Tramadol and codeine are opioid medications most commonly used to treat pain. Codeine is also sometimes found in cough and cold medicines.

While effective in adults, both medicines can deliver potentially fatal breathing problems in children. The problem here is that some kids and adults break tramadol and codeine down into their active forms quicker than most, which can lead to a spike in their opioid levels.

Mother who breastfeed while taking these medicines can unwittingly pass on unsafe levels of the opioids to their little ones through their breast milk. Those infants may have difficulty breastfeeding, become drowsy, or potentially experience serious breathing issues.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are doing their part to battle this problem by requiring codeine and tramadol labels to be strengthened so that parents are aware of the potential health issues their children may face.

Take Care when Giving Tramadol or Codeine to Children

The FDA recommends that children under the age of 12 should not be given pain or cough medications containing codeine or tramadol.

Tramadol has not been approved for use in children by the FDA. Children under the age of 18 should not take tramadol to ease the pain that follows procedures such as tonsil or adenoid removal. Codeine labels already contain warnings stating that the medication should not be used by children to treat pain from those procedures.

Kids aged 12 through 18 who are considered obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea or a weak respiratory system are advised not to take codeine or tramadol because of the potential breathing issues that may follow.

Tramadol is intended as a prescription pain medication for adults. Codeine come via prescription, but may also be available over the counter in some states.

You will often find that codeine is mixed with acetaminophen in prescription pain meds, and also with several different cold medicines when used as a cough treatment.

Codeine and Tramadol Alternatives

There are a number of different pain management alternatives that are safe for children. Your local pharmacist or doctor can help you find one that is suitable.

You also have the option of several different OTC medications for the treatment of cough in kids. It should be noted that the FDA does not believe that OTC cough and cold medicines are suitable for children under the age of 2. Colds generally go away on their own after a few days, so you also have the option of allowing your child to get better without the use of drugs.

Finding out if Codeine or Tramadol is on your Child’s Medication

The labels on medicines should clearly show if codeine or tramadol is present. You can also talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are still unsure.




Before we start talking about autism treatment, it should be made clear that no cure for autism currently exists. Any product that claims to “cure” autism should likely be avoided. This is also true for many products that claim to treat autism and its symptoms, as many of them pose serious health risks.

The Food and Drug Administration keeps track of all products, and does its best to warn any manufacturer making claims about products that are untrue or unproven. It’s a tough job, as many of these so-called autism cures are already on the market.

Autism Information

Stats delivered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that roughly 1 in 68 children will be identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD’s are nor specific to one particular ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic group, although they are about 4.5 times more prevalent in boys. Roughly 1 in 42 boys are diagnosed with ASD as opposed to 1 in 189 girls.

When describing children with autism, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) point to things like issues with verbal and nonverbal communication, obsessive interests, problems with social interaction, and a display of repetitive behaviors. While some ASD sufferers have mild behavioral issues, others have severe, almost disabling problems

The FDA has approved some drugs used to manage the symptoms related with autism. Included in this group are antipsychotics such as risperidone, which is prescribed to patients aged between 5 and 16. Aripripazole is another approved drugs, and is used on patients aged 6 of 17 who experience irritability due to their ASD. Rather than simply choosing a drug therapy that claims to treat or cure ASD, you should take time to talk to a health professional about your options.

The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) is a non-profit organization made up of health professionals and the parents of children with autism, all of whom are invested in the treatment and care of people suffering from the ailment. They know better than most that there is a long history of product fads and failed treatments for autism.

The FDA False Claims Crackdown

Commander Jason Humbert, M.H.S., R.N., a regulatory operations officer in the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, claims that the FDA has either warned or taken action against several companies who have made improper claims about the efficacy of their autism products, especially as it pertains to the supposed treatment and cure. The list below shows just some of the autism therapies that could potentially pose a health risk:

  •  “Chelation Therapies.” The products that fall into this category claim to cleanse the body of heavy metals and toxic chemical. You can find them in a variety of different formats that include capsules, liquid baths, suppositories, sprays, and clay baths. The FDA has approved chelating agents for specific uses – lead poisoning, lead overload, etc. -, none of which includes the treatment of autism. The agents that have been approved are available by prescription only. If you have been prescribed a chelating agent, it should only ever be used under professional supervision. You can end up facing some potentially life-threatening health issues when chelating minerals that the body requires.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This is another method approved by the FDA, but once again only for specific uses, such as the treatment of decompression sickness. The treatment takes place inside a pressurized chamber, where the patient breathes oxygen.
  • Detoxifying Clay Baths. These products are usually added to bath water for the goal of ridding the body of heavy metals, pollutants, and toxins. These are often marketed as providing a “dramatic improvement” of autism symptoms.
  • Other Products. Items such as essential oils and raw camel milk are regularly marketed as treatments for autism, but they have not been proven safe or effective when used for this specific purpose.


