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Friday, June 01, 2007

Better Living Through Chemistry

This morning I woke up and took six pills. One for high blood pressure, one for reflux, an over the counter antihistamine and a decongestant for my allergies, and two Aleve because I woke up with right wrist tingling (probably from the 3 gigs I played this week). Is this what it's like to get old?

Halfway through Shacharis I realized that is was a mistake to take the Aleve on an empty stomach and I could barely wait to get home and pour some Cheerios and Milk into me.

The pharmacologist in me knows that some of these pills directly counteract the others. For example, I know that the decongestant is working to raise my blood pressure even as the angiotensin receptor blocker is trying to lower it. And the proton pump inhibitor is barely a match for the anti-inflammatory medication.

Still, there is a part of me that thinks it would be cool to observe the chemical interactions in my blood stream, like two sets of superheros fighting for supremacy of my body. The good guys duking it out with the supervillains. Who will emerge supreme? Will they join forces with one another? Can we get a Justice League of Medicine with Benicar and Protonix on the side of good battling the evil forces of Sudafed and Naproxen? And what side will Claritin take?

I think it would make for an interesting new TV series. Or at least a commercial.

19 comments:

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I've never been a big pill popper and I've often wondered if that played a part in the fact that I rarely ever get sick. My experience in biochemistry and biophysics have, to a certain degree, reinforced this thinking...I imagine proteins looking at each other in confusion and yelling "WTF!" as various drugs enter their domain and commence ninja-esque battles over who gets to bind active sites. This is also why I chuckle at drug advertisements that spend half the time telling you how, in the process of saving your life, the drug may also kill you.

PsychoToddler said...

...or perhaps you haven't had to take pills BECAUSE you rarely ever get sick.

I spent most of my younger life studiously avoiding doctors and medications. But it has a way of catching up with you.

Wait until you are older, my young apprentice.

Shifra said...

Try watching Osmosis Jones with Bill Murry. It's a barely watchable film (safe for kids) but it is very similar to what you described wanting to see.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Did you consider taking OxyClinton?

Ralphie said...

It's my opinion that drug companies have given up on finding cures and now just let you pick your symptoms.

Soccer Dad said...

Wasn't there a movie "Incredible Voyage?"

the apple said...

You should watch the Magic School Bus Goes Inside Ralphie! I think there's also a version with Arnold, but in the Ralphie one, he has a cold or something and they go into him to learn about diseases. It's awesome!

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Wickwire said...

What's pinging?

No don't watch Osmosis Jones, that was disturbing.

Yep, it's only a matter of time before they'll lay mandatory pill popping on me. Blah.

Doctor Bean said...

That's a good combo. If you want a nasal decongestant that won't raise your blood pressure, consider Atrovent nasal spray. Moreover, maybe in a few years when you acquire your next cardiac risk factor (being a man over 45), may I suggest aspirin 81 mg daily?

I just looked at my forehead. I'm about to take 8 kilos of Propecia as a single dose.

Halfnutcase said...

I was never a pill popper either. Something in me cannot help but compare using medicine to fix most problems to killing an annoying fly by gassing the entire house and its inhabitants with clorine or cyanide. I can't take medicine without wondering how many other problems I'm making at the same time as I fix this other problem.

Wickwire said...

"I can't take medicine without wondering how many other problems I'm making at the same time as I fix this other problem."
That's what usually ends up happening to me when I get prescriptions.

Ari Kinsberg said...

to all the skeptics when it comes to medications: like many things in life, taking medicine involves weighing the risks and the benefits. a good doctor/pharmacist should organize a regimen that seeks to limit the risks.

RaggedyMom said...

Ari - Exactly. I've been thinking/talking to my doctors about just that issue this week. A flat-out policy of "I always try to . . " or "I never want to . . " doesn't account for many things in life.

Erachet said...

the apple - there is definitely one about Arnold, also. I don't think he's sick, I think he just doesn't want to go on the school trip or something and accidentally eats the school bus and the kids learn all about digestion.

Magic School Bus rocks!

Miriam L said...

But for a cold, chicken soup is still the best thing, right?

eees said...

Just remember: NO CAPES!

Jack's Shack said...

Sounds like the Mentos Diet coke experiment.

Rafiki said...

I'll make a flash cartoon about it someday.