There’s no real evidence that prescription drugs can treat chronic pain in children, but doctors prescribe them anyway

Monday, March 16, 2020 by: Isabelle Z.

(Natural News) It’s easy for adults to chalk up chronic pain to part of getting older, but for children who are otherwise healthy, it can be downright devastating. Unfortunately, when these kids are prescribed drugs to address such pain, they are taking on a host of side effects for something that hasn’t even been proven to help them feel better.

When it comes to chronic pain among children, some of the most common varieties are headaches and migraines, musculoskeletal pain, and recurrent abdominal pain. This pain can really impact their quality of life, with many children who suffer from chronic pain missing school regularly and becoming isolated from their peers. They also tend to have more depression and anxiety than children who don’t have pain, and it can adversely affect their ability to reach their full potential in life in the long term.

While drug therapy is often the first course of treatment for these kids, a recent study shows there is very little evidence supporting this option. In fact, according to the researchers from the University of Bath who led the review, there isn’t any high-quality evidence pointing to the safety or efficacy of the drugs commonly used for chronic pain in children.

The study, which was summarized in the journal PAIN, outlines the serious lack of information we have about the treatment of chronic pain in children and determines that a lot more must be done to obtain more and better evidence.

To get an idea of just how little evidence there is, consider this: More than 300,000 patients have been studied across hundreds of trials for adults with chronic pain. The number of studies that have been carried out in children, however, is just six, with 393 kids involved in total. That’s hardly enough to draw a reliable conclusion about children in general.

The researchers pointed out that it’s not very reliable to simply apply the conclusions of studies carried out in adults to children as both their biology and metabolism function differently than those of adults.

Study co-author Dr. Emma Fisher said: “Children are not just small adults, so we cannot simply extrapolate evidence acquired from adults and use it in children.”

She added that the evidence we currently have available to us is not sufficient to say with any certainty whether the drugs that are used are the right approach. However, she said that with the current rate of reporting on clinical trials of just 1 every 3.5 years, it would take more than a thousand years to accumulate an acceptable base of evidence to make informed decisions. She called for urgent attention and funding to improve the knowledge base in this regard.

One part of the problem is that there are ethical barriers to carrying out randomized control clinical trials on children, and there are also some practical barriers as well.

Alternative treatments for children with chronic pain

Why aren’t more children being given non-drug treatments to address chronic pain? There have already been studies showing that psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can have some success in reducing the pain and disability in children and adolescents, as can acupuncture. Other approaches could also prove useful, such as meditation yoga, exercise, massage and music therapy.

With one out of every five children reporting experiencing chronic pain, it’s clear that a better solution is needed or we could be setting up children for a lifetime of dependence on drugs that offer very little in the way of relief in exchange for substantial risks. (Click to Source)

 Sources for this article include:

NewsWise.com

ScienceDaily.com

 

Holman Bible

 

 

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Why the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is strongly opposed to mandatory vaccines

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 by: Tracey Watson

(Natural News) With all the current hysteria about measles and the need for people to be vaccinated it can be easy to label those who choose not to allow their families to receive vaccines as law-breaking, selfish and uninformed conspiracy theorists. This narrative is pushed so strongly by the mainstream media that even those of us who have chosen not to vaccinate because of serious reservations about side effects or for ethical reasons might start to second guess our own decisions.

That is why a statement issued last month by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is so reassuring. These are not conspiracy theorists; this is an organization that represents thousands of mainstream physicians in all specialties across the United States – educated, informed medical professionals who care enough about their patients to take a stand against the World Health Organization and others who have labeled vaccine skeptics as a “global health threat.”

The statement, which was submitted to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions February 26th, warns that the organization “strongly opposes federal interference in medical decisions, including mandated vaccines,” calling such interference “a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy, and parental decisions about child-rearing.”

Too many unknown risks

The AAPS presents several arguments for its strong stance against forced vaccinations. For one thing, it insists that patients have the right to be fully informed of all the benefits and risks associated with any medical procedure, including vaccination, and then, after evaluating the facts, to decide for themselves — and their children — whether the benefits outweigh the risks. (Related: Kids got 11 vaccines in 1986 and 53 in 2017… why? The answer is all about Big Pharma profits.)

They also note that while protecting public health is important, the risks of cancer, death or crippling complications from vaccines cannot be ignored. To properly evaluate these risks far more rigorous scientific studies would be required:

There are no rigorous safety studies of sufficient power to rule out a much higher risk of complications, even one in 10,000, for vaccines. Such studies would require an adequate number of subjects, a long duration (years, not days), an unvaccinated control group (“placebo” must be truly inactive such as saline, not the adjuvant or everything-but-the-intended-antigen), and consideration of all adverse health events (including neurodevelopment disorders).

The AAPS also recognizes that vaccines carry serious risks, and that these risks are acknowledged by both the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress. While the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out over $4 billion to vaccine injury victims, pharmaceutical companies are immune from prosecution, “so the incentive to develop safer products is much diminished. Manufacturers may even refuse to make available a product believed to be safer, such as monovalent measles vaccine in preference to MMR (measles-mumps-rubella). Consumer refusal is the only incentive to do better.”

