Are There Drugs in Our Drinking Water?

You have got to love the following quote. It was given by the head of a group representing major water suppliers in California to the Associated Press, after they asked about their reluctance to provide the results of drug tests on their treated water. The reason given was…the public “doesn’t know how to interpret the information” and might be unduly alarmed. This articles tells you what we do know is going into our drinking water supplies and I think you will be able to “interpret the information”. After you’ve read it, please let me know if you were “unduly alarmed”.

Unduly alarmed… unduly alarmed at finding sex hormones, antibiotics, heart medications, anabolic steroids, oral contraceptives, etc. in our drinking water.

Why would anyone be unduly alarmed?

When fish in the Potomac River (Washington DC’s main water source) have been found to have both male and female characteristics from exposure to estrogen-like substances (some had both testes and an ovary) we might “be unduly alarmed”!

Ya think?

The federal government hasn’t set any limits on the amount of drugs allowed in our drinking water and, consequently, no testing for their presence is required by water providers and, yes, this includes bottled water providers.

Some states, cities and independent labs have tested drinking water for drugs and here is some of what they found:

1. Philadelphia found 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in its treated drinking water which included medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. The city’s watersheds contained 63 drugs or byproducts.

2. 18.5 million people in Southern California were drinking anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications along with their water, and a sex hormone was detected in San Francisco’s drinking water.

3. Washington, D.C., draws its water from the Potomac River where many thousands of homes dump waste water and runoff from failing septic systems directly into the river. Not surprisingly, they reported positive tests for six pharmaceuticals.

4. New York State’s main water supplies tested positive for heart medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti-convulsants, a tranquilizer and a mood stabilizer.

Thirty-four of the sixty-two major water suppliers contacted in one survey reported they did no testing for drugs and many of the water providers that do test for drugs only test for a few.

Those of us connected to large water suppliers are not the only ones concerned. People in the rural areas, on their own wells, are very worried about the presence of drugs in the groundwater.

And bottled water users don’t always dodge the bullet either. The bottled water main trade group admits that many bottlers simply repackage tap water and don’t treat or test for pharmaceuticals.

How do drugs get into our water supplies in the first place?

Most of them come from us. We are a nation awash in drugs, legal and otherwise, we buy them and flush them, either unused or not metabolized.

Similarly, some come from large farm animals being treated for injury or diseases or being given hormones to increase their size, or milk production, etc.

Even from our pets…the small animal veterinary drug market now exceeds five billion dollars a year.

A recent Associated Press study reported, “at least 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging”, is being flushed down the drain annually by U.S. hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Now, think about that for a moment, hospital waste by the tons filled with germs and antibiotics. It did not take scientist long to link such dumping to antibiotic-resistant germs and genetic mutation that may promote cancers according to the AP.

So far, most of these drugs have been found in minute amounts, leading some experts to declare that, based on what we now know, there is little need for concern.

They say things like “one part in a trillion is like one second in 32,000 years.”

But if you get one or two of those parts with every glass of water you drink, or every shower you take or every meal you eat that was prepared using tap water…how many seconds, minutes or hours will that come to? What’s the long term effect?

Medical experts point out that medicines are chemicals designed to act in a very specific manner on the body at very small doses and when these drugs are tested for safety approval, the time frame is over a matter of months, not over a lifetime.

Laboratory research results show that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. Cancer cells reproduced too rapidly, kidney cells grew too slowly and blood cells behaved as if inflamed.

I don’t know about you, but I am alarmed about what is going into our water supplies and I don’t think unduly so.

I know our leaders are concerned about the drugs in our drinking water and I’m sure they will gather the data over the coming years to make the case for more testing, better water purification, etc. but I don’t think anyone should wait for the government to get it done.

If you don’t have a water purification system in your home I would recommend you get one as soon as you can. If I could, I would buy a water purifier for everyone who reads this article. But I can’t.

What I can do is guide you to water purifiers with cutting edge technology that will provide you and your family healthy water to drink, to bathe in, and to cook with.

Why You Should Get Veterinary Medications Online

Pet and animal diseases at times are unpredictable and can fester if proper medication is not given. In unfortunate instances, death may occur. This normally takes place when the symptoms go unnoticed and medication is commenced when disease has already advanced to a dangerous stage. Therefore, to prevent the death of domestic animals, veterinary medication must always be a top priority. For proper pet medication, there are two ways to be prepared. Foremost, by stocking the drugs especially pain killers and analgesics, which can be used to delay deleterious symptoms. By checking veterinary medication online, one can get a good list of drugs that can be stocked comfortably and means to administer them.

The next line of preparedness for pet disease is by having a personalized pet doctor. With the contacts of such a doctor, you can always call the vet whenever you notice signs and symptoms of infection in your animals. However, these veterinarians always charge a premium for their services, which is unaffordable for the majority. Despite this exorbitant cost, you can always find several veterinary medications online from pet doctors whose services are quite affordable. Most of them operate throughout the week. Once you have found an online doctor, there are many ways through which you can get in touch with them. Foremost, you can chat directly with them where they can guide you on the steps to take in case your animal has fallen sick. Alternatively, you can call or email the doctors. In the end, all these methods are practical, as you will still get important ideas that help improve the living standards of your animals.

