Benadryl

  1. New over-the-counter sleeping pill is a bad idea

    ZzzQuil is the wrong way to get you Zzzs

    Benadryl can be a life-saver when allergic reactions strike, but it can also knock you out faster than a blow to the head.

    There's not a lot of money in saving lives (sad, but true). But there's tons to be made in the knocking-you-out business, with sleep aids raking in close to $25 billion a year -- and the folks who make NyQuil want in on that action in the worst way.

    After all, NyQuil knocks you out too, right? That's because it contains diphenhydramine -- aka Benadryl.

    So they've stripped the NyQuil of all the other stuff people take it for -- the decongestants, cough suppressants, pain relievers, etc. -- and just left in the diphenhydramine.

    Voila! A "new" drug is born. Maybe you've even seen the ads for "ZzzQuil." But don't be fooled, because it's just Benadryl in a fancy new package… and with a fancy new price tag, too.

    Anyone who's ever taken Benadryl knows it's a pretty effective sleep aid. But what they don't know is that this common drug is uncommonly dangerous, especially for the seniors who make up such a huge part of the market for sleep meds.

    Back in 2002, Yale researchers found that hospitalized seniors who take diphenhydramine have a 70 percent higher risk of delirium, a frightening psychosis that comes with delusions and memory loss.

    Diphenhydramine also has a place of honor on the Official List of Drugs You Shouldn't Give to Old People, aka the Beers' List, due to its powerful anticholinergic effects.

    As I've told you before, seniors who load up on anticholinergic meds have a higher risk of death -- and diphenhydramine packs a massive anticholinergic punch.

    There are much safer and far better ways to get the Zzzs without any form of -quil or -dryl tacked onto the end, and you can find out about some of the best in the special report No More Restless Nights.

    Filled with all the better sleep secrets the drug companies don't want you to know why not make it your bedtime reading tonight?

  2. Finger-lickin' bad!

    How poison ends up on your dinner table

    It might take a tough man to make a tender bird. But it takes a mad scientist to create the "chicken" on your dinner plate these days.

    In fact, a recent series of tests finds enough drugs to stock a pharmacy hidden inside your chicken -- including Prozac, antibiotics, antihistamines, acetaminophen, and (as if that's not enough) a side of arsenic.

    Yum!

    In one study, researchers tested a poultry byproduct called feather-meal made (obviously) of feathers. That might sound strange, but toxins, drugs and everything else fed to a chicken end up in those feathers.

    That means if it's in the feathers, it's in the meat -- and they found everything short of Col. Sanders' goatee in the feathers.

    First and foremost, they found traces of banned antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin. Poultry farms aren't supposed to use these drugs, but to hell with the rules. They have chickens to grow, and antibiotics plump those birds up fast and easy.

    Just one problem: Along with fatter chickens, the overuse of antibiotics has created a frightening new class of drug-resistant superbugs. So while they get more meat to sell, we get incurable infections.

    The researchers also found caffeine, which stimulates chickens so they stay awake and eat more. But since caffeinated stressed-out chickens have tough meat, the birds need something else to bring them down.

    That would explain the Benadryl and acetaminophen also found in the feather-meal. They're basically tenderizers. That would also explain the PROZAC (!!!!) found in samples of feather-meal from China.

    I'd say that's what you get for buying chicken from China -- but clearly, we have nothing to crow about since the rest of those drug-laced samples were all-American.

    Meanwhile, a second new study finds arsenic in the feather-meal. This is no accident; poultry farmers feed low levels of the poison to their chickens to give the meat that pink glow consumers love so much.

    All this is bad news for chicken-lovers, of course, but don't flip the bird into the trash just yet. Just go organic.

    It'll cost you a wing and a leg, but it'll be worth it.

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