This month I’m running two marathon races. When I mention that fact to people who don’t run, they usually ask, “Why?” I’m not completely sure of the answer! Maybe the simple truth is that it’s because I can and I love the thrill.

26-2-doneHaving recently completed the Chicago Marathon on October 9th, I’m now ramping up my training for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC on October 30th. I’ve run full marathons (26.2 miles) before, but NEVER have I run two within 21 days.

I can’t decide if I’m motivated by some psychological death wish or if I’m absolutely crazy. Maybe I’m trying to hold on to whatever youthful energy that may be left in me. More than likely, it’s some combination of all of the above, plus the thrill of being among people who love mental and physical challenges.

At this year’s Chicago Marathon, the weather was wonderful—blue skies and temperatures that ranged from the low 50s to the mid-60s. I finished in a respectable four hours and twenty-seven minutes. I’m proud of my accomplishment. Even my sore legs and feet could not wipe the smile off my face.

After the race, I was thinking about how I learned the skills for my two favorite passions: writing and running. I didn’t wake up one morning able to run a marathon or know exactly how to create a murder mystery plot. Both involve a process and much training.

When I first started running many years ago, I didn’t put on running shoes andMH900212963 suddenly knock out a ten-mile training run. I started by huffing and puffing (think sounds like a freight train) through a one-mile run, then two, and so on. Finally, I took an important step and signed up for a 5K (3.1 miles) race, then later a 10K race and on to half marathons and finally full marathons.

In much the same way, I slowly started to learn the craft MH900299735of writing. I’ll concede that I decided unexpectedly one day to write a novel, but that was after years of technical writing and after several successful newsletter adventures. I’ll admit that there were false starts and the endless hours of writing meaningless chapters that eventually got tossed, but—like in running—I got better the more I practiced and studied how to write fiction.

One would think it unimaginable to compare the two seemingly diverse interests of long distance running and novel writing. On the surface, one is purely physical and the other entirely cerebral.

But I assure you that running is as much cerebral as it is physical. Anyone who has run a marathon will tell you that it’s the mind that keeps propelling you forward when the legs are screaming that you can’t possibly continue placing one foot in front of the other. Runners often talk about getting psyched up or psyched out. The translation of that phrase is that one is motivating and the other defeating.

In much the same way, there’s a truly physical component to the creative action of writing. Ask any writer how grueling it is to sit in front of a computer screen for four, six or more hours at a time. The spine begs for mercy, and muscles that you were never aware of develop cramps that stay with you like garlic in an Italian lunch.

The common threads in both of these activities are to start small, rely on repetitive actions and learn from your mistakes.

In running, it’s simply putting one foot in front of the other, pounding the pavement day after day and going a little farther and faster each time. With writing, it’s putting one word after another, one thought that turns into a scene and scenes that shape into chapters. After much trial and error, you’ll find that you will eventually propel a storyline into a meaningful tale of adventure.

Another commonality between running and writing is what happens after crossing thatMH900384941 finish line in a race. I usually sign up for another race, vowing to run better in the next one. And that’s exactly what happens after completing a novel or a short story. I start another, only this time the storyline is more intriguing, the dialogue more animated, the plot feeling tighter and the narrative more descriptive than in previous manuscripts.

The lesson here is to always strive to be better, whether that involves a race or writing that next story. Both require constant practice and lots of consistent work.

So after my successful run in Chicago recently, I shook off the sore legs and exhaustion and set my sites on that next marathon in Washington, DC.

That’s also how it is with my writing. I have two novels published and both are getting favorable reviews. I’ve completed my third novel, it’s been professionally edited and now I’m doing some final polishing before that gets published later this year.

And after that? I already have a new plot laid out for a murder mystery that will be published in 2017. As for my running, I have a third marathon to run in December of this year.

Just like in running, the phrase “practice makes perfect” also applies to the art of writing. Take courses in writing, write something every day and keep a journal of plot ideas for that next masterpiece.

Thought? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in About James J. Murray, About Running, About Writing, Achieving Writing Perfection, All About Writing, Being Thankful For Your Life, Better Fiction Writing, Blog Writers, Blogging, Character Development Techniques, Connecting With Your Reader, Create a Better You, Developing a Writing Career, Developing Better Life Skills, Developing Better Writing Skills, Developing Running Skills, Developing Technologies, How to Create a Better Life, James J. Murray Blog, Learning the Art of Writing, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, Practice Makes Perfect, Prescription For Murder Blog, Preventing Human Errors, Published Novel by James J Murray, Skills to Create a Better Life, The Art of Storytelling, The Art of Writing, Training for a Running Race, Writing Skills, Writing Skills and Running Skills, Writing Techniques | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Called “The Practice of Pharmacy”

MH900431268I blog about dark and sinister subjects—the perfect drug as a murder weapon, ten ways to create a bloodless murder, and zombie invasions—to name a few. I appreciate your enthusiastic responses and certainly your readership. Today, however, I’d like to address something a bit more personal.

