Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Blame The Red Shoes

Celebrity Spokesperson for RLS (Road Runner is a Paid Endorser)

There is a new ad doing the rounds for a prescription medicine called Requip. Requip, or to give it its lab name ropinirole (originally developed to control the tremors associated with Parkinson's disease) is being hawked to deal with Restless Legs Syndrome.

Being the cynic that I am I thought "My goodness! Glaxo has come up with a treatment for Happy Feet! What next? A Cure for Jazz Hands?"* After a little research, it turns out however that RLS is another one of those drug industry killer apps, a predominantly mild chronic condition that requires constant prescription refills for a proprietary drug. The government estimates that 12 million Americans may be effected to some degree (about 4% of the population, not the 10% claimed breathlessly by an RLS support site). Glaxo is gambling on those you you who fidget to self diagnose and clamour for that lovely Requip. Be still, oh my beating legs.

As the ad says, "Side effects include nausea, drowsiness, vomiting and dizziness. Most patients were not bothered enough by the vomiting to stop taking Requip."

I wonder how many of the above side effects the following RLS mitigations suggested by the National Institutes of Health induce?
"For those with mild to moderate symptoms, prevention is key, and many physicians suggest certain lifestyle changes and activities to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Decreased use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco may provide some relief. Physicians may suggest that certain individuals take supplements to correct deficiencies in iron, folate, and magnesium. Studies also have shown that maintaining a regular sleep pattern can reduce symptoms. Some individuals, finding that RLS symptoms are minimized in the early morning, change their sleep patterns. Others have found that a program of regular moderate exercise helps them sleep better...."

Now I ain't no medical doctor like that Michael J. Fox in "Doc Hollywood", but my ole country bones is tellin' me that gittin' up of yer fat ass and cuttin' down on them there cups of coffee is a mighty better way to quit yer twitchin' than pukin' up after scarfing expensive pills. Funny how they don't mention that in the commercial.

*( You can treat Jazz Hands, or Shimmying Wrist Syndrome, with just one Aljolsonol a day! Side effects may include the donning of offensive "black face" makeup, talking in movies, and the obligatory vomiting. Ask your doctor about Aljolsonol today!)

1 comment:

Mondale said...

I used to have them jazz hands.