The Pain of Fibromyalgia and Depression in Women

The WashingtonTimes.com reported that research from Sweden has shed some light as to why women are more likely to suffer from depression, chronic pain (CPS) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) than men.  Also, the same study discovered why women are prone to depression and mood swings from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and post-partum depression.

Serotonin production, re-absorption and normal levels in many women are not sufficient and wreak havoc on the mind and bodies of those affected. The effect on female hormones is broadly significant. Serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone,’ plays a significant role in pain management.

Chronic or clinical depression can be the causation of chronic pain. Chronic pain can lead to chronic or clinical depression, so healthy levels of serotonin play a significant role in managing depression and chronic pain.

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The Multiple Risks of Benzodiazepine Use

benzodiazepenes

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that became widely used in the 1970s for their ability to reduce panic, anxiety, and insomnia. Some also functioned as anticonvulsants, reducing seizures. They are considered “downers,” with sedating qualities.

New research shows that benzodiazepine use, particularly long-term use, comes with risks such as increased mortality and mood instability.

At a 2015 scientific meeting, researcher Jari Tiihonen reported that among 21,492 patients with schizophrenia in Sweden, benzodiazepine use was associated with increased mortality, while antidepressant and antipsychotic use decreased mortality.

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Hey, are you filling my prescriptions properly? Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger

This is critical information for everyone.  Each time you pick up your prescription – check it!!

How to avoid pharmacy mix-ups that can mean serious consequences for your health

How often do serious pharmacy errors happen? Actually, nobody knows. There is little data tracking the problem across Canada.  So what do you need to know to stay safe? Here are four errors to watch out for that can have serious consequences for your health.

CBC News and Marketplace have been investigating pharmacy errors for several months in the largest hidden-camera test of its kind in Canada. Follow our continuing coverage at cbcnews.ca. Watch the complete investigation, Dispensing Danger, on Friday at 8 p.m. on CBC TV and online.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada, medication problems are often caused by a combination of factors. Here are some problems to watch out for:

Illegible prescriptions

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Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?

Those struggling with Bipolar Disorder and substantial weight gain will be especially interested in this article!

This article appeared on a new site I found Science20.com discussing Bipolar Disorder.  The words ‘Lithium’, ‘weight gain’ and ‘olanzapine’ are mentioned which are all too familiar to me.  Having gained about 60 pounds, I never put two and two together that meds were contributing to my expanding waistline.

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that around 1% of the adult population experience bipolar symptoms at some point in their life.

UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. This is often because of the common and severe and unpleasant side effects that drugs such as lithium and olanzapine can produce. These include dizziness, diarrhea, slowed movement and substantial weight gain.

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Blister Packs for Medications

As far as medication goes, remembering to take the required doses morning, noon or bedtime was causing chaos.  I would forget to take this med or that med, refilling prescriptions in time, and each med had it’s own pill bottle. Filling that 7-day plastic organizer every week was a pain in the neck.

My doctor suggested a Blister Pack – pure bliss!  My pharmacy fills them bi-weekly without a fee, and he calls the doctor for refills (saving me a trip to the doctor), I pick them up, all sorted, neat and tidy.  I still have to remember to take them!

Image source: google.ca
More on blister pack usage @
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blister_pack

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication

This article appeared on a new site I found Science20.com discussing Bipolar Disorder.  The words ‘Lithium’, ‘weight gain’ and ‘olanzapine’ are mentioned which are all too familiar to me.

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that around 1% of the adult population experience bipolar symptoms at some point in their life.

UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. This is often because of the common and severe and unpleasant side effects that drugs such as lithium and olanzapine can produce. These include dizziness, diarrhea, slowed movement and substantial weight gain.

A recent review also suggested that medication only helps a small proportion of those it is prescribed to. The review looked at 12 different medication regimes used under several different circumstances and found the highest success rate was just 33%. And lithium, a drug that NICE recommends as the “first-line, long-term pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder” was found to benefit only about one in seven patients. It is also a very toxic drug.Recent research has found that around one in three of those taking lithium over many years will go on to suffer from chronic renal failure.

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Depression: Combo of antidepressants and painkillers risky

Science Daily, Jul 15/15 ~  Taking a combination of antidepressants and common painkillers is associated with an increased risk of bleeding soon after starting treatment, finds a new study. The researchers say their results may have been affected by other unmeasured or unknown factors and should be interpreted with caution. However, they suggest special attention is needed when patients use both these classes of drugs together.

The researchers say their results may have been affected by other unmeasured or unknown factors and should be interpreted with caution. However, they suggest special attention is needed when patients use both these classes of drugs together.

Depression produces the greatest decrement in health of all common chronic conditions and depression in older people is an important public health problem.

But concern exists that antidepressants may interact with common painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to increase the risk of bleeding inside the skull (intracranial haemorrhage).

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Blister Packs for Medications

As far as medication goes, remembering to take the required doses morning, noon or bedtime was causing chaos.  I would forget to take this med or that med, refilling prescriptions in time, and each med had it’s own pill bottle. Filling that 7-day plastic organizer every week was a pain in the neck.

My doctor suggested a Blister Pack – pure bliss!  My pharmacy fills them bi-weekly without a fee, and he calls the doctor for refills (saving me a trip to the doctor), I pick them up, all sorted, neat and tidy.  I still have to remember to take them!

Image source: google.ca
More on blister pack usage @
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blister_pack

Lithium: Still best med for preventing bipolar relapse

I was on Lithium for about 10 years, and I do have to admit that it stabilized my moods for the most part.  Strangely though, when I changed psychiatrists, he did some tests and explained my lithium level was at a “toxic level”, and suggested I lower this medication, then slowly started to wean me off.  I am completely off Lithium now, didn’t seem to affect me at all, but I still remain on another mood stabilizer.  (I don’t miss the dry mouth and heat/sun problems that are side effects of Lithium).

This article on (MedScape.com) VIENNA — Naturalistic studies may reveal outcomes that randomized clinical trials miss. After hospital discharge, a 4-year, naturalistic follow-up of patients with bipolar disorder (BP) shows that even with prophylactic medication, relapse rates are high and are correlated with alcohol use, psychiatric comorbidities, life events, and the type of maintenance medication used.

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Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger

How to avoid pharmacy mix-ups that can mean serious consequences for your health

How often do serious pharmacy errors happen? Actually, nobody knows. There is little data tracking the problem across Canada.  So what do you need to know to stay safe? Here are four errors to watch out for that can have serious consequences for your health.

Continue reading

3 WOMEN……And Mental Illness

3-tall-women

I had conversations with these three courageous women, while an in-patient on the psychiatric floor of a medical hospital a couple of years ago.  Mentioning my blog and my articles, they agreed for an informal interview as long as I didn’t use their real names.  I was able to converse with each woman separately where they shared their stories.

Note:  I was discharged earlier than any of these women, however, I revisited three weeks later to chat. 

~~~

Clara – Age (46)

Clara’s eyes well up as she recounts her story of anguish and to her, humiliation.  Both wrists are bandaged from a botched suicide attempt, and she stares downward at the floor as she speaks to me.  She has been in the hospital for over three weeks.

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Hypersomnia: What causes it?

On the website MayoClinic.com, they explained the term:  Hypersomnia as characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep.  People with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times, despite getting adequate sleep.  Hypersomnia has many potential causes, including:

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