Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution Ebook

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Many Floxies, including Cindy and Lizzy– whose Floxie Hope recovery stories can be found HERE and HERE, have noted that they found the information in the e-book, The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution, to be helpful.  Ruth also found it to be helpful, as she mentioned in her story.  I’m a fan of things that help and guide Floxies, so I’m going to review and promote The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution.

NOTE 1 – The Levaquin Tendonitis Solution has been re-branded as The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution.  Some updates were made to the ebook, but it is largely the same book.

NOTE 2 – I have been in touch with The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution’s author, Kerri Knox, and I have agreed to be an “affiliate” for The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution.  This means that if you purchase The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution through any of the links in this post, I will get a commission from the sale.  The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution costs the same amount whether you purchase it through one of my affiliate links, or if you purchase it directly from Kerri / Joshua / Easy Immune Health.  If you purchase it through one of my affiliate links, I’ll greatly appreciate your support!  I will try not to let the benefit that I will gain from sales of The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution influence what I say about it.  I want to be upfront though, and to let you know that some bias may be present.

NOTE 3 – I wrote the ebook, “The Floxie Food Guide: Guidelines for Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.” The Food Guide is to help Floxies to give their bodies the nutrition needed to heal from fluoroquinolone toxicity. It has nutrition suggestions that are healing to the mitochondria, that are full of the minerals that fluoroquinolones deplete, and that help to rebalance the microbiome with “good” bacteria. The Floxie Food Guide is now included with purchases of The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution. I hope that both books, and all the extra goodies, are helpful to you!!

You can read what Kerri Knox and Joshua Tucker say about their e-book, The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution on their web site – http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/levaquin-tendonitis-solution.html

Here are some of my thoughts on The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution

Many of the tips that are in The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution can be found in the stories on Floxie Hope.  However, The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution puts a lot of good information into one easy-to-understand e-book that you can reference over and over again.  As I mentioned earlier, a lot of Floxies have found it to be a helpful guide.

I’m really grateful to Kerri Knox and Joshua Tucker for writing The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution.  They put a lot of time and effort into creating an e-book to help Floxies.  The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution tries to strike the balance that I try to have on Floxie Hope – acknowledgement that fluoroquinolone toxicity is serious, severe and that there is no known cure for it; while also noting that there are things that help people to heal and recover.  I recommend it.

If you purchase it through one of my affiliate links (throughout this post – or HERE), you will be supporting Floxie Hope, and I want to give a huge shout-out of THANKS to anyone who supports Floxie Hope in any way.

I hope that The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution helps you!  If you have any questions or concerns about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the authors of The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution – Kerri Knox and Joshua Tucker (http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/contact.html).

Note 3 – Neither Kerri, Joshua, nor I are doctors.  Please note the disclaimer on this site, as well as the disclaimer in The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution.  For medical advice, please seek the help of a physician.  With that said, I hope that the information in The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution, and throughout Floxie Hope, is helpful to you!

 

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Happiness Sprinkling

Happiness Sprinkling

I learned about The Happiness Sprinkling Project in church yesterday.  The Happiness Sprinkling Project involves people spreading happiness to others through conveying positive, affirming, beautiful messages to anyone who can see them – often strangers.  The messages are communicated with people holding signs on street corners, saying things like:

You Are Loved

You Are Beautiful

Why Not?

You Are Enough

Live Your Dreams

It’s Going To Be Okay

Trust Yourself

Breathe

Life Is Good

The minister told the congregation about how one woman approached a group of happiness sprinklers and asked them what they were doing.  When they explained that they were spreading happiness she asked if she could join them.  They welcomed her.  She held up a sign that said, “It’s Going To Be Okay.”  As she was holding the sign, tears were running down her face, as if she was telling herself as much as anyone that it was, indeed, going to be okay.

I found it to be really touching.

I think that we all need to hear it sometimes.

IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY

It is.  I don’t know when you’re going to feel better.  I don’t know exactly how you are going to find healing or what your timeline is, but I do know that it helps to believe, deep down in your soul, that you are going to be okay.

Tell yourself, every day if necessary, that you are going to be okay, that you are going to beat this, that you are stronger than these stupid drugs, and that tomorrow will be better.

