Sleep Deprived? Avoid Using Nuvigil

Pricey Nuvigil competes with coffee—and has a lot more side effects. Nuvigil “may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence…” Cephalon also reports plenty of side effects ranging from headache, nausea, skin rashes, hallucinations and depression.

By
Bloomberg
August 14, 2011

Roger Greer, a 45-year-old water treatment plant worker from Coatesville, Pa., was surfing the Internet when he discovered that his constant fatigue had a medical name: shift work sleep disorder. The starting time of Greer’s job rotates weekly, leaving him sleepy on the job and ornery at home. The website had an ad suggesting he ask his doctor if an alertness pill made by Cephalon (CEPH), called Nuvigil, is right for him. A year later, “I don’t have those sleepy moments,” says Greer. “Now at 3 in the morning, the absolute worst time for anybody, I no longer have the fear of missing something here at work.”

Workers like Greer are prime targets for a Cephalon marketing campaign—on the Internet and radio, in doctors’ offices, and at community meetings—that aims to educate America’s 15 million shift workers about the disorder. For the drug maker, it’s a way to build brand recognition and sales for Nuvigil, a newer version of its blockbuster narcolepsy drug, Provigil, which loses patent protection next year. But the campaign has sparked concern by some doctors about whether a pharmaceutical solution is the best way to stay alert on the job. Nuvigil hasn’t been proved more effective than coffee, is classified as possibly addictive, and carries side effects that can be fatal, according to the drug’s label.

“We as a society rely too much on pills and medication,” says Robert Basner, director of Columbia University’s Cardiopulmonary Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders Center. “That’s not always the best approach. Caffeine is a very good wake-promoting agent, and it’s a lot cheaper.”

Cephalon is spending $3.6 million on radio ads pitching Nuvigil, plus about $490,000 annually on the Internet effort and informational booths at community events. That’s a small percentage of the $1.1 billion in annual sales that will be at risk after Provigil goes off-patent. Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) agreed in May to buy Cephalon for $6.2 billion in part because of Nuvigil’s prospects. The drug’s sales are growing at a 50 percent annual rate.

Bethany Young, a 27-year-old Teas Valley (W. Va.) medical technologist, was given free samples of Nuvigil after complaining to her new doctor that she couldn’t focus during her 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. hospital shifts. During six years of night work, she struggled to get out of bed, gained 60 pounds, and developed hypothyroidism. At first the drug made her feel euphoric. Soon that effect began to melt away after an hour, replaced by feelings of anxiety and stress, she says, and when she tried to stop using it after a few months, she initially couldn’t. “I was getting hooked on it. I couldn’t quit. This drug is the devil. It was for me, anyway.”

Cephalon says that because medications like Nuvigil “may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence, we encourage physicians to follow patients closely.” The company also reports plenty of side effects that can accompany Nuvigil use, ranging from headache, nausea, and skin rashes to hallucinations and depression.

Cephalon’s media campaign is its first to widely trumpet alertness pills by stressing the recognition of shift work disorder by doctors and sleep experts, who estimate the malady may affect one in four shift workers. Although Cephalon doesn’t claim Nuvigil works better than other approaches, the company says that between 2007 and 2009 it studied 359 shift workers for six weeks and found 77 percent of those who took Nuvigil said they were more alert for the last part of their shift and the drive home, compared with 57 percent given a placebo.

“What we are doing is educating doctors and the public about this disorder,” says Charles Altman, Cephalon’s senior medical director. “Doctors often don’t ask patients what hours they work. In our 24/7 society, it doesn’t matter if you are a nurse or an information technology worker or in finance, we are called upon more and more to work odd hours that are against the grain of the way our internal clock works.”

Critics, however, say the diagnosis of shift work sleep disorder is so broad that people with irregular hours who have trouble staying awake at night can get the pills even without trying non-drug strategies first. “It’s not a diagnosis that is crisp and determined by clear-cut, objective data, which opens it up to criticism,” says Lois Krahn, chair of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. “When [patients] have done everything they can to get more sleep, and they still have trouble staying awake, that’s when drug therapy comes in.”

Besides the ad push, Cephalon is using pricing to lure users. At $12 a pill, Nuvigil sells for $5 less than its older sibling. Cephalon also is providing consumers with coupons for free trials and help with insurance co-pays to spur use of the newer drug. The strategy is paying off, with the number of Nuvigil prescriptions written in late June almost equaling those for Provigil. “It’s growing very nicely,” says Cephlon’s Altman.

Provigil was first approved for sale in 1998 as a treatment for narcolepsy, a rare condition in which patients unexpectedly fall asleep in the middle of the day. Provigil kept them awake, without the dangers of stimulants. Sales, which surged as people without the condition also used it, topped $500 million annually after the pill won clearance for shift work disorder in 2004. Nuvigil was introduced in 2009, two years after it was approved for narcolepsy, shift work disorder, and sleep apnea. It had sales of $186 million in 2010, and analysts say it could hit $577 million in 2015.

Sleep experts say Cephalon’s radio ads in 21 big U.S. cities may educate patients with symptoms that employers and family members often don’t understand. Still, doctors say simply handing struggling shift workers a prescription would be a mistake without trying lifestyle changes, such as strategic naps or wearing sunglasses on the drive home to limit exposure to light. Explains Douglas Moul, staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Center: “We want to treat the real condition, rather than just papering over the symptoms with a medication that can just keep people awake longer.”

The bottom line: Sales of Cephalon’s shift work disorder drug, Nuvigil, are growing 50 percent annually. Critics say the pills may be overprescribed.

