Common Risks and Side Effects of Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants can be helpful in alleviating acute back pain, but patients should be aware of certain potential problems. For example, both carisoprodol and diazepam are classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as Schedule IV controlled substances based on their potential for abuse and addiction.

To minimize risk, the doctor should be informed of any history of seizures, liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or epilepsy, and any other medical conditions or concerns. Women should inform their doctors if they are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

    • Potential for abuse
      Muscle relaxants are typically prescribed early in a course of back pain, on a short-term basis. One reason for the short time frame is the potential for dependence or abuse. Muscle relaxants should be kept in a place where visitors and children will not find them. It is illegal to share these medications with anyone else.
    • Interactions with antihistamines
      Combining muscle relaxants and antihistamines should be avoided. The combination has been linked to an increase in emergency room visits for older adults.1
    • Interactions with alcohol
      Drinking alcohol can be especially dangerous when taking muscle relaxants. The sedative effect of the medication is intensified with alcohol use, and combining the two can be fatal.

Next Page

FDA Reports of Crohn’s Disease Treatment Side Effects Have Increased, Analysis Finds

Drugs used to treat Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune disorders are among those with the greatest number of reported side effects filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a USA Today Network Exclusive analysis.

The analysis found an increase of five times the number of side-effect reports to the FDA in 2015 from 2004 for all drugs, amounting to more than 1.2 million reports of side effects in 2015.

Drugs which suppress the immune system to fight inflammation can cause serious and sometimes lethal infections including tuberculosis, and have been linked with blood disorders, including lymphoma, a blood cancer.

Humira (adalimumab, manufactured by AbbVie), an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody that targets tumor necrosis factor alpha (a pro-inflammatory mediator that plays a critical role in inflammatory diseases), is one of the most widely used drugs to treat Crohn’s and other autoimmune disorders.

Next Page

Risks – Chemotherapy for breast cancer

Chemotherapy side effects are different for everyone, due to differences among drugs and dosages and to the body’s unique reaction to these medicines. Most side effects are temporary and subside once treatment is finished. But in some cases, chemotherapy can have long-term or even permanent effects.

Short-term side effects

In the process of killing cancer cells, chemotherapy drugs can also damage other rapidly dividing healthy cells, such as those in the hair follicles, bone marrow and digestive tract. The results may include:

  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk of bruising or bleeding (due to fewer blood platelet cells that help blood clot)
  • Increased vulnerability to infections (due to fewer white blood cells that help fight infection)
  • Heart damage
  • Nerve damage

Next Page

Alcoholic Neuropathy

What is Alcoholic Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is the medical term for nerve damage. In the case of alcoholic neuropathy the damage is caused by alcohol and it affects the peripheral nerves.  Your peripheral nervous system is made up of a system of 43 pairs of nerves which serve your head, neck and body sending messages back and forth to your brain to provide feeling throughout the body and control a wide variety of actions and processes. Alcohol abuse reduces the levels of vitamins and minerals in your body which are needed for healthy nerve function.

What are the symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy?

The symptoms you experience may vary depending on whether the damage is caused to motor nerves (those which control movement), sensory nerves (sensations) or autonomic nerves (unconscious bodily functions), but can include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling or “pins and needles” sensations
  • Burning and pricking sensations
  • Muscle cramps and pains

Next Page

Schizophrenia and Addiction

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects about one percent of all Americans—an estimated two million adults.

Individuals suffering from schizophrenia are often unable to distinguish the imaginary from reality.

People with schizophrenia may have difficulty responding to various social situations in an emotionally appropriate manner. This often results in issues with interpersonal relationships or in other major areas of their life, such as at work or school.

Schizophrenia is sometimes confused with multiple personality disorder (MPD). However, the overwhelming majority of people suffering from schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities and are not violent, which is more common among those with MPD.

Next Page



Since going keto means greatly reducing carbs, and since carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel, you might be wondering what your options are when it comes to how to exercise while in ketosis.

