Topic 1

  1. Heart drug in death risk

    Here's an urgent warning for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who've taken the heart drug Multaq: The FDA says it may double the risk of death in some patients.

    The alert comes out of a recent study cut short earlier this summer by the drug's maker, Sanofi-Aventis -- but the company didn't bother to mention that whopper of a death risk at the time.

    Nope, they only made a vague reference to a "significant increase" in heart problems and said in a press release that "patients currently taking Multaq should not stop their therapy and should consult their treating physician should they have any questions."

    They got it half right: If you've been taking Multaq for the irregular heartbeat and heart rhythm problems marked by A-fib, definitely consult your physician if you have any questions.

    I recommend this question: "How fast can you get me off this med?"

    The aborted trial was on 3,000 patients who suffered from permanent atrial fibrillation -- not the temporary form of A-fib the drug was approved for, and the feds say it's too soon to tell if the risks carry over.

    But I wouldn't stick around to find out if I were you. The FDA also says that in addition to doubling the death rate, the drug doubled the rate of stroke and heart failure hospitalizations when compared to patients on the placebo, according to the study.

    I'm not sure why anyone at the agency is acting surprised over this, though -- after all, it's not the first time the FDA has issued a warning over Multaq.

    It's not the second, third or fourth either.

    It's actually the fifth time, with previous warnings issued over the potential risks of congestive heart failure, another form of heart arrhythmia, bad interactions with the blood thinner warfarin, and even a possible link to liver failure.

    Those are some frightening risks, and if you're suffering from A-fib the last thing you need is that kind of worry -- because stress itself is a serious risk factor for the condition.

    So work with your doctor -- ideally a naturopathic one -- to find your way off this med, and don't forget the completely natural drug-free techniques that have helped so many patients get their A-fib under control.

    Yoga, vitamin C, and simple lifestyle changes like giving up smoking can lead to dramatic improvement, and you can read about some of them right here, for free.

  2. Parkinson's outrage: Meds don't work

    Parkinson's patients will tell you the worst part of the disease isn't always the infamous shakes that mark the condition.

    As bad as those are, there's something that can be even worse: Losing your grip on reality to the hallucinations, confusion, and delusional thinking that often come along for the ride.

    It's a frightening form of psychosis that strikes up to 60 percent of all Parkinson's patients -- and it's almost always caused by Parkinson's drugs.

    But instead of lowering the dose or changing the med, docs often prescribe powerful antipsychotic drugs -- and a new study shows that a full 98 percent of those meds don't even work.

    These are drugs with literally no clinical evidence of effectiveness, period -- and some of them are even known to make the Parkinson's symptoms worse.

    Researchers looked at the records of 2,500 patients given meds for Parkinson's psychosis at VA hospitals in 2008 and
    found that half of them were prescribed quetiapine, also known as Seroquel.

    That's the schizophrenia med given off-label for everything from insomnia to dementia -- often with disastrous results.

    There's no evidence it works for any of those off-label conditions -- and there are no less than four studies that show it does nothing for Parkinson's psychosis. But some of Big Pharma's favorite docs won't let a little science stand in their way -- they're using the drug anyway.

    One doctor not involved in the study told Reuters Health that even though there's no evidence behind Seroquel, many
    docs have had at least some anecdotal success using it... so they'll ignore the research and keep right on dishing it out.

    And even the author of the study in the Archives of Neurology admits to prescribing it -- and says he plans to continue to do so.

    Imagine the uproar if an alternative health doc announced his insistence on using treatments scientifically proven not to work. Heck, the feds would probably shut the guy down for quackery -- but somehow, mainstream docs get a free pass.

    And believe it or not, Seroquel sounds downright reasonable compared to some of the other meds given for Parkinson's psychosis.

    The researchers say a combined 28 percent of prescriptions were for either risperidone (Risperdal) or olanzapine(Olanzipine) -- two drugs that not only do nothing for the psychosis... they're actually known to make the Parkinson's disease worse.

    That's not just inexcusable -- that's malpractice.

    Parkinson's patients often don't have many options for the disease itself -- but a new study finds real promise in traditional Chinese medicine.

  3. Apnea in new heart risk link

    But now, researchers say that in addition to leaving you gasping for air in the night, sleep apnea could also be responsible for serious blood vessel abnormalities -- problems that can actually steal blood right from your heart.
  4. Dirty docs spread disease

    It's the last place you'd expect to face infection risk -- but it turns out it's the one place you need to be on your guard the most. It's your doctor's office.
  5. Salt isn't the problem after all

    Salt has been called every name in the book and labeled Public Health Enemy Number One for its supposed role in heart disease and an early death.
  6. When 'risk free' means 'big risk'

    Imagine going in for a "risk-free" spinal surgery for back pain... and waking up to find you're sterile as a result. If that's not bad enough, that same "risk-free" procedure -- backed by at least 13 major studies -- could also leave you battling a dangerous infection and even cause the loss of the very bone you're trying to protect.
  7. Slash your diabetes risk with this simple vitamin

    It's so easy it seems unreal: A key weapon in the fight against diabetes might be hovering right outside your window, right now. It's the sun -- the primary source of vitamin D, and a new study shows how this pancreas-boosting super nutrient can help stop the disease before it starts.
  8. Men living with prostate regret

    The real "disease" facing many prostate patients isn't cancer -- it's regret.
  9. Feds light controversy over medical marijuana

    The U.S. Department of Justice has finally responded to a 2002 petition to reclassify marijuana as a medical treatment.
  10. The dark truth behind milk

    It might seem like there's nothing more natural than a kid with a glass of milk -- but what's in that glass could be anything but natural.
  11. How not to quit smoking

    A long list of risks just got even longer: The feds now say the anti-smoking drug Chantix can boost the odds of a heart attack.
  12. The cancer-busting diet you can start today

    What do tumors and bellies have in common? They both get bigger on a high-carb diet.
  13. The 'secret ingredient' in coffee

    I love a good mystery -- and there's one brewing right now in the world of coffee. Now, a new study has found two ingredients in particular that seem to work together to protect you against Alzheimer's disease. One is caffeinate, and the other is...well, that's where the mystery comes in.
  14. Take a stand against sitting

    Too much time on your rear could put your bottom at risk and your life on the line: A new study finds that people who work sedentary jobs have a dramatically higher risk of colorectal cancers.
  15. The simple test your doc always gets wrong

    The best person to check your blood pressure is you -- and the best place to do it is in the comfort of your own home. Your doctor might have the best technique in the world, but he could still get it wrong every single time -- because his very presence could be causing your BP levels to skyrocket.
  16. Diabetes 'cures' you don't need

    The mainstream is finally ready to admit you can beat diabetes without meds -- too bad they're still on the wrong track!

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