Sunday, 28 June 2015

We are unhealthier now, but spend multi-£billions on drugs and vaccines

  • We are getting sicker
  • We devote enormous resources on conventional medicine
  • Why?
The World's Population Is Getting Sicker. A study, based on a global survey, and outlined in a Lancet news release on 8th June 2015 showed that people are losing more 'years of healthy life' to illness now than they did in the 1990s.

The 'Global Burden of Disease' survey should that only 4% of people worldwide had no health problems (in 2013), whilst one-third (representing about 2.3 billion people) had more than 5 health problems! What is worse was the the situation is getting progressively worse.

The proportion of years of healthy life lost because of illness rose from 21% in 1990 to 31% in 2013.

This trend is contrary to the picture that the conventional medical establishment wants to project, and what the mainstream media works hard to get us to believe.
  • Drugs and vaccines are winning the war against ill-health. 
  • Conventional medical science has got, or will soon get, cures for every illness and disease. 
  • Our doctors can be relied upon to make us better when we get sick.
The study was an extensive one. It involved data from 188 countries, and looked at over 300 illnesses and injuries, according to the Lancet news release, which described the study as the largest analysis of trends in health around the world for the years 1990 to 2013.

The survey found that in both 1990 and 2013 the leading causes of ill health worldwide were the same, namely Low back pain, depression, iron-deficiency anemia, neck pain and age-related hearing loss.

In 2013, two conditions, musculoskeletal problems, such as low back pain, neck pain and arthritis) and mental health and substance abuse disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse, accounted for nearly half of all loss of healthy years of life.

Of course, there was little of no mention of the role of conventional medical drugs in making us sicker through the side effects of drugs and vaccines!

Instead, the 'usual suspects' were blamed. For instance, the growing number and proportion of older people in the population was one name culprit, and it is disappointing that there appears to have been no mention that people are getting sicker now earlier in their lives.

Yet the study is important. It found that 1 in 10 people worldwide in 2013 suffered from at least one of the following disorders:
  • tooth decay
  • tension headaches
  • iron-deficiency anaemia
  • age-linked hearing loss
  • genital herpes
  • migraines
  • intestinal roundworm
  • and a genetic blood disorder.
The study described a startling rise in ill health between 1990 and 2013 arising from
  • diabetes
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • arthritis
The conclusion of the study was that whilst death rates were declining, rates of disability were rising. It noted that global diabetes rates rose by 43% over the 23 years studied, whilst deaths from diabetes only rose by 9%. In other words, modern medicine may have kept people alive longer, but that quality of life was not improved. The author of the study, Theo Vox, Professor of Global Health, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, was quoted in the news release.

          "Large, preventable causes of health loss, particularly serious musculoskeletal disorders and mental and behavioral disorders, have not received the attention that they deserve. Addressing these issues will require a shift in health priorities around the world, not just to keep people alive into old age, but also to keep them healthy."

Yet this issue is not about 'a shift in health priorities'. The promise made to us by the conventional medical establishment has never been to keep us alive, albeit suffering from more chronic disease. The promise has been to eliminate disease. In this our drug-vaccine led medical culture has failed, and is continuing to fail.

The problem of accelerating, world-wide ill-health will only be understood once the role of doctor-induced disease, iatrogenic disease, is taken seriously into account.

Only when we begin to understand and recognise the role of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, which have been dished out like confetti for decades, will we address these issues. Side effects are really disease-inducing-effects (DIEs). They are not just slight, temporary headaches. They are fully fledged diseases. We are told by conventional doctors that side effects, or DIEs, are inevitable. They are not! They are inevitable within a medical system that continuously fights the body, drugs that 'inhibit' this function, or are 'antagonist' to that function, or which 'block' something else.

The fact is that the more we spend on conventional medical care, focused as it is on DIE-ridden drugs and vaccines, the sicker we are becoming, and in future the sicker we will become. This is what this study states, clearly and unequivocally. What the study unfortunately fails to do is to identify one of the most fundamental reasons for this ongoing trend.

I am currently in the process of writing an e-book that looks more closely at DIEs. The purpose of this book will be to look at diseases, particular chronic diseases that are currently running at epidemic proportions, and identifying the conventional medical drugs and vaccines that are known to cause these diseases.