The good news is that while there are some things to keep in mind, exercise is totally possible on the ketogenic diet and even has some big benefits health- and energy-wise. These are important to know when wading through any misconceptions around low-carb eating and working out.


First, let’s note that the traditional view of weight loss—simply eating less and exercising longer, often with long bouts of cardio—is outdated and unsustainable. In order to see real results when it comes to losing weight and getting leaner, what you eat really matters. A great place to start is checking out a guide on sourcing meat, dairy, and seafood. Therefore, paying attention to the quality of your ketogenic diet itself, and maintaining a steady state of ketosis, is the most important first step you can take. To see if you are actually in a metabolic state of ketosis, testing your ketone levels is vitally important.

Next Page

Dyspraxia is more than just “clumsy child syndrome”

Compared to other specific learning difficulties, major research into dyspraxia – or developmental coordination disorder (DCD) as it is more formally known – has only begun fairly recently.

DCD is the term used to diagnose children who have motor skills substantially below what is expected for their age. They are not lazy, clumsy or unintelligent – in fact, their intellectual ability is in line with the general population – but they do struggle with everyday tasks that require coordination.

Take a typical boy with DCD: he is a bright and capable 10-year-old boy, but he struggles to tie his shoe laces and needs help to fasten the buttons on his school shirt. He can’t ride a bike and no one passes him the ball when he plays sports. His teacher has told his parents that while he is a clever and very able student, his handwriting is slow and difficult to read. He finds it hard to keep up in class or to complete his homework – and his performance at school is deteriorating.

Next Page

8 Signs You’re in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. Significantly, sexual narcissism is marked by a lack of true intimacy in the relationship – the partner is merely exploited to fulfill the narcissist’s selfish needs.

How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? The following are some telltale signs. While many people may occasionally be guilty of some of the following behaviors, a pathological sexual narcissist tends to dwell habitually in several of the following traits, while remaining largely unaware of (or unconcerned with) how her or his actions affects their partner.

Here are eight signs that you may be dealing with a sexual narcissist, with excerpts from my book (click on title): “How to Successfully Handle Narcissists”.

Next Page

Side Effects of Targeted Cancer Therapy Drugs

Although targeted therapy drugs don’t affect you the same way that standard chemo drugs do, they can still cause side effects. There are many different types of targeted drugs, and the side effects from these drugs depend largely on what each drug targets.

What should I know about side effects?

  • Not every person gets every side effect, and some people get few, if any.
  • The severity of side effects can vary greatly from drug to drug and from person to person. Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about which side effects are most common with your treatment, how long they might last, how bad they might be, and when you should call the doctor’s office about them. Your doctor may give you instructions to follow or medicines to help prevent some side effects before they happen.
  • Rare and unusual side effects can happen with some of these drugs, and some can be serious. Report all changes and side effects as soon as possible to your cancer care team.
  • Although side effects can be unpleasant, the less serious ones must be measured against the need to fight the cancer.

Next Page

Low Carb Diets to Lose Weight – Understanding Carbohydrates

Low-carb diets are diet plans that restrict carbohydrate consumption for weight loss. Foods high in carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta are restricted and replaced with protein rich foods (e.g. meat) and foods low in carbohydrates (e.g. green leafy vegetables).

There is significant controversy regarding low-carb diets and little consensus within scientific community on the impact of low-carb diets on health. Few studies have shown that low-carb diets may adversely affect health, while other research suggests that it may positively influence diseases such as diabetes, cancer and autism.

There is a common misconception that to lose weight you have to cut out carbs completely because carbohydrates cause fat storage. Examples of such diets include The Atkins Diet, Sugar Busters and The Ketogenic Diet. The basic principle of low carb diets is that carbohydrates lead to weight gain. This is a little misleading. The fact is, you gain weight if you consume too many calories. Also, simple carbs (e.g. cakes and white bread) lead to an undesirable insulin response, which can make weight loss difficult, especially for individuals with an endomorphic body type who tend to be carbohydrate sensitive.

Next Page