Words are powerful.  They shape our perceptions.  They may not make your feet feel any better, but they can make you think and feel differently about the pain in your feet.  That shift in perception, from fear and anxiety, to hope and optimism, can help.  The most powerful message for combatting fear and anxiety (IMO) is the sign that read:

YOU ARE LOVED

Believe it, as it is always true.

Fighting the fear and anxiety that FQ toxicity evokes is key.  And the best tool for fighting them is love.  The best tool is always love.

Here’s a little video about The Happiness Sprinkling Project:

IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY

YOU ARE LOVED

Repeat until thoroughly believed.

 

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They Don’t Understand

forgiveness

It may be impossible for anyone who has not experienced fluoroquinolone toxicity to understand what it’s like.

It’s difficult for the person who is going through fluoroquinolone toxicity to explain that EVERYTHING is going wrong; and it is even more difficult for those around them to understand.

It’s beyond most people’s comprehension that a commonly prescribed antibiotic, maybe one that they themselves have taken, can cause debilitating pain, exhaustion, loss of mental capacity, inability to move, etc. in their formerly healthy loved one.  Most people think that antibiotics are benign, so they are unable to understand that an antibiotic destroyed the health of their spouse, friend, child, parent, etc.  They think, “it must be something else,” or “the drug should be out of your system by now,” or, simply, “what are you talking about?!” when you tell them that all of your health problems can be traced back to the antibiotic that you took to treat a urinary tract, or sinus, or prostate, or respiratory infection.

They don’t understand that the loss of health is real, that it is severe, and that it may last a while.

They trust doctors.  They trust the system.  They trust that the FDA is properly regulating drugs and protecting people from dangerous drugs.

They may not understand exactly how drugs work, but they think that someone does.  They believe that if a drug wasn’t safe, it wouldn’t be on the market.  They think that it wouldn’t have made it through the testing process if it wasn’t safe and better than drugs that are already available.  They think that the FDA has done a thorough and complete evaluation of all drugs that are on the market, and that if fluoroquinolones caused horrible adverse reactions in most people, they wouldn’t continue to be on the market.

They think that all drugs have side-effects, but those side-effects are rare.

They think that adverse drug reactions look like allergic reactions, and they think that you should immediately recover when the drug is “out of your system.”  They don’t understand that adverse drug reactions can manifest as multi-symptom chronic illness.

They don’t understand how you could suddenly be unable to walk, or think, or do the things that you used to be able to do with ease.

The fact that Floxies “look fine” makes it even more difficult to understand what a floxed loved one is going through.

They don’t understand how the tests could show that you’re “fine” when you say that you feel anything but “fine.”

They think that you’re a bit crazy, and probably a conspiracy theorist, when you wonder if other people who are suffering from mysterious, chronic illness may be suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity too.  You see Floxies everywhere.  They don’t understand that.

They don’t understand the ups and downs, the relapses and the bad days following good days.

They don’t “get it” because they haven’t experienced it.  They don’t understand because they haven’t had to.  Their perception of the competence of the FDA and the medical system hasn’t been shaped by getting poisoned by an antibiotic that is assumed to have “an excellent record of safety and efficacy.”

I didn’t understand anything to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity before it happened to me.  If it had happened to a friend, family member or lover, I wouldn’t have understood.  I wouldn’t have “gotten it.”  I would have believed everything that I wrote above about belief, faith really, in the system that is supposed to make and keep us healthy.  I did believe everything that I wrote above.  And if a loved one had come down with fluoroquinolone toxicity, I probably would have continued to believe those things.  I would not have understood.  It took getting knocked down myself to understand – to really see and comprehend what a mysterious, pharmaceutical induced illness was like.

Many try to understand.  There are some loved ones of Floxies who work very hard to understand and support their sick loved ones.  They research and advocate for their spouse, child, parent or friend.  They listen with caring, compassion and kindness.  They do their best to be supportive and understanding.  They are wonderful, and greatly appreciated.

Most people, even really good people, don’t understand though.

On some level, it has to be okay.  It’s perfectly possible for them to still love and support you, without really “getting it,” without really understanding.

In order to maintain the relationships in your life, I think that it’s necessary to forgive them for not understanding.

