Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson and Respiratory Depression

Darn, those tapes of the Jackson 5 are cute, and I really liked "Off the Wall" and "Thriller." The guy really was talented, especially when you look at him in his pre-surgical prime and put him next to the fake pop stars of today.

But as soon as you heard that he was found 'not breathing' you knew, right? Prescription painkillers, narcotics --- how many times can you say "side effects include respiratory depression?" You take too much, your breathing slows down and then it stops. Unless someone's standing by with a syringe of Narcan or a respirator, you're in big trouble. It happened to Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith (and probably her son), Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce, etc. ---- it's a loooong list. It happened to a kid in my neighborhood. There are lots of celebrities who have died as a result of illegal drug use, but the 'prescription' drug deaths always catch my interest, cause I want to hear what did it.

I have customers who I worry aren't going to wake up one day. And these are people who, as far as I can tell, are playing by the rules. They don't have multiple doctors or an entourage of enablers. So I can only imagine the precarious position of those that do.
There is speculation that Michael Jackson was on Oxycontin. I see prescriptions for Oxycontin all the time and wonder, as I look at the customer, what the HELL do you need this for? I know for a fact you don't have terminal cancer pain. So.....????? We had a surgeon who had pre-printed postop knee replacement orders for Vicodin, Celebrex (which was never covered) and OXYCONTIN!!! It's a bunch of crap. I see the FDA is getting all wound up about acetaminophen overdose right now. Maybe all these prescription narcotics that we shovel out the door every day could get some attention too.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to take it away from the people who need it. It's just so maddening to see these (young) celebrities who have punished their bodies go out and find a Dr. Feelgood to prescribe something that's so frikkin' dangerous, and end up dead. There will be another one soon, no doubt.

On a lighter note, I got to vacation in California last week (land of the celebrity?). Just let me say, I have learned that there is no swimsuit on God's green earth that should be advertised as 'slimming.' This is the most unforgiving garment in existence. I have been schooled.

1 comment:

Pharmgirl said...

One of the reports I read about Jackson said that he was taking propofol. Propofol! OUTPATIENT! The mind boggles.