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Tuesday 2 April 2019

Health, Safety & Pharmaceutical Drugs. Pregabalin/Lyrica causes death each and every year - but doctors can continue prescribing it!

What sphere of human activity can human lives be lost on a regular basis but NOTHING is done to prevent it happening in the future?

  • Perhaps a factory where workers die regularly every year?
  • Or a domestic product that kills people regularly every year?
  • Is there anywhere else?
In fact there is only one area of life where this is being allowed to happen
The drug Pregabalin can be used to amply demonstrates this!

Pregabalin, or Lyrica, or Gabapentin (the multiplicity of names is just to confuse patients) are drugs used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain associated with the brain, fibromyalgia and generalised anxiety disorder. It was first approved for medical used in 2004 in the USA, and they have been used in the UK for over twenty years. Initially it was presented to us as a new 'wonder drug', often described as 'the new valium' (a much older 'wonder' drug). Both are now known killers. Yesterday, as we will see, it became a 'class C drug' in Britain.

The side effects of pregabalin have been known for as long as the drug has been prescribed to patients. Unfortunately, patients have not been told about them. I went to the NHS website today (the day after the announcement about pregabalin becoming a class C drug) to see what the conventional medical establishment were telling patients about this drug.

               "The side effects of pregabalin are usually mild and go away by themselves. The most common ones are feeling sleepy, dizziness and headaches."

In 2016 there were 111 recorded deaths in the UK caused by Pregabalin. Even Pfizer, the drug company that manufactures Lyrica, the original brand name, said at that time

               "Caution should be exercised in patients with a history of substance abuse and the patient should be monitored for symptoms of pregabalin misuse, abuse or dependence."

This need for 'caution' has arisen, apparently, as the drug produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness, and over the years there has been a growing 'illicit' market in the drug. So doctors have been told that they can continue to prescribe these killer drugs, but they are expected to be careful that patients are not selling them on for recreational use!

So delay and prevarication is rife. This precautionary advice to doctors has been around at least since 2014 - but clearly the advice has done little good as doctors have continued to prescribe them in increasing amounts. Data provided by NHS Digital shows that prescriptions for pregabalin have risen more than 11-fold in the last decade, from 476,102 prescriptions in 2006 to 5,547,560 in 2016!

So patients are not told about the killer side effects, and doctors do not appear to mind prescribing drugs that are known to kill their patients. Presumably conventional medicine has nothing safer to offer to its patients!

Talk about making pregabalin a 'class C drug' has been mooted since at least 2017. See my blog on this subject published in 2017. This would make it illegal to possess the drug without a doctor's prescription. So yet more delay and prevarication - it was only in April 2019 that Pregabalin was actually 'reclassified' - apparently because in 2017, in Northern Ireland (alone), it caused 33 deaths, compared to only (sic) 8 deaths the previous year! 

So the drug has become a growing threat not just to human health, but to human life. And it is allowed to continue doing so by the conventional medical establishment.

And the threat is not just that pregabalin kills patients. The website tells us that "commonly reported" side effects of pregabalin include infection, ataxia, blurred vision, constipation, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, peripheral oedema, tremor, weight gain, visual field loss, accidental injury, and xerostomia, plus abnormal gait, abnormality in thinking, amnesia, arthralgia, asthenia, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, oedema, neuropathy, sinusitis, speech disturbance, vertigo, visual disturbance, myasthenia, amblyopia, increased appetite, and twitching. But this is only a summary. For a more comprehensive list of adverse effects known to be caused by pregabalin go to the website.

However, there is another health warning to be made here! This website is owned by pharmaceutical interests, and it should be noted that 'death' is not one of the 'side effects' mentioned! So more delay, more prevarication, more hiding of evidence that conventional medicine causes serious harm to patients, and can even kill them without patients being told!

And through all this doctors can continue to prescribe this drug to their patients - just so long as they are certain we are not going to use them for 'recreational purposes', or sell them on for recreational use!
  • Where else in society would this be allowed to happen?
  • What has happened to the principle - "First, do no harm"?
  • Where is the 'precautionary principle' in conventional medicine?
  • Does Health and Safety play any role in the practice of conventional medicine?
  • Is the concept of 'informed consent' completely unknown to our doctors?
And this is just one of the drugs they regularly prescribe for their patients!