Xanax and other anxiety meds

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Unregistered, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks for the ideas. I have considered a lot of options. I need to keep this job and try to make it better. I am in the financial services industry and as you probably know we are in tough times. I have not decided on a path yet. I am trying to resist the meds. So far I have succeeded.
     
  2. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Which is code word for a drug that has not been regulated, nor guaranteed to conform to certain purity standards. They also may have not been studied to see how they interact with other prescribed medications, nor have they been evaluated for addiction potential.

    And if you take something "as needed" which ends up being all the time, as anxiety can be a persistent little condition.... theres no withdrawal or adverse effects when suddenly stopped? Has that claim been evaluated and studied properly, or are we guessing?

    You are talking about a "dietary supplement" that is claiming to affect neurotransmitters in the brain.. If you take too much do you risk seretonin syndrome? I mean.. its just a dietary supplement, so its not like you can "overdose" on it, can you? (of course you can)

    And that folks... is the pig in the poke issue with "dietary supplements". There is no guarantee of consistency from one batch to the next, nor any guarantee of lack of impurities. There have been cases of "dietary supplements" being investigated and containing significant amounts of FDA regulated substances. Its buyer beware.
     
  3. Mike Boehler

    Mike Boehler Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is a far too simplistic view of dietary supplements. The FDA does have their hands into these things.

    Besides, am I to believe its good or bad for me based on what my government tells me? I would prefer to make my own judgments on my own body, not my senators judgments, nor his appointees.

    If I had a great idea for a dietary supplement and decided to make it in my basement and sell it to my neighbors, it would not be long before I was shopping for "soap on a rope"

    Eat your whole life based on the food pyramid and you will soon look like the food pyramid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  4. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    It used to be that way. Remember patent medicines? And the claims the salesmen could make?

    You still have the choice as a consumer, but the salesmen are required to tell the truth. And certain substances are held to higher standards than others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    Well, if you're curious about it then just look it up.... they say that they comply w/ certain standards of various lettered entities....

    niacinimide, magnesium, valerian, L-theanine and herbs don't strike me as particularly alarming
     
  6. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    I'm more interested in knowing that the person advocating that "dietary supplement" really knows the product that they are advocating.
     
  7. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PresandCEO, prolly best to drop aviating for a while and concentrate on survival. FAA will be unyielding.

    When you want to get back into it, get a 4-axis psych eval starting 90 days from OFF the meds entirely, and if the Board Certified psych says "nothing on Axis 1" you'll get recertified. These evals are invasive and expensive (~$2,000 when all said and done) but will reclaim your medical.

    Xanax is a no-no. It was found unreported in ~30 of ~48 fatals in the 2000-2008 period. But failure of the firm and of the marriage would be even worse.
     
  8. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Waitaminute dadgummit! Our airplanes only have three axes, and you're saying my brain has four? How come this isn't in the FOI?

    Seriously - what are the four axes in this sort of eval?
     
  9. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    In general it is how psychiatrists or other mental health care professionals summarize their diagnosis. Not all of these apply to any given individual.

    Axis I principle disorder (schizophrenia, major depression)
    Axis II personality disorder
    Axis III relevant medical problems (asthma, heart disease, seizure disorder)
    Axis IV psychosocial stressors (job loss, divorce)
    Axis V level of function
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  10. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Why not just deal with the cause of the anxiety? Or just choose not to let it effect you? Anxiety is a reaction that you choose, it's not forced on you. Ever studied any meditation methods? I used to worry, then I decided not to, life became much better.
     
  11. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thanks, Gary...... :)
     
  12. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Some of these substances may "work" in terms of producing an effect and they may be under the radar as far as the FAA is concerned but the benefit probably ends there. The biggest problem is that many of these supplements have not been rigorously studied. Another concern is that there can be significant variability in potency between brands or even batches. Quality control is much easier with a synthesized drug. Drug interactions between supplements and prescription drugs can occur and rarely serious side effects like liver failure have been reported. I do not blame pilots for using supplements as we all want to avoid any unnecessary medical entanglements when we go to get our medical certificates renewed. That reminds me, I need to go for my FAA medical tomorrow. Wish me luck.
     
