Posts Tagged ‘Medical Marijuana’

What We Should Know About Our Meds

November 16, 2021

Given our chronic medical issues you would think we would know everything and anything about what is going on. Well some of us are fanatical and no every single thing but her medical conditions are treatments and all the other possibilities, very few of us do. But here are some important information that we should know.

Who’s Your Pharmacy Staff?

I’m not talking about the stock boys or the cashier’s, but the staff who prepare your meds. If you have a good rapport with the pharmacy technicians and your pharmacist you are less likely to have problems and they are probably more willing to take the time to communicate with you about concerns and questions you have.

Do I know my Pharmacy Staff?

I get my medications through a large national chain. I would recognize the two pharmacists that work nights I believe one is Christopher & I *know* the other is Stephanie. As for the Pharmacy techs, I do recognize them & I believe most of them recognize me in the context of the pharmacy. The girl who usually works pick up is Hailey and she recognizes me, despite the mask. When she sees me step towards her in line to get my meds she says to me “Hey Kelli! How’s it going?” As she’s already getting my info pulled up on the computer which is search my last name. The girl before her I also had a similar camaraderie.

The pharmacy prior was a smaller store of a different national chain. They knew me fairly well and vs versa. We would recognize each other on sight, even outside the pharmacy, by name – Mine, my SO & my Dog lol.

What Are Your Medications?

Most of us know our medications known by one name or another and most of us also know our dosages. But did you know that the generic is not the same as your brand names. Each of these medications have different code numbers so Nabilone has one unique number and Cesemet, which is really the same medication, has a different one. This is because the formulation is slightly different Do you know about these numbers? I know in Canada it’s called the Drug Identification Number and I believe in the States it’s a National Drug Code (someone correct me if I’m wrong). They *should* be listed on your prescription bottle

Different formulas & dosages of the same medication all need a unique DIN or NDV

Do I know the Drug Identification Numbers of my medications?

No, not off the top of my head. I do have that information in my bedside table however (maybe I should put that in my phone – lol). So while I don’t have the information in my head I do have a handy.

This is the reason why CBD or THC by prescription is not covered by medical benefits because it does not have a DIN or NDC

What are the Possible Side Effects of Your Prescription?

I am pretty sure, most of us when we get a new medication do go through the drug information as well as discussion with our doctor about the side effects of the med. But keep this information because side effects can happen at any time..

Check back Next Week for More on the Side Effects

Myth Debunked VI of VI

June 6, 2021

FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD

Many find it hard to accept a fibromyalgia diagnosis, not just because of the condition itself but because of what it means. It can feel like the healthcare professionals are saying ‘there’s clearly something wrong with you but we have no idea what it is… there’s nothing more we can do for you’.  This ties into the point of the trashcan / umbrella diagnosis.

Lack of information and fibromyalgia-specific support at the time of diagnosis can leave many feeling like the diagnosis is the end of the road, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The OP was personally told by her rheumatologist not to go online because she’d ‘fall down the rabbit hole’. I imagine the doctor wanted her to go home, give up and stop bothering doctors.

Acceptance, often a difficult and ongoing work-in-progress for many, can be done in conjunction with keeping open mind, still being open to new developments, diagnoses and tests and treatments while working to manage fibromyalgia in day to day life.

Myself, I knew my diagnosis before my doctor’s did (Did the same with my endo), so acceptance was never much of an issue for me. I think my GP had a harder time accepting it than I did.

While there’s no cure, a multi-disciplinary approach can help to some degree. The likes of pacing, pain self-management therapy, massage, acupuncture, gentle exercise, gadgets, self-help books, medication, supplements and so on will work differently for everyone; both the experience of fibromyalgia and its management will be different for each person. It’s often a case of trial and error for each individual to develop a routine and to find the tools that work more effectively for them. 

