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24 June 2008

8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take

Doctors know which prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most dangerous. The writers of this article asked them the question, "Which medications would you skip?" Here were their answers:


It's asthma medicine that can make your asthma deadly. Advair contains the long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) salmeterol. A 2006 analysis found that regular use of LABAs can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Researchers estimate that salmeterol may contribute to as many as 5,000 asthma-related deaths in the United States each year.


Diabetes is destructive enough on its own, but if you try to control it with rosiglitazone, better known as Avandia, it could cause a heart attack. A study found that people who took rosiglitazone for at least a year increased their risk of heart failure or a heart attack by 109 percent and 42 percent, respectively.


This painkiller has been linked to increased risks of stomach bleeding, kidney trouble, and liver damage. And according to a 2005 study, people taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice a day more than doubled their risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Those on 400 mg twice a day more than tripled their risk.


This antibiotic, which has traditionally been prescribed for respiratory-tract infections, carries a high risk of severe liver side effects. In February 2007, the FDA limited the usage of Ketek to the treatment of pneumonia.

Prilosec and Nexium

The FDA has investigated a suspected link between cardiac trouble and these acid-reflux remedies, although they did not find a "likely" connection. But whether this is true or not, they can raise your risk of pneumonia, and result in an elevated risk of bone loss. The risk of a bone fracture has been estimated to be over 40 percent higher in patients who use these drugs long-term.

Visine Original

These eye drops “get the red out” by shrinking blood vessels. Overuse of the active ingredient tetrahydrozoline can perpetuate the vessel dilating-and-constricting cycle and may cause even more redness.


This decongestant, found in many drugs, can raise blood pressure and heart rate, setting the stage for vascular catastrophe. Over the years, pseudoephedrine has been linked to heart attacks and strokes, as well as worsening the symptoms of prostate disease and glaucoma.


* MSN Health

How to Be On Time Every Time

Being on time results from your whole attitude towards time. It requires a bit of an attitude adjustment. A lot of the time, people show up late because the event isn’t all that important to them. So don’t schedule events that aren’t important; use that time for things that are important to you.

Here are some other ways to make yourself more punctual:

Don’t check your email or voicemail right before you leave. That “last quick check” will almost always take more time than you think.

Plan for trouble. Always add 25 percent to your time estimate to get anywhere or do any task.

Set up the night before. Lay out your clothes, put your wallet in your pants pockets or purse, load up your bag with whatever material you’ll need, put your lunch together, and so on.

Set your clocks ahead a few minutes each -- by different amounts. You might have a look at the Procrastinator’s Clock which is some random amount of time ahead, up to 15 minutes.

Learn to better estimate how much time things take. Use a time tracker app like RescueTime to learn how long typical tasks take you to complete.

Schedule events 10 minutes early. Put your 1:00 appointment into your schedule at 12:50.

Set reminders. Use your calendar program’s built-in reminder function, or use a service like Sandy to send you text reminders at set intervals before each appointment

Schedule events for “off-peak” times. Learn the times that traffic or other factors might make you late, and avoid scheduling during those times.

Fill your gas tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Don’t let an empty gas tank make you late for anything.

Use a countdown timer. Grab a cheap digital timer, and use it to create a sense of urgency.


* May 16, 2008

Would You Like Some Hormones With Your Perfumed Air?

Three environmental and health groups are suing the federal government in an attempt to put labels onto air fresheners that use a potentially harmful substance.

Phthalates can damage the reproductive system and interrupt normal development by mimicking your body's hormones, but they were found in more than a dozen common household air fresheners tested by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Phthalates were only one of the potentially harmful chemicals identified in the air fresheners; others have been linked to cancer and asthma.

About three out of four households use air fresheners. It is a $1.72 billion industry which has grown 50 percent since 2003.


* The Daily Green June 17, 2008