered unique, such as:

Remeron (mirtazapine)
Wellbutrin (bupropion)
The antidepressant medications in each classification affect different neurotransmitters in particular ways. For example, SSRIs increase the production of serotonin in the brain. MAOIs block monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters. Blocking their breakdown means that neurotransmitters remain active in the brain. Research is ongoing to determine antidepressants' exact mechanism of action on a person's brain.

Selecting Antidepressants
So how does a physician determine which antidepressant to prescribe? Doctors typically use a patient history and a mental status exam. With this information, the doctor can evaluate symptoms, rule out medical causes of depression, and decide if the criteria are met for major depressive disorder.

"In my opinion, it's best when antidepressant medications are personalized," says Mathis. "For example, some depressed people have difficulty sleeping. So they would benefit from a more sedating antidepressant at night. Other people with depression sleep too much and would benefit from a more activating antidepressant in the morning."

It's important to communicate how you are feeling so that your physician can evaluate the medication's effectiveness.

Effectiveness of Antidepressants
Approximately 60 to 70 percent of patients respond to the first antidepressant that is prescribed or to an increased dosage of that drug, according to Mathis.

But patients must take regular doses of a prescribed antidepressant for at least 3 to 4 weeks before they are likely to experience the full therapeutic effect. And if patients start to feel better, they should not stop taking the antidepressant.

"Even if you start to feel better, you may be in between episodes," says Mathis. "Depression tends to be chronic and requires everyday treatment just like high blood pressure."

If you get used to an antidepressant and just quit it, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and irritability. Worst of all, depression may recur.

Patients should continue taking an antidepressant for 6 to 12 months, or in some cases longer, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This gives medication time to be effective and can help prevent a relapse of the depression. Patients should carefully follow their doctor's instructions.

Mathis estimates that about 10 percent of depressions are treatment resistant and won't respond to prescribed antidepressants.

That means that 20 to 30 percent of patients may not respond to the first antidepressant that is prescribed for them. NIMH-funded research has shown that patients who did not get well after taking a first medication increased their chances of becoming symptom-free after they switched to a different medication or added another medication to their existing one.

With appropriate treatment, many people with depression experience improvement of their symptoms and return to living normal and productive lives.

Managing Side Effects
All antidepressants come with Medication Guides. These guides provide FDA-approved information for patients, families, and caregivers that could help improve monitoring of a drug's effects. Medication Guides are intended to be distributed at the pharmacy with each prescription or refill of a medication.

Many people who take antidepressants have at least one side effect. Side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Night sweats
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Sexual problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation

Side effects are the most common reason people stop taking antidepressants. It's recommended that you don't stop taking your antidepressants or reduce the dosage without talking to your doctor or mental health professional first.

And there are coping strategies for the most common side effects of antidepressants. For a more complete list of side effects and suggested coping strategies, visit the National Institute of Mental Health's medications page4.

Serious Risks
Suicidal Thinking: In October 2004, FDA directed manufacturers to add a boxed warning to the labeling of all antidepressant medications to alert the public about the increased risk of suicidal thinking or suicide attempts by children and adolescents taking antidepressants.

A boxed warning is the most serious type of warning used on prescription drug labeling. In May 2007, FDA directed that the warning should be extended to include young adults up through age 24.

More detailed analysis by FDA of antidepressant clinical trials showed an increased risk of suicidality—suicidal thoughts or behavior. "There weren't more actual suicides, but more people under 24 were thinking or talking about it," explains Mathis. "This occurs most often within the first 30 days of an adolescent or young adult starting on an antidepressant."

Mania: When people are in a manic "high," they may be overactive, overly talkative, have a great deal of energy, and need less sleep than normal.

There are two different types of mood disorders, both of which are cyclical. One is unipolar disorder, in which the cycle is that a person feels normal and then feels depressed. The other type is bipolar disorder, in which the person's mood cycles from depressed to normal to manic.

"The doctor needs to screen patients for a bipolar history," said Mathis. If an antidepressant is prescribed to a person with bipolar disorder, it can cause mania. And the person can even become psychotic if the mania is severe.

Birth Defects: In December 2005, FDA changed Paxil (paroxetine) from a pregnancy risk category of C to D. With a Category C drug, fetal risk can't be ruled out. With a Category D drug, positive evidence of fetal risk exists. FDA chooses a medicine's letter category based on what is known about the medicine when used in pregnant women and animals.

High Blood Pressure: It can be much more difficult for patients to take one of the MAOIs for depression because of the many dietary and medicinal restrictions that must be followed. People taking MAOIs must avoid certain foods that contain high levels of the chemical tyramine, which is found in many cheeses, wines and pickles, and some medications including decongestants. MAOIs interact with tyramine in such a way that may cause a sharp increase in blood pressure, which could lead to a stroke or other complications.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Date Posted: January 9, 2009

---------------------- Quote ends here. ----------------------

* The Red color used in this quote was used to select the most important part.

So this publication tells about a number of serious side effects. The list is very serious and it does include all the items mentioned in different videos published on the forum. Probably excluding just one serious point these drugs don't help, instead, they make the whole situation even worse. It was mentioned by several doctors and it's probably true. The article is built so that the side effects are included in the very end of the article. But people usually read the very beginning. Something like: "1. Here is my problem. 2. Here is the way to solve it with no efforts from my side." And that's basically all. Who reads to the very end of the article? Just a few of people. But probably no one who really takes these drugs did read this article at all. Ok, but we have doctors. They are expected to be professionals. We trust our own lives to these people! Not really. Actually we trust, that's true, but to be professionals... Here are just two examples.

Case 1. I got a terrible tooth pain a few months ago and went to my dentist. Instead of solving my problem, and I will return back to this issue a little later, he took a quick look, made a quick X-Ray, didn't notice anything that HE is able to take care of, and gave me Antibiotics and Vicodin! Nice work! I knew nothing about this kind of drug because I never tried it in my life before. I trusted this doctor (not now of course!). So I got the medication and swallowed the first portion. The effect was very serious. But did it help to prevent my tooth pain? No! Even more, I was like a vegetable for a few hours, my head was in terrible condition. My family was afraid to lose me because of this stupid prescription! So I stopped taking these pills and went to another doctor. He made his own X-Ray and found that the tooth has 4 root canals but only 3 were properly treated. So I could keep taking these worthless pills forever, it would never work. The problem was solved in just 20 minutes. But before that moment the pain was so terrible that I tried to use all possible and impossible ways to lower it. For example I tried different medications from Walgreen's and other stores used to work against this kind of pain and it didn't help because it was inside a root canal. I tried to use alcohol swabs but all it did was a serious gum burn. Thanks to the first doctor - I will never come to him again.

Case 2. I got a strange redness in my throat and it didn't disappear for almost 3 weeks. So I decided to make a quick test to understand what that it. I went to the Urgent Care in Gilbert, AZ. I told that I don't have any pain or any discomfort, nothing that could tell me about this redness, absolutely nothing disturbing me. I told that several times to the front desk person, to the nurse, to the doctor. But it's very hard to work with this kind of people. They simply don't care of you. A much more important thing for them is your insurance. I actually didn't need any doctor at all to make these pretty simple swab tests. But the doctor came to me, made a very smart face, took a swab sample, then spent a few minutes of his very expensive time to tell me about Alive and other chemicals to decrease my pain that didn't exist. I told him again that I DON'T HAVE ANY PAIN and THE MAIN PURPOSE OF MY VISIT WAS JUST A TEST. He left. A few minutes later a new nurse came into my room and told me that it's nothing, there is no any infection at all, the test results are good, and the redness will disappear in a few days. And finally she gave me a prescription for Vicodin! Sorry, guys, am I idiot or look like the one? I told several times that I don't have ANY pain at all. Why Vicodin? I think the only reason of this incredible smart prescription was to write another, more serious, more expensive diagnosis in my file, to correct the codes appropriately, and finally to charge my insurance company and me for a much bigger amount. Am I right? I'm sure that was the main reason of the Vicodin. Of course I refused to take even this prescription, not only to take the pills. I got 3 Master Degrees and no one doctor is able to push me to the direction that he needs, especially if I know that he is absolutely wrong! So instead of taking Vicodin and be like a vegetable for a few more weeks I skipped this part and filed my complaint against this doctor. It was very interesting to see that this so called Urgent Care charged my for about $600 for this incredible advice. I'm curious if anyone is able to survive after getting this kind of medical help. And this so called doctor is still working there, no doubt. If I remember correctly his last name was Goldfarb.

I can tell more histories, for example like one day several years ago I almost lost my son because he got some kind of infection and could not not even eat, but drink for over 3 days, and he was simply dying. When we came to the emergency room in the Hospital located in Mesa, AZ, the doctor gave him Fanta (!). My son was continuously throwing up and was unable to swallow anything. But the doctor came a few minutes later and said that my son is OK and we are free to go.
-What??? What can we give him at home? He cannot drink at all?
-Give him cookies.
Was the answer.
Sometimes I think that I'm just an idiot and don't understand very simple things. We came to the same hospital a few hours later, because it could be too late if we didn't come. Same show - I told our history to 12 different people and they were about to push our our again. But finally I was so angry that they had to call somebody serious to push me out. So I asked the 12 person that I met, and happily it was a doctor, that my son needs a blood transfusion since he didn't drink for over 3 days and he will be dead very soon. And that helped and saved my son. But what if I didn't do that? It's hard to imagine what could happen.

And what about family doctors prescribing tons of worthless drugs just to check their theory if it helps or not? I can give a few names, but it was never my purpose here on the forum. What about family doctors who have no idea how to use a simple stethoscope! They touch a pleat of your dress and tell that they don't hear anything and you're good. One "specialist" like that didn't notice pneumonia!

The list is endless, but let's return back to the antidepressants.
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