Archive for April 3rd, 2015



doc6b2hwkfjvcphdf1hdlyI paid a visit to town last Saturday for supplies and a shower, and my once-a-week-mediocre-sit-down-meal at the Motor Lodge. This week the large-screen-TV was tuned to “Caturday,” which featured cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy who, besides having a weird name, sports one of the most outrageous beard-and-sideburn combos I have ever seen. But he is into cats, after all.

zofranDuring a commercial break, I saw that the ambulance-chasers have targeted the drug Zofran for class-action lawsuits. Zofran is the brand name for ondansetron, a medication that blocks nausea and vomiting signals sent to the brain. The FDA approved Zofran to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy and surgery patients, but many doctors prescribed it off-label to treat morning sickness in pregnant women.

Zofran was one of the drugs administered to Holly, which made her cancer treatment tolerable. I was thankful for Zofran at the time.

However, since she used Zofran, the manufacturer has made the drug available in pill form, which encourages its wider use (and misuse). So I have mixed feelings about these Zofran lawsuits.

Serious side effects of ondansetron include blurred vision or temporary vision loss (lasting from only a few minutes to several hours), slow heart rate, trouble breathing, anxiety, agitation, shivering, feeling like you might pass out, and urinating less than usual or not at all. The use of Zofran while pregnant is contraindicated, and may increase the risk of side effects in babies including Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborn (PPHN), Spina Bifida, Craniosysntosis, Cleft Lip or Palate, Club Foot, Heart Damage/Defect, Internal Malformation, or a Lung Defect.

Zofran-PillsIn January 2012, the CDC published a report that showed a link between women who took Zofran during their first trimester and serious birth defects. In February 2015, a woman from Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against GlaxcoSmithKline, after her child was born with severe birth defects requiring several corrective surgeries. Since this lawsuit has surfaced, similar claims against Zofran have been brought to light. Yet it seems to me that it would have been more appropriate to sue the doctors who prescribed the drug to pregnant women off-label. But the drug company has deeper pockets.
Side effects of the drug to all patients, including those who are pregnant, could have been avoided by the use of medical marijuana if it were legal. Holly was such a straight arrow that she never considered using marijuana, even though we discussed it. The fact that it was prohibited by law was enough of a deterrent to her while a legal pharmaceutical substitute was available. Yet the drug was very expensive in 1992-93 and nevertheless carried the risk of side effects.
The only side effect of pot would have been a “buzz” which may have had its own benefits.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Thomas Newman performing “Very Sick Girl”

(From the soundtrack of “Side Effects”)


Weather Report

88° and Clear to Partly Cloudy


Lunar Eclipse

April 4, 2014—5:16 am CDT

So if you’re in North America, hear “April 4,” and plan to watch tomorrow evening… you’ll miss it!