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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 11-23-2009

 Quote of the day:

It's a sign of mediocrity when

you demonstrate gratitude

with moderation.

  Roberto Benigni (1952 - )   


Good Morning!


First graders were reported in the St. Paul paper on Sunday as being thankful for everything from bus drivers to television. One fellow after my own heart, was “thankful for dragon flies because they eat mosquitoes”. One was sincerely thankful for “vowels because I don’t know what I’d do without them”. While these appear to be cute and innocent it is hard to argue with a thankful heart.

While you are pausing your week, month, year this Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving you will have 2 questions before you: 1) WHAT are you thankful for and 2) to WHOM should you give thanks for the WHAT? If you ever get stuck for something to be thankful for you can start with ambulation, thought, and breathing on your own. A walk down the hallways of any hospital or nursing home should give you some ideas as you appreciate what others have lost.  

While I did not start the day thinking about it, today, as I write this, I can honestly say I am extremely thankful for “plumbers who make drain cleaning service house-calls on Sundays!” I wish you no surprises and that you can have a very “boring” list this Thursday: thankful for the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial, educational, vocational and “locational” health of yourself and your family (and friends).

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I'm fragilistic!"

pps. Please note that some of the links may not be up for very long and that

     you should capture or print anything that you may wish to keep.



1) FDA suddenly cracks down on “internet pharmacies”

Twenty two “internet pharmacies” have received warning letters from the FDA. None were USA or Canadian based. Instead of acting like a “mall cop (stop or I’ll yell stop again!), the FDA is urging that internet service providers take down the sites and also is urging that domain names be terminated.


2) H1N1 on the down low?

Could H1N1 have peaked? More states are reporting a decline. I expect that we could see another mini peak now that Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays will draw geographically divergent friends and relative together. (keep washing those hand folks!)


3) Add Adjuvants to flu shots?

The addition of “adjuvants” to influenza vaccines (such as the H1N1 vaccine) can make each dose smaller and extend the vaccine supply by multiples. Europeans do it, Canadians do it. Why not in the good ol’ USA? The use of adjuvants in the SWINE FLU vaccine in the 80’s has been linked to an increase in Guillain Barre Syndrome and I doubt that ANYONE at the FDA wanted to repeat THAT part of vaccine history (especially with John Q. Public already being skeptical about the H1N1 vacine).



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4) When you bring problems… bring the solutions

It appears that the narcotic pain killer, morphine, can cause cancer to grow faster. Never fear, Relistor, is here! The same drug that can block narcotic induced constipation can block the growth acceleration. Relistor sales haven’t been burning up the cash registers so isn’t it interesting to find another POTENTIAL indication. Coincidence? (I report… you decide!)


5) Mammograms: mostly mature matriarchs?

New guidelines would have mammograms studies nixed before age 50. A few women who would have lost their lives without ealy detection have begun to speak out. One guy in Seattle speaks his mind about what looks like rationing to him.   and


6) … right on the heels of the mammogram guidelines… fewer PAP tests

PAP tests were initially pooh poohed by the gynecologic community until work got out through women’s magazines. Demand for the screening pushed the medical community into action. The new guidelines say that the test should not begin until age 21 and then only every 2 years. Women are already feeling that health care rationing is beginning.


7) Step lively and live longer

Study finds that the normal walking speed of the elderly predicts mortality. If you are walking at less that 50 centimeters per minute ( the 45 minute mile!) then you are more likely to die sooner that those racing past you. I doubt that this counts shopping speed or most women I shop with would be dead already.





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Disclaimer: "Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle" (AKA "The Prattle") is the property of PHARMWORKS, LLC and Steven M. Pepin, Pharm. D, BCPS. The opinions expressed are those of the bald-headed author. To start or stop any drug without the advice and supervision of your physician would be stupid. So don't do anything based upon what you read here without professional advice.  To be added to or removed from the distribution list please e-mail your request to . All insightful comments from readers are thoughtfully considered (the rest are callously discarded). Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS,LLC all rights reserved.

Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS, LLC all rights reserved