  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Okay, good luck.

    As for herbs, etc., I once was in a relationship with a D.O. who had a holistic streak and frequently prescribed herbal and nutritional remedies, especially if they worked better than anything pharma had to offer. I've found that some of the herbs she recommended for me did a much better job than anything else I'd tried.

    For example, I've suffered from a rotator cuff problem ever since I was in my late teens and ruined my shoulder trying to pitch fastballs at a higher velocity than my height would allow. I have tried so many different medicines that I can't even remember them all. None of them worked very well, and a few of them had horrible side effects. I've tried pills, injections, ointments, exercises... nothing worked.

    What did work was Glucosamine / Chondroitin / MSM supplements, and a little cure-all herb from Peru known as Cat's claw. The same combination enabled my uncle to walk upright again despite his advanced rheumatoid arthritis, and an elderly friend of mine to passably play piano again despite arthritis in her fingers.

    As it turns out, there's been a tremendous amount of research on Cat's Claw, all of it quite promising. Much of the earliest research was done by Cornell University -- not exactly an institution known for quackery -- and a lot of the more recent research has been done by universities in Latin America. I've read, for example, that Cat's Claw is effective for all manner of autoimmune problems, is more effective than prednisone for treating IBD, has anti-tumor properties, and has many other possible medical uses.

    On the other hand, Cat's claw is also a known teratogen, which I guess is not surprising considering its anti-tumor properties, so it's contraindicated for use by pregnant women. It also may disrupt neonatal development, so it's contraindicated for use by nursing women, as well.

    So what does all that mean? It means that at least some natural remedies have potential usefulness and potential risks, and that anyone who wants to consider using them must do his or her research and accept responsibility for his or her decision.

    As for the purity of the product, that doesn't concern me very much, quite frankly. Deal with reputable companies and you're pretty sure to be getting what the label says you're getting. Whether it works or not is a different story, and one that you have to research first.

    For what it's worth, I rarely take medications of any kind (other than the Glucosamine / Cat's Claw and some vitamins) for anything. I just don't get sick very often. Even my DM2 is under control these days. But when I do get sick, I go to my M.D. I'm not "anti" modern medicine. I started taking the Glucosamine complex and Cat's Claw because nothing else worked.

    I also "cured" a hearing loss problem in my right ear with herbs "prescribed" by my now-retired pharmacist, who had been a physician in China. That was after months of seeing a highly-respected ENT, getting all sorts of tests (including an MRI), trying at least half a dozen different medications, and never even getting a diagnosis other than "ideopathic hearing loss" (which basically means, "I dunno why you can't hear") much less an effective treatment.

    The pharmacist noticed the series of prescriptions and the doctor's name, and said something along the lines of, "I've come across this problem in China. We treated it differently there." He couldn't actually recommend anything to me, of course, but I was astute enough to understand where he was going. So I asked him how he would have treated someone in China with the same problem, and he rattled off a list of herbs and dosages.

    I bought the herbs, took them, and by that evening started to feel the difference. By the following day, I could hear again; and a week later, my hearing was back within normal limits when tested by the audiologist. The problem was some sort of Eustachian tube dysfunction. About two or three times since then I've started to feel it clog up again, and I quickly treated it with -- get this -- habanero pepper sauce. Crazy? Maybe. But it works.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that herbal medicine is not something that can, or at least should, be "embraced" or "condemned." Some herbs work, some don't, some we don't know. Some are safe, some are not, some are safe with some exceptions to their use, and some we don't know. But in my opinion, responsible adults who are considering using an herbal remedy mainly need to exercise due diligence and caution in researching the intended remedy, and to purchase the herb from a reputable source.

    -Rich
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  14. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    I passed my physical, good for another 2 years although I need to submit paperwork to the FAA next year to keep my special issuance letter.

