Author: Suzanne B. Robotti

As an independent health-driven nonprofit, MedShadow’s mission is to ensure that all people have information on the risks and benefits of medicines and treatments, so they can make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. Separate from any personal, political or religious beliefs, the ruling from the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 overturning Roe v. Wade has far-reaching health implications.   MedShadow considers pregnancy and abortion solely from the perspective of health care. Pregnancy is not a benign process. It changes every system in the body from circulatory (the amount of blood in your body increases by…

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A new study out today on Vitamin D and pregnancy plus two more studies on how drugs and supplements given to pregnant women affect the fetus and the offspring for years to come.  Be well. Bone Density Taking higher doses of Vitamin D during pregnancy showed a correlation with higher bone density in those children six years later. The higher Vitamin D supplementation was 2800 IU/d (high-dose) vs 400 IU/d (standard-dose) from pregnancy week 24 until 1 week after birth. Of course, speak with your obstetrician before taking high doses of supplements during pregnancy or at any time.  Effect…

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A NIH task force is about to discuss best practices for pain management amid the nation’s opioid crisis. Meanwhile, the AMA wants pain removed as the “fifth vital sign.” What’s happening here? Pain is under attack. The AMA (American Medical Association) wants pain removed as the “fifth vital sign.” Doctors make initial assessments of health based on a list of vital signs: body temperature, pulse rate, respiration (breathing) rate and blood pressure. In the late 1990s pain was added to the list. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has convened a task force to discuss pain management best practices. That…

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Concerns that labeling changes on anesthesia might discourage pregnant women from getting medical procedures are unwarranted. Flash advice from the FDA! Avoid putting your infant under sedation for 3 hours or more. But if medically necessary, go right ahead. Question: Who is going to put a child younger than 3 years old under a lengthy surgical procedure without medical necessity? Answer: Doctors everyone should avoid. The FDA is alerting parents and doctors that more than 3 hours of anesthesia can “cause widespread loss of nerve cells in the developing brain; and studies in young animals suggested these changes resulted in…

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A documentary filmmaker uses the death of his brother, a WWE star, as the starting point to look at the hows and whys of opioid addiction. I’m not a big documentary fan, but I was drawn in by the title “Prescription Thugs” (released in theaters January 22, 2016 and now available on many pay-per-view platforms). This is a very personal first-person documentary on painkiller medicine addiction by filmmaker Chris Bell. “Prescription Thugs” is a follow up to his first documentary, “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” (2008) in which he explored the use of steroids. In “Prescription Thugs,” Bell uses his brother’s death due to his…

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It’s discouraging to see that doctors continue to prescribe opioids in the face of rising addiction, overdoses and valid alternatives Shockingly, the CDC has proposed guidelines for PCPs (primary care providers) on prescribing opioids — OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and the like — for chronic pain. What’s the problem with that? Everything. Why are PCPs — family physicians or internists — not referring patients with chronic pain to a specialist who is trained in pain management including the use of NSAIDS, opioids and alternatives to drugs? Why are opioids being prescribed for chronic pain when there is very little evidence that…

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Is is safe? Is it effective? Those are the 2 major questions that the FDA asks. Without a “yes” for both, the FDA won’t approve that use for a drug. On March 10, 2016, it was announced that Amarin’s suit against the FDA has been settled and both have agreed to live with the previous federal court ruling. That ruling was that the FDA could not prohibit Amarin’s truthful promotion of a drug for off-label (unapproved) uses because doing so would violate the protection of free speech. Is this a win for our First Amendment? Not in my opinion. I…

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