Perhaps it is time for the conventional medical establishment to recognise their role in this pattern of growing ill-health. This may take a very long time!

So it is certainly time for patients, for those of us who are getting sick, to begin to recognise the role play by Big Pharma drugs and vaccines in our ill-health.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Rennies. A simple, safe Antacid drug. Or a cause of Dementia?

Rennies is readily available on sale at most chemists. It does not need a doctor's prescription. Lots of people use it for an upset stomach. Most people think it is safe.

But it isn't!

Have a look at this research, which links Rennies with Dementia.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736467900002067

For an broader assessment of the dangers of Rennies, please click here. This article also covers the dangers of two other 'safe' and widely used antacid drugs, Gaviscon and Alka-Seltzer.



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI Drugs). The unspoken dangers

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the amount of acid made by your stomach, and are used to treat acid reflux and ulcers of the stomach and  the gut. The drugs act by suppressing stomach acid. PPIs come under a number of different brand names, including Aciphex, Altosec, Controloc, Dexilant, Esotrex, Gasec, GastroGard, Inhibitol, Kapidex, Levant, Lomac, Losec, Lupizole, Monolitum, Nexium, Omepral, Omez, Pantolac, Pantozol, Pantomed, Pepcid, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Somac, Tagamet, Tecta, UlcerGard, Zantac, Zentro, Zoton, Zegerid, Zurcal, and no doubt many others.

Since the discovery of PPI compounds in the mid 1970's, they have become the drug of choice for most acid-related conditions, and have been widely sold throughout the world since that time. Doctors will often tell you they do not develop side effects (see, for example, the patient.info website), and are 'well-tolerated. This is untrue.

For instance, one consumer organisation in the USA, Public Citizen, asked the FDA in 2011 to add a ‘black box’ warning to them, to make users aware of the drastic side effects caused by PPIs. Of course, this did not happen!

So what are the side effects of these commonly used drugs? The most common side effects of PPIs, the one’s openly admitted by the conventional medical establishment, include:
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea and constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Rashes, itching
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness, malaise
  • Blurred vision
Yet these common side effects are only the beginning of the problems that PPI drugs can cause to patients. Dr Ray Sahelian, on his webpage, outlines the association of PPI drugs with cancer, infection, gastric atrophy, polyps, Helicobacter pylori, and says that the chronic use of PPIs can lead to confusion, delirium and dementia.

PPI Drugs and vitamin B12 absorption
Perhaps many of these serious associations with PPI drugs are related to one of the known effects - in reducing the absorption of the important vitamin, B12. In this study, published by JAMA, the long-term users of PPI drugs have been found to have a 65% risk of deficiency, which can lead to:
  • Anaemia
  • Nerve damage
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Depression
  • Female fertility and childbearing problems
  • Dementia, including Alzheimer disease 
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

PPIs and Clostridium difficile (C.Diff)
Clostridium difficile is one of the new superbugs, created by conventional medicine’s love of Antibiotic drugs. NHS Choices says that C. Diff is a type of bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system. “It most commonly affects people who have been treated with antibiotics”. It says that it can cause diarrhoea, high temperature, and painful abdominal cramps. But it also admits that “it can also lead to life-threatening complications such as severe swelling of the bowel from a build-up of gas (toxic megacolon)”. What they do not admit is any connection with PPI drugs.

This Medscape article, ‘Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Clostridium Difficile Infection’, published in 2010, outlines two studies issued in the ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’ that showed a correlation between use of PPIs and Clostridium difficile infections. These studies led to the FDA including a warning on the labels of PPI drugs. In an accompanying editorial, Mitchell H. Katz, MD, from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California, describes these studies as well as the others described in the series, "Less Is More."

"The increases in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection with PPIs are not at all modest, reflecting the likely importance of gastric acid in protecting against infection from this pathogen” (My emphasis).