For most of my life I’ve been a practicing pharmacist. Each day I would draw on my professional experience and use every tidbit of education to make appropriate clinical decisions.

Like so many other professionals, I was doing the work I was trained to do and loved every minute of it. I was also secure in the knowledge that I was very good at what I did and was making a difference in people’s lives.

So why did it rub me wrong when others would jokingly ask, “Practicing, huh? When do you think you’ll get it right?”

I laughed at the jokes, but inwardly I seethed. How could someone mock that by whichconfused-man I defined myself? One day, though, I took a mental step back to analyze those jokes. Was I any different in how I managed my career than the physician to whom I trust my health? After all, he “practices” medicine. Absurdly, I wondered, “Does he practice on me, maybe to get it right later with another patient?”

One summer in my youth I practiced getting better at baseball. I was never very good, but that summer I managed to hit consistently two out of three pitches. Could that translate to my doctor getting it right only two-thirds of the time regarding my health? And where did I fit into that equation? Was I one of the lucky two?

That kind of success rate in my pharmacy practice wouldn’t win me any fans. If I managed to get the right drug to the right person only two out of three times, all I’d gain would be a pile of lawsuits.

MH900401001So why are many health professions called a PRACTICE? If I went to my financial advisor and asked if he were practicing his profession, he’d probably say, “I do better than practice. I get it right.” Is his profession any more exacting than pharmacy? And, if he doesn’t invest my money as wisely as expected, all I do is have less of a nest egg. In pharmacy, however, detrimental results are grief-ridden and often life-threatening.

Eventually I decided that the beauty of PRACTICING your profession is to always get better at it. Most people are good at their jobs and mistakes happen only rarely. I might get upset if my financial advisor makes a less than perfect judgment where to invest my hard earned money, but at the end of the day life still goes on.

When I practiced pharmacy, it was intense stuff—clinical trials, intravenous therapies, and life or death situations.  If I had made less than perfect judgments regarding those therapies, there were real possibilities that someone would die as a result. There was no, “Oops, I’ll do better next time.”

The wisdom in understanding why some professions are called PRACTICES and others are known as WORK or ART is this. My work as a novelist is an expression of art. However, if I don’t get the story right the first time, it’s not a problem. No one dies (except maybe for one of my characters). I get a “do-over”—another edit, and more than one if necessary. Writers are lucky that way, except when the rewrites and edits go on and on. But that’s another whole blog.

The point is most people get it right the first time and have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. In the practice of a profession, however, not only do you want to get it right the first time, you continually practice to assure that it happens every time.

In the end, as much as I liked pharmacy practice, I love writing novels even more, andMH900332900 for one important reason. Instead of potentially burying my patients, I can bury the red herring and that’s a GOOD THING.

Thoughts?  Comments?  I’d love to hear them!

Posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Writing, Achieving Perfection, Achieving Writing Perfection, All About Writing, Better Fiction Writing, Blog Writers, Blogging, Developing a Writing Career, Developing Better Writing Skills, Developing Writing Skills, James J. Murray Blog, Learning the Art of Writing, Mastering Your Craft, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, New Life Goals, Patient Therapy Outcomes, Pharmacy/Pharmaceuticals, Practice Makes Perfect, Practicing Your Profession, Prescription For Murder Blog, Preventing Human Errors, Skills to Create a Better Life, The Pharmacy Profession, The Practice of Pharmacy, Writing Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ancient Remedies Resurrected!

Let’s start today’s blog with a riddle of sorts. What do the vegetables leek andbouillabaisse-recipe-9216-1 garlic have in common with wine and cow bile? The obvious answer is “nothing” but a more subtle answer is “apparently everything” when the question is properly framed as, “What does a medieval recipe of botanicals made into a slimy medicinal concoction cure?”

For centuries, scientists have turned to botanical sources to find cures for human ailments: foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) for heart disease, Ipecac (Carapichea ipecacuanha) to suppress coughs and induce vomiting, artemisinin (Artemisia annua) as an antimalarial, as well as a long list of others.

One of the more challenging problems facing medical science today is the cdc_rf_photo_of_mrsaincreased resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics, particularly the troubling Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which I have written about in previous blogs (here, here and here).

Recent articles suggest that scientists are reaching out again to botanicals for answers and have stumbled across a medieval potion that appears to be effective against these stubborn bacteria.

The ancient concoction is described as follows for treating styes (eyelash follicle infections):

Take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together, take wine432px-balds_leechbook_page and bullocks’ gall, of both equal quantities, mix with the leek (and garlic mixture), put this then into a brazen vessel, let it stand nine days in the brass vessel, wring out through a cloth and clear it well, put into a horn, and about night time apply it with a feather to the eye.

Styes are difficult-to-treat Staph aureus infections. Modern researchers, after discovering the formula for this potent remedy, decided to test it on lab-generated MRSA infections.

The research program is called The AncientBiotics Project and the process involved growing contaminated biofilm that mimics soft tissue MRSA infections and culturing the bacteria. Additional tests were conducted on rats infected with MRSA. The hyperlink to the project’s name in this paragraph contains an interesting seven-minute video of the research work.

It was confirmed that no individual ingredient in the potion had a beneficial effect on the MRSA, but the COMBINED liquid potion—when properly prepared—killed almost all the bacteria, achieving a kill rate of approximately 90%. By comparison, the kill rate for Vancomycin, the antibiotic generally used for MRSA infections, eliminated about the SAME proportion of bacteria when added to the contaminated biofilm.

pestle-and-mortar-6Although amazed at the initial results, scientists were skeptical until the results could be duplicated time and again. After preparing four batches of the ancient remedy, each test of the different batches produced similar stunning kill rates.

As astounded as these researchers were at such positive test results, they began to question the “Why” of their success. Could similar effects be achieved with a more dilute mixture? The answer was “No” but they discovered that more dilute concentrations of the potion still interrupted bacterial communications and this prevented the bacteria from acting on and damaging tissue.

The next questions addressed were: 1) could a specific ingredient work as well as the concoction, 2) was it the synergy of the ingredients that produced the phenomenal results, or 3) did the recipe preparation actually form a new molecule or compound that became the killing machine?

Regarding the one ingredient theory, only copper from the brass mixing vessel is known to kill lab-grown bacteria, but copper can be toxic to the body.

As to the theories whether the synergy of ingredients produces the beneficial effects or if a new antibiotic compound is formed in the preparation process, these questions are likely the next steps to be addressed in the research process.

The research continues on this interesting ancient remedy, but scientists are so encouraged by their test results that the research has been presented at an Annual Conference of The Society for General Microbiology held in Birmingham, UK.

As modern medical science moves forward in search of new, innovative treatments for diseases, we might be reminded that some cures are already discovered. They’ve merely been forgotten or tossed aside as out-of-date.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in About Ancient Forgotten Cures, About James J. Murray, Ancient Curing Potions, Antibiotic Discovery Void, Antibiotic Resistance, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Antibiotics of the Past in Use Today, Blog Writers, Blogging, Botanicals That Cure MRSA, Compounding Pharmacy, Designer Drugs of The Past, Drug Resistant Bacteria, Forgotten Cures, James J. Murray Blog, Medieval Cures, Medieval Remedies For Modern Ailments, MRSA, MRSA Research, Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria, New Blog, New Drug Discoveries, Prescription For Murder Blog, Superbug Epidemic, Superbugs, The Practice of Pharmacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Murder At 30,000 Feet!

Modern pharmaceuticals are excellent alternatives to more invasive procedures when aMH900400871 medical cure is required. Such medications not only prolong life but also enhance it in the process.

Ironically, those same wonder drugs can become instruments of death when they are used in an ill-intended fashion. An example of such a sinister effect includes the misuse of the entire class of coagulant drugs.

Coagulant drugs are those that cause blood to clot, essentially preventing excessive MH900308894bleeding. These drugs specifically help blood coagulate when bleeding is uncontrolled to prevent further blood loss. The cause could be a sudden trauma, such as an accident; or it could be from a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia.

Whatever the cause of the excessive bleeding, the ominous blood loss is stopped and normal clotting initiates as a result of three general types of drugs: Blood products (such as clotting factors), injectable Vitamin K and/or a number of anti-fibrinolytic drugs.