    I did not mean to condemn herbal remedies just to bring certain issues to everybody's attention. Willow bark extract led to aspirin which is used by most of my patients. Digitalis was a herbal remedy but made it into mainstream medicine although it is used less frequently today. Red yeast has cholesterol lowering effect similar to the popular statin drugs. Glucosamine and Condroitin have been scientifically studied and the last time I checked there was some evidence for a therapeutic effect. I have never heard of Cat's Claw, I am glad it helped you. I still believe that the amount of scientific research is less than with traditional medications. There are not of experienced herbal practitioners in the United States. I am concerned about variations in potency between brands and batches and the possibility of toxicity. Toxicity is obviously also a problem with conventional meds. I don't blame people for trying herbal remedies especially if traditional medications have not helped but there is also the potential for causing harm.
     
  15. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Gotta wonder how many of those avoided getting help with their problems because they were worried about their medical (and in some of the cases listed, their jobs).
     
  16. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    I am convinced that many pilots do not seek medical attention when it would be appropriate to avoid all of the potential hassles when it comes time to renew a medical certificate. I would like to see the FAA lighten up a bit on the requirements for the 3rd class medical and give more discretion to the local AME for things that currently require a special issuance or create a 4th class medical.
     
  17. Mike Boehler

    Mike Boehler Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think some people would be surprised how difficult it is for some people to seek help. If you live in a rural area, you better be either an alcoholic, child abuser or have drug dependency or your not finding suitable CHOICES any time soon.

    IMO one of the reasons for turning to the pharmaceuticals for help. Its the path of least resistance. You can debate all day long the usefulness of these meds but like most things in life, the truth about our need for them probably lies somewhere between the staunch anti-pharmaceutical and the script scribbler that would prescribe pain meds for a hang nail.

    Some people are fast to get help, and yet for some people, the help doesn't help. Depends on the person and the reason for the problem. A one time event that is traumatic may be treated different then a long childhood issue.

    But the blanket is tossed on the group as a unit. As unfair as that is, I suppose there is no other way for a mega government agency like the FAA.

    Too Bad..
     
  18. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm with you on this 100%. The herbal remedy/dietary supplement thing is a joke. I could grind up sidewalk chalk, claim it cures cancer, put a warning that my claim has not been evaluated by the FDA, and sell it for 2 easy payments of $39.99 for the first month's supply. If "bogus product x" really worked, the pharmas would be all over it like travelling salesmen on a Hooters waitress.
     
  19. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Only if they could patent it, which in the case of most herbal remedies, they cannot. Naturally-occurring compounds cannot be patented.

    Without patentability, no pharma company is going to invest the millions of dollars in studies required to prove safety and efficacy to the FDA's satisfaction. Nor can I blame them, quite frankly.

    In some cases, pharma companies will try to come up with something close enough to a promising natural compound to be efficacious, but different enough to be patentable. But if they can't, then they will abandon the project.

    -Rich
     
  20. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Heparin.. Premarin.. Digoxin.. Belladonna..Even the first formulations of insulin...

    All naturally occuring substances in which the active ingredient is purified.. but otherwise still natural.
     
  21. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Add to that list taxol (paclitaxel), gentamicin, streptomycin, neomycin, etc.

    The reason pharma companies got out of natural products is their low return on investment- very few compounds actually make it onto the market. When we did find something promising, we sent it to the SAR (structure/activity research) group. They would determine why the natural compound worked and how to improve it (better pharmacokinetics, more specific for the target).

    Judging from their pipelines, combi-chem hasn't done much better. Big pharma has compounds in their pipelines mostly because of licensing or acquisition from other companies.
     
  22. Eamon

    Eamon Line Up and Wait

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    Are you saying the herbal remedies that have worked for 2000-3000 years are no good because no one slipped $10,000-$1,000,000 into the palm of a FDA worker to sign off on them?

    The drug companys are only out for money. The money spent proving a 3000 yr old remedies to the FDA will never be recouped unless they be the exclusive dealer. Cant happen with herbs.

    Yea there are people selling snake oil out there, but this isn't the norm.

    Chinese & Native Indian remedies work & have led to many of todays drugs.
     
  23. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    I doesn't really work that way. A substantial amount of peer reviewed scientific research is required for FDA approval. A lot of worthless crap is being sold over the counter.

    Much has changed in 2000-3000 years. The modern diet in no way resembles what people were eating in the past. Most people were more physically active since labor saving devices had not been invented. The average person was younger since the life expectancy was only about half of what it is today. I doubt that anybody can make a meaningful comparison of the effectiveness of various treatments between ancient and modern populations.

    Take any herbal remedy you want, it's your body. Good luck.

    Name a few. I am curious.
     
  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thank you. I'm not a physician nor am I particularly familiar with the pharmaceutical industry. My information came from others, including a few physicians, whose statements I took as fact. Apparently I shouldn't have.

    Thanks for the correction.

    -Rich
     
  25. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Tiger penis led to Viagra how? You realize that since the advent of Viagra, Cialis... that Asian tigers are starting to make a come back?
     
  26. Eamon

    Eamon Line Up and Wait

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    Digitalis
    All Antibiotics
    Aspirin
    opiates

    In a study done in 2001 researchers identified 122 compounds used in mainstream medicine which were derived from "ethnomedical" plant sources. 80% of these compounds were used in the same or related manner as the traditional ethnomedical use


    I have spent time inside of labs watching people fudge statistics on assays to keep their job or impress their boss. I have seen testing centers pull people from studies to help "prove" a drug.

    The FDA process is a JOKE. Money talks, period.

    If you think drug companys don't lie, I got a bridge for sale :)

    I am not saying todays drugs don't work, I am just saying that a lot of traditional methods work as well. Some Better in their "raw" from.

    The FDA did approve thalidomide.

    Ever see...... "This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” ?

    That product was also approved by the FDA ? Hummmm

    Traditional medicine has been working for 2000 years.
    Not
    Did work 2000 years ago.

    If that isn't enough testing, what is?
     
  27. Eamon

    Eamon Line Up and Wait

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    Ok, I have experienced the wonder of The big "V" & "C"
    It did work much better than the Yohimbe, Ginseng & Epimedium I tried :goofy:
     
  28. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    FTFY, the real proof is in the pudding so to speak. Look at what has happened to the population, especially infant mortality, since the age of "modern pharma". Now mind you, I'm not saying it's a good thing that so many more people are staying alive, but it does show that modern pharma does have an advantage in effectiveness over traditional medicine.

    Bubonic Plague which wiped out 1/3 of Europe's population would today be a "no biggie" disease easily handled by modern meds.
     
  29. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    All antibiotics? BS. I already listed many of the drugs derived from natural sources in a previous post. Also, the original clot busting drug streptokinase was derived from bacteria, the anticoagulant hirudin is derived from leech spit. These and most other drugs would not be possible without modern processing. Try dosing Foxglove plant parts as a digitalis derivative. Good luck avoiding toxicity or getting a proper therapeutic effect. One of the biggest problems using herbal remedies is standardization of dosage .

    Herbal remidies are not necessarily safe. Ephedra has caused or contributed to many deaths.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/17/eveningnews/main540848.shtml
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephedra

    Other herbal remedies have been implicated in deaths or liver failure.
    http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-09/21/content_8717557.htm
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/j52g7g0732301l10/
    http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulat...rbalSafetyNews/Currentsafetyissues/CON2024131

    Another issue is self diagnosis. People who use natural treatments will often avoid an appropriate medical evaluation.

    I admit that conventional medicine has it's limitations but I'll take it over traditional or alternative medicine any day.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0
     
  30. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, the FDA didn't grant final approval to thalidomide back in the 1950's and 1960's, when it was being widely prescribed in most of the world. It was distributed in clinical trials, however it never received final approval for sale. This was thanks to an FDA pharmacologist named Frances Oldham Kelsey, who refused to recommend the drug for approval. Her efforts are sometimes held up as an example of the wisdom of the FDA's drawn-out review and approval process.

