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They tried to poison me!

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Thank goodness for the drug checkers listed here.

I broke my hand three months ago. It is still broken, thanks to the marvels of VA medicine.

As it happens, I fell on it a couple of days ago, and had to go to the Emergency Room, where they put a rather complicated splint on it, and after fifteen minutes of bellyaching gave me a medication for pain. (The VA does NOT give out pain meds - they are both afraid of the Drug Enforcement Agency and all those supposed wild-eyed vets seeking narcotics to pump up their habits. I had already gone three months without any pain killer at all, but at this point it was too much.)

They gave me a pain med called Tramadol - a synthetic med supposedly non narcotic, but banned in several countries and a controlled substance in all the rest - except the USA. They keep the Tramadol in little plastic boxes already counted out in a locker in the emergency room at the VA where I go.

They do not give you a patient info sheet however. My wife and I both questioned the doc and the nurse as to the safety of this medication with my other meds . . . which the VA has been giving me for years and already have cautions about interactions with each other - tranylcypromine (Parnate - an MAOI), lithium carbonate, and phenobarbital (for epilepsy). They both assured me they had "looked it up" and it was perfectly safe to use with Tramadol.

I found otherwise when I got home. Running it through the med checker here, it came up with no less than SEVEN warnings - four of which were absolute contraindications for status epilepticus, coma or death, and the other three requiring close monitoring (tough to do when the hospital is ninety miles away).

To be fair, one of them was the contraindication of MAOIs and certain foods. Only the other six were the Tramadol and the other drugs.

The Mayo Clinic, on the other hand, recommends for my pain coediene, as a mild to moderate interaction, and recommends that as the preferred drug for broken bones anyway.

Good to know my Government is watching out for me . . . on an addendum to this, to-day our Congressman, who is a physician, was in town to give a speech and take questions from constituents. As I did not sleep last night due to the death in my exchange-student family, my wife went. Lucky us few people seem interested in politics - only forty people showed, and two of those were from Australia.

My wife took a ream of research from the Internet about these drugs with her, and got an opportunity to talk with him for about twenty minutes, letting him know just how she felt about the non-care I have received for my hand, and how the hospital lied to me about checking out the meds, when asked four times about them.

He was -quite- interested, and when they were done, he said he wanted to look into the matter some more, and had her speak to his personal secretary, with whom she spent another hour, and gave all the information about the broken hand and the medications to. His secretary gave her her private office number in Washington, and here in Stillwater (Okla.), and also took ours to get back in touch with us.

I don't know that this will go anywhere, but it is the best bet yet . . .

- J.

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where is this drug checker you speak of? i am glad you are ok!

There's a link pinned at the top of the Cocktails board.

Some of the warnings can be overblown a bit, as they don't take dosage into consideration, but it's a good start for research.

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