Each of these drugs helps regulate blood coagulation and saves lives in the process.42-16083573 But, when there is no essential need, the use of these drugs causes excessive blood clotting and creates life-threatening blood clots that travel within the body’s circulatory system searching for tissue to destroy.

An artificially-created blood clot could be fatal if it lodged in the heart, lungs or the brain, creating either a heart attack, a pulmonary embolism or a strokeany of which could be deadly if the clot were large enough to cut off blood flow to a vital organ.

So, where is that murder aspect I spoke about—the sinister part? Well, it’s really very simple. Coagulant drugs are readily available in any hospital pharmacy, from several pharmaceutical manufacturers and from many drug wholesalers. Misdirect a vial of one of these life-saving medications and inject a healthy dose into a normal individual with no bleeding issues, and you have a perfect murder scene.

About now, you should be questioning if the injection would leave trace evidence. Well, Vitamin K and certain blood-clotting factors would be the least likely since they’re already present in a normal person’s body chemistry, but admittedly the levels would be elevated. Therefore, you’d have to use some imagination to create a much more believable scene, something with a blood clot as a possible outcome.

Many studies indicate that high altitudes and remaining sedentary for long periods of time—such as travel on an international flight, for example—can create the perfect storm for a deep vein thrombosis—a blood clot, commonly referred to as a DVT. It happens more often than one would think on extended flights. In fact, it happens so much more than one might imagine that each seat pocket has instructions for stretching and exercising the legs during a long flight to prevent DVTs.

MH900442499So if you need to kill off one of your characters in an unusual manner, have your victim take a long international flight. An accidental bump into the shoulder of the victim by an attacker and a quick injection of a lethal dose of Vitamin K would insure a very painful and deadly outcome for your victim by the time the plane would land.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, About Murder, Airplane Murders, All About Murder, Anti-Fibrinolytic Drugs and Murder, Blog Writers, Blogging, Chemicals Used For Murder, Coagulant Drugs and Murder, Creating Emotional Drama in a Murder Scene, Deadly Drugs in America, Designer Drug Deaths, Designing Murder Plots, Developing Storyline Ideas, Drug Misadventures, Drugs Used For Murder, DVT and Murder, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Instruments of Death, James J. Murray Blog, Killing Off Characters in Writing, Lethal Agents and Murder, Misuse of Blood Coagulation Drugs, Misuse of Drugs, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Weapons Discussed, Murder With Drugs, New Blog, New Methods of Murder, New Methods To Kill Characters in Your Novel, Plotting Interesting Murder Scenes, Plotting Murder Scenes, Prescription For Murder Blog, The Science of Murder, Thirty Thousand Feet and Murder, Tools of Murder, Unique Murder Plots, Unique Murder Weapons, Vitamin K and Murder, Ways to Murder, Writing Dramatic Murder Scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lethal Adrenaline Rush

Adrenaline is our friend! It’s one of those hormones that floods our bodies when werun severely injure ourselves, feel afraid, or do strenuous exercise. It’s known as “the fight or flight hormone” (along with some help from norepinephrine and dopamine). And it’s interchangeably referred to as adrenaline or epinephrine.

But what happens when too much pours into our bloodstream? We DIE! And that makes for a very interesting method of murder and can become the basis of a dramatic murder scene in writing.

We’ve all experienced an adrenaline rush in some form or another. From whatever cause, when our adrenal glands pump adrenaline (epinephrine) into our bloodstream, we experience: 1) a noticeable increase in strength, 2) no feeling of pain, 3) heightened senses, 4) a sudden burst of energy, and 5) our breathing and heart rate increases.

Such symptoms of extra adrenaline in our bodies may be in response to extreme fear, a life-threatening trauma (either to ourselves or others), or as a result of competitive sports participation. It helps us think clearly, react rapidly and appropriately, and dulls pain when needed. This experience is known as an “adrenergic storm” and is the basis of the fight or flight reaction.

autoinjectorAdrenaline, as an epinephrine drug, also treats severe allergic reactions since the drug narrows blood vessels to raise falling blood pressure. It also opens airway passages that may be constricted with associated wheezing. There are auto-injectors available for people who may experience such allergic reactions.

The drug is readily available in an intramuscular auto-injector mechanism as an adult dose of 0.3mg (the 1:1000 strength). Since I have asthma, I carryepipen around an injector. I’ve not used it for an asthmatic episode, but I did use it once while experiencing a rather dramatic reaction to an antibiotic.

