Re: Use of Dramamine/ Sudafed

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Posted by kelphead on September 21, 2000 at 00:57:03:

In Reply to: Use of Dramamine/ Sudafed posted by skelly on September 19, 2000 at 11:20:32:

well, i waited before responding b/c i didn't have
the right info in front of me until now, but here

1st of all, i have read only what you posted here
on the board and by the looks of your post, i
take it that you copied the article in its entirety
and i will assume this until otherwise noted.

2nd of all, i'm not sure what type of reputation
the journal "pharmacotherapy" has (i'm not in that
field) but just be aware that not all supposedly
peer reviewed journals have equal stature; some are
just downright horrible. BUT, again, i don't know
how "pharmacotherapy" is.

now on to the article:

"Dramamine was the only motion-sickness drug studied, but Dr. Kevin
O'Toole, one of the authors of the study, said similar
over-the-counter remedies should probably also be avoided."

well, if one wants a more complete study, then one
should indeed study different motion sickness drugs
simply b/c there are different chemical formulas out
there. his last statement generalizing ALL
otc meds is a prudent and cautious statement, but
not scientifically based at all: the one thing
in science that is learned is if you don't specifically
test it (or test for it), you can never assume
anything about it. so, that statement reflects
incompleteness on the part of the study.

"The researchers came to their conclusions after recruiting 30
people from diving clubs, giving them one of the two drugs or a
placebo, and then placing them in a hyperbaric chamber. The chamber
was used to simulate diving at depths of about 3 feet and again at
about 66 feet."

here, the article does not state the methods which
were used for the study. it's not clear if the
researchers tested the divers BEFORE any drugs/placebo
were given to them. this is critical as testing
them BEFORE administration of drugs establishes a
baseline of mental acuity for each diver. in other
words you have to be able to compare the divers'
abilities when they are on drugs to when they are not on drugs.
according to this article, it doesn't seem like
they did that. so, how do they know if the mental
acuity for those divers who took the 'dramamine'
was just not low to begin with relative to the
other divers who were given something else? you
always have to rule things out first before being
able to reach a solid conclusion.

also, the article does not state how long the divers
were kept at each depth. did they follow the dive
tables and keep the divers at depth for the full
ndl?? or did they shorten the visit at each depth?
in other words, what was the nitrogen load like for
each diver on each drug?

"Dr. O'Toole said he did not think it was just the matter of the
divers' drowsiness. It appeared, he said, to be a combination of
the drug and the nitrogen that built up in the body during a dive."

how can he make this claim? did he actually measure
the before and after nitrogen load in each diver??
if so, where is that data? and how did he come up
w/an experiment to test that the COMBINATION of
nitrogen and 'dramamine', as he claims, had this negative effect?
did he have one group that did not take
'dramamine' but had a HIGH nitrogen load? did he
then compare this group's data to another group
that did take 'dramamine' but had LOW nitrogen loads?
his above claim is suspect, unless there is more
detailed data in his journal article that was not
explicitly mentioned in the 'n.y.times' article.

now, the old 'dramamine', which was the so-called
drowsy formula, was composed of the chemical
dimenhydrinate. i used to use the 'bonine' product,
until my local 'sav-on' stopped carrying it, and
that is composed of the chemical meclizine hydrochloride.
this is supposed to be the no- or less-drowsy formula.
'dramamine II' is composed of meclizine--the same
exact drug as in 'bonine'. also, there is something
known as the 'transderm scopolamine patch', but i don't
remember right now what chemical that is composed of.

my point is that this study claims to have tested
the product 'dramamine' which implies that they
used the old, well known drowsy formula which has
since been replaced by 'dramamine II', the less
drowsy formula. AND, on top of that, they make
claims about all other otc anti-motion sickness
drugs, composed of different chemicals, based on
just the study using 'dramamine'.
wouldn't they want to test 'dramamine II' as well
as 'dramamine'? what about testing the 'scop patch'
as well to see how it compares?

i think that overall, according to what you posted,
this study was a poorly executed one. i'm NOT
saying that tests shouldn't be done and that caution
shouldn't be used, but what i am saying is that only
meaningful results come out of meaningful studies
and this study is inconclusive at best.

i know that drug information has been publicly
reviewed in such literature as "dan's" 'dive alert'
mag. here is what seems to be a good online site
about dive medicine, hope it helps:

just to give you a personal spin, i've taken
a single 'dramamine II' pill along w/a single
'dimetapp extentabb' (to control my right ear
block) and i have not experienced any
appreciable drowsiness while doing up to 3
dives a day. in fact, on the boat ride home at
the end of a dive day, i'm one of a few divers
who will still be awake and reading while most
everyone else is asleep in their bunks.

one should never forget, though, that different
drugs can affect different people differently
even on different days. <----how's that for

= ; )


ps. i'm NOT!!! a doctor and i do not play one on t.v.

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