FDA Warns Sleeping Pills Can Sometimes Cause ‘Sleep-Driving’

What the hell!? Oh there is this little side effect…Sleep Driving. This ranks right up there with vomiting and anal dis-charge. Notice I am not going to even going to try and order seriousness of these top contenders in the side effects roulette pageant. Anyways, here’s the AP article…

WASHINGTON (AP) — All sleeping pills, including the blockbusters Ambien and Lunesta, may sometimes cause a bizarre but dangerous side effect — sleep-driving, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.
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It’s like sleepwalking but behind-the-wheel: driving while not fully awake after using a sleeping aid — with no memory of doing so.

The FDA ordered the makers of 13 products to strengthen warnings on their labels about two rare but serious side effects:

–Sleep-driving, along with other less dangerous “complex sleep-related behaviors” — like making phone calls or fixing and eating food while still asleep.

–And life-threatening allergic reactions, as well as severe facial swelling, both of which can occur the first time the pills are taken.

FDA told manufacturers to write letters to doctors to notify them of the new warnings, and all prescription sleeping pills now will come with special brochures called “Medication Guides” that spell out the risks for patients in easy-to-understand language.

FDA wouldn’t say exactly how many cases of sleep-driving it uncovered, or if it knew of any car crashes, saying only that “there have been rare adverse events reported.”

“Due to the potential for embarrassment and/or legal exposure, people are less likely to report some of the more complex sleep behaviors. Therefore, FDA is concerned that there may be extensive under-reporting of these events,” said FDA spokeswoman Kimberly Rawlings. “It was important to alert people about the risk of complex sleep behaviors, especially sleep-driving because of the potential for this activity to cause harm or death to both the patients and the community.”

This entire class of medicine, known as sedative-hypnotic products, has these rare risks, FDA said. But some drugs may cause the problems more than others, so FDA recommended that manufacturers conduct clinical trials to figure that out.

The drugs are: Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital; Dalmane; Doral; Halcion; Lunesta; Placidyl; Prosom; Restoril; Rozerem; Seconal; Sonata.

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Al-Cicada

When looking for an image to accompany the article below I came accross this classic cartoon by Richard Bartholomew

al-cicada

visit his website for more classics www.bartholoviews.com

Ashcroft Shows True Side

Article today in the Wallstreet Journal, amongst others, show the true nature of former Attorney General John Asshcroft. When dealing with the Sirius – XM Satellite Radio merger he came out barking last week in strong opposition on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters but actually peddled his expert opinion to the satellite companies first. Money rules when your a lobbyist consultant, not the actual issue. Sure puts into question “his honest opinion as an antitrust expert”. Can any politicians really be trusted?

By COREY BOLES
March 3, 2007 8:36 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who sent a letter this week to his successor Alberto Gonzales blasting the proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., approached XM in the days after the merger was announced offering the firm his consulting services, a spokesman for XM said Saturday.

The spokesman said XM declined Mr. Ashcroft’s offer to work as a lobbyist for the company.

Mr. Ashcroft was subsequently hired by the National Association of Broadcasters, which is fiercely opposed to the merger. On its behalf he conducted a review of the effects on competition if the two satellite radio companies were allowed to merge.

In a letter sent to Mr. Gonzales Feb. 27, Mr. Ashcroft concluded the merger would have a significant negative impact on competition in the market and urged the current attorney general to withhold approval for the merger.

“After the merger was announced, Mr. Ashcroft’s firm contacted us about hiring him to assist us,” said Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for XM. “We declined. Apparently the National Association of Broadcasters opted to pay him to parrot their views.”

Dennis Wharton, the NAB’s executive director, said Saturday, “NAB approached former Attorney General Ashcroft to review the proposed XM-Sirius merger and offer his honest opinion as an antitrust expert. We are not aware of any alleged previous discussions between Mr. Ashcroft and officials at either satellite radio company.”

A revelation that Mr. Ashcroft was shopping his services to both sides of the debate over the merger may raise doubts in the eyes of some as to the rigor of his review conducted on behalf of the NAB.

Bill Gates’ Newsweek Bullshit

Excellent article on the Gates interview with Newsweek by Peter Cohen via Macworld.com, man is this guy full of it:

We Mac users hear a lot about Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field”—the aura of his charisma its sanguine effect on the Apple faithful. If Steven Levy’s recent Newsweek interview with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is any example, Gates’ reality is pretty distorted too. But I’m not so sure it has as much to do with charisma as it does with self-delusion.

In excerpts of the interview published on the Newsweek Web site, Gates said that the newly released Vista’s selling point to the average consumer is features likes Sidebar and its ability to handle large amounts of photos, HD movies and DVD burning.

Sound familiar? Apple’s been doing digital photos, movies and DVD burning for years with its iLife software suite. As for Sidebar? That’s Vista’s way of running mini-applications called “gadgets.” But you probably know them as Dashboard and widgets—features of Mac OS X ever since Apple released Tiger.

Incredibly, Gates actually gets offended when Levy suggests that Microsoft ripped off some of Mac OS X in Vista’s features, look and feel:

“You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts. If you just want to say, ‘Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,’ that’s fine.”

Then Gates goes on to suggest that Microsoft may have been too forthcoming early in Vista’s development, when it was still called Longhorn. He doesn’t say it directly, but Gates intimates that Microsoft showed off features that Apple ended up copying and shipping in its products before Microsoft could, because Microsoft spent so much time working out Vista’s security features.

That’s not just wrong, that’s astoundingly, jaw-droppingly wrong. Dashboard aside, the basic look and feel of Mac OS X—not to mention its core file structure—has been around since Windows XP was new, and Vista/Longhorn was not so much as even a glimmer in Bill Gates’ eye.

That’s not where Gates’ own version of the Reality Distortion Field ends, though. He also claims that “security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally.”

Now, Gates said this within the context of Vista’s improved security. And Vista is a marked improvement over Windows XP in a multitude of areas—security may very well be a major one.

But for Gates to suggest that “security guys break the Mac every single day” makes me wonder exactly where the hell Gates is getting his information, or at the very least, what he’s smoking.

Because about the most public display of Mac OS X-related bugs I’m familiar with is the recent “Month of Apple Bugs” project, which ended not so much with a bang but rather a whimper. The project’s organizers found one really good bug in there, which was fixed by Apple a few weeks later in a security update. Otherwise it was mainly just a mishmash of problems they discovered in third-party application software that runs on Mac OS X (not to mention Windows, in some cases).

And I’m completely unfamiliar with any “exploits,” as Gates put it, that would allow a malicious user to “take over totally” a Mac running Tiger.

So Bill Gates is, at best, grossly mistaken and really poorly informed about his major competition for the hearts and minds of consumers. And at worst, he’s well aware of just how mistaken his claims are and choosing to make them anyway. “Distorting reality” is one way to describe that; another would be “lying.”

Raiders Throw Another Coin In The Wish Pond

Well, another year another Raiders leader. New coach Lane Kiffin will give it a go this next year as head coach of the worst team in football. There isn’t even really enough energy behind all this to write much at this point. Oh well, good luck. We can only dream of better days.

raiders kiffin

Hand of God

An important documentary of the Catholic Priest molestation epidemic. Hand of God can now be seen on PBS (and online).

It is important to remember that many of these cases are still on going and the Catholic church and other clergy are fighting these cases tooth and nail. Very few are owning up to the crimes that have been committed over the past many decades. It seems the only way to hold these abusers and those that allow or cover-up accountable is to go public and take them through the legal system. By forcing these groups to address the issues only then can change, maybe, happen. These institutions are just given to much power. As humans, which clergy of any faith just are, the temptation of power held unchecked generally leads to the dark side of human nature to appear.

Like all abuse only by shedding light on the issues can we as individuals and a society move forward. Truth is the prevailing need in all cases of life.

Digg!

What You Should Know About Chemicals in Your Cosmetics

from AOL provided by Consumer Reports.org

You slather, spray, and paint them on and rub them in. Cosmetics are so much a part of your daily regimen that you probably never think twice about them. If they’re on store shelves, it seems reasonable to figure that they’re safe to use, despite those unpronounceable ingredient lists.

But at least some of what’s in your cosmetics might not be so good for you. One example is the family of chemicals known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), which may be linked to developmental and reproductive health risks. The industry says phthalates are safe, but some companies have dropped them in response to public concern. Essie, OPI, and Sally Hansen, for example, are removing dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is used to prevent chipping, from nail polishes. Other big-name brands that have reformulated products to remove some phthalates include Avon, Cover Girl, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Max Factor, Orly, and Revlon.

If you’re trying to cut back on phthalates, however, sticking with these brands may not make much of a difference. You’ll find phthalates in too many other personal-care products, including body lotions, hair sprays, perfumes, and deodorants. The chemicals are used to help fragrances linger and take the stiffness out of hair spray, among other reasons. They’re also in detergents, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and plastic toys. And they have turned up in our bodies.

Although phthalates show up in so many places, they’re often absent from labels because disclosure is not always required. That’s the case with fragrances. We tested eight fragrances and although none of the products included phthalates in its ingredient list, they all contained the chemicals. Some were made by companies that specifically told us their products were free of phthalates, and two even say as much on their Web sites.

Getting your nails done or spritzing on your favorite perfume obviously isn’t going to kill you. But the health effects of regular long-term exposure, even to small amounts, are still unknown.

Companies that have eliminated phthalates are no doubt getting the message that people are paying more attention to ingredients. But public concern isn’t the only factor driving the reformulations. Another reason is a European ban. Although the U.S. has outlawed just eight cosmetic ingredients, the European Union has banned more than 1,000. For companies that make cosmetics, complying with E.U. rules makes good business sense. It’s more efficient to sell the same product worldwide. It’s also good PR. About 380 U.S. companies have publicly pledged their allegiance to cosmetic safety by signing the Compact for Global Production of Safe Health & Beauty Products, under which they voluntarily pledged to reformulate globally to meet E.U. standards.

The reformulation trend is likely to gain further momentum from the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005, which took effect only this year. Manufacturers that sell over $1 million a year in personal-care products in the state must report any products containing a chemical that is either a carcinogen or a reproductive or developmental toxic agent. Among those that must be disclosed are the phthalates DBP and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). California plans make this information public, possibly on the Web, so some companies may choose to remove rather than report the ingredients.

Guinea pig nation
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