They can’t understand.  It’s too bizarre.  It’s too foreign.  It’s too strange.  It’s too upsetting.

They still love you.  And you still love them.  So forgive them for not understanding.  Forgive them for not understanding your pain, or anxiety, or immobility.  Forgive them for not sharing your feelings of anger toward the system that allowed you to be poisoned.  Forgive them for not understanding how a drug could cause long-term damage to you.

Forgive them because you love them, and they love you.

They probably miss the old you – just like you miss the old you – and it’s probably hard for them to deal with the sick you – just like it’s hard for you to deal with the sick you.

This whole mess of fluoroquinolone toxicity is hard.  It’s hard for everyone involved.  It’s hardest for the people who have to deal first-hand with the pain and suffering that comes with getting poisoned.  It’s also hard for those who love Floxies to deal with.

Forgive them for not dealing with your sickness perfectly.  I’m guessing that you haven’t dealt with it perfectly either.  I know I didn’t.

We all want understanding.  We all want empathy and sympathy and compassion from those whom we are closest to.

Even if you can’t get that empathy from those whom you are closest to, because they just don’t understand, it is healing to forgive them.  They can’t understand because they haven’t been through it.  But you can give them understanding and compassion, because you understand their perspective.  After all, their perspective used to be your perspective.  You can forgive them for not understanding.  They may never understand how you are feeling and what you are experiencing, and that’s okay.  It must be okay.  Because you love them, and they love you, and they just want you to get better.

We grow when we forgive.  We heal when we forgive.  Forgiving is probably even necessary for healing and growth… and love.  Love is healing and it is necessary.  Forgiveness of those who don’t understand, who can’t understand, helps you to keep your heart open to love.

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Fluoroquinolone Induced Gene Upregulation and ROS

DNA Floxie Hope

The article, “The Fluoroquinolone Levofloxacin Triggers the Transcriptional Activation of Iron Transport Genes That Contribute to Cell Death in Streptococcus pneumonia” is difficult.  It’s not light reading.  I wish it was.  I wish the articles that have information about how fluoroquinolones affect cells were easy to understand and to read.  I wish that we had easy, simple answers about how fluoroquinolones lead to the myriad of adverse events that are listed on the FDA warning labels for them.  I wish that more was known about how fluoroquinolones work.  I wish that a list of definitions wasn’t necessary at the beginning of this blog post.  But this stuff is hard, and a list of definitions is necessary, so, hereyago (some definitions paraphrased from the Wikipedia article because it’s easiest and I’m not a biochemist – for more info, go to the wiki page, or elsewhere):

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS):  “Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen. Examples include oxygen ions and peroxides. ROS are formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signaling and homeostasis.  However, during times of environmental stress (e.g., UV or heat exposure), ROS levels can increase dramatically. This may result in significant damage to cell structures. Cumulatively, this is known as oxidative stress. ROS are also generated by exogenous sources such as ionizing radiation.”  ROS can be incredibly nasty.  They can lead to cellular damage, including DNA damage, and are related to every chronic disease there is.  They’re also related to ageing.  As damage from ROS (also called oxidative stress and free radicals) accumulates, ageing and the diseases of old age occur.  Interestingly though, ROS are not all bad.  They serve as signaling mechanisms within cells and play a large role in turning genes on and off (epigenetics).  They need to be in balance.  If they’re not in balance, a whole lot of things can go wrong.  They’re kind of like tequila.  A shot of tequila mixed with lime juice and other goodies, is excellent in a margarita.  But if you drink the whole bottle, and then mix it with some whiskey, it’s really bad and destructive.  The ways that ROS work within cells is not linear and difficult to study.  Not a whole lot is known about ROS or how they affect human health.  The article, “Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: Cellular Mechanisms and Impact on Muscle Force Production” has a really nice over-view of various ROS and their effects.  It’s easier to think of them as different  alcoholic drinks though.  Some are beer – pretty benign unless you have a ridiculous amount of them.  Others are potent – more like Everclear – and they can do a lot of damage to you quickly.