Migraine Drug Limitations

The market is filled with drugs that help with the symptoms of migraine pain.

The majority of drugs on the market have proven effective in treating the pain and symptoms associated with migraines, but Eric Bastings, M.D., a neurologist at the FDA, makes it clear that they are not for everyone. Some users will experience side effects such as tiredness or dizzy spells, and pregnant women are ruled out from using them because of potential birth defects.

While there are also medical devices, such as Cefaly and Cerena, available to treat migraines, they too are not safe for everyone to use, with pregnant women once again at the top of the list of people at risk.

People who regularly suffer from migraine headaches will often turn to beta-blockers or propranolol, both of which are preventative medications. Beta-blockers are used to treat heart issues, and work by slowing down the heart rate. These types of medications are not suitable for migraine patients who also have lung issues, asthma, or a slow heart rate.

Topiramate and divalproex sodium, which are classified as antiepileptic drugs, are sometimes prescribed as treatment for migraines. Regular use of these seizure medications has proven effective in reducing the number of migraines suffered, but they do not stop them completely.

Medication Overuse Headaches

One issue that migraine sufferers may face when they take preventative drugs is something called medication overuse headache (MOH). This daily headache feels like a migraine, and is often brought on by overusing certain types of medication.

There have been several studies performed on the effects of over the counter (OTC) medications when used by migraine patients. When used for 10 or more days per month, these drugs may cause overuse headaches: aspirin, acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), combination pain relievers, opioids, triptans, and ergotamines.

The FDA is now actively working with manufacturers to ensure that OTC medications used to treat migraines have labels that mention overuse headache. These warnings are already present on the labels of prescription medications.

Patients usually find that the overuse headaches will stop when they come off of the overused medication. It’s important that you talk to your doctor if you believe you have MOH. Your physician can get to the bottom of what is causing you headaches, and can put together a plan of action to get you off the overused medication. It is okay to immediately stop taking some medications, but there are others where you will need to be weaned off. I some cases, patients may require additional therapy to treat withdrawal symtoms.

Best Advice for Migraine Sufferers

It is not uncommon for migraines to go undiagnosed and untreated. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor about your headaches, or that you seek help from a migraine specialist if you feel that you are not getting the relief you need. They can help you get the medication that is best suited to your specific needs.


Anemia Supplements

July 2, 2018

Anemia is the most common blood disorder in the country. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 3.4 million Americans suffer with some form of anemia, the symptoms of which often include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, pale skin, and cold or numb hands and feet. Headaches are another symptom, as are nails that break easily.

The goal anemia treatment is to increase the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry. This is done by raising the red blood cell count and/or hemoglobin level. Otherwise, doctors treat the underlying cause of the anemia.

Low levels of vitamins or iron in the body can cause some types of anemia. These low levels might be the result of a poor diet or certain diseases or conditions. To raise your vitamin or iron level, your doctor may ask you to change your diet or take vitamin or anemia supplements.

If you are indeed iron deficient, your doctor will probably prescribe iron supplements. Most people with mild or moderate iron deficiency anemia can correct the problem over a period of about three months, but if iron stores remain low, a few more months of supplementation may be recommended.

Strict vegetarians may need to take in higher levels of iron.

At high doses, iron is toxic. For adults and children ages 14 and up, the upper limit — the highest dose that can be taken safely — is 45 mg a day. Children under age 14 should not take more than 40 mg a day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that — starting at 4 months of age — full-term, breastfed infants should be supplemented with 1 mg/kg per day of oral iron. This should continue until iron-containing complementary foods, such as iron-fortified cereals, are introduced in the diet. Standard infant formula that contains 12 mg/L iron can fulfill the iron needs of an infant until age 1.


If you think that you are stuck with migraine headaches, it might be time to think again.

Not all adults are able to tolerate medications used to treat migraines, but a prescription device may be able to help. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a pair of device for marketing, and they are the Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device and the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator.

Clinical studies have shown that both devices are effective treatments, and that they have limited side effects or risks when used as instructed.

Intense throbbing pain in a specific area of the head, as well as light sensitivity and nausea are common symptoms of a migraine headache. If left untreated, a migraine can last as long as 72 hours at a time.

Statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that about 37 million (12%) of Americans suffer from migraines. Both children and adults can be affected, but females are 3 times more likely than males to have a migraine. Roughly 18% of women have experienced a migraine headache.

Of the overall number of migraine sufferers, about one-third also experience visual disturbances (blind spots, flashing lights, or spot) at the onset of a migraine.

The Devices that Treat Migraines

Michael Hoffmann, a biomedical engineer with the FDA, explained that these types of devices are necessary, mostly because anti-migraine medications often come with side effects that many patients simply cannot handle.

The Cerena device is put into use when a migraine sufferer feels as though a headache is about to begin. This was the first such device to be granted marketing approval by the FDA, as it has proven effective in relieving migraine pain.

When using the Cerena device, the patient is required to hold the unit against the back of their head. A button on the device is pressed down for less than a second, after which it releases a magnetic pulse used to stimulate the occipital cortex of the brain.

The Cerena device uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) technology, which has been studied for a while now, but which has just recently been approved for certain clinical uses. Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical nerve stimulation passed through the skin, and is the first such device to be granted FDA approval. Patients over the age of 18 use the device to prevent the onset of migraine headaches.

Patients who use Cefaly on a daily basis have been found to experience fewer days where they experience a migraine headache. TENS technology was previously used for the treatment of general pain, but is now authorized as a preventative device for migraine sufferers.




Even if you are in good physical shape, your doctor may still surprise you with a high cholesterol diagnosis when you have your annual physical. If this happens, there is a very good chance that your doctor will want to talk to you about a medication known as statin.

Below, we are going to try and answer some of the more common questions about cholesterol and statins.

  1. What are statins, and how do they work?

Statins are medicines that are used to treat high cholesterol in the blood, most of which is made by your liver. Statins help get the amount of cholesterol made under control, whilst also ridding the blood of the excess cholesterol that is already there.

  1. Why is high cholesterol considered to be unhealthy?

The human body requires cholesterol, but when too much is produced, it can form as a plaque buildup on the artery walls, which can then potentially lead to heart disease or stroke. For many years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued numbers showing that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S.

  1. What’s the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol?

When cholesterol enters the bloodstream, it us carried by particles known as lipoproteins. Most cholesterol is carried by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. These are what are referred to as “bad” cholesterol, since higher LDL levels are often the cause of heart disease and stroke.

Good” cholesterol is found in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. These are considered to be good because they are carried back to the liver, where they can then be removed from the body. Your doctor can better explain your levels, and what they might man for your heart health.

  1. Can cholesterol levels be kept in check with a healthy diet and regular exercise?

If you are looking to reduce the risk of heart disease and keep cholesterol in check, then a healthy diet and regular exercise should be considered a must. That said, there are other factors, like genetics, that we can essentially do nothing to control. Some people will find that living a healthy lifestyle will not be enough to keep their cholesterol numbers at a healthy level.

Even if your current cholesterol levels do not appear particularly high, your doctor may still recommend statins if you are considered to be at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Statins have proven effective in reducing the risk of both stroke and heart attacks.

  1. Are there any risks associated with taking statins

Generally speaking, there are very few issues associated with taking statins. Two risks that patients should be aware of are muscle-related complaints, as well as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Muscle issues can be experienced by anyone, so you need to check with your doctor to see if they are indeed being caused by statins. It is in very rare cases that severe muscle issues come as a result of statin use.

  1. Is it okay to drink grapefruit juice while taking statins?

Fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice have been known to have an effect on how some medicines work. This is true with some, but not all, statins. It is also possible that other medications may also interact with the efficacy of statins. Always talk to your healthcare professional about potential issues before you start taking statins.


Claustrophobia is one of the most common phobias. It is a situational phobia triggered by an irrational and intense fear of tight or crowded spaces. It frequently results in a panic attack and can be triggered by things such as being in a crowded elevator, a small room without any windows, or driving on a congested highway.

Claustrophobia Symptoms: For some people, claustrophobia may disappear on its own. Others may need therapy to manage and cope with their symptoms. Symptoms of claustrophobia vary. However, some common symptoms include: sweating, increased heart rate, dizziness, hyperventilating, inability to breathe, headaches, and trembling.

Claustrophobia Treatment Tips: If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. Don’t wait until your claustrophobia becomes too overwhelming because an early diagnosis can help you better manage your symptoms. Claustrophobia is most commonly treated by psychotherapy. Different types of counseling can help you overcome your fear and manage your triggers. Counter conditioning and exposure therapy (gradually exposing people to situations that trigger anxiety) can help people build a tolerance and learn coping mechanisms. Others can benefit from therapy or medication.