Life can be better with the use of chemicals. Every year, I embark on chemical warfare in my rose garden. The bugs try to eat all of the first blooms and I try to kill all the bugs with chemicals. Most of the time, I win the war and have a bounty of colors and perfumes gracing my garden. This year, I learned that these poisonous potions can have some major consequences. After spraying, one of my prized plants immediately turned brown and sickly. Worst of all, the targeted pest is still in my garden.
Chemicals do not always live up to their promises. The same can be said of opioid pain medications like morphine, methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Sometimes these chemicals have some serious consequences and can still leave a person in pain. Are these chemicals really worth it in the long run? Was the loss of one rose bush worth the blooms of the others? I am not sure, but I am definitely having second thoughts about using chemicals in my garden knowing the consequences.
Taking medication for long-term health problems has made a major contribution to lengthening and improving our lives. In many countries living into the eighties and nineties has become very common. However, drugs can cause side-effects and when doctors prescribe them they know there may be a price to pay.
Here at OurAlzheimer's we have reported on a number of studies that highlight issues with medications, drug interactions and the difficulties of diagnosing and treating co-existing conditions . The need to minimize harm can be a difficult balance and research such as this does add to the body of knowledge and help improve lives in the long term.
Scientists from the University of East Anglia in the U.K., in the first systematic investigation, looked into the effect medicines have on acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain. The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found many commonly used drugs, both prescription and non prescription, appea...
People who have severe, chronic pain may be given the option of taking opioid medications (narcotics) to help manage their pain and live some semblance of a normal life. For those who are not facing end-of-life issues with cancer, this can become a life-long management tool. Whenever opioids are discussed, there is always a concern raised about physical dependency and addiction. But as the authors of this study point out, addiction isn't the only downside of opioids. Difficulty concentrating, memory loss, slower physical reaction time, and slower processing of information are additional potential side effects of these powerful pain relievers. What's the current evidence that such effects on cognitive function are really a problem? To find out, pain experts from Denmark, Sweden, and Brazil teamed up to review data published in medical and psychologic journals around the world. They summarized the results in a table that included type of study (design), sample size (number of patients), t...
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