My letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, Nov. 13, 2013

Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe, Nov. 13, 2013


Re: “Painkiller Addiction – The FDA takes action,” editorial, Nov. 9, 2013

 In an editorial yesterday, the Globe applauded the US Food and Drug Administration’s decision recently to restrict access to hydrocodone-containing drugs such as Vicodin.

Why the FDA is wrong on Vicodin

The US Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to restrict access to hydrocodone-containing drugs such as Vicodin may or not may not do anything to reduce the prescription drug abuse problem. But it will almost certainly hurt legitimate pain patients who need the drugs.

FDA Ruling on Vicodin – Burdens for Pain Patients

In a move designed to combat drug abuse but likely to put further burdens on pain patients, the US Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced that it is recommending tighter controls over opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and Lortab that contain hydrocodone.

Tylenol’s Key Ingredient Under (More) Scrutiny

Pain relievers are in the news again — and the news isn’t great.

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the focus of a series of scary investigative articles by ProPublica, the online new organization. The bottom line of the series: about 150 people per year die from accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, and even though the line between a therapeutic dose and a dangerous dose is slim, the FDA (and the drug companies that sell the products) have done little to warn consumers.

More Evidence For ‘Stinking Rose’ Garlic’s Cancer-Fighting Potential

This may be the most delightful of all medical prescriptions: Chew a little raw garlic a couple of times a week and the risk of lung cancer drops by almost half. It drops by almost a third even if you’re a smoker.

Backlash Against Walgreen’s New Painkiller Crackdown

You may be in for a shock if you try to get a prescription for any controlled substance – from Ambien to opioid pain relievers – filled at Walgreens anywhere around the country.

Why are More Women Overdosing on Painkillers?

Overdose deaths linked to prescription pain relievers have increased dramatically among women in recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday.

And nobody really knows why.

It’s Not An Opioid, So This Painkiller Is Safe, Right? Not Quite

So there I was at midnight, night after night, my neck pain screeching at a 10+++ on a scale of 10, popping ibuprofen by the handful, dutifully worrying about the well-known dangers of a painkiller-induced stomach bleed, but reassuring myself, “At least these pills are safe – not like opioids, the really dangerous stuff.”

A Bold Idea For Gun Control: Let Women Take Charge

If we’re ever going to get serious about gun control in this country, I have a simple suggestion: mobilize women.

As the success of Mothers Against Drunk Driving demonstrates, when women put their collective hearts and minds toward something, they get it done.

Exploring The Link Between Exercise And Migraine

A few weeks ago, on an otherwise uneventful Sunday afternoon, I got an urgent call on my cell phone from my daughter-in-law, Robin, a vigorous 42-year-old. She was calling from her health club, barely “10 minutes into a decent run” on the treadmill