PPIs, Osteoporosis and Fracture risk
The link between PPI drugs, Osteoporosis and the increased risk of fractures, is well documented, but of course not accepted by the conventional medical establishment. Several studies have identified an association between PPI prescription and the development of hip fracture and fractures overall.
  • Yang YX, Lewis JD, Epstein S, et al. Long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy and risk of hip fracture. JAMA 2006;296:2947–53.
  • Vestergaard P, Rejnmark L, Mosekilde L. Proton pump inhibitors, histamine H2 receptor antagonists, and other antacid medications and the risk of fracture. Calcif Tissue Int 2006;79:76–83.
PPI Drugs, Confusion and Dementia.
This is confirmed in several studies. One study, ‘Acid inhibitors may raise risk of developing dementia use may lead to confusion, delirium, and dementia’ found that memory problems were seen in older black people who were chronic users.

Another study, ‘Risk of dementia in elderly patients with the use of proton pump inhibitors’, assessed the association between the use of PPIs and the risk of dementia in older people. It found that patients receiving PPI medication had a significantly increased risk of any dementia …. and Alzheimer’s disease …. compared with non-users. They concluded that

“Due to the major burden of dementia on public health and the lack of curative medication, this finding is of high interest to research on dementia and provides indication for dementia prevention.

Yet this study, ‘Inappropriate prescribing of proton pump inhibitors in older patients: effects of an educational strategy’ found that there was frequent prescribing of PPI drugs for older patients that was entirely inappropriate, and “independently associated with co-morbidities and dementia”.

PPIs and Heart Attacks (Myocardial Infarction)
It has been accepted for many years that PPI drugs might cause heart attacks in those people who had previous history of cardiovascular disease. However, more recent evidence, in this study published in June 2015, Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population, demonstrated  that this prior susceptibility to heart attacks was not necessary. The conclusion of the study was this.

“Consistent with our pre-clinical findings that PPIs may adversely impact vascular function, our data-mining study supports the association of PPI exposure with risk for MI in the general population. These data provide an example of how a combination of experimental studies and data-mining approaches can be applied to prioritize drug safety signals for further investigation

Dependence and Withdrawal 
When the USA consumer organisation, Public Citizen asked the FDA to give PPI drugs a ‘black box’ warning in 2001, one of the reasons they gave was the potential for developing dependence on the drug.

“Rebound acid hypersecretion risk - a kind of PPI dependence that can occur even after just four weeks on the medication. Patients and health care professional should be informed about the risk of PPI dependence and warned not to take the medications beyond their time frames and indicated uses. There is no current warning about this in any PPI label”.

The problem has been discussed on several internet sites, including this one, and also on this ABC News article. However, no such warning has, to my knowledge, ever been given by drug regulators.

Instead, patients are routinely told by the conventional medical establishment that Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs are ‘well tolerated’. Clearly, they do not believe that these drugs have done sufficient damage to patients yet!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

CMO calls for medicines review on safety and efficacy of drugs? To restore public trust?

BBC News have today (16th June 2015) issued the news that the UK government's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has called for an independent review of the safety and efficacy of medicines as she is worried that recent controversies over the use of medicine "have damaged faith in the way research is carried out and presented".

This must come as a considerable surprise to those people who regularly listen to BBC News.

Just what controversies are these? And what are the problems in the way medical research is carried out and presented? Have we heard about these concerns before?

Apparently, a copy of her request was obtained by the BBC's File on 4 programme as part of an investigation into 'concerns'. So what are these concerns?
  • She is concerned "about the view that doctors and scientists are "untrustworthy".
This has never been said before, certainly not on the BBC, which regularly tells us about new medical breakthroughs, but nothing about any issues with the safety of the drugs patients are given
  • She is concerned about a clot-busting treatment for strokes, a technique called thrombolysis.
What is her concern about this treatment? I have never heard the BBC tell its viewers and listeners anything about this clot-busting treatments. Surely, if there were concerns about thrombolysis, this trusted broadcaster would tell us about it. Wouldn't they?
  • She is concerned about the use of cholesterol-lowing statin drugs for people at low risk of developing heart disease.
What is her concern? The BBC has regularly told us that statins are life-saving drugs, even that they are entirely safe. Certainly, they have never told us otherwise!
  • She is concerned about the use of the anti-viral drug, Tamiflu.
What is her concern? Have the BBC ever told us anything about Tamil, certainly anything that was to do with 'concerns'.

