Monday, February 07, 2005


Painkillers....Appropriately Named, Perhaps?

Usually before doctors recommend surgery for anything, they try a few other approaches first: drugs/painkillers, some kind of therapy (maybe), injections and then, "as a last resort," surgery.

But becuase of all the bad press that painkillers have been getting lately (see previous entry about Vioxx), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration apparently is calling leading drug makers to D.C. next week to hash out an increasingly important issue: are commonly used painkillers riskier, perhaps, than the pain conditions they were created to treat? Is a painkiller that increases a risk of heart attack, for example, a good thing? And what about the rows after rows of over-the-counter drugs available to fight well were THEY studied before they were unleashed on the U.S. buying public?

And if drug companies aren't quite sure why some pain-relieving drugs mess with the human heart and other don't....shouldn't they be sent back to the laboratory to find out???

And one last thing: surgery is NOT "a last resort." Calling that is an insult to resorts everywhere. A last resort is a place like Alaska -- perhaps the last place you should go to visit because it's so drop-dead beautiful that few other places ever measure up. Or a Caribbean island where they serve you kicky fruit drinks with little umbrellas in them. THAT's a last resort. Surgery? Hardly?

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