Archive for the ‘Medicines & Remedies’ Category

Warning on Baby Orajel

I got this email from a friend and usually don’t give much stake to such emails, but this one made me do a little Googling, and it appears such a situation is likely to occur when using Baby Orajel.

Here is the content of the email:

Dear all,
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Some of you already know, but we wanted to make everyone aware of a terrifying experience that we had over the weekend. Thank g-d, everything’s ok now but we thought friends and family would want to be aware and would want to advise others with babies

Zane’s been teething pretty badly for the past few days, and we decided to give him Baby Orajel on Sunday afternoon. We’ve given it to him a few times previously, when his first two teeth cut through, and never had a problem. Scott and I were both sitting with Zane on the floor in his room when I rubbed a dosage on his upper gum. Seconds after I gave it to him, he made a face as if he were crying but no noise came out. I picked Zane up and he immediately went limp in my arms and his face turned blueish. He was not panicking or gasping for air – he was lifeless. This lasted for approximately 15 seconds, but felt like an eternity. Words cannot convey our feelings during that time (or even now, ever) as we attempted to revive our son. No parent should ever experience such a feeling and no person should ever see something like this happen to a loved one. Without a doubt it was the scariest moment of our lives. Ultimately, Zane “came to” and began to cry hysterically. Thank g-d!!!!!!!!

We spent the evening at the hospital, where Zane underwent numerous tests, all of which came back normal. We also spoke with Zane’s pediatrician, who stated that she advises against the use of this product because its purpose is to numb and if it gets into an infant’s throat, it
may stop them from breathing. Obviously, we wanted to learn more about this product and why this happened so we conducted some internet research. Interestingly, we came across some postings of parents with similar experiences. Further, one website listed a side effect as, “difficulty breathing and grey/blueish face.” Also, when we called Zane’s daycare to let them know what happened, the owner said that she’s heard of this happening before. It’s surprising then that no such warning is on the bottle and that more people do not discuss the negative and possible deadly implications of the use of this product.

We don’t want to imagine what could’ve happened if we had given this to him at night, in his crib, as we (and many others) have done in the past, and then walked away (although, of course we monitor him throughout the night).

To reiterate, the reason we share the above with you is to strongly advise you to throw away any Baby Orajel products you have at home and please advise your friends and family of the same. Trust us, it’s not worth the possible side effects.

Best,
Scott and Allison

Again, this is an email I received, so can’t vouch for the validity, but it seemed realistic enough. They did not mention how much of the product was given — did they give more than the recommended dose or give more doses in a 24 hour period than the directions stated? It sounds like normal use, but again we don’t know, so I felt it was worth sharing, if not just as a reminder to use medications as directed.

I did run a snopes.com search on it and the status is undetermined and they are researching it.

In my Google search, I came across this warning on Orajel in general, which does list symptoms as those seen in the baby mentioned in the email. The most alarming is that an overdose can result in death. Good to know, but I don’t remember seeing such info on the packaging, and their website does not give any reference to this either.

To each his own when deciding to use Orajel or not for your baby, if you do, as with ALL medications — only use as directed and keep out of reach of children!

If you want a safer alternative, try Hylands Teething Tablets. They are homeopathic and work like a charm — better than Orajel in my opinion. It eases the pain just as fast but it lasts a lot longer. Plus, if you have a teething toddler, giving them a couple teething tablets is tons easier than trying to get your finger in the back of their mouth to apply Orajel, not to mention the definite possibility of getting bit! 🙂

I will keep watching out for the validity of the email (I don’t want to spread anything but the facts), but again, things like this are always a good reminder to use medications only as directed.

What a trip: Drugs in US drinking water

A five month investigation by the Associated Press has discovered that small quantities of drugs, including antibiotics, sex hormones, and anti-seizure compounds, have been found in public drinking water supplied to over 40 million Americans across the US.

While the concentrations are so small they have to be measured in parts per billion or even parts per trillion, and water companies insist these levels are within safety limits, the AP said the long term effects on people’s health of so many prescription drugs and over the counter medicines such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) and ibuprofen, even in tiny amounts, are starting to worry scientists.

Drugs and their derivatives get into the drinking water supply because when people on medication go to the toilet they excrete whatever the body does not absorb and any matabolized byproducts. Water companies treat the waste before discharging it into rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and then treat it again before it enters the drinking water system. However, the various treatments don’t remove all traces of drugs.

For five months, the AP National Investigative Team visited treatment plants, interviewed over 200 scientists, officials and academics, analyzed federal databases and reviewed hundreds of scientific reports. Read the entire article at Medical News Today.

CNN also reported on this topic.

It’s distrurbing, but not at all surprising. It does stress the importance of safely discarding medicines. The best way is to put the old medicine in a plastic bag with some old coffee grounds (or other item that is displeasing to animals and humans) and putting it in the trash. Of course, once the bag is opened or punctured, the drugs can still be washed away into steams, lakes and eventually back into drinking water. Some states have come up with a drug recycling program, but those are rare and are limited in what they can take back.

As we see male fish developing female traits it’s obvious this is a situation to take seriously. And it’s not just drugs for humans that are causing these issues, it’s also drugs given to domestic pets and antibiotics given to stockyard animals raised for food.

Americans and our animals are way over-medicated.

Health Remedies that Work

I found this interesting article in Men’s Health Magazine. Interesting and unique ways to cure common ailments. If anyone has tried any of these, please comment and let me know if they really work. Here’s a summary.