The BBC tells us that the letter reads:

          "There seems to be a view that doctors over-medicate so it is difficult to trust them, and that clinical scientists are all beset by conflicts of interest from industry funding and are therefore untrustworthy too."
  • Doctors over-medicate?
  • Conflicts of interest?
Surely not, surely if these problems existed our trusted BBC, and its health and science correspondents would have told us about it.

The letter also says that none of this is not in the interests of patients or the public's health. Yet it is difficult to believe that the BBC would not have been aware of these threats to patients (who, after all, are the BBC's viewers, listeners and readers), or about threats to public health, without reporting them.

          "I have, therefore, reluctantly come to the conclusion that we do need an authoritative independent report looking at how society should judge the safety and efficacy of drugs as an intervention."

So Dame Sally Davies seems convinced. It does seem that she might be correct. Perhaps in the absence of interest in these matters by the mainstream media, including the BBC, we do need such an 'independent' report.

The BBC articles take up the problem with the treatment of strokes, I believe for the very first time!

          "Each year in the UK, there are more than 150,000 strokes. About 85% are caused by an obstruction blocking the flow of blood to the brain. Patients with this type of stroke may be eligible for treatment with alteplase, subject to tests in hospital. File on 4 visited the hyper-acute stroke unit at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to see how staff assessed and administered alteplase. Dr Jane Molloy, the clinical lead for stroke services, described how they explained the potential benefits to patients and their families. Doctors would say that for every three people treated with this medication one will make some extra improvement, and one in seven will recover their independence who would not do so otherwise, she said.

File on 4 then set out the risks.

          "We know that the risk of bleeding with thrombolysis is six in 100 and that will include minor bleeding but also might include major bleeding with the possibility that it could cause a fatal bleed in the brain."

          "Some doctors say the benefits have been exaggerated. Dr Roger Shinton, a former stroke physician at Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital, is sceptical. He said: 
          "I'm prepared to accept that there are some patients who could get some benefit, but overall it may be that on balance the number of people benefiting is actually quite small and does not justify the use given the significant harms that we know."

His views, as a conventional doctor, are strange indeed. Whenever, and if ever, the BBC investigates medical concerns, it talks to doctors who provide us all with re-assurance. Their strategy is surely foolproof, isn't it? There is a problem with a medical process, so ask those who are committed to that process to give us their opinion.

And yet, read on....

Dr Shinton's concerns have won 'powerful backing' from the former president of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Richard Thompson, who is quoted as saying:

          "My worry is that the trials are not consistent, that the evidence is not strong enough to be giving, after all, a very expensive treatment. Do we want to recommend a treatment with a marginal effect when we know we are, if you like, killing a few patients and saving others?"

Yes, an important question. I have often heard doctors explain to BBC interviews that the advantages of a drug, or vaccine, or procedure, outweighs the disadvantages. The BBC usually accept this without question. So it is not surprising, perhaps, that in this BBC articles, it finds such an individual, Dr Dale Wenn, from the Stroke Association, who defended the treatment.

          "The evidence says that alteplase has made a big impact on the recovery of stroke survivors. We have to remember that the number of disabilities associated with stroke is greater than any other medical condition. A stroke really can turn your world upside down. What alteplase has done is to improve the long-term recovery outcomes for stroke patients."

And then the BBC finds a statement made by Boeringer Ingelheim, which holds the licence for alteplase in Europe, who said its medicine played a vital role in the treatment of acute strokes.

           "We are confident in our data, which is supported by the experience of clinicians who have been using our medicine to treat their patients for more than a decade. We are incredibly proud of the contribution our medicine makes to patient care at this critical time."

Well, that's the final word, in this BBC article, so perhaps all is well with conventional medical practice. All this investigatory journalism is hard work, questioning people (even medical 'experts'), delving into the outcomes of their practices. Much easier, surely, to listen the what the conventional medical establishment tells us, and go along with it.

And then, Sally Davies does this? I wonder why she wanted to upset the apple-cart? Yes, there are people out here who investigate the outcomes of conventional medical drugs, vaccines and procedures. That's why more and more people are turning to alternative medical therapies.