Getting veterinary medications online is also ideal in case you choose to administer drugs yet you have doubts about the dosage or brands to use. For this, you can comfortably turn to the veterinary online for more advice. These veterinary portals are essential in terms of information they contain. This kind of data includes various drugs and medications, as well as their category of treatment. Furthermore, you also get information about various diseases and ailments with the best drugs to treat them.

Ultimately, for the best source of animal and pet medicine, getting veterinary medications online is the best approach. With the online platform, you get the largest variety of veterinary medicine stock, from nutritional supplements to the most advanced medications. Furthermore, each drug has been excellently described with data about its composition, how to administer it, and much more information that is going to be beneficial to the reader. Therefore, if you want to purchase medication for your pet animal, then the online portal is the best place to do it. As a word of caution though, before you administer any medication, ensure you consult with a veterinarian.

Metacam, Rimadyl and Previcox – Are These Drugs Safe to Use for Arthritis in Dogs?

Drug treatments for osteoarthritis have one of two primary objectives: Firstly, to make the patient more comfortable i.e. reduce the symptoms and signs of the condition. Secondly, and this is one of the major goals of osteoarthritis research, to slow or even reverse the osteoarthritis process that is causing progressive deterioration and loss of articular cartilage. Compounds that can slow the osteoarthritis process down are referred to as Disease (or structure) Modifying Drugs (DMOADs).

In clinical practice for both humans and dogs, the concept of disease modification is still rather theoretical with no treatment proven to have this effect. The main second line treatments in small animal veterinary practice are anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anti-inflammatory drugs

Most canine patients with some lameness associated with osteoarthritis will be best treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.When we talk about anti-inflammatories and OSTEOarthritis we are virtually always referring to the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or the NSAIDs (pronounced as ‘en-sayds’).

The NSAIDs are a group of quite different drugs but they all work in a similar way. They all act to block the production of prostaglandins in body tissues. Prostaglandins are a family of chemicals produced by the body that promote inflammation, pain, and fever. As well as making the local blood capillaries more leaky (causing local swelling) they will make nerve fibres more sensitive and hence make us feel pain.

Anti-inflammatory drugs act to reduce prostaglandin production in the tissues and hence reduce inflammation and discomfort. Prostaglandins also have some beneficial and important protective effects in the body. These include regulating blood flow to the kidneys and maintaining a protective mucus barrier in the lining of the stomach. It is in blocking these actions as well as the ‘bad’ effects of prostaglandins that NSAIDs can cause some nasty and potentially fatal side effects.

NSAIDs act by blocking the action of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), which is vital to the production of prostaglandins in the tissues. There are at least two forms of this enzyme referred to as COX-1 and COX-2.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) block the COX enzymes and reduce prostaglandins throughout the body. As a consequence, ongoing inflammation, pain, and fever are reduced.

Since the prostaglandins protect the stomach and maintain a healthy blood flow to the kidneys, NSAIDs can cause stomach inflammation, gastrointestinal ulcers and cause kidney damage by reducing renal blood flow. The risk of serious kidney damage is magnified in dehydrated patients or patients in circulatory shock from blood loss.  COX-1 is particularly important in housekeeping functions and COX-2 is increased in the presence of inflammation. NSAIDs that preferentially block COX-2 seem to cause fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

COX-2 selective NSAIDs have become available for use in the dog. Three of the newer and most widely used agents, Metacam, Rimadyl and Previcox are licensed for use in a number of countries. They show preferential inhibition of COX-2 and show a lower incidence of side effects compared to drugs such as aspirin.

Generally anti-inflammatories alone seem to work well in the dog with arthritis. There are some drawbacks, mainly vomiting and diarrhoea, which can limit their usefulness in some patients and, lead to very serious complications in some. Their effects on reducing blood flow to the kidneys can be devastating in certain situations, typically those where there is some form of circulatory system problem such as shock or dehydration.

Play it Safe

Although NSAIDs have been associated with some serious side effects and adverse reactions, they provide safe, effective pain relief in the vast majority of patients. However, they are potentially very dangerous drugs and should be respected. I would advise the following rules are adhered to in order to minimize the chances of adverse reactions:

1.    Only use a veterinary licensed product provided/recommended by your veterinarian. Some human preparations have a much narrower safety profile in dogs than in people. Don’t do it!

2.    Stop using any NSAID immediately if your dog develops inappetance, vomiting and or diarrhoea. Consult your veterinary professional straightaway.

3.    Always consult your veterinarian before administering any other medications alongside NSAIDs.

4.    If at a veterinary visit you see a different person at the clinic, always remind them that your dog is on NSAIDs – It should be on your pet’s clinical notes but better to play it safe and mention it.

The NSAIDs are an important component of your pet’s arthritis treatment plan but they should be used with care and under the strict guidance of your vet. They are just one factor in successfully managing canine osteoarthritis.