Fenton Reaction:  “Iron(II) is oxidized by hydrogen peroxide to iron(III), forming a hydroxyl radical and a hydroxide ion in the process. Iron(III) is then reduced back to iron(II) by another molecule of hydrogen peroxide, forming a hydroperoxyl radical and a proton. The net effect is a disproportionation of hydrogen peroxide to create two different oxygen-radical species, with water (H+ + OH–) as a byproduct.”  Basically, iron can “donate or accept free electrons via intracellular reactions and help in creating free radicals.”  Free radicals are ROS.  Some of the nastiest ROS are created in the Fenton Reaction – hydroxyl radicals and hydroperoxyl radicals.  (“Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: Cellular Mechanisms and Impact on Muscle Force Production” has good info on both of those.)

Type II topoisomerases, gyrase and topoisomerase IV:  “Type II topoisomerases maintain DNA topology and solve the topological problems associated with DNA replication, transcription, and recombination (20). Gyrase introduces negative supercoils into DNA (21), whereas topo IV relaxes DNA and participates in chromosome partitioning (22). Chromosomal topology in Escherichia coli is maintained homeostatically by the opposing activities of topoisomerases that relax DNA (topo I and topo IV) and by gyrase.” (from “The Fluoroquinolone Levofloxacin Triggers the Transcriptional Activation of Iron Transport Genes That Contribute to Cell Death in Streptococcus pneumonia”)

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You got all that?  Even the definitions are difficult.  Now onto some highlights of the article, “The Fluoroquinolone Levofloxacin Triggers the Transcriptional Activation of Iron Transport Genes That Contribute to Cell Death in Streptococcus pneumonia.”

Basically, the researchers found that levofloxacin upregulated genes that are involved in iron uptake and triggered the Fenton reaction in certain bacteria.  The increase in reactive oxygen species that ensued contributed to the lethality of the levofloxacin.

There are a few interesting things that should be noted about this.  First, levofloxacin can upregulate genes.  How consequential is this?  Can eukaryotic genes be upregulated, or can only bacterial genes be upregulated?  What about mitochondrial genes?  What does upregulation of bacterial, mitochondrial and even eukaryotic nuclear genes do to the person who has taken levofloxacin?

Some interesting research is being conducted about the relationship between the microbiome and genetic, heritable traits.  This National Geographic article, “The Most Heritable Gut Bacterium is… Wait, What is That?” notes some of the relationships that are being explored.  Our genes can affect our microbiome, our microbiome can affect our genes, can the genes of our microbiome affect…. US?  Where does the microbiome stop and where do we begin?  Those are all questions that have not yet been answered.  Unfortunately, fluoroquinolones, like levofloxacin, are thoroughly messing up our microbiomes and even causing the upregulation/expression of certain genes.

The second thing of note from the article is that the upregulated genes caused the activation of the Fenton reaction in the bacterial cells.  Again, how does this affect our microbiome?  How does it affect US?  Hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions are nasty ROS that damage everything in their wake.  What happens to the health of the microbiome, and the host (the person) when their gut is suddenly full of toxic ROS?  Leaky gut syndrome?  Autoimmune reactions?  The multi-symptom, chronic illness that is fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome?

There is quite a bit of evidence that fluoroquinolones do to mitochondria what they do to bacteria – disrupt the process of DNA replication and reproduction and lead to destruction and cell death.  I think that mitochondrial destruction has a lot to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity.  However, I don’t think that the role of disruption of our microbiome and destruction of our gut bacteria should be overlooked.  The signaling that goes on within our microbiome, and between “us” and our microbiome, is critically important and poorly understood.  Triggering bacterial DNA destruction and death, upregulation of genes and the Fenton reaction – which leads to production of highly destructive ROS, is a very, very, very bad idea – even if it just stays within the microbiome.

The conclusion of “The Fluoroquinolone Levofloxacin Triggers the Transcriptional Activation of Iron Transport Genes That Contribute to Cell Death in Streptococcus pneumonia” is that:

“In conclusion, we have shown for the first time that fatDCEB transcription is regulated by the supercoiling level. The primary effect of the interaction of LVX-topo IV is the upregulation of the operon by local increase in DNA supercoiling. This upregulation would increase the intracellular level of iron, which activates the Fenton reaction, increasing the concentration of hydroxyl radicals. These effects were observed before the inhibition of protein synthesis mediated by LVX. All these effects, together with the DNA damage caused by the inhibition of topo IV, would account for LVX lethality. The possibility to increase FQs’ efficacy by elevating the levels of intracellular ferrous iron remains open.”