Recently, there has been much in the news about a certain drug manufacturer that dramatically increased the price of this live-saving drug from about $100US for a double pack to over $600US for that same pack. That tragedy is another whole blog in itself and I’ll leave that for another time since the backlash is still unfolding. For today, I’ll focus on this drug’s possible use as an intriguing murder weapon.

An overdose of adrenaline (epinephrine) flooding into our bodies can be LETHAL. At times, we’ve seen news reports of medical professionals mistakenly administering a wrong dose of epinephrine and killing the patient.

There are also reports of people using epinephrine as a weapon of murder! And the consequences of an epinephrine overdose can lead to complete cardiac arrest.

Initially, there’s a rapid onset of agitation, blood pressure spikes, the heart beats fast and irregular, slurred speech and confusion ensue, sometimes a severe headache is experienced—and then the person cascades into either a cerebral hemorrhage or cardiac arrhythmias prior to death.

Meds4_Pre-med3Treatments to prevent the fatal outcome include administration of benzodiazepines and beta-blocker drugs, but administration should be immediate since epinephrine acts rapidly, especially if it is given intravenously.

So, with a readily available source, rapid onset and a deadly outcome, adrenaline could easily transition from friend to foe and provide an interesting murder weapon. That should create a rather dramatic murder scene involving either your protagonist or antagonist.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, About Murder, Acute Poisons, Adrenaline Overdose, Adrenaline Rush, Adrenaline Used For Murder, Adrenoline and The Fight or Flight Response, All About Murder, Anaphylaxis, Blog Writers, Blogging, Bloodless Death Scene Writing, Chemicals Used For Murder, Creating Emotional Drama in a Murder Scene, Deciding How to Kill Off a Character in a Novel, Designing Murder Plots, Developing Storyline Ideas, Dramatic Murder Weapons, Drugs For Murder Plots, Drugs Used For Murder, Epinephrine and The Fight or Flight Response, Epinephrine Overdose, Epinephrine Used for Murder, How to Choose a Murder Weapon for a Plot Idea, How To Write A BloodLess Murder Scene, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Instruments of Death, Interesting Murder Weapons, James J. Murray Blog, Killing a Villain in a Novel, Killing Off Characters in Writing, Lethal Agents and Murder, Lethal Chemicals in Murder Mysteries, Misuse of Drugs, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Weapons Discussed, Murder With Drugs, New Blog, New Methods of Murder, New Methods To Kill Characters in Your Novel, Plotting Interesting Murder Scenes, Prescription For Murder Blog, Psychoactive Designer Drugs, The Science of Murder, Tools of Murder, Unique Murder Plots, Unique Murder Weapons, Using Adrenaline in a Murder Scene, Using Epinephrine in a Murder Scene, Ways to Murder, Writing Death Scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

DEA Lowers the BOOM on Kratom!

The herb kratom from the leaves of the tropical tree Mitragyna speciosa which growsrubiaceae-tree in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia has been used for centuries in folk medicine as a psychoactive drug to improve mood and relieve pain.

More recently, kratom has been in the news as a relatively new street drug and has been linked to hospitalizations and multiple deaths from its use. Therefore, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is rushing to criminalize this substance by making it a Schedule 1 drug (as is heroin, LSD, cocaine, and other illegal drugs) as early as the beginning of next month.

Kratom supporters—and even some drug policy experts—argue, however, that the DEA is acting too hastily to lump kratom into the opiod epidemic that this and other nations around the world are experiencing. They argue that the reported injuries and deaths from kratom abuse involve only individuals who test positive for multiple abused substances or who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions.

To date, the only significant side effects of consuming too much kratom are nausea and vomiting.

person-taking-pillsScientists have provided preliminary evidence that kratom could become a promising prescription drug to treat chronic pain, depression, anxiety and opioid addiction. Certain members of the scientific community are siding with kratom proponents who are petitioning the DEA to allow additional time for further study of this ancient substance before outlawing the drug altogether.

Current research has demonstrated that kratom provides both stimulant and sedativecup-of-coffee-coffee-17731301-1680-1050 effects, depending on the dose given. The tree from which kratom is extracted is in the Rubiaceae family, the same family as Coffea—the genius of flowering plants that produce coffee beans.

Research results indicate that the two main alkaloid substances in kratom (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitagynine) create a combination of CNS stimulation and depressant effects by binding to monoaminergic and opioid receptors in the brain. Although most opioids have only pain relieving and sedative effects, low to moderate doses of kratom create a mild stimulant effect, and a larger dose relieves pain without the sedative side effects of opioids.