But shush, that's enough. The BBC might think that it ought to examine these medical therapies with an open mind. It's much easier just to forget about them. And to castigate them, if they are mentioned.

So quiet, all of you. The BBC science and health correspondents are asleep on the job. Don't wake them!

Gliflozins. A 'new' drug for Diabetes

Gliflozins, SGLT2 inhibitors, have not been around very long. They are a new class of drugs developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The first of these, Canaflifozin was approved by the FDA (US drug regulator) in 2013. Other types are called Dapafloflozin and Empagliflozin. They seek to prevent glucose getting into the blood stream.

Like all conventional drugs, gliflozins will have been fully tested by the drug companies. The tests will have confirmed, to the satisfaction of drug regulators that they are effective and safe. The full rigour of science will have been used to ensure that patients are not harmed.

Like all new drugs, the drug companies will have marketed it by telling us about its magnificent potential, as in this Times of India article.

          "With the introduction of ... the Gliflozins, a new era of therapy has been ushered in, whereby independent of the insulin mechanism, the diabetic just flushes out the extra glucose in the urine. The efficacy of these drugs is significant and can lead substantial benefit in controlling the spiraling sugars in the diabetic. Simultaneously , the excreted glucose carries away un wanted calories and over a period of time results in some favorable weight loss".

So we have "a new era", a drug whose "efficacy is significant", and "can lead to substantial benefit in controlling the spiralling sugars in the diabetic". The patient can even expect to lose weight.
So can we look forward to the diabetes epidemic to be reduced? Has medical science has triumphed, yet again? Can patients  benefit greatly from the new wisdom of conventional medicine, and the brilliance of the pharmaceutical industry? Or are Big Pharma promises destined, once more, to hit the dust?
This is the headline of the GP magazine, Pulse (16th June 2015). Within two years of the launch of these game-changing drugs, problems have been identified - despite 'rigorous' scientific testing - despite the work of drug regulators.
          "The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was conducting the review after 101 cases of diabetic ketoacidosis - a condition usually seen in patients with type 1 diabetes - were reported worldwide in patients with type 2 diabetes using the drugs to help control their blood glucose.
          "All the cases were serious and some required patients to be admitted to hospital, the EMA said, while some patients’ blood glucose levels were not elevated as is usually characteristic of the condition, potentially delaying diagnosis and treatment.
          "The regulator said it was writing to GPs and other clinicians about the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis and how to manage it and that ‘patients who have any concerns about their diabetes medicines should consult their doctor or pharmacist’.
It is the usual story with conventional medical drugs. 
  • The early hype of a safe and effective new drug.
  • It is given to patients, then quickly realised that it harms patients in ways that science did not predict.
  • The review will almost inevitably deduce that there are problems, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
  • Doctors will continue prescribing the drug to patients, and more harm and damage will be done.
  • More reviews will be undertaken, but for many years it is unlikely that effective action will be taken to protect patients.
  • And although doctors will be asked to use caution, patients will not be told about the dangers of the drug.
  • And the mainstream media will be dutifully quiet
The history of most, if not all pharmaceutical drugs follow a similar pattern, often ending up with the drug being withdrawn or banned. I have written about this in more detail in "Medical Science. The failure to protect us from 'scientific' medicine"
The medicine offered to us by the conventional medical establishment is usually unsafe, and often dangerous. Patients need to know this before they accept any drug or vaccine. Unfortunately, largely owing to the weakness of our media, most patients do not know. And so our doctors continue to harm us with drugs like Gliflozins.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Asthma and the drug Prednisolone (Prednisone)

Earlier today (15th June 2015) I received an email advertising the drug, Prednisolone, which was directed at GP's. Drug companies cannot advertise prescription drugs to the general public in Britain, but they can advertise their wares to doctors, and they certainly do this.

The advert, quite unremarkably, began with outlining the reasons for prescribing this asthma drug.

"Despite a plateau in the prevalence of asthma since the late 1990s, the UK still has some of the highest rates in Europe; Asthma UK reports that there are around 5.4 million people in the UK presently receiving treatment for asthma. Out-of-hours services and walk-in centres are increasingly the first port of call for people experiencing an exacerbation.