Because, apparently, seeing the big picture of the symbiotic relationship between the microbiome and the rest of the organism (the person), isn’t the goal.  The goal is to kill bacteria.  It’s ridiculously short sighted.  Sigh.

Because we’re in Floxieville, there has to be a paradox.  Supplementing iron helped me more than just about anything else.  Iron is one of the few supplements that made me feel markedly better immediately after taking it.  Other Floxies have reported that their ferritin levels are low post-flox.  The role of the Fenton reaction in fluoroquinolone toxicity would lead one to think that iron should be the last thing that a Floxie might need or want.  It helped me though.  I had more energy and even my tendons felt better when I started supplementing iron.  I don’t know if this has something to do with the kind of iron in my supplement/body – FE3 or FE2 – or if the iron had been converted to other chemical compounds and I needed to replace it, or what.  I do know that, as I said in the beginning of this post, this stuff is hard.

The Fluoroquinolone Levofloxacin Triggers the Transcriptional Activation of Iron Transport Genes That Contribute to Cell Death in Streptococcus pneumonia provides a good description of how fluoroquinolones work:

“The killing effect of FQs has been related to the resolution of reaction intermediates of DNA-FQ-topoisomerase complexes, which generates irreparable double-stranded DNA breaks (31). This could occur in E. coli by two pathways, one dependent on protein synthesis and the other independent of it. It has been shown that hydroxyl radical action contributes to FQ-mediated cell death occurring via a protein-dependent pathway (32). This result agrees with a recent proposal suggesting that, following gyrase poisoning, hydroxyl radical formation utilizing internal iron and the Fenton reaction (33) is generated and contributes to cell killing by FQs (34) as well as by other bactericidal antibiotics (35, 36). In this mechanism, proposed for Enterobacteriaceae (35, 37), the primary drug interactions stimulate oxidation of NADH via the electron transport chain that is dependent on the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Hyperactivation of the electron transport chain stimulates superoxide formation. Superoxide destabilizes the iron-sulfur clusters of enzymes, making Fe2+ available for oxidation by the Fenton reaction. The Fenton reaction leads to the formation of hydroxyl radicals that would damage DNA, proteins, and lipids (38), which results in cell death. Instead of a generalized oxidative damage, a recent study supports that the main action of hydroxyl radicals is the oxidation of guanine (to 8-oxo-guanine) of the nucleotide pool. The incomplete repair of closely spaced 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine lesions caused lethal double-strand DNA breaks, which would underlie much of the cell death caused by beta-lactams and FQs (39). However, recent investigations have questioned the role of hydroxyl radicals and intracellular iron levels in antibiotic-mediated lethality using antibiotic concentrations either similar to (40) or higher than (41) those used previously. The disparate results obtained using diverse antibiotic concentrations and times of treatment emphasize the complexity of the lethal stress response (42).”

Similar destruction happens in mitochondria.  As I mentioned though, even if it didn’t happen in mitochondria, and only happened in bacteria, that destruction and those reactions are horrible things to do to a person’s microbiome.  It is, after all, part of us.

All of the people at the FDA who think that it’s okay not to strictly regulate drugs that disrupt the process of DNA replication and reproduction, and lead to the upregulation of genes and induction of the Fenton reaction, which leads to high levels of highly reactive ROS, should be fired.  I’ve learned enough biochem in the last 3 years to know that induction of the Fenton reaction in any part of the body is a really bad idea.  The scientists at the FDA should be able to figure this out.

 

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Petitioning the FDA – Comments Needed

petition

Floxie friends, I have one thing that I am asking you to do today.  And please, if you decide to do it, do it sooner rather than later.  Please go to THIS LINK and make a comment about how fluoroquinolones have hurt you.  Let the FDA know that the current warning label for fluoroquinolones is insufficient.  Let the FDA know that their own findings of fluoroquinolone caused mitochondrial toxicity need to be noted on the warning labels of fluoroquinolones.

