17 February 2005

Frequently Spamvertized Drugs

Posted under: at 19:18

Ever wondered what are those frequently spamvertized pharmacy products? The following description is taken almost verbatim from pages in Wikipedia. I listed each drugs with its official name and all known commercial names in parentheses.

  • Diazepam (Valium, Seduxen, Apozepam): Used to treat anxiety and tension and muscle spasms. It is also used as a sedative premedication and to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Diazepam has few side effects. It increases the sedating effects of alcohol and hypnotics. It can paradoxically cause agitation. As with all benzodiazepines, diazepam can cause an addiction when used for a long time, especially when the doses are large.
  • Alprazolam (Xanax, Xanor, Tafil): An anxiolytic benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders. Alprazolam has a calming effect, with potential side effects of drowsiness, clumsiness, fatigue, and headache. The drug can also have more severe side effects, such as blurred vision, slurred speech, and changes in normal behavior. The drug is habituating, and users develop a tolerance. Physical and psychological dependence after several months of alprazolam treatment is common. As a result, long-term alprazolam treatment cannot be abruptly terminated, but must instead be slowly reduced in dosage over a course of weeks (as is the case with many drugs operating on neurotransmitters). Abrupt cessation may cause rebound anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, among other symptoms.
  • Sildenafil (Viagra): Viagra was initially developed to treat heart disease (angina). In trial studies, the penile erection enhancing effects were noticed. The drug was patented in 1996, approved by the FDA on 27 March 1998 (becoming the first pill approved to treat erectile dysfunction in the United States) and offered for sale in the United States later that year. It soon became a smashing success. Even though Viagra is only available by prescription from a doctor, it was advertised directly to consumers on TV (famously being endorsed by Bob Dole). Numerous sites on the Internet offer Viagra for sale after an “online consultation,” a mere web questionnaire. It is likely that many men (and some women) experiment with the drug to increase sexual prowess or pleasure.
  • Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnox, Stilnoct): A prescription drug used for the short-term treatment of insomnia (sleeping pill). Larger doses of the drug can result in a variety of unwanted side effects: hallucinations, delusions, poor motor coordination, increased appetite, increased sex drive, poor judgement, and, following use, inability to remember events that took place while under the influence of the drug. Some users take zolpidem recreationally for these side effects. Zolpidem can also become psychologically addictive if taken for extended periods of time, due to dependence on its ability to put one to sleep or to the unique sense of euphoria it can produce. Under the influence of the drug it is common to take more zolpidem than is necessary.
  • Tadalafil (Cialis): A drug used to treat male erectile dysfunction (impotence), developed by the biotech firm ICOS and marketed worldwide by Eli Lilly. Cialis’s main selling points are that it works for up to 36 hours after being swallowed and that it can be taken with or without food (Viagra works for some 4 hours). It has the same mode of action as sildenafil (Viagra), and vardenafil (Levitra). Common side effects with Cialis include headache, upset stomach, back pain, and muscle aches, the last two usually coming 12–24 hours after taking the drug. These side effects usually go away after a few hours, though back pain and muscle aches may take as long as 48 hours.
  • Vardenafil (Levitra): A prescription drug used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It can assist men with this disorder in achieving and maintaining an erection during sexual activity.
  • Hydrocodone (Anexsia, Dicodid, Hycodan, Hycomine, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Tussionex, Vicodin): Hydrocodone is an orally active analgesic and antitussive Schedule II narcotic which is marketed in multi-ingredient Schedule III products. Sales and production of this drug have increased significantly in recent years, as have diversion and illicit use.
  • Carisoprodol (Soma): A white, crystalline powder, having a mild, characteristic odor and a bitter taste. It is very slightly soluble in water; freely soluble in alcohol, in chloroform, and in acetone; its solubility is practically independent of pH.
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex): Celecoxib is used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain, painful menstruation and menstrual symptoms, and to reduce numbers of colon and rectum growths polyps in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis.

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