Choosing healthy foods now called a mental disorder

NaturalNews.com

In its never-ending attempt to fabricate “mental disorders” out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the

Eating healthy foods, pseudo-scientists say, is sign of a mental disorder.

most ridiculous disease they’ve invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.

This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you’re “mentally diseased” and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardiannewspaper reports, “Fixation with healthy eating can be sign of serious psychological disorder” and goes on to claim this “disease” is called orthorexia nervosa — which is basically just Latin for “nervous about correct eating.”

But they can’t just called it “nervous healthy eating disorder” because that doesn’t sound like they know what they’re talking about. So they translate it into Latin where it sounds smart (even though it isn’t). That’s where most disease names come from: Doctors just describe the symptoms they see with a name like osteoporosis (which means “bones with holes in them”).

Getting back to this fabricated “orthorexia” disease, the Guardian goes on to report, “Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out.”

Wait a second. So attempting to avoid chemicals, dairy, soy and sugar now makes you a mental health patient? Yep. According to these experts. If you actually take special care to avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified ingredients like soy and sugar, there’s something wrong with you.

But did you notice that eating junk food is assumed to be “normal?” If you eat processed junk foods laced with synthetic chemicals, that’s okay with them. The mental patients are the ones who choose organic, natural foods, apparently.

What is “normal” when it comes to foods?

I told you this was coming. Years ago, I warned NaturalNews readers that an attempt might soon be under way to outlaw broccoli because of its anti-cancer phytonutrients. This mental health assault on health-conscious consumers is part of that agenda. It’s an effort to marginalize healthy eaters by declaring them to be mentally unstable and therefore justify carting them off to mental institutions where they will be injected with psychiatric drugs and fed institutional food that’s all processed, dead and full of toxic chemicals.

The Guardian even goes to the ridiculous extreme of saying, “The obsession about which foods are “good” and which are “bad” means orthorexics can end up malnourished.”

Follow the non-logic on this, if you can: Eating “good” foods will cause malnutrition! Eating bad foods, I suppose, is assumed to provide all the nutrients you need. That’s about as crazy a statement on nutrition as I’ve ever read. No wonder people are so diseased today: The mainstream media is telling them that eating health food is a mental disorder that will cause malnutrition!
Shut up and swallow your Soylent Green

It’s just like I reported years ago: You’re not supposed to question your food, folks. Sit down, shut up, dig in and chow down. Stop thinking about what you’re eating and just do what you’re told by the mainstream media and its processed food advertisers. Questioning the health properties of your junk food is a mental disorder, didn’t you know? And if you “obsess” over foods (by doing such things as reading the ingredients labels, for example), then you’re weird. Maybe even sick.

That’s the message they’re broadcasting now. Junk food eaters are “normal” and “sane” and “nourished.” But health food eaters are diseased, abnormal and malnourished.

But why, you ask, would they attack healthy eaters? People like Dr. Gabriel Cousens can tell you why: Because increased mental and spiritual awareness is only possible while on a diet of living, natural foods.

Eating junk foods keeps you dumbed down and easy to control, you see. It literally messes with your mind, numbing your senses with MSG, aspartame and yeast extract. People who subsist on junk foods are docile and quickly lose the ability to think for themselves. They go along with whatever they’re told by the TV or those in apparent positions of authority, never questioning their actions or what’s really happening in the world around them.

In contrast to that, people who eat health-enhancing natural foods — with all the medicinal nutrients still intact — begin to awaken their minds and spirits. Over time, they begin to question the reality around them and they pursue more enlightened explorations of topics like community, nature, ethics, philosophy and the big picture of things that are happening in the world. They become “aware” and can start to see the very fabric of the Matrix, so to speak.

This, of course, is a huge danger to those who run our consumption-based society because consumption depends on ignorance combined with suggestibility. For people to keep blindly buying foods, medicines, health insurance and consumer goods, they need to have their higher brain functions switched off. Processed junk foods laced with toxic chemicals just happens to achieve that rather nicely. Why do you think dead, processed foods remain the default meals in public schools, hospitals and prisons? It’s because dead foods turn off higher levels of awareness and keep people focused on whatever distractions you can feed their brains: Television, violence, fear, sports, sex and so on.

But living as a zombie is, in one way quite “normal” in society today because so many people are doing it. But that doesn’t make it normal in my book: The real “normal” is an empowered, healthy, awakened person nourished with living foods and operating as a sovereign citizen in a free world. Eating living foods is like taking the red pill because over time it opens up a whole new perspective on the fabric of reality. It sets you free to think for yourself.

But eating processed junk foods is like taking the blue pill because it keeps you trapped in a fabricated reality where your life experiences are fabricated by consumer product companies who hijack your senses with designer chemicals (like MSG) that fool your brain into thinking you’re eating real food.

If you want to be alive, aware and in control of your own life, eat more healthy living foods. But don’t expect to be popular with mainstream mental health “experts” or dietitians — they’re all being programmed to consider you to be “crazy” because you don’t follow their mainstream diets of dead foods laced with synthetic chemicals.

But you and I know the truth here: We are the normal ones. The junk food eaters are the real mental patients, and the only way to wake them up to the real world is to start feeding them living foods.

Some people are ready to take the red pill, and others aren’t. All you can do is show them the door. They must open it themselves.

In the mean time, try to avoid the mental health agents who are trying to label you as having a mental disorder just because you pay attention to what you put in your body. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding sugar, soy, MSG, aspartame, HFCS and other toxic chemicals in the food supply. In fact, your very life depends on it.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to join the health experts who keep inventing new fictitious diseases and disorders, check out my popular Disease Mongering Engine web page where you can invent your own new diseases at the click of a button! You’ll find it at:http://www.naturalnews.com/disease-…