Again, here is the link for the citizens’ petition, filed with the FDA, where comments about how a fluoroquinolone hurt you can be made –

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2014-P-0856

If you do nothing else today, please, please make comments on this petition.

Thank you!

HERE is the petition that I am asking you to comment on.

The petition was submitted by Dr. Charles Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P.  Dr. Bennett is with the Center for Medication Safety and Efficacy and the Southern Network on Adverse Reactions (SONAR).  The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation facilitated much of the work that went into the petition.  I thank both Dr. Bennett and his colleagues, and the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation for their work!

The petition is to add “Possible Mitochondrial Toxicity” to the Levaquin label.  In the Warnings and Precautions section of the Levaquin/levofloxacin label, it should say:

Possible Mitochondrial Toxicity

Fluoroquinolones, including Levaquin, may cause Mitochondrial Toxicity due, in part, to an insufficiency of ATP. Mitochondrial conditions that are due to an insufficiency of ATP include developmental disorders of the brain, optic neuropathy, neuropathic pain, hearing loss, muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, and lactic acidosis. Neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been associated with the loss of neurons due to oxidative stress generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) related to Mitochondrial Toxicity. Peripheral neuropathy, hepatoxicity, glucose disturbances, and phototoxicity may result from Mitochondrial Toxicity.

That language, by the way, is directly from the FDA document, “Disabling Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Systemic Fluoroquinolone Exposure.”  The folks at the FDA know that fluoroquinolones have been shown to be toxic to mitochondria, this petition is asking them to do something about it.

It is also requested in the petition that the following black box warning be added to the Levaquin/levofloxacin warning label:

WARNING: POSSIBLE MITOCHONDRIAL TOXICITY

Fluoroquinolones may cause Mitochondrial Toxicity. Mitochondrial Toxicity has been implicated in conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, hepatoxicity, glucose disturbances, phototoxicity, developmental disorders of the brain, optic neuropathy, neuropathic pain, hearing loss, muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, lactic acidosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Based on the severity of the effects of mitochondrial toxicity, it is being requested that:

  1. Levaquin label changes be made immediately.
  2. “Dear Doctor” letters be distributed regarding Levaquin label changes and requesting that physicians inform patients about the potential impact of “Possible Mitochondrial Toxicity” if they were previously prescribed this drug.

It is very important for all patients and medical professionals that this warning be added to the label of fluoroquinolones.  Please make your voice heard and support the petition with your comments.

THANK YOU!

 

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Election Day

politicians

November 4th, 2014. Today is election day in the U.S. It’s a mid-term election, which means that the obnoxiousness level of the campaigning is a 9 on a 1-10 scale. During presidential elections, it gets up to a 20 (yes, on a 1-10 scale of obnoxiousness).

I hope that you all voted for representatives who are not corporate whores beholden to the pharmaceutical industry. I hope that the people who come into office with this election care more about the health and safety of the American citizens than they do about their personal stock portfolio. I hope that the newly elected representatives care more about honesty, justice, truth and protection of the people than they do about their slimy lobbyist friends who wine and dine them and tell them convenient lies.

LOL

It’s not going to happen (at least not in this election). There is no movement toward restricting the power and influence of money and corporate interests in government. Corporate interests are becoming more and more entrenched in our political system, and the voices of the people are getting drowned out.

I’m not sure that the people who are screaming are doing so in the best way to be heard though. I don’t know if I’m screaming in the most effective way. Is a blog the best way to bring about change? I don’t know, but I doubt it. Changing minds and influencing people is one way to push change in the right direction though, and it’s (part of) what I’m trying to do with this site. It’s a way to make my voice heard by significantly more people than it would be if I didn’t have the platforms of the internet and wordpress.com. I doubt that politicians are reading Floxie Hope though. (But you never know – I recently got word that several doctors referred their floxed patient to Floxie Hope, so some doctors are reading what I write. Maybe some politicians are too.)