My regime is a multi-disciplinary approach as mentioned above. I have a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, low level narcotics, MMJ and a small selection of vitamins. I also regularly see a physiotherapist /osteopath, RMT, pain physician for trigger point injections, & my dentist because of my TMJ, I participate in exercise which prior to covid was Aquafit for the most part. I try to watch my dietary choices, but I know I still fail there- addictions to sugar & McDonald’s. I am also involved in chronic pain support groups in my area which are currently virtual.

What hasn’t worked for me includes Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Fentanyl and Codeine Contin. I have given acupuncture several tries but have not found it helpful for me & occasionally detrimental. My best friend sees a chiropractor but I found that they were less helpful for me. I also still need to be very careful in the way of exercise so it’s not to over do..

Medical evidence on marijuana blows both ways

June 4, 2009

Medical Evidence On Marijuana Blows Both Ways
Legalization debate is waging in America once again, but what does the research say?

By Sam McManis

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A customer holds up marijuana bought from a San Francisco, California medical marijuana dispensary in this February 2006 file photo. –McClatchy Newspapers
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Medical evidence on marijuana blows both ways –Bloomberg

Sparked anew by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s call for the state to study the legalization of marijuana, both sides in the smoldering pot debate point to research to bolster their positions.Such recitation of conflicting marijuana studies can be manipulated and selected buffet-style to serve whatever political and health agenda is being touted.

Even governmental findings can be contradictory. In 1999, for instance, the Office of National Drug Control Policy asked the Institute of Medicine to review evidence. The institute found that, “except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications.”

Yet in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that marijuana has no health benefits and has known and proven harms. It is classified a Schedule 1 drug – the highest risk of addiction – in the Controlled Substances Act.

Wading through the medical literature, though, makes those conclusions less cut and dried.

“When I was a resident in Kaiser in San Francisco in 1978, I gave a lecture to physicians on marijuana, and I remember my conclusion at that time was that you can find in the literature whatever you were looking for,” says Dr. Donald Abrams, a University of California, San Francisco, oncologist and leading medical marijuana researcher. “‘Marijuana is good for asthma.”Marijuana’s bad for asthma.”Marijuana causes schizophrenia.”Marijuana (decreases) schizophrenia.’ And, the evidence is still like that.”

There are many factors, of course. As noted by UCLA pulmonologist Dr. Donald Tashkin, who has studied marijuana’s effects on the lungs for three decades, “That’s just the nature of medical science. You have to deal with variability. The population studied may be different or the methods used to study may differ.”

Yet when the arguments for legalization of marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational use, are put forth, solid medical science often gets clouded in an ideological haze.

“Although we like to say we separate politics from science, with medical marijuana, that’s really difficult,” Abrams says. “It depends on who does the study, where it’s published and their agenda.”

Bearing in mind those caveats, here is a look at the research on marijuana’s effect in areas critical to health.

Lungs

UCLA’s Tashkin studied heavy marijuana smokers to determine whether the use led to increased risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He hypothesized that there would be a definitive link between cancer and marijuana smoking, but the results proved otherwise.

“What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” says Tashkin, whose research was the largest case-control study ever conducted. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Tobacco smokers in the study had as much as a 21-fold increase in lung cancer risk. Cigarette smokers, too, developed COPD more often in the study, and researchers found that marijuana did not impair lung function.

Tashkin, supported by other research, concluded that the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has an “anti-tumoral effect” in which “cells die earlier before they age enough to develop mutations that might lead to lung cancer.”

However, the smoke from marijuana did swell the airways and lead to a greater risk of chronic bronchitis.

“Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects,” Tashkin says. “But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.”

Cognitive function

A 2006 study in the journal Neurology found that speed of thinking, attention and verbal fluency were affected as much as 70 percent by long-term heavy use (four or more joints per week).

But a 2003 review of literature in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society found that marijuana smoking had a “small effect” on memory in longtime users.

However, users had no lasting effects in reaction time, attention or verbal function. “Surprisingly, we saw very little evidence of deleterious effects,” Dr. Igor Grant, researcher at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, said in a statement.