"Even though it has been estimated that around 90% of deaths from asthma in the UK are preventable, asthma still kills. Over the last decade, the number of deaths from asthma in the UK has not significantly reduced from year to year, remaining at around 1000 deaths per year.

"A confidential report published in 2014, reviewing the circumstances surrounding nearly 200 deaths from asthma for a 12-month period between 2012 and 2013, found that almost half of the deaths occurred before admission to hospital. 

"Many of these deaths occur in patients who have received inadequate steroid treatment.

"Given these facts, national guidelines recommend that all patients over the age of five years who present to healthcare professionals with severe or life-threatening exacerbations of asthma should be treated with oral or intravenous steroids within one hour of the presentation of symptoms.

"Recommended treatments include a dose of 20mg prednisolone...." and continues to inform doctors what they should be prescribing.

"The early use of steroids in asthma emergencies, whether presenting in primary care, out of hours or the hospital emergency department, may reduce the need for hospital admission, prevent relapse in symptoms, lessen the need for β2 agonist therapy, and more importantly reduce the mortality caused by severe asthma exacerbations.

All this is quite unremarkable, really. So what is the problem with this information. 

Well, it sounds like we have a drug that can cope with the problems of asthma, as outlined in the advert. Yet Prednisolone (Prednisone) has been around since the 1950's, around 60 years! So it is hardly new, and if it was going to tackle the serious epidemic levels of asthma we face today, it would surely have done so by now.

But then, of course, there are the serious dangers involved in taking this awful drug! I was going to look them up for the purpose of this blog, but then discovered they were listed at the bottom of the advert. I suppose drug companies have to do this by law. I also suppose that doctors should tell their patients about the dangerous side effects of this drug, but they usually don't do the full enormity of the harm they can cause justice!

GP's would barely have the time to read them all.

I reproduce them all here, just as they appear on the advert. Please don't read them all, unless you need to do so, if you are taking the drug, or someone close to you is taking it! It is a veritable horror story. The point of reproducing it is to ask two simple questions.
  1. Have drug companies really got nothing better to offer us? Is there nothing safer? Is there nothing more effective, after 60 years?
  2. Do doctors know about the serious side effects, and yet still prescribe such a drug to us? Are they prepared to harm us in this way?

Contraindications:
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or any excipient. System infections. Live virus immunization. Tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, psychosis, ocular herpes simplex.

Special warnings and precautions for use: 
Suppression of the inflammatory response and immune function increases susceptibility to infections and their severity. Masking of serious infections (septicaemia and tuberculosis) and minor illnesses (chicken pox or herpes zoster) which can become fatal in immunocompromised patients. Avoid exposure to measles and live vaccines, due to diminished antibody response. Caution is advised with renal insufficiency, hypertension or congestive heart failure due to possible fluid retention. Worsening of diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, hypertension, glaucoma and epilepsy may occur. Severe psychiatric adverse reactions can occur within days or weeks of starting treatment. Caution is advised in individuals with history of severe affective disorders. Closely monitor patients with steroid myopathy, peptic ulceration, hypothyroidism, recent myocardial infarction, liver failure or tuberculosis. Irreversible, dose related growth retardation may occur in children. Prolonged therapy can result in adrenal cortical atrophy and suppression of the HPA axis. Withdrawal following prolonged treatment should occur gradually and doses should be tapered over days or weeks.

Drug Interactions: 
Rifampicin, rifabutin, carbamazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidone, ephedrine, aminoglutethimide, mifeprostone, erythromycin and ketoconazole inhibit the metabolism and reduce the therapeutic effects of corticosteroids. Ciclosporin, oestrogens and oral contraceptives potentiate the effects of glucocorticoids. Corticosteroids inhibits the effects of hypoglycaemic agents, anti-hypertensives, diuretics, anticholinesterases, cholecystographic x-ray media and growth homone somatotropin. Corticosteroids enhance the efffects of coumarin anticoagulants, warfarin, acetazolamide, loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, carbenoxolone and cardiac glycosides. Increased risk of GI bleeding and ulceration occur with aspirin and NSAIDs. Risk of hypokalaemia increased with theophylline, amphotericin, bamuterol, fenoterol, formoterol, ritodrine, salbutamol, salmeterol and terbutaline. Increased risk of haematological toxicity with methotrexate.

