BedMed Study Opportunity – Get Involved

“Did you know that the time of day when you take your blood pressure medication might be important? The University of Alberta is leading BedMed, a Canada-wide blood pressure study, to answer important questions on treatment for high blood pressure. With your help, we can find out.” (Bedmed Facebook Page.)

Health Canada Is Seeking Your Input

Health Canada is modernizing its approach to disclosing clinical information on drugs and medical devices to support advances in medical science and help improve patient care. Today, Health Canada published draft regulations in Canada Gazette l that propose to make clinical information in drug and medical device submissions publicly available after the Department has completed its regulatory review process.

Click here to continue reading.

Over-the-counter meds are no problem, right?

Do you know the side effects of acetaminophen – Tylenol? What about the side effects of Aspirin?

Many of us take over-the-counter medication on a regular basis. Due in part to the fact that these medications are available without prescription and are taken so freely and frequently, it is not uncommon for their side effects to be ignored and/or indeed unknown to us. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge can have serious consequences. For example, in a 2006 FDA report, approximately 46,000 emergency room visits/year were related to acetaminophen overdoses.

In a recent online article found on huffingtonpost.ca, some popular medications and their side effects are identified. If you have not already read it, you may wish to do so. As Stephanie Hallett, the article’s author states, “Potentially serious side effects for popular medications are more common than you may think.”

The Sign Says What?!

For many people, going to the doctor’s office can be a stressful, anxiety generating, uncomfortable experience. One can only imagine what an indigenous individual would feel upon entering his/her doctor’s office and being greeted by sign that said the following:

“Attention: native patients please don’t ask for tranquilizers or pain medications.”

Maxine Ginnish, who works at the Rising Sun Healing Centre, and took a photograph of the note posted at her doctor’s office is seeking an apology. Click here to read the full story.

“Grey death?”

Much has been written in the news lately about Fentanyl, its effects and related addictions, overdoses, and fatalities. Unfortunately, there appears to be a new drug finding its way onto the scene. This drug, known as “Grey death,” is truly a mystery in terms of its contents and place of origin.

(CNN) — A new drug called “grey death” has been linked to a handful of lethal overdoses in the South — but no one knows exactly what’s in it or where it’s coming from. The drug, a mix of opioids, can kill in very small doses and looks like concrete mixing powder. “When I hear about something new like grey death, my first thought is, ‘Is there some novel compound we haven’t discovered yet?’ ” said Donna Iula, director of forensic chemistry at Cayman Chemical, a biotechnology company that works with federal and state crime labs to identify unknown street drugs.
Source: ‘Grey death:’ The powerfully fatal new drug that’s puzzling authorities

Click here to read the full article.

Definitely Worth Watching

The following was submitted by a member of the Patient 4 Change community. Thanks Shannon.

“Sharing this to help bring some context and understanding to the opioid crisis. This documentary is filmed in Alberta with a focus on Calgary and the Blood Tribe Reserve.

While the focus here is on long term users who are buying illegally – it’s really important to know that Alberta’s prescribing practices for opioid painkillers are mind boggling. Last year there were 1.8 million RXs written for opioids. Alberta’s population is 4.9 million. We are the highest opioid RX jurisdiction in the world.”

Click here to watch the video.

Walk Not Talk

The following quotation is from Robert, an individual who knows first hand what it is like to be addicted to drugs. As you read his words, ask yourself the following question.  “What can we do, individually and collectively, to provide assistance to Robert and others?  Now is not the time to ignore the current addiction crisis or pretend it does not exist. We have to do something, but what?”

“I’m tired of doing this…I don’t know what’s keeping me going. My family is like, Robert, what are you doing? My cousins are like, Robert, you’re a loser. I’ve heard it all, and they’re right. What have I done? I haven’t done s—. You try to regroup, you hear your grandson’s voice …”

“We need a little more compassion, a little more sensitivity, and not so much judging. I’m not going to be a poster boy, but walk a mile in my shoes, man.” (Toronto Star)

An Interesting Read

According to Carolyn Abraham:

What is clear is that North America’s baby boomers have found themselves in a perfect storm of self-destruction. For starters, boomers happened to reach the age of aches and pains just as highly addictive prescription opioid painkillers went mass market in the 1990s.

If you have not had the opportunity to read Abraham’s article entitled, “Against Opioid Abuse Among Baby Boomers,” click here to do so. 

Voluntary Recall


Do you use Buckley’s syrup products for colds and coughs? If so, Health Canada is advising all Canadians that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Inc. has initiated a voluntary recall of certain Buckley’s products. According to the advisory, the plastic seal on the top of the bottle can come detached and fall into the bottle. (See pictures below.) This, in turn, can present a chocking hazard if swallowed. To read the complete recall, including a list of affected products, click here.

News Flash – AUA Expansion

A new provincial policy is seeing the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) initiative expanding in Alberta. In particular, the policy addresses the use of restraints in all Alberta Health Services’ facilities and partners. The four types of restraints included in the policy are pharmacologic, mechanical, physical and environmental Click here to read more about “Restraints as a Last Resort” and other important topics in the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Winter 2016 Bulletin.