Another serious issue they point out is that many vaccines that were declared safe in the past have turned out to be truly dangerous and have been pulled from the market – after inflicting serious damage, of course:

The smallpox vaccine is so dangerous that you can’t get it now, despite the weaponization of smallpox. Rabies vaccine is given only after a suspected exposure or to high-risk persons such as veterinarians. The whole-cell pertussis vaccine was withdrawn from the U.S. market, a decade later than from the Japanese market, because of reports of severe permanent brain damage. The acellular vaccine that replaced it is evidently safer, though somewhat less effective.

And the Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, still very much in use today, has resulted in many serious, documented complications, with experts warning that the safety studies on this vaccine – both pre- and post-marketing – were totally inadequate.

In addition, vaccines seem to increase the potency of many of the diseases they are supposed to protect against. For example, the AAPS warns:

Measles, when it does occur, is four to five times worse than in pre-vaccination times, according to Lancet Infectious Diseases, because of the changed age distribution: more adults, whose vaccine-based immunity waned, and more infants, who no longer receive passive immunity from their naturally immune mother to protect them during their most vulnerable period.

The fact is, there are serious risks associated with vaccinations. Many people will evaluate these risks and decide that the benefits make the risk worth taking. Others will decide that they are not willing to jeopardize their children’s health by allowing them to receive vaccines. Irrespective, mandatory vaccinations cannot be imposed when those imposing them can offer no guarantees regarding the safety or even the efficiency of these dangerous medical treatments. (Click to Source)

Learn more at Vaccines.news.

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Prescription painkillers found to worsen chronic pain, generating more demand for the same drugs

Sunday, February 17, 2019 by: 

hand-reach-drugs-pink-opioids-pills

(Natural News) The opioid epidemic that is currently plaguing the United States is no longer a secret; millions of citizens across the nation are struggling with an addiction to the prescription painkillers. One of the primary defenses for these often-harmful drugs is that so many people take them to relieve unyielding and insufferable pain.

But what if these drugs aren’t actually helping those people either? Furthermore, what if these drugs actually make pain worse?

A research team from the University of Colorado Boulder discovered just that; opioid painkillers can actually exacerbate chronic pain, and may also prolong the condition that they are supposed to be healing. Perhaps this is why the use of prescription pain relievers like oxycodone and hydrocodone have quadrupled since 1999 — in less than 20 years.

The dangers of opioids simply cannot be overstated. Estimates suggest that over 2 million Americans alone suffer from an opioid addiction, and another half a million people struggle with heroin addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 80 percent of heroin users report that their addiction began with opioid pain relievers. Thousands of people receive urgent medical care for accidental or intentional misuse of these dangerous drugs. On top of that, opioids contribute to up to 60 deaths per day, according to some statistics. (Related: Big Pharma spent $880 million fighting against state opioid restrictions.)

Opioids are not worth the risk

Many people take these drugs daily in an effort to combat chronic pain, but the study from Colorado University Boulder suggests that this could indeed be more detrimental than anything else. In fact, the research team even surmised that “prolonged pain is an unrealized and clinically concerning consequence of the abundant use of opioids in chronic pain.”

The study, which was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in rats, opioids prolonged and increased chronic pain.

The research revealed that just five days of treatment with morphine led to chronic pain that persisted for several months. What the team found was that the drug treatment provoked pain signals from the rats’ microglia — which are a type of immune cell that is specific to the central nervous system.

One interesting aspect of the microglia is their ability to respond to changes in sensory activity and potentially influence neuronal activity acutely and long-term — even in mature brains. A team of researchers from the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health, noted in their 2011 paper that, “Microglia seem to be particularly involved in monitoring the integrity of synaptic function.”

Given that these cells seem to be especially intertwined with the central nervous system, it would be particularly concerning to learn that opioids trigger microglia into action. The team from the University of Colorado Boulder also noted that the microglia play an “important role” when it comes to pain management.

In their abstract, the researchers commented, “These data also provide strong support for the recent ‘two-hit hypothesis’ of microglial priming, leading to exaggerated reactivity after the second challenge, documented here in the context of nerve injury followed by morphine. This study predicts that prolonged pain is an unrealized and clinically concerning consequence of the abundant use of opioids in chronic pain.”

Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia: a known side-effect

The potential for opioids to actually worsen pain has been a known effect of the drugs for quite some time now. The condition even has a name: opioid induced hyperalgesia, or OIH for short. Some of the symptoms of OIH include an expanding region of pain, decreased pain threshold, increased sensitivity to painful and non-painful stimuli, and worsening pain despite the ingestion of an increasing number of opioids.

Many studies have described this phenomenon, with research on this apparent side effect of opioid administration dating back to the 1970s. And yet, in spite of this knowledge, somehow these drugs have been pushed on the public en masse.

See PrescriptionWarning.com for more news coverage of the dangers of prescription medication. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

HHS.gov

WakingTimes.com

PNAS.org

Anesthesiology.Pubs.ASAHQ.org

 
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