Archive for the ‘HEADACHES MIGRAINES’ Category

AUSTRALIA: Over-the-counter sale of codeine pain killers such as Nurofen Plus and Panadeine may end

Monday, April 27th, 2015

woman with headache image

Proposed changes could see a doctor’s visit required for current over-the-counter painkillers.

Access to Nurofen Plus, Panadeine and other common painkillers sold to millions of Australians each year could soon be curtailed by health authorities amid reports of harmful side effects, addiction and fatal overuse.

Australia’s drug regulator is considering a proposal to make about 150 codeine products prescription-only medicines, meaning they could no longer be freely purchased over the counter at pharmacies and would require a visit to a doctor.

Medicines affected by the change could include Codral Original Cold and Flu Tablets, Aspalgin Soluble tablets and Mersyndol Tablets, which are marketed for short-term pain such as headaches, toothaches and period pain.

pain relief pill box sketch image

Although many people use the drugs safely in recommended amounts, doctors say an increasing number are suffering severe gastrointestinal damage and internal bleeding from taking excessive doses of ibuprofen, which is often mixed with codeine, a weak but potentially-addictive opioid.

In 2013, Monash University researchers reported nine deaths over a decade linked to toxicity from codeine-ibuprofen medicines such as Nurofen Plus.

Codeine addicts swallowing up to 100 tablets a day have been known to visit multiple pharmacies to get around rules introduced in 2010 that restrict purchases of more than five days’ supply of the drug at one time.

Recent government agency data shows the number of Australians being treated for codeine addiction more than tripled over the decade to 2012-13, from 318 to more than 1000 a year. But Matthew Frei, addiction medicine specialist and clinical director of Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre, said this figure probably vastly underestimated the number of problem users as many patients who abused drugs were not detected.

In response to these concerns, a July meeting of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling will discuss whether codeine drugs should be made “schedule 4” drugs that require a doctor’s prescription. They are currently “schedule 3” medicines.

While Australian Medical Association Victorian branch president Tony Bartone said he personally supported the idea of making codeine a prescription only drug, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia opposes the proposal. It says governments should instead be investing in real-time prescription monitoring systems to better detect people abusing the drugs.

Pharmacy Guild Victorian president Anthony Tassone​ said pharmacists were qualified to determine who could purchase codeine products over the counter and who should be referred to a doctor for further discussion.

“For pharmacists to supply schedule 3 medication including codeine they need to establish a genuine therapeutic need,” he said.

Australian Self Medication Industry executive director Deon Schoombie​ said forcing people to go to their doctor for codeine tablets ran the risk of them walking away from their GPs with even stronger drugs.

“It just shifts the problem [to doctors]. Does it solve the problem? I doubt it,” he said.

But pain medicine specialist Dr Michael Vagg said codeine purchased over the counter was in such low doses that some people may find themselves taking more and more to produce meaningful pain relief.

Furthermore, he said up to 30 per cent of people do not have the right enzymes in their liver to process codeine, meaning they will not experience pain relief when taking it but will experience other side effects.

“You could certainly make a case that it’s not valuable enough and that it’s too harmful,” said Dr Vagg, a senior lecturer at Deakin University Medical School.

“If you have severe acute pain and the simple analgesics are not cutting it, you are better off going to your doctor to get a diagnosis and prescription. With persistent pain, that advice is even more important. Trying to manage long-term persistent pain with lots of doses of short-acting analgesics is not the best approach.”


Sunday, December 23rd, 2012


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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012


It’s hard to convey the pain of a migraine to those who are fortunate enough not to suffer them. Compounding things, many sufferers get no relief from, or cannot tolerate, commonly prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Now researchers have shown that applying a mild electrical current to the brain via electrodes attached to the scalp can prevent migraines from occurring and reduce the severity and duration of those that do occur.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraine, with 14 million of them experiencing chronic daily headaches. Although existing brain stimulation technologies can help relieve a migraine that is already underway, the fact that chronic migraine sufferers can have over 15 attacks a month and the equipment is heavy and unwieldy makes treatment difficult.

While some techniques that stimulate deep brain regions require brain surgery for the implantation of electrodes, the new approach relies on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which only requires a strong connection between the skin and the electrodes. It is currently used to treat some psychological disorders, in the motor rehabilitation in stroke patients, and is safe, portable and easy to use. It might also improve your mathematical skills for up to six months.

A team, including Dr. Marom Bikson, associate professor of biomedical engineering in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, Dr. Alexandre DaSilva at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Dr. Felipe Fregni at Harvard Medical School, found that repeated tDCS sessions reduced the duration and pain intensity of migraines that did occur by an average of around 37 percent.

“We developed this technology and methodology in order to get the currents deep into the brain,” said Bikson. “If it’s possible to help some people get just 30 percent better, that’s a very meaningful improvement in quality of life.”

According to the team’s computational models, tDCS delivers a therapeutic current along the brain’s pain network, a collection of interconnected brain regions involved in perceiving and regulating pain. The team says the technology seems to reverse ingrained changes in the brain caused by chronic migraine, such as greater sensitivity to headache triggers.

The improvements accumulated over the four weeks of treatment, with the effects lasting for months. The only side effect reported by the test subjects was a mild tingling sensation experienced when receiving the treatment. Professor Bikson says a patient could potentially use the system every day to ward off attacks, or periodically, like a booster shot.

“You can walk around with it and keep it in your desk drawer or purse. This is definitely the first technology that operates on just a 9-volt battery and can be applied at home,” said Bikson, who envisions the future development of units as small as an iPod.

The team now plans to scale up clinical trials to a larger study population on the path to hopefully developing a market-ready version of the tDCS in a few years.

The team has published the results of their recent study in the journal Headache.

Source: City College of New York

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

2-Day Migraine Cured in Minutes…

Works! Thousands saw it on TV!

“We were appearing on a TV program,” the Wilen Sisters told me. “The show host told us he’d been suffering from a huge headache for 2 entire days.

“Right on the air, he implored us to help him out. Well, he asked for it! We rubbed some lemon rind on his temples, then tied a cloth on his head, just like we tell readers in Bottom Line’s HEALING REMEDIES. He did look a little unusual! But at the end of our interview, he turned to the camera and said to everyone watching,

‘I swear to you, I have no headache now!'”

Worth a try, wouldn’t you say? Next time you’ve got a migraine that won’t quit, Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Link Between Migraines And Stroke Confirmed

Migraine headaches may do much more damage than cause a throbbing pain. A new study confirms that individuals who suffer from migraines are about twice as likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot, compared to those who don’t get the painful headaches. According to Reuters, researchers analyzed the results of 21 previous studies conducted between 1975 and 2007, and involving more than 622,000 adults with and without migraines. More »

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha