I know people who suffer with severe unrelenting pain. People for whom the only relief is an opiate medication. But not all pain is equal.
In the last decade millions have been prescribed OxyContin for a myriad of less intensive pain problems — while being told it was less addictive than other opiates. In 2007, Purdue Pharma paid $654 million for those lies, probably around the same time our military was guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan. Your family may be affected by addiction, not to street drugs, but to pharmaceutical pain medication. These days, as Buzzfeed reports, opioid use is an epidemic:
“About 40 Americans a day die of opioid painkiller overdoses. More than 200 million U.S. prescriptions are written for the medications every year, with their use quadrupling since 1999. Some 1.9 million Americans are now addicted or dependent on the painkillers…”
So now the FDA puts a label that says ‘addiction’ or ‘death’ on the box? What took so long?
According to Tech Times, “The FDA announced that it now requires immediate-release opioid painkillers, which include the likes of oxycodone and fentanyl, to carry a ‘black box’ warning, the strongest type of warning intended to educate doctors when they prescribe drugs to their patients.
“The warning also serves to inform users of the risk of addiction, abuse, overdose and death related to the use of these powerful pain-killing medications.
“The FDA said the labels would provide clear warning that immediate-release painkillers should only be given to patients suffering from severe pain when non-addictive drugs do not work well enough.
Today’s actions are one of the largest undertakings for informing prescribers of risks across opioid products,” FDA commissioner Robert Califf said in a press release,’and one of many steps the FDA intends to take this year as part of our comprehensive action plan to reverse this epidemic.'”
Let me get this straight. The FDA thinks that by putting a label on a box that is going to reverse engineer the opiate addiction running rampant and tearing families apart? This is coming from the same agency that is infamous for the approval of all those other advertised drugs that you’re supposed to ask your doctor for that already have a laundry list of serious health warnings. Just a cursory look at the warning list for Humira:
- signs of infection (fever, chills, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, flu symptoms);
- shortness of breath with swelling of your ankles or feet;
- confusion, neck stiffness, seizure
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache, problems with vision or balance;
- chest pain, sudden or ongoing cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up mucus or blood;
- tingly feeling, weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes;
- problems with balance or eye movement, trouble speaking or swallowing;
- severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- red, purple, or scaly skin rash, hair loss, muscle pain, mouth sores;
- joint pain or swelling, swollen glands, muscle aches, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
- patchy skin color, red spots, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose
Not warning of addiction means the customers keep coming back
Humira’s side effects, like all of Big Pharma’s potions, lead to more serious illnesses. But Humira is not addictive and maybe that’s the issue. Not labeling a pain medication as addictive means repeat customers. And the FDA and Big Pharma do need to keep you in the pipeline, don’t they?
It’s more important than ever to know that food is your best medicine.
(Photo credit: Praneat/Shutterstock)