Fertility, pregnancy and lactation: 
Only prescribe if benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies and prolonged use have shown increased risk of foetal abnormalities. Corticosteroids are excreted in small amounts in breast milk.

Undesirable effects: 
Dizziness, headache, vertigo, malaise, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, oesophageal ulcer, peptic ulcer haemorrhage, peptic ulcer perforation and acute pancreatitis. Glaucoma, cataracts, papiloedema, chorioretinopathy, corneal thinning. Skin atrophy, acne, skin striae, urticaria, hyperhidrosis and hirsutism. Fluid retention, hypokalaemia, electrolyte imbalance, hypertension, congestive heart failure, myocardial rupture, weight gain Impaired healing and increased susceptibility to opportunistic and latent infections. Leucocytosis, hypersensitivity reactions, hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal suppression, cushingoid, carbohydrate intolerance, exacerbation of diabetes, increased appetite, weight gain and total protein abnormal. A wide range of psychiatric disorders, affective disorder, abnormal behaviour, anxiety, sleep disorder, confusion, amnesia. Irregular menstruation and amenorrhoea. Myopathy, myalgia, tendon rupture, osteoporosis, spinal fractures and osteonecrosis. 

Paediatric Population: 
Psychiatric reactions, increased intracranial pressure with papiloedema and growth retardation. 

Withdrawal: 
Rapid reduction of corticosteroid dosage following prolonged treatment can lead to acute adrenal insufficiency, hypotenstion and death. Effects may resemble relapse of the disease being treated. Other effects include benign intracranial hypertension with headache and vomiting and papilloema due to cerebral oedema.


Antibiotic Apocalypse. The BBC fails again to address the issue

There is no doubt that conventional medicine, the drug and vaccine medicine that has dominated our lives for the last 100 years, is in trouble. The drug, which doctors have relied on increasingly over the last 70 years, is failing.

Our media is telling us this. The BBC Panorama programme, "Antibiotic Apocalypse", broadcast on 8th June 2015, was one attempt to do so.
  • The programme described antibiotics as a 'miracle' medicine, and described its value in recent decades in treating infections. It said, for example, that they could "kill infections that used to kill millions". It said that antibiotics had "saved millions of lives", and had "revolutionised medicine".
  • It asked the question - what would happen if "the drugs stopped working". It concluded that it would made many cancer treatments impossible, that organ and limb transplant would not be possible.
  • It raised the issue of superbugs, and how the over-use and over-dependence of antibiotics were a direct cause of C Diff, E Coli, MRSA, and others.
  • It described how superbugs most superbugs had become resistant to most antibiotics, and how they may become capable "of destroying everything modern medicine can throw at them"
  • It stated that if they all fail in the treatment of infections, the consequences would be "horrendous', that we would be returned to 'the Dark Ages'.
  • It told us that there was now only one class of antibiotic now used that could deal with drug resistant superbugs, serious blood infections, pneumonia, et al - Carbapenem. Yet although they are last resort, resistance is already apparent.
The government's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, featured in the programme, and painted an apocalyptic picture of the future, and the terrifying consequences of the imminent failure of antibiotic drugs. She said that 43% of people died of infections prior to antibiotics and that "we risk going back to that sort of scenario".

The programme described a government initiative, an independent review into antibiotic resistance and superbugs, led by Jim O'Neill, an economist. He highlighted that the lack of control over the use of antibiotics had led to overuse, and the rise of superbugs, that replacement antibiotics were not coming through, and that the drug pipeline is running dry. He said that 10 million people a year were dying from superbugs, and that the world would lose $100 trillion in output.

The programme also highlighted the fact that much of the antibiotics to which we are subjected are not taken by us, but by the animals that enter our food chain. In some countries, notably the USA, antibiotics are used as 'growth promoters' to boast agricultural profits. The USA were refusing to stop this, and the Third World would not do so either as a result. 