18 Tricks to Teach Your Body
Soothe a burn, cure a toothache, clear a stuffed nose…
By Kate Dailey

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear! – OK I just tried this because I have a sore throat and would you believe it, this really worked! Well, for a few seconds anyway.
2. Experience supersonic hearing! To better to someone talking use your right ear, for music, use your left.
3. Overcome your most primal urge! If you need to tinkle and you are far from a bathroom, the author suggests you fanaticize about sex or Jessica Simpson. If you are too young, hate sex (and/or Jessica Simpson), or aren’t comfortable with this type of thinking, maybe fanaticizing about having dinner with, or just kissing Brad Pitt, Jessica Simpson or whoever trips your trigger.
4. Feel no pain! If you are getting shot, cough during the injection.
5. Clear your stuffed nose! Thrust your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then press between your eyebrows with one finger. (OK, how do people figure this stuff out?)
6. Fight fire without water! Sleep on your left side to help prevent acid reflux.
7. Cure your toothache without opening your mouth! Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger.
8. Make burns disappear! When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. (Personally I have used breastmilk, so if you have any of that around, I highly recommend applying that after doing this trick. The milk helps take the sting out.)
9. Stop the world from spinning! Dizzy? Put your hand on something stable.
10. Unstitch your side! Get stitches in your side when running, exhale as your left foot hits the ground instead of your right. I personally can attest that this works (at least it did 13 years ago when I actually ran)!
11. Stanch blood with a single finger! For a nose bleed, put some cotton on your upper gums — just behind that small dent below your nose — and press against it, hard. A much better alternative than pinching your nose and leaning back.
12. Make your heart stand still! Got butterflies? Blow on your thumb. The breathing triggers a nerve to help control your heart rate.
13. Thaw your brain! To cure that ice cream headache, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can.
14. Prevent near-sightedness! Poor distance vision is usually caused by near-point stress.” In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles — like the eyes — into relaxing as well.
15. Wake the dead! If your hand falls asleep while you’re driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side.
16. Impress your friends! Next time you’re at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He’ll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that’s a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French.
17. Breathe underwater! Before diving to the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths — essentially, hyperventilate. When you’re underwater, it’s not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it’s the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic.
18. Read minds! Well, your own anyway. Review a speech (or for a test perhaps) right before falling asleep. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

Read the entire article.

Do Aromatherapy Products Work?

According to an Ohio State University study, they really don’t.

Aromatherapy claims can be found in everything from candles, lotions, bath salts and more when certain essential oils are added to the product. The claim depends on the essential oil that is used – lavender to help you sleep, basil for headaches and lemon as an anti-depressant. OSU conducted a study using lemon and lavender oils and put the subjects through several scenarios from pain response (dunking feet in cold water) to mood response (completing psychological tests). What they found was that lemon oil had a positive effect on subjects’ moods, but lavender didn’t have any perceived effect. Neither essential oil significantly affected pain responses, heart rate or blood pressure.

I doubt these finding will curb much, if any, spending on aromatherapy products, but the findings are at least interesting. I personally think if you feel it works then it’s worth it. Whether there are real results of that essential oil or you psychologically feel the effects, then really it does “work.” It just may not have the same effect for everyone.

Makers of Airborne Settle False-Ad Suit With Refunds

Interesting. I have heard a couple people talk about the good experience they had with Airborne, the cold-fighting, immune-boosting supplement. Well, apparently they just settled a class action lawsuit for false advertising. If you purchased Airborne and did not see positive results, you may be eligible for a refund for up to 6 purchases. Read more about it.

Folic Acid May Greatly Reduce Pre-Term Births

The March of Dimes released a study last week suggesting that taking folic acid supplements for a year before becoming pregnant can cut their risk of pre-term delivery by at least half. The study included more than 38,000 women who were pregnant with singletons and did not have complications such as preeclampsia.

“Thanks to the depth and breadth of the NIH study, which included an early pregnancy ultrasound of each participant, we had highly accurate evidence of the gestational ages of the preterm deliveries,” said Radek Bukowski, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the lead study author and SMFM member. “This evidence enabled us to determine that folate supplementation for at least one year is linked to a 70 percent decrease in very early preterm deliveries (20 to 28 weeks in gestational age) and up to a 50 percent reduction in early preterm deliveries of 28 to 32 weeks.”

These are very astounding figures and ones that should not be taken lightly. This is a big step in preventing pre-term babies who are at such high risk for certain disease. While this is not a “cure” even a 50% decrease in premature births would be significant.

Folic acid is already known to help prevent certain birth defects, such as spinal bifida, but until now, effects of folic acid have only been study on it being taken during pregnancy. The US Public Health Service has for a long time recommended that all women of child-bearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.

Other studies have suggested folic acid helps reduce stroke and cardiovascular disease in adults. It would be wise for all men and women to get in the habit of consuming folic acid rich foods or at minimum, taking a daily supplement.

Cold Meds Send 7,000 Children to the ER Every Year

I saw this article and this explains more about why the FDA is recommending cold meds not be given to children under 6. There is statistical evidence. More than 7,000 children are rushed to the ER every year after suffering adverse reactions to cold medications. In 2004 and 2005 more than 1500 children suffered from complications and 123 died after taking cold medicines. There are also a variety of factors: parents giving the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, and in some cases children themselves found their way into the bottles.

Here is a link to the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/28/AR2008012801938.html