Drug Mix-ups Injuring Patients
Oops, the FDA issued an alert about two drugs being mixed up and putting patients at risk. The drugs were risperidon (an antiphyschotic medication used to treat disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar mania) and ropinirole (used to treat restless leg syndrome). The FDA was alerted to 226 mix-ups. The mix-up was due to a systemic weakness in the drug distribution process including, sloppy handwriting on the prescription pad, similar names creating some confusion among the medical doctors writing the prescription, and similar packaging creating mix-ups at the pharmacy. Of the mix-ups examined, 16 had adverse reactions, 5 required hospitalization and 1 person died.
This medication mix-up is just one symptom of a larger problem. As a people, we are too quick to reach for a pill to solve our problems. Medications have a purpose and a proper place. But how often are we reaching for a pill to cure a disease that we could have avoided in the first place. Instead of proper diet and exercise, we allow ourselves to get obese then reach for ‘fen-phen’ to lose the weight. Those of us around in the late 1990’s remember the problems fen-phen caused, namely pulmonary hypertension and heart-valve disorders. People died using that medication. The manufacturer had $13 billion dollars in legal damages as a result.
When it comes to pain medication, the same holds true. We often reach for a Lortab or Ibuprofen even though we know it is risky–even when taken properly. There are some serious risks involved with taking any medications. The proper use of the medication is to take as little as possible, for as short a period of time as possible, in order to maintain function and activities of daily living. Patients who add extra dimensions to their health care can improve their function and reduce pain medication. Adding massage therapy, chiropractic pain management, yoga, or acupuncture can help speed the patient’s recovery so that they need fewer medications.
I have had countless patients tell me that they were able to reduce their use of pain medication by half after I started treating them for their pain. Cutting pain medication by half is a fantastic result. Taking fewer pain medications will absolutely reduce risks in several categories. Importantly, it will also slowly retrain the culture of health-lazy citizens to begin taking control and ownership of their health.
In my St George UT, pain clinic, I treat chronic and acute pain using a wide array of therapies. Our office includes physiotherapy to reduce inflammation, joint mobilization to improve biomechanics and proprioception, muscle stretching and strengthening to improve joint support and integrity. We treat many types of acute and chronic pain including:
|Low Back Pain||Disc Herniation||Degenerative Disc Disease||Shoulder Pain|
If you suffer from pain and need relief and treatment, call our office today at (435) 652-4322. We have been treating acute and chronic pain since 1995.