Tag Archives | pharmacology

How To Make Your Own Designer Drugs

US Navy 010717-N-1350W-002 Drug screening lab prepares samplesMike Power says that designing your own narcotics online isn’t just easy — it can be legal too. How does he know? He did it himself and describes the results at Medium:

…Most of the innovation around legal highs in recent years has come out of the UK. With the law now over 40 years old, it has hundreds of amendments employed to try and catch an ever-growing list of narcotics. There are currently more than 150 in its most heavily controlled category alone. The law is now caught in a race with runners half its age, who understand chemistry and technology as well or better than the people who wrote the statutes and implement them, and whose aim is specifically to outrun and outsmart the law in order to enrich themselves.

Many of those who design drugs do so merely to push the boundaries: these “psychonauts” as they are sometimes known, are early adopters of new drugs.

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Western Drug Companies Paid East Germany To Use Its Citizens As Guinea Pigs

At least a handful of the unwitting subjects died as a result of the pharmacological experiments. An instance of capitalist and communist collaboration during the Cold War, via the Independent:

Communist East Germany allowed Western drug companies to use its medical patients as unwitting guinea pigs for tests with untried pharmaceuticals in return for hundreds of thousands in hard currency, a television documentary by Germany’s ARD television channel has revealed.

The disturbing disclosures about the former communist state’s patients-for-cash scheme comes only weeks after an admission by the Swedish furniture giant Ikea that East German political prisoners were used to make its products before the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Using information gleaned from East German Stasi files, the film shows how, in 1983, Communist Party Central Committee members hatched a secret deal with Western drug companies enabling them to test their unlicensed products on unwitting patients by using specially selected doctors and clinics.

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FDA Expands Warning Regarding Medicines Contaminated With Deadly Fungus

“Dangerous impurities” is frequently given as one of the reasons to avoid street drugs, but dangerous impurities in the products of Big Pharma seem to be killing more people. CNN reports:

More patients will soon be told that they received potentially contaminated drugs from the New England Compounding Center, whose products are associated with 308 illnesses and 23 deaths.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration posted on its website a list of more than 1,200 hospitals and clinics that had purchased steroids and other drugs from the compounding center that, if contaminated, would be especially dangerous for patients. [Drugs of concern] include triamcinolone acetonide, an injectable steroid used to treat pain; injectable drugs used for eye surgery; and cardioplegic solutions, which are used during open heart surgeries.

Tennessee has been the hardest-hit state in the meningitis outbreak, with 70 cases as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Anatomy Of The Adderall Drought Of 2012

adderall_largeVia Motherboard, Kelly Bourdet on the inevitable mass shortages of the drug necessary to function in modern life. Will the empty pharmacy shelf be the 21st century equivalent to the gasoline scares of the 1970s?

For many people with ADHD, Adderall is what best manages their symptoms. At the same time, a drug that reduces appetite, increases wakefulness, induces feelings of euphoria (side effects, or, rather, effects of Adderall) — all through flooding your brain’s reward system—has vast potential for abuse. Amphetamine salts, used in Adderall, are classified by the U.S. Government as a Class II Narcotic, the same as cocaine and Oxycontin.

To prevent hoarding of materials and their potential for theft and illicit use, the Drug Enforcement Agency sets quotas for the chemical precursors to drugs like Adderall. But with the number of prescriptions for Adderall jumping 13 percent in the past year, pharmaceutical companies claim that the quotas are no longer sufficient for supplying Americans with their Adderall.

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Losing The War Against Drug-Resistant Superbugs

NEWS-US-ANTIBIOTICSWe’ve all heard warnings that overuse of antibiotics would breed drug-resistant superbugs, but the day of reckoning seems to be approaching faster than anyone anticipated, and science is at a loss for what to do. The pharmaceutical industry is proving to be little help, having abandoned the field of medicines that cure things for the golden revenue flow of drugs that individuals consume chronically until death (e.g. antidepressants and cholesterol-controlling medicine). Are we headed for a future of human helplessness against bacterial plagues, as in the Middle Ages? Via News Daily:

Welcome to a world where the drugs don’t work. For decades scientists have managed to develop new medicines to stay at least one step ahead of an ever-mutating enemy.

Now, though, we may be running out of road. MRSA alone is estimated to kill around 19,000 people every year in the United States — far more than HIV and AIDS — and a similar number in Europe.

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Does Depression = Lack of Fun?

“Real science points to one conclusion. “Modern cosmetic pharmacology focuses so heavily on eliminating depression that it entirely misses one essential point: depressed people are suffering from a lack of fun.”

Fun (and adventure) produce both adrenaline and dopamine, while “Having fun with other humans in a social setting stimulates serotonin and oxcytocin, two neurochemicals essential to feelings of security and being loved.” This oversight “will be viewed by future generations as one of the greatest failures of medicine,” argues this article (which appeared in the fall issue of the science magazine H+), concluding that science “has barely scratched the surface on fun.

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