Sally Davies produced one alarming fact - that when we eat farmed salmon, by the time it reaches our plate, it will have consumed its own weight in antibiotics!

Panarama also hinted that the reason for no more antibiotics coming through. The last significant discovery, it said, had happened back in the 1980's.
  • Drugs were expensive to develop, and several antibiotics had been produced, but bugs quickly became resistant to them. 
  • Bugs, the programme said, resisted chemicals! "Every time we take an antibiotic it provides an opportunity for a new strain to emerge".
  • Any new antibiotics that were developed could only be used sparingly, because of the risk of resistance,  and the development of new superbugs, and this was "not good for profits". There were lots of costs, but no prospect of returns
  • As a result, drug research had dried up. It was no longer profitable for Big Pharma to do the research.
And the programme stated that the failure of antibiotics, the antibiotic era, could end less than 100 years after penicillin was discovered. Amazingly, the BBC almost allowed the reason for antibiotic failure to be aired when they allowed a microbiologist say that "bugs have been around millions of years, they are older than us, cleverer than us, wiser than us". Bacteria, we were told, quite correctly, are constantly evolving and spreading across borders. In the wise words of Panorama  "we cannot win the war against superbugs".

So what, according to the wit and wisdom of the BBC's Medical Correspondent, Fergus Walsh, was the solution?

Why, more antibiotics, of course! According to the BBC, the only solution they mention is to continue the warfare within our body that the bugs are winning, and will win. So instead of looking for real alternatives, let's provide the drug companies with more money, through an 'innovation' fund, or some such scheme. Let's provide Big Pharma with guaranteed payments for new, proven antibiotics. So a message of hope ends the programme! The next generation of drugs, so urgently needed, would perhaps come from antibiotics that existed within the soil, described as a "vast, untapped resource".

So antibiotics have brought us to this apocalyptic situation, as with so many conventional medical drugs (Thalidomide, Benzodiazepine, Vioxx, et al) - so let's have more of the same.

Fergus Walsh is, of course, is a great proponent of conventional medicine, and promoter of any Big Pharma initiative. And he is an inveterate opponent of alternative medicine, particularly homeopathy.  He did not, therefore, take the opportunity to mention the European Union's move to reduced the use of antibiotics, and for farmers to use Homeopathy instead - even though the Telegraph did publish this information (although, of course, in line with all mainstream media policy they called homeopathy 'unscientific').

'Unscientific' homeopathy has, of course, always been more successful in treating infections than conventional medicine, from the 19th Century, onwards. Iman Navab, for instance, has outlined some of the evidence on Dr Nancy Malik's blog. And no Homeopath, yesterday, today or tomorrow, would baulk at the prospect of treating a patient with an infectious disease, and do so without having to resort to antibiotic drugs. After all, Antibiotic drugs do have their dangers - something else that is rarely if every mentioned the BBC, the mainstream media, and its partial coverage.

So Panorama should be applauded for telling us about the antibiotic apocalypse, but asked why they did not put this into the context of the ongoing and continuous failure of conventional medicine to provide safe or effective drugs. 
  • People do need to know that there is a major crisis within the conventional medical establishment, but they also need to understand that it is not a crisis with Homeopathy, or the alternative medical community. 
  • People do need to have access to information that enables them to make an informed choice about their medical treatment, but they need to be aware that alternatives exist outside the closed, and failing world of conventional medicine.
As I have said before, there is a need to be a real, genuine health debate throughout the world, but especially in Britain, Europe, Australia, the USA and Canada, and other countries where the Pharmaceutical industry has a controlling and dominant influence. But nowhere is it happening. This programme could not bring itself to mention Homeopathy! Not even to undermine and attack it!

So this Panorama production demonstrates that the BBC, and our 'Free' media generally, remains firmly in the control of the conventional medical establishment, and by Big Pharma in particular. Even its biggest failures escape proper examination and evaluation. Even an apocalypse of this nature does not suggest that there is something radically wrong with 'scientific' drugs and vaccines, and suggest that other medical therapies need to be examined, and challenged.

As a public service broadcaster, the BBC is dramatically failing in readers, listeners and viewers. It is time that they understood this, and took steps to inform the public about what is happening.