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Friday, 22 September 2017

Another Pharmaceutical Drug to be 'Controlled': Gabapentinoids / Lyrica / Neurontin

The business of the pharmaceutical companies is to come up with new drugs that purportedly are capable of treating illness.They do research, they test, they present drugs to the drug regulatory system, which approve them as both safe and effective, and then doctors give them to patients.

The history of new pharmaceutical drugs is that they never prove to be as safe or as effective as the claims initially made for them. The conventional medical establishment, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, then hides this information from patients for as long as possible, but as evidence accumulates, their lack of effectiveness, and the serious and often lethal harm they can cause, can no longer be censored. Drugs are then banned, withdrawn, or in this most recent case, 'controlled'.

The latest pharmaceutical drug to be 'controlled' in Britain are Gabapentinoids, perhaps better known as gabapentin and pregabalin, or by its trade names, Lyrica and Neurontin. This follows a number of studies about the 'side effects' they cause, and a sudden rise in the number of deaths related to it.

If you have not heard this news, don't be surprised! It is not the kind of news that drug companies, conventional doctors, or indeed our mainstream news media are likely to tell us. So here is an outline of what has happened, taken from the GP e-magazine, Pulse.

               "Home Office minister Sarah Newton told Pulse that the Government had accepted recommendations from advisers to make them a class C drug, subject to a consultation. It comes after official figures revealed there were 111 deaths related to pregabalin in 2016 and 59 related to gabapentin, compared with four and eight respectively in 2012."

I notice that the Home Office minister has not told us! And I do wonder, from this statement, why the 4 and 8 deaths in 2012 were considered acceptable, whilst the 111 and 59 deaths were considered unacceptable. Each of these patients are equally dead! And their death was caused by a pharmaceutical drugs! Pulse then asks whether Gabapentinoids is going to be "the new diazepam" before continuing with the story.

               "The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) wrote to the Home Office in January 2016 calling for the drugs to be controlled, warning that ‘pregabalin and gabapentin present a risk of addiction and a potential for illegal diversion and medicinal misuse’."

January 2016 is now 20 months ago. Why does it take so long before the medical establishment moves to protect patients from pharmaceutical drugs that are known to be harmful? Pulse then goes on to provide information about a number of recent studies (not reported in the media of course) that have recommended that GP's refrain from prescribing the drugs.

               "An Addiction paper in May this year, from University of Bristol researchers, suggested GPs consider alternatives to pregabalin and gabapentin after finding the recent substantial increase in prescriptions to be closely correlated with a rise in the number of deaths associated with gabapentinoids in England and Wales, with a 5% increase in deaths per 100,000 increase in prescriptions."

               "A Cochrane Review from June this year concluded that gabapentin ‘can provide good levels of pain relief to some people with postherpetic neuralgia and peripheral diabetic neuropathy’, but added: ‘Evidence for other types of neuropathic pain is very limited… Over half of those treated with gabapentin will not have worthwhile pain relief but may experience adverse events."

So the drug will now be 'controlled', not, you should notice, withdrawn or banned, so it can still be prescribed to patients! This is because the drug, in addition to being unsafe and ineffective, is also addictive. It is commonly misused, and is know to create dependency. One study, according to Pulse, from the University of Kentucky in the USA, found that misuse of gabapentin was at a "staggering" 40 to 65% among patients with prescriptions. Pulse also quotes Dr Steve Brinksman, clinical director of the drug and alcohol treatment professionals group SMMP as saying that the drug has "psychotropic effects, which means patients are likely to continue taking them even if they are not proving effective. They probably do have a withdrawal effect – though that has not been proven conclusively yet."

It always astounds me that whilst in every other walk of life the 'precautionary' principle applies. But it conventional medicine harm has to be proven 'conclusively' before any action is taken to protect patients. Yet, in most of the Pulse articles that I read I always find that the comments made by doctors tell us much more about what is going on within conventional medicine. Following this article, some GP's are seem to be neither surprised or saddened by the situation.

               "Good. They are dirty drugs and I'm glad their risk combined with limited therapeutic efficacy is being highlighted. "

               "Long overdue; minimal therapeutic value, often prescribed beyond both evidence and licence, widely abused."

Yet conventional doctors have been prepared to prescribe these drugs to patients for over 20 years! And will no doubt continue to do so. Other doctors seem resigned, cynical, or in despair.

              " Oh well. Back to amitriptyline then. It has so many side effects no one could possibly abuse it could they? Some individuals will abuse anything including imodium and cyclizine. According to the new NICE guidelines on back pain all that we can offer patients is our commiserations - x-rays and analgesia are off the table. Someone is going to get sued at some point for failing to x-ray what later turns out to be metastatic disease, multiple myeloma or osteoporotic collapse!"

Other doctors realise, and bemoan the fact, that they have no effective drugs to treat pain.

               "Soon we won't be allowed to prescribe any painkillers. *sigh."

               "Better tell the pain clinics then."

               "I know we can give people with chronic pain colouring books and teach them to be resilient."

               "Can’t use NSAIDs, opioids, or gabapentinoids. I do agree they should be a controlled drug. But what I am supposed to use when paracetamol is leaving my patients in pain?"

               "Some patients will have to live with pain, doctors are not gods."

No, indeed, doctors are not Gods, although they have been presented as such for a long time now! Worse, on their own admission, they have no effective medical treatment to offer their patients. It is little wonder that morale within the NHS is at such a low ebb. As I have said, many times, on this blog is that the crisis in the NHS has nothing to do with lack of resources, nothing to do with poor management, but everything to do with the failure of conventional medicine, controlled and dominated as it is by the pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, there are more serious questions now need to be addressed.

  • When will doctors, the NHS, and the media tell their patients about the ineffectiveness, the dangers, and addictiveness of these, and other drugs they are using?
  • When will it be acknowledged that conventional medicine has no effective treatment for most of the chronic diseases?
  • When will patients be told, openly, honestly, and transparently, about the side effects of the pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines they are given by doctors, and that these side effects actually cause serious chronic disease, and death.
Without these questions being answered, patients will continue to be unable to make informed choices about their medical treatment.