It’s going to be one of those nights.

Hoo boy.

Today was my coworker E’s last day. We ordered nine silver trays of Indian food from the restaurant down the street and stood on the sidewalk in the drizzle, waiting for our ride back. The smell alone (it crept all over me, I think that my coat is completely and irreparably [deliciously] smelly) was enough to get things roiling. But just to make sure I had two heaping plates of butter chicken, hot-hot eggplant and lamb curry. I like to play this little testing game with coffee, too. You never know. One day, the shits may not come.

Found an old article today about Lialda, the newest treatment for “active, mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.” Mild to moderate means, I think, NOT pancolitis? But it’s a once-a-day regimen, as opposed to the horse-pill-gobbling that Colazal necessitates. Side effects include:

1) Flatulence (really, how can they be sure about that with UCers? A. makes a point of telling me that my UC had NO exponential effect on my flatulence…)

2) Acute intolerance syndrome – which exhibits very UC-ish flare symptoms, so how you would tell, I have no clue.

3) Headaches, yo! Why do all mesalamine drugs cause this? I’m gonna leap and say it’s probably not from an increase in brain power, but I’ve been wrong before. Wait.

And for some new information (to me) about “mesalamine medications.”

4) “Reports of renal impairment have been associated with mesalamine medications. Caution should be exercised, and LIALDA should be used only if the benefits outweigh the risks.” The fuck?

Luckily for all of us with chronic bleeding asses, Shire Pharmaceuticals (creators/proponents of LIALDA) has this nifty site, Managing UC, in order to better promote bowel care* and take care of their customers** while gaining a lot of insight into what your random IBD sufferer thinks about. (Today: chocolate, books, ass, in any order.)

It’s funny. In my first library science course, we had to design and pitch something like this to the rest of the class, a faux pharmaceutical company database of their “patient” information. The biggest question we faced in the Q & A following our presentation?

“How do you keep this ethical, when you’re a business and your patients are really your customers, and may be better off with a different medication?”

I am watching you, Shire. Your cutesy hobbity name doesn’t fool me.

*Erm. My ASS.
**I dare them to call me their patient. Also, see *.

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3 thoughts on “It’s going to be one of those nights.

  1. The restrictive diet is a really tough part of UC. I remember my family inviting me over for dinner, cooking chili, and then being surprised when I ran to the store and bought a plain sandwhich. There are enough troubles with the disease as it is in terms of social isolation. The diet part makes it tougher. Some doctors believe it’s a big deal, others don’t care about it that much. I remember one doctor giving a big presenation that basically concluded, “Diet great if you can do it. But it’s just not realistic in our society….burger or feeling well.”As for the drug companies. They’re a mixed bag. Some of them are ok. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Coloplast (an ostomy product manufacturer) are ok. They do support programs that support the disease, but they always clearly label their support. Centocor (Johnson and Johnson), the makers of Remicade, has some problems. See the movie Innerstate.

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  2. I’ve wanted to see that! It seems that most companies (drug or otherwise) have ‘problems.’ A friend of mine used to work for a large tech company (just call them 2D) and they gave a lot of ‘samples’ to hospitals that purchased from them.

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  3. The free sample thing is strange. They give samples to doctors in the hopes that they’ll write prescriptions for patients with drug coverage. The samples are the drug company’s way of ensuring that all of the doctor’s patients get the drug. Drug companies also give doctors other perks, but samples are a universal one. As for Innerstate, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard that it’s just a two hour infomercial for Remicade, which makes sense as Centocor/Johnson and Johnson–Remicade’s maker–funded it.

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