Maybe talking to politicians is the way to change how fluoroquinolones are prescribed and viewed. I think that it’s worth a try, and that’s why I went to Washington DC in May. Honestly though, talking to politicians and their aides didn’t seem to push the dial in any notable direction either. Politicians and their aides are people just like the rest of us, and just like everyone else, they need to hear a message multiple times before it sinks in enough for them to see it as a problem. The most valuable feedback that I got from one of the aides I met with was the advice to get a lobbyist. Maybe a lobbyist who is known and respected in Washington could consistently push our message that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs that should be restricted. After all, that’s how things are done in Washington – through the influence of lobbyists. If only we had 10% of the money to spend on lobbyists that the pharmaceutical companies have, maybe we could get somewhere. But we don’t. (The aide that gave us the advice to get a lobbyist also said to be sure to target legislators with requests that are under their purview, and the FDA with things that are under their purview, which is, of course, good advice.)

Do we have a bunch of retired Floxies that want to move to Washington DC and chat with legislators and the folks at the FDA as if it’s a full time job? Anyone?

If I ever go back to Washington to chat with legislators, I will ask for legislation that requires that a certain percentage of pharmaceutical company revenues be set aside in a fund that goes toward research of adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals. The lack of incentives to study drugs after they go to market is a huge problem, and the result is a massive number of people being hurt and killed by prescription drugs, used as prescribed. “Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2,400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier. One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm, while one in ten provide substantial benefit compared to existing, established drugs.” (Risky Drugs: Why The FDA Cannot Be Trusted, July 17, 2013, Donald W. Light) That is absurd. It is wrong. It needs to be fixed.

There are a couple of politicians who understand that protecting the people from harm done by pharmaceuticals is more important than keeping the Bayer board members happy. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has THIS wonderfully scathing overview of the harm caused by medical errors on his web site. I don’t know if he’s doing anything further about it, but at least he is acknowledging that the massive number of people hurt by the medical system is a problem.

It seems as if, generally, people have become numb to the problems of toxic mitochondria damaging and endocrine disrupting chemicals hurting us. The damage done by those toxic chemicals is tricky. It takes a while to manifest and is non-linear. Our little human brains don’t like to comprehend delayed, or non-linear, reactions. They’re confusing and difficult and we prefer to think that we are immune from the damage. It is only after we get damaged that our vulnerability is revealed, and by that time, we’re too weak to fight.

This article in Newsweek, “Calls to Ban Toxic Chemicals Fall on Deaf Ears Around the World” illustrates the problem well. In it, it is noted that:

Now, for the first time anywhere in the world, the Europe Union (EU) is attempting to regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals, setting down criteria to define, identify and, where necessary, ban EDCs. Already, this is sending shockwaves through boardrooms across the world because companies selling their goods in Europe will be forced by law to comply. Everyday goods may be taken off the market; industry could lose billions. The emphasis is on the word “could” because the fightback has already begun. Already a year over deadline, the procedure has finally gone to public consultation, where it has met with uproar.

“The policy has been hijacked by industry,” says Axel Singhofen, the environment and health adviser for the Green Party European Free Alliance. “They seem to have forgotten the scientific roots of the problem and are much more concerned with appeasing business interests, whatever the costs to health and wildlife.”

And, later in the article, it is noted that “If people are scared, they’re not showing it. Since the European public consultation on EDCs opened last month, only five people have logged in to give their opinion.”

Five people. And that’s in France – where they protest about everything and consumer protection legislation is actually enacted on a regular basis.

I’m sure that the same story could have been written about the vineyards in California, or the vast agricultural spaces in the midwestern United States. People have become numb to the damage.
We have gotten to a point where the scientific consensus on endocrine disrupting pesticides, and the (admittedly, developing) effects of mitochondria damaging pharmaceuticals on human health, are being disregarded. It’s sad. Tragic, actually. Our mitochondria and endocrine systems have a huge amount of influence over epigenetic signaling, so, like all current problems, we’re pushing the pain on to our children and grandchildren.

Back to the elections – If you can find a representative who is willing to make current sacrifices of money and even political goodwill in order to protect the people from the disastrous influences of big pharma and big ag, by all means, vote for him or her. Good luck, and may he or she win.

I’m obviously cynical about the whole system, but I really do hope that all of you vote.  Your voice matters.  It may not seem loud enough, but it does, indeed, matter.

“Any individual who is able to raise $25 million to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent oil, or aerospace, or banking, or whatever moneyed entities are paying for him. Certainly, he will never represent the people of the country, and they know it. Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress.” – Gore Vidal

 

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