MH900438746Current thinking is that when an opioid drug binds to a receptor site in the brain, it triggers a number of different responses in a cell in a sort of protein cascade effect. One response is pain relief, while another triggers the negative side effects of respiratory depression and even comatose sedation—both of which are responsible for many opioid deaths.

Kratom, on the other hand, stimulates the painkilling response, but it doesn’t have much effect on the proteins that cause the sedative and depressant side effects. Thus, this ancient herb has potential as an opioid-like painkiller without the risky side effects and it could be used to relieve opiate addiction. Unfortunately, it is this same attribute that also makes it a popular street drug.

It’s interesting to note that the United States government has mandated (through additional regulations) that doctors prescribe fewer opiates to prevent increased drug abuse, but the DEA is rushing to ban kratom, an herbal alternative that could possibly help in that fight.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in A New Drug Abuse Threat, A New Street Drug, About Ancient Forgotten Cures, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, Alternatives to Opiate Painkillers, Ancient Curing Potions, Blog About Poisons in Fiction Writing, Blog Trends, Blogging, Bloodless Death Scene Writing, Botanical Murder Weapons, Botanicals That Kill, Current Research on Kratom, Deaths From Kratom, Designer Drug Deaths, Designer Drugs of The Past, Designer Street Drugs, Designing Murder Plots, Dramatic Murder Weapons, Drug Abuse, Euphoric Party Drugs, Herbal Pain Killers, How To Write A BloodLess Murder Scene, Ideas for Murder Scenes, James J. Murray Blog, Kratom Abuse, Kratom and Its History, Kratom to Relieve Pain, Lethal Botanicals, Medical Potential of Kratom, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Weapons Discussed, Murder With Party Drugs, New Blog, New Drug Research, New Ways to Manufacture Painkillers, Prescription For Murder Blog, Psychoactive Designer Drugs, Street Drug Abuse Substances, Street Drug Overdosing, Street Drugs From History, Street Drugs of The Past, The Science of Murder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FDA Says, “Stop Using Antibacterial Soaps and Cleansers!”

My blog headline mimics the headlines I’ve witnessed in print for the last couple of weeks. The FDA has finally ruled on the use, overuse and abusive use of antibacterial soaps.

I’ve blogged in the past (here and here) about the dangers of overuse ofMH900407492 antibacterial agents in soaps, as well as the use of antibiotics in raising farm animals. The primary danger is the potential to evolve bacteria into antibacterial resistant killers, thus creating a SUPER BUG that cannot be destroyed.

I’ve referred to this as a possible “post-antibiotic era” that includes an antibiotic discovery void—that void being the pharmaceutical industry’s failure to develop new antibiotics that are effective against these killer super bugs.

There was an interesting article published in 2014 in the Smithsonian Magazine that warned of the dangers of antibacterial agent overuse. A more recent article reported on the current FDA position regarding antibacterial soaps. It basically repeated the warnings expressed in that 2014 article. I’d like to share those warnings that the FDA published a couple of years ago and which lead to the current FDA policy published this summer.

The FDA has ruled the following:

  • Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than washing with soap and water.
  • Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria (killer super bugs).
  • Antibacterial soaps may actually disrupt our body’s endocrine system since the ingredients in these products are chemically similar to hormones such as thyroid hormone.
  • There is the potential that prolonged exposure to antibacterial soaps might create a greater chance of allergy development, including peanut allergies and hay fever.
  • Antibacterial soaps are bad for the environment since they can remain in waste water even after treatment at sewage plants and thereby contaminate our rivers, lakes and streams.

MH900443507I cannot imagine a future where a simple sore throat, a sinus infection or a cut on the arm becomes a death sentence. Without effective antibiotics, however, that fantasy future could become a reality.

The FDA is taking steps to prevent such a post-antibiotic era from happening—a time in which antibiotics are no more effective than washing with plain water.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, Antibiotic Discovery Void, Antibiotic Overuse, Antibiotic Resistance, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Antibiotics in Agriculture, Blog Writers, Blogging, Developing Storyline Ideas, Drug Resistant Bacteria, FDA Concerns About Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, FDA Warning on Antibacterial Soaps, Ideas for Creating Permanent Change, James J. Murray Blog, Lethal Bacteria, Lethal Biologicals, MRSA, Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder With Party Drugs, New Blog, Pharmacy/Pharmaceuticals, Prescription For Murder Blog, Superbug Epidemic, Superbugs, The Pharmacy Profession, The Post Antibiotic Era | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment