Archive for January, 2007

FIELD BURNING REVISITED – ILLEGAL ON APPEAL * EPA TO STEP IN – AGAIN – WILL THE CDA TRIBE and THE ELECTED OFFICIALS STEP UP TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL “PATIENT ADVOCACY” PLATE?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the field burning practice since 1993 has been illegal.  The unanimous decision by the Court forces a reconsideration of events that allowed the practice to continue despite widespread opposition. The EPA federal laws overpower the lobbyist-generated state laws.  An environmental plea must go out to the owners of the lands where field burning is conducted.  www.castMD.com has been writing about this issue for months – where has the EPA been?  Where have the protectors of the land, water, and air been?  To lease or rent, knowingly for the practice, is like knowlingly leasing a house for meth making or meth distribution.  All the parties know that this practice pollutes.  All the parties know that this practice is unsafe for patients.  All the parties know this is harmful to the people of the earth.  Isn't it time for leadership by the elders, officials, elected few, and, as "Country Attorney" Jerry Spence would say:  "Faceless corporations?"   Which leaders will be strong, bold, and sincere to tell the truth AND do the right thing? It is time to "walk the environmental talk."

 

SEE PREVIOUS ENTRIES:

http://www.castmd.com/?p=53

http://www.castmd.com/?p=47

http://www.castmd.com/?p=46

http://www.castmd.com/?p=48

http://www.castmd.com/?p=24

http://www.castmd.com/?p=8

SUBLIMINAL EVIL LURKS IN BLOGOSPERE WWW.CASTMD COMES TO THE IMMEDIATE RESCUE “CAUTION: ENTERING THIS UN-SPUN ZONE”

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

 

Bloggers beware.

 

Bloggers beware

Of pen’s fiery flare.

Bloggers beware

Of hateful glare.

 

Bloggers beware

Of gifts they bear.

Bloggers beware

Of tempting dare.

 

 

Bloggers beware

Of laughter’s stare.

Bloggers beware

Of limited care.

 

Bloggers beware

Of  legal snare.

Bloggers beware

Of snake-eye pair.

 

Bloggers beware.

 

quit smoking – cessation by drug – nicotine blocker chantix – how good is it? side effects and risks?

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

 

The latest news on this new nicotine receptor blocker to assist you to quit smoking is good but not the great breakthrough. Research is getting hotter.  And we can help patients "shock" that habit with this new drug at a brain receptor level.

What castMD has been told is a reality of about 25 % of patients on this medicine (lest we forget…risks of medicine exist here also) continue to be smoke-free at about 3 months, and about 45 % are smoke-free at about 6 months.  This is the latest scoop on this as compared to previous numbers below.  As with all new drugs, the love affair of the honeymoon settles in to reveal the subsequent anniversaries and the baseline love still there.  Thus, as with new drugs…but this addiction research is approaching marvelous breakthroughs with the MRI, PET, 3D scanners and high tech computer software in the brain research world. 

Many patients have success with the gum, patch, or control device.  Yet many simply quit cold turkey…but often this is after "an event" such as a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, emphysema attack…landing that patient in the hospital.

The "click of the heels" and make a wish still remains hard work, commitment, and desire to stop smoking.  Moral, family, and friend support must be involved to a level that they all qualify for an "Oscar" for best supporting role!

 

 

Journal of the AMA published an article in July, 2006 on the Chantix nicotine receptor blocker and its goal of stopping smoking:

44% of those on Chantix were not smoking at 12 weeks 
29.5%% of those on Zyban were not smoking at 12 weeks 
18% of those on a placebo were not smoking at 12 weeks 
22% of those on Chantix did not smoke from week 9 to 52 
16% of those on Zyban did not smoke from week 9 to 52 
8.4% of those on a placebo did not smoke from week 9 to 52

*****

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of Chantix (varenicline tartrate) tablets, to help cigarette smokers stop smoking. The active ingredient in Chantix, varenicline tartrate, is a new molecular entity that received a priority FDA review because of its significant potential benefit to public health.

Chantix acts at sites in the brain affected by nicotine and may help those who wish to give up smoking in two ways: by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if they resume smoking.

"Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States and is responsible for a growing list of cancers as well as chronic diseases including those of the lung and heart," said Scott Gottlieb, MD, Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. "The agency is committed to helping facilitate the development of products to help people quit smoking and improve their overall quality of life."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 44.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes and more than 8.6 million of them have at least one serious illness caused by smoking.

"Cigarette smoking is a very difficult habit to break due in large part to nicotine dependence or addiction" said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Chantix therapy has proven to be effective in smokers motivated to quit and will provide another tool for physicians to use for the millions of smokers who want to quit."

The effectiveness of Chantix in smoking cessation was demonstrated in six clinical trials, which included a total of 3659 chronic cigarette smokers who were treated with varenicline. Five of the six studies were randomized, controlled clinical trials in which Chantix was shown to be superior to placebo in helping people quit smoking.

The approved course of Chantix treatment is 12 weeks. Patients who successfully quit smoking during Chantix treatment may continue with an additional 12 weeks of Chantix treatment to further increase the likelihood of long-term smoking cessation.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse effects of Chantix were nausea, headache, vomiting, flatulence (gas), insomnia, abnormal dreams, and dysgeusia (change in taste perception).

Chantix is manufactured and distributed by Pfizer, Inc., New York, NY.

(adapted from FDA-AMA sources)

gonzales denies constitutional rights of habeas corpus in senate committee

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Medicine dominates www.castMD.com, however, this news must be told, from all sides of any isle, current time, any bias, any blog.  As watched days ago:

Alberto Gonzales the U.S. Attorney General,  seemed to summarize a reversal that the U.S. Constitution grants habeas corpus rights to a fair trial to every American.  Arlen Specter a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, listened to Gonzales arguing that the Constitution doesn't explicitly endow habeas corpus rights.  He commented that when Great Writ can be suspended. Gonzales said."There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there's a prohibition against taking it away."  "Wait a minute," Specter amazing replied to Gonzales. "The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's a rebellion or invasion?"  "The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended" except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Specter quickly retorted: "You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense." 

DENYING CITIZENS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HABEAS CORPUS seems to be on the line here!

With his basis in this apparent illogical and confounding premise – that since the U.S. Constitution "only" guarantees that Habeas Corpus cannot be taken away except in times of invasion/uprise – it then follows that everyone does not have an inital right.

From that scary monstrosity of a proposition, does he believe justification of the illegal and unconstitutional Guantanamo "infinite-detention-without-charge" program?  War on terror or war on citizen rights?

This is one of the most unique testimonies ever stated, like, "I never had sex with that woman." that a previous President made – one which goes against not only common sensical argument, but one which may become TRULY Anti-American and works to undermine the very foundations of our Constitution and legal system.

Has America seen such Founding Father "stomping" in other areas?  How about the right of Eminent Domain expansion…squish the  little person or business…big boys don't cry!

 

CYANIDE ANTIDOTE – FDA APPROVED RECENTLY – WILL IMPROVE FIRE AND POISONED VICTIMS’ CHANCES OF SURVIVAL WITH EARLY EMS AND KEY TO BIOTERRORISM MONITORING *** CYANOKIT (C)

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Fire victims, EMS providers, methlab remediation teams, and firefighters will be greatly served by this medical advancement in the United States.  This cyanide antidote replaces the "lilly kit" that had been used for years, which used early, was lifesaving but medically cumbersome at best.  Three medicines quickly had to be given to these severely critical patients – and the antidote itself had poisoning problems itself.  This new antidote uses an extremely novel idea.  Vitamin B12, hydroxycobalamin, likes cyanide.  With a little molecular twist, the new antidote drug, hydroxocobalamin, simply exchanges a part of the drug and binds the cyanide with impressive results.  Dr. Steve Borron, well know to some of us, and definitely an international leader in this arena, has done significant and life changing research on this new antidote to get the approval through the FDA.  This antidote has been used in Europe for over a decade with great success.  Others like Dr. Hall in Denver has done work on the FDA project years ago.  Many have contributed to this landmark success of getting this drug in a workable form into the United States.  Congrats to all of them!

 

FDA News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P06-205
December 15, 2006

Media Inquiries:
Press Office, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Cyanide Poisoning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Cyanokit (containing the drug hydroxocobalamin, intravenous tubing and a sterile spike for reconstituting the drug product with saline) for the treatment of known or suspected cyanide poisoning.  The approval, which is based on evidence of the drug's effectiveness when tested in animals, improves the nation's ability to respond to emergencies, including a potential attack by terrorists.

"Cyanide is a potent poison and one of the substances that could be used in a chemical attack," said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.  "Today's approval is yet another measure to counter the threat of terrorism, which is a critical component of FDA's public health mission."

Cyanokit received a priority review and was approved under the Animal Efficacy Rule, which  allows use of animal data for evidence of a drug's effectiveness for certain conditions when the drug cannot be ethically or feasibly tested in humans. 

In a controlled study in cyanide-poisoned adult dogs, the use of Cyanokit reduced whole blood cyanide concentration by approximately 55% by the end of the infusion, and significantly improved survival of the Cyanokit-treated dogs compared with dogs receiving placebo.

The safety, metabolism and excretion of Cyanokit were evaluated in 136 healthy adult humans.  At the proposed starting dose of 5 grams, the drug was found to be generally well tolerated with side effects that were mild to moderate.  The drug exits the body unchanged in the urine.  In the presence of cyanide, Cyanokit's active drug takes up the cyanide and becomes a form of vitamin B12.

The most frequently reported adverse reactions in the trial were red urine, skin redness (both from the drug's coloration itself), a temporary increase in blood pressure, headache, nausea and injection site reactions.  Allergic reactions were observed in a small number of individuals but were relatively mild and responded quickly to treatment.

Cyanokit is manufactured for EMD Pharmaceuticals, Inc by Merck Sante s.a.s. in Semoy, France and packaged by Dey Laboratories of Napa, California.

More information about FDA's efforts to counteract bioterrorism is available on FDA's website at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/bioterrorism.html.

 

(photos courtesy: google images)

 

METH LABS — smurfing — AFTER THE CLEANUP IS RISK REAL? TOXIC TALE?

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Methlabs continue to plague society. Costs continue to rise.  New laws embedded.  New techniques on how to get the drugs to help make meth continue, for example:

Typical mechanisms that the non-cartel methlab cooks get pseudoephedrine are: smurfing and shelf sweeping.  Individuals that “smurf” go to a large number of stores and buy amounts at each retailer of pseudoephedrine that are under the legal limit but in the aggregate are much more.  A less sophisticated version of smurfing involves sending many individuals into the same store to buy amounts of pseudoephedrine just below the legal limit.  “Shelf sweeping” occurs when an individual or a group goes into a store and remove all the pseudoephedrine on the shelf and then exit without paying.

 

 

photo courtesy srhd

 

 

Recently, radio listening to a report of the "significant" risks to persons entering into methlab areas that already have been cleaned up or decontaminated or remediated.  The report left me believing that any site with any amount of meth activity is the same.  Not true.

The report said after the cleanup process has occurred, the persons are still able to be "poisoned" and become "toxic" from being in the decontaminated room.  Not probable either.

The epidemic of methlabs across the country have spawned the entire "cleanup industry" making many companies extremely wealthy in the "abatement industry."  One operator told me, "If I just turn on the truck, the fee is $2500 dollars, then the bill goes up depending on what we do."

Most ingredients of methlabs are dangerous.  Some can be flammable.  Some have bombs or incindary devices. However, after the cleanup has occurred, risk is minimal, probably non-existent.

Do you clean out your garage or shed as a methlab decon project – the spaces that have been storage for such contaminants of lawn mower gasoline, oil, garden chemicals, camping or cooking supplies, glass cleaner, carburator fluids, drain cleaners, windshield washer fluids, antifreeze, and other highly toxic day to day chemicals of household use?

The risk of financial collapse for cleanup is hard hitting for any owner that needs to hire a "cleanup" company.  It is estimated that a methlab cleanup can cost from $1000 to hundreds of thousands, depending on cartel activity or the mom-pop variety.

Google "methlab cleanup companies" (remediation) and nearly 60,000 hits arrive at the "deal or no deal" option.

Searching and searching, little is found on "risk of after-cleanup toxicity."   Colleagues in this area have been surveyed.  An anwer is in waiting.  Thus far, experience has not shown me one person ill, sick, contaminated, physically harmed, toxic from a space declared "clean."

 

BLANKETTED SOUNDS OF SUMMER – photo essay winter wonderland COEUR D ALENE ID

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

 

"winter wonderland" 

FIREARMS AND GUN SAFETY: BOTH SIDES “SPIN” RESEARCH BIAS

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

One of today's newspapers in Spokane Washington opined in the Editorial entitled "Too Many Guns"  that one of the handgun-firearms issues regarding background checks at gunshows should be done.  Despite this not-so-bad idea, the editorial went on to list the "X-factors" of risks of the biased anti-gun and gun ownership data.

Many groups have "researched" the issue.  Many groups only rely on the news they wish to portray.  Going into the data bank on the issue of bias in this area led me to two reasonable rebuttal articles and summaries. 

 

FIREARM SAFETY

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=120&issue=009

 

WHAT DO OTHER MEDICAL GROUPS SAY ABOUT FIREARMS STUDIES?

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=119&issue=009