FDA pulls Darvon off the market: confirms heart danger

The FDA asked for the discontinuation of the sales of all painkillers containing proxyphene, mostly known under the branded names of Darvon and Darvocet, because of the potential for serious heart problems.

If you are taking any painkiller that contains proxyphene, please contact your doctor to seek their advice.

Please be forewarned that the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it. Talk to your doctor about how to taper off of it, and what else you could do to help manage your pain.

Brand names of proxyphene include but not limited to-


Brand names that have a of combination of products

Balacet (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvocet A500 (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvocet-N (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvon Compound 32 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Darvon Compound-65 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
PC-CAP (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Propacet (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Propoxyphene Compound 65 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Wygesic (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)


Chronic Pain: High Wire Act

In the early morning, as the dew is still wet on my window, I catch slight glimpses of what can only be images of my past life. I am on a high wire inside a big brightly colored red and yellow striped tent struggling to find my balance. Light-headed from the lack of oxygen, my arms fully stretched out, and the view of the dirt floor many feet below me, this early morning dream leads me to believe that even the slightest move will send me falling to my death. Each journey out across that tightrope should be easier; however, every walk is different, every crossing new, and each path comes with it’s own challenges.

Living with chronic pain is like walking that high wire. You must find your own balance to make it through your day. The Flying Wallendas had courage every time they journeyed across their high wire. Just like them, living with chronic pain is a performance art of unfathomable courage and skill. For when I hurt, I have to pick myself up and try all over again, never showing pain or fear. For just when you think your life is under control, something happens to throw you off. It always does. The audience gasps in amazement. You can hear them almost whisper in your ear, “You can do it, just one more step”. While others are just there to watch you fall. The question is who are you going to listen to as you make your journey across your own tightrope. Even without all the glitz and glamour inside that big red and yellow striped tent, we are walking that same high wire on a tight balance of survival.

Coming soon to a pharmacy near you: generic pain meds!

In the world of pain management, we have to take the good with the bad. And sometimes with all the treatments we have to make ourselves feel better, the bad part of pain medications out way the good. Their level of toxic-feeling side effects, then the medications we take to lessen those side effects, and of course the price of these medications all add up to their negative points. One insurance company will pay for a medication, where another won’t. When they don’t cover it, you cry at the price. But, it’s always an issue to cry then when you write the check for the pain medication, or cry later when you are rolling on the floor dying in pain at home. With all the endless variables of what is going to work for your condition, you might just as well play the lotto- you might have better luck.

There is hope because this strange field of pain medications and their side effects is going to change sooner than we think. The pain management world is big money business. Which, for us means that they will keep trying new medications and therapies for us. Years ago, Endo labs made a break through with their Lidoderm patch, thus changing the way pain relief was given to a patient. The topical patch gave relief over the course of a day with little to no side effects. Now, Endo is facing the big challenge of the Lidoderm patch coming in generic form. Great for us, less money! Bad for Endo.

The research field will keep advancing in the field of pain management. Business analysis say that this trend will keep growing for the next 3-5 years! We will see an increase in generic pain medications. Even though many of the branded medications have been the fore-runners in the treatments, its time they stepped aside. New treatments will be pushing their way into the market, and making their mark to help many patients find relief. Many of these will not cost as much as their older competitors, which is a great advantage in this recession.

According to one report (via), many of the new drugs hitting the market are reducing their R and D They are building off of brands they already have in production, either by line extensions or expanded formulations. They have learned what they need to know by the medications they have on the market and are just expanding on them. This will help build companies into being more specialized in the pain management arena, and make use of their products with expired patents.

Hopefully, with many more players in the pain management research field, we will have medications that cost us less, with better results and with less side effects! After all life is short, and I want to live every moment to the fullest!
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Reiki: does it work for Fibro?

reiki-1 Since Fibromyalgia is such a complex condition, it takes a intricate level of healing to manage its symptoms. One has to look out side the realm of just modern medicine and sometimes back to ancient eastern medicine for cures for pain.
Reiki is a Japanese healing practice that promotes health and well being through a non-invasive technique. And for people affected by fibromyalgia, non-invasive is key. Anything that we can do that does not hurt us that will help to lower our stress levels and improve our overall well-being, we will try. ( Hey, I remember one time being in pain, I placed cod-liver oil on my stomach because I read somewhere that it would help reduce my cramps. It didn’t. It made a huge mess. I still laugh about it today, and that laughter is important. So, in the end it worked.) Reiki works by laying hands on the person to help them. It is based on the idea of our life’s energy force is what keeps us healthy. When that energy gets low, we get sick. The cool thing about it is, you can practice it by yourself, have someone help you, and you do not have to stop your other medical treatments to try it. But do it work for fibromyalgia patients?

The NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) says that Reiki does not improve symptoms for patients of fibromyalgia, based on their study. At the University of Washington, Seattle, the researchers did a study of 100 people funded by the NCCAM to see how Reiki worked on people with fibro . They tried Reiki on a couple of different ways- hands on subject, and hands off subject, neither of which produced any affect on their pain. Are their too many variables when it comes to fibromyalgia to do a proper test? Or is this ancient art of healing which dates back to the 1800s just too old for the complexity of fibromyalgia?

What do you think?

To read what NCCA has to say, look here: nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/050809.htm

Breathe right

1_blowing--windSometimes the smallest things can have the largest effects. Learning a simple task like controlling your breath will make a world of difference on your level of stress, anxiety, pain, and overall health. Think about it, whenever we become nervous, tense, or are experiencing a pain attack, we hyperventilate. Our breathing patterns become deep and fast, the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide we have gets out of balance. This pattern not only adds to our anxiety level, but if this happens often, it will take its toll on our bodies. Also during times of hyperventilation, our hands and feet could tingle, the blood flow to our brain is restricted, and our airway passages could inflame, all because of the low levels of carbon dioxide. Like we really need any more added stress on our bodies in the first place.

Learning to control your breath will not only help Fibro patients, but it can others as well.

Breath control therapy can help people with problems such as:

* Fibromyalgia
* Chronic and acute pain
* Asthma
* Depression and low self esteem
* Unhealthy relationships
* Stress and anxiety
* Respiratory issues
* Headaches
* Recovering trauma patients
* High blood pressure
* Eating disorders
* Drug and alcohol recovery
* Singers
* Runners and other athletes

Benefits of learning to control your breathing include:

* Healthier body
* Increased energy levels
* Stress and anxiety reduction
* Positive body image
* Controlling your anger and irritability
* Better sense of spiritual awareness
* Overall better sense of well-being

Breathing, sounds simple right? Well, it takes a bit of exercise to get the hang of it, especially when you are in pain or stressed. To learn how to control your breathing, no matter how you feel, is a real skill.

Here’s a few different ways to practice controlling your breathing:

Cool air in- Warm air out 2008-03-19-big-nose

• Practice when you most relaxed (I usually do it before I go to sleep at night).
• Lie down or sit in a comfortable position, if you can.
(a knotted yoga position is not necessary)222997454_fd6de77346
• Close your eyes
• Take a slow and deep breath in through your nose.
• Concentrate on the cool air coming in through your nostrils.
• Hold your breathe a few seconds.
• Breathe out slowly, evenly, and quietly through your nose.
Pay attention how warm the air is as it exits your nose.
• Do this for a few moments until all your cares wash away- or for me, until I fall asleep.

Shallow breathing for long periods of time causes your chest and shoulders to tighten up. When you breathe really shallow, you are breathing from your upper chest and not from your diaphragm.

Here is another way to practice controlling your breath, which I learned from when I sang:

air_elemental_by_iriloth2• Lay down, with a pillow under your neck for support.
• Place one hand flat on your chest.
• Place one hand flat on your abdomen. (right bellow your rib cage)
• As you breathe, watch the movement of your hands.
• If your chest hand is moving, you are breathing shallow. As you take in your next breath, concentrate on making the hand on your belly move.
• Make sure to take slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Note: When I was singing, I used to place books on my abdomen (right on my diaphragm) instead of my hand. However, I would not recommend it as a relaxation technique.

Here’s a meditation YouTube relaxation to listen to while you practice your new breathing techniques:
Simple Relaxation, a Guided Meditation by Quiet Mind Cafe

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