A 2002 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that heavy users did worse on recall memory tests. A 2006 study in Greece showed users had slower mental-processing speed than the control group. Then again, a 2007 study at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that students who smoked marijuana had better grades than those who used only tobacco or those who did not smoke any substance.

In terms of brain development, a 2000 study in the Journal of Addictive Diseases found changes in brain structure in those who started using marijuana before age 17 but not in those who started at an older age. A 2009 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia study used brain imaging to show that heavy adolescent users are more likely to have disrupted brain development in regions involving memory, attention, decision making and language. But a 2008 Ohio State University study found that marijuana can reduce brain inflammation and perhaps reduce memory impairment that could delay Alzheimer’s disease.

Psychosis

Yes, there is an increased risk in psychotic behaviour and long-term risk of mental illness from marijuana use, according to a 2007 review of literature commissioned by Great Britain’s Department of Health and published in the Lancet.

But the risk is small, because the risk of developing psychosis in the general population is 3 percent over a lifetime and rises to 5 percent for marijuana users, lead researcher Stanley Zammit told the Los Angeles Times. “So 95 percent of the people are not going to get psychotic, even if they smoke on a daily basis,” he told the paper.

In 2005, New Zealand researchers studied a group of people with a gene variant the researchers believe predisposes that group to developing psychosis. Those in the group who smoked marijuana as teens had a tenfold increase in risk of psychosis than those who abstained.

Depression

A study published in 2001 in the American Journal of Psychiatry followed nearly 2,000 adults over 15 years. It found that marijuana users who had no symptoms of depression at the start were four times more likely than non-users of developing symptoms during that time frame.

In 2008, the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that early marijuana use could increase the likelihood of mental illness by as much as 40 percent later in life.

However, researchers at McGill University in Montreal in 2007 reported in the Journal of Neuroscience that THC in low doses actually serves as an antidepressant similar to Prozac, producing serotonin. But at higher doses, they found it could lead to depression and psychotic episodes.

Source: Taiwan News

Top Anti-Drug Researcher Changes His Mind, Says Legalize Marijuana

June 4, 2009

Top Anti-Drug Researcher Changes His Mind, Says Legalize Marijuana

Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan on Wed, 06/03/2009 – 9:52pm

For 30 years, Donald Tashkin has studied the effects of marijuana on lung function. His work has been funded by the vehemently anti-marijuana National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has long sought to demonstrate that marijuana causes lung cancer. After 3 decades of anti-drug research, here’s what Tashkin has to say about marijuana laws:

“Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects,” Tashkin says. “But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.” [McClatchy]

We’ve been told a thousand times that marijuana destroys your lungs, that it’s 5 times worse than cigarettes, and on and on. Yet here is Donald Tashkin, literally the top expert in the world when it comes to marijuana and lung health, telling us it’s time to legalize marijuana. His views are shaped not by ideology, but rather by the 30 years he spent studying the issue. He didn’t expect the science to come out in favor of marijuana, but that’s what happened and he’s willing to admit it.

Here’s the study that really turned things around:

UCLA’s Tashkin studied heavy marijuana smokers to determine whether the use led to increased risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He hypothesized that there would be a definitive link between cancer and marijuana smoking, but the results proved otherwise.”What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” says Tashkin, whose research was the largest case-control study ever conducted.

Prejudice against marijuana and smoking in general runs so deep for many people that it just seems inconceivable that marijuana could actually reduce the risk of lung cancer. But that’s what the data shows and it not only demolishes a major tenet of popular anti-pot propaganda, but also points towards a potentially groundbreaking opportunity to develop cancer cures through marijuana research.

Over and over again, all the bad things we’ve been told about marijuana are revealed to be not only false, but often the precise opposite of the truth. So the next time someone tells you that marijuana is worse for your lungs than cigarettes, you might want to mention that the world’s leading expert on that subject happens to be a supporter of legalization.