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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Say "YES" to Drugs

Why Optalgin (generic name: Dipyrone) is banned in the US and UK:

1. In rare cases, Optalgin causes life threatening illnesses, like aplastic anemia and agranulocytosis.
2. Risk is not related to dosage or duration of drug use.
3. Risk varies geographically.
4. Less people develop life threatening diseases in Israel than in other countries.

I decided to check out other options.


There is a nurse in the oncology ward who specializes in pain management. I asked her about alternatives to Optalgin and narcotics.

The first thing she asked me was why I do not want to take narcotics.

What a strange question.

I grew up with the slogan: "Say NO to drugs!"

Now I'm being asked "Why are you saying no to drugs?"

Shouldn't the answer be obvious??

I guess not.

I told her:
1. I want to drive
2. I do not want to sleep
3. I do not want to get addicted to drugs

I have taken opioids (opiates) before. After surgery, I was on a morphine drip and, later, I took Percocet (oxycodon combined with acetaminophen).

This stuff puts me to sleep!

I stopped taking the drugs as soon as I could bear the pain.

Truth be told, I do not want to take narcotics.

I also do not want to be in pain.

So I took a very small dose of Tramadex (generic name: Tamadol), in addition to Optalgin.

It made me nauseous.

Apparently, you need to get used to these things.

So I will try again... later.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Gila said...

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. This is your brain with a side of bacon and toas... oh, sorry. Wrong tee-shirt.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I love that commercial!

It's the best anti-drugs commercial!

Very simple. Very visual. Straight to the point.

It worked on me! I am terrified of frying my brain!!

Ahuva said...

There's nothing wrong with a properly administered pain killer; It doesn't make you sleepy if you get the dosage right. Many of them are also not addictive if you get the dosage right. I was on oxycodone for three years after my car accident. A high dosage made me sleepy and gave me that "high" feeling that gets you addicted. After messing with the dosage a bit, I found the right dosage and timing that just took the pain away, enabling me to function (including driving). Once I was better, I was able to get off the pills without any problems. I don't know about where you are, but in the U.S. there are pain management specialists that help people find that right point so that they can be pain free *and* still functioning people.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Ahuva -- Three years? That's actually quite encouraging!

Thanks for sharing.