Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Oklahoma Prolotherapy | Podcast 5 – Part 3
Brian: Pregnant women can’t take anything, can they? They can’t drink. They can’t smoke. They can’t take aspirin. Can they take aspirin?
Chad: Right. No.
Brian: There’s that.
Chad: Exactly. Pregnancy category C means there’s no human trials showing outcomes. There are some animal trials on Tamiflu, but there’s none for humans. That’s why it’s a category C.
Brian: Hold on a second. That’s important. Category C means [crosstalk 00:13:31]
Chad: Basically it means there’s no evidence of harm. With pregnancy categories, there’s A, B, C, D, and X. X is like, if you remember thalidomide, you know, back in the 60’s and 70’s. 60’s? Nausea drug for that morning sickness stuff.
Chad: Caused major birth defects.
Brian: It’s like eating poison.
Chad: Exactly. Statins, like Lipitor and Crestor and all those things … Those are category X drugs. You do not take those when you’re pregnant. Category D is there’s evidence of human harm and you’ve got to seriously weigh .. Are the risks outweighed by the potential benefits? This one is category C. There’s really no evidence either way. Category B is shown to have some safety … And category A is free for all. You can take it. That’s like oxygen.
Brian: In this category C for Tamiflu, because I think this is important for people … When they say it’s unknown, does that mean because there’s not enough research? It could mean a consortium of different things, correct?
Chad: Well, but nobody’s going to do studies on pregnant women to see is this really safe? There’s a lot of drugs out there that are category C. There’s a lot. I just think it’s interesting that we are recommending that pregnant women take Tamiflu if they get the flu when we don’t really know …
Brian: Yeah, it’s important.
Chad: There are some observational studies showing women on Tamiflu didn’t have any apparent negative effect.
Brian: It’s an unknown factor, and doctors do recommend for pregnant women, when they get the flu, to take Tamiflu, correct?
Chad: In some cases, yes. [crosstalk 00:15:18] You’ve got to look at risks, benefits, all those kinds of things and you’ve got all kinds of doctors out there. Some doctors don’t know enough and will say, “Yeah, here’s your Tamiflu.” Some doctors are very well-versed and would say, “I really wouldn’t recommend it in this case.” It’s really an individual case-by-case kind of thing.
Those patients that are less than 19 years old on long-term aspirin therapy … American Indians or Alaskan Natives, morbidly obese, nursing home, and long-term care facility residents. Those are the categories, according to the CDC, who should be taking Tamiflu if it’s indicated. We talked about the safety thing. Again, I’m sticking to the package insert that comes with Tamiflu. The major things that we have seen are skin reactions and hypersensitivity. We’ve seen some anaphylaxis. Major hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions, got to go to the hospital. Airway breathing problems, you could die if you don’t get treatment.
Then you have what’s called toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson. Again, potentially fatal skin hypersensitivity reactions. Those are possibilities. That only happens in hypersensitivity kinds of cases. Interestingly, there are neuropsychiatric manifestations, again, just straight from the package insert. These are mainly in kids, but we’ve seen hallucinations, delirium, and abnormal behavior. Now that sounds like, well my kid was acting up yesterday and he had abnormal behavior. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about some serious cases, and in some of these cases, the abnormal behavior was so severe, it resulted in fatal outcomes. In other words, apparent suicides.
In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, Tamiflu was banned in Japan because of a few of these cases. Now, we’re talking about one percent. We’re not talking half the people that take it get this. Small percentages, but when it’s that severe, you’ve got to look at the risks and benefits. When you say it’s safe, I would argue maybe that’s not 100 percent the case.
Brian: To your point, if we’re talking about a cure for cancer, obviously there’s a risk-reward situation there, a life or death situation. When we’re putting in what you’ve said in context with a day and a half, a day and a half normally or somewhere around that, is it worth even the one percent chance? A day and a half, I’m feeling better versus even at a one percent risk I could get some serious mental disorder. Right? It’s not worth it, in my opinion.
Chad: Again, I’m going to be very cautious about saying do not do this, or absolutely do this. I cannot, unless we have a doctor-patient relationship, one-on-one, face-to-face, individual relationship, do not misconstrue anything that I say as that medical advice.
Brian: It could be the case that you have … I know my youngest son, Cash, at one years old came down with the rotavirus. It’s pretty serious for little guys. Right?
Brian: We were in the hospital with IV’s. If I could’ve bought a day and a half of him not being sick and throwing up, among other things, it might’ve been worth it because there can be life and death situations when it comes to those things, but generally speaking, probably not worth it.
Chad: You know, in my perspective, and certainly not with every patient, but what I’ve seen is when I was urgent care, ER, those acute care setting situations, when patients would have … I would diagnose them with the flu and they’d be like, “Okay, give me that Tamiflu.” You’ve got a mild fever. You feel bad. I get it. You feel bad, but this is not a panacea for the flu. The CDC doesn’t even recommend it in those cases.
Brian: Marshall, do you have any information on Roche? I want to do a little blurb here, if I will, on the business side of things, Chad, here.
Chad: Yeah, go.
Marshall: Okay, so Roche is known as F. Hoffmann and La Roche AG. It’s a Swiss global healthcare company. It operates worldwide under two divisions, pharmaceuticals and then diagnostics. In 2014, they did 48 billion dollars worldwide and they’re the third largest pharma company worldwide.