    Thalidomide has, however, been approved by the FDA for very limited use (against Leprosy, and with many precautions that must be followed). That approval came in 1998.

    -Rich
     
  31. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That really is one of the biggest factors of using the base herbs or whatever "source" product. In order to get the 1 part of what you want, you have to also take the 100 parts of what is at best ineffective and at worst toxic.
     
  32. Eamon

    Eamon Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  33. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    True. We generally know what problems to expect.

    What makes you so sure that all of that other stuff is automatically good for you? There are a huge number of natural poisons from plant sources.
     
  34. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Eamon! put that beer down!

    It's all "big pharma" until you are desperately, seriously ill....
     
  35. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    After several DECADES of lobbying.. and with fairly stringent guidelines on its prescription. It works great for what it was intended for - nausea. It just screws with the unborn in a very bad way. Dont give it to pregnant women and you dont have a problem. If anything, Thalidomide, and its decades long ban was the FDA's feather in its cap of how the system protected safety.

    Would you also like to disclose the doses at which that possible outcome was elicited in RATS? And would you also like to disclose that such a warning was dropped in 2000, because the truth was, RATS, had a significantly different bladder physiology that in combination with extreme doses (the equivalent of a human drinking 700 soda's worth of saccharin a day) predisposed RATS to bladder cancer.

    Thats two misleading statements right there.

    Was that accidental or intentional on your part?
     
  36. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Heh.. yea..

    "Here.. chew this leaf".... and if you get dizzy, slow heart rate, nausea, vomiting or yellow vision, dont chew as much next time.

    That is the big benefit of the FDA.. When a manufacturer says they are selling you 100 micrograms of widget, they have proven to the satisfaction of the administrator that you are indeed getting widget, and 100 mcg worth, without harmful adulterants.

    Kinda like Cessna selling you a 172M.. It leaves the factory conforming to the 172M type certificate that all other 172M's conformed to.
     
  37. Mike Boehler

    Mike Boehler Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Does this mean that because an agency was needed it was therefor run properly?


    I have a question: How do most of you feel about other "alternatives", such as
    • Acupuncture
    • Chiropractic
    • talk therapy
    • homeopathy
    There are specifically five according to webmd, but I mention some the ones I've tried. I'm amazed at the responses here. I'm no expert, but it sure seems we rely a lot on our governments ability to keep us safe and healthy. I've got a hard time with that for myself.

    I may be cynical but I always say follow the money, not the words.
     
  38. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Acupuncture, tried it a couple of times for pain, no effect what so ever.

    Chiropractic, I have never experienced as intense and excruciating pain in my life as I was put in by a chiropractor.

    Talk therapy... Depends what for, emotional problems? Probably the best thing there is granting that you aren't talking to an idiot. Physical problems, I can't imagine what it could do for you.

    Homeopathy, I think it's the best way to treat hypochondria, and that's about it. It can also serve pretty well in the roll of "keeping the patient entertained until the disease runs its course" as long as the "healer" isn't using some toxic herbs which make things worse. For real issues such as cancer and pain management from physical injuries, not so good of a record....
     
  39. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Acupuncture - For what? I don't use it but could care less if anybody else does.
    Chiropractic may help with some types of back pain but I don't believe that it is useful for non musculoskeletal problems. I have seen it marketed for asthma. A man was admitted to our hospital after suffering a stroke when one of his neck arteries was damaged during a neck manipulation, rare but not unheard of.
    Talk therapy - Depends on the patient, the problem and the practioner. It might be helpful for anxiety or smoking cessation. It won't cure a serious illness but might help the patient cope with it.
    Homeopathy. Did you miss the video from one of my previous posts?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0
     
  40. Eamon

    Eamon Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
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    625
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
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    Display name:
    Eamon
    Bruce, It is a FoUr LoKo in my hand :) How ya Been ?