Sunday, June 21, 2009

Problems with Cataract Surgery and Medications

A recent article in JAMA reported that the commonly used drug, Flomax within 14 days of cataract surgery was significantly associated with postoperative adverse ophthalmic events.

The authors of the study looked at all men (over the age of 65 years) who had cataract surgery in Ontario, Canada from 2002-2007. The total number studied was 96,128 subjects. The authors of the study looked at adverse effects within 14 days after cataract surgery. The risk of the adverse events were compared between men treated with Flomax or other medications in the same class as Flomax (i.e., α-blockers) and men with no exposure to these medications in the year prior to surgery.

The researchers reported a 233% increased risk (relative risk) of adverse effects after cataract surgery in recent users of Flomax compared to those that did not use Flomax. In raw numbers, 7.5% of those taking Flomax had an adverse effect compared to 2.7% of the patients who did not take it. That would mean that the statistics for this study show that there would be an adverse effect in one in every 21 patients undergoing cataract surgery from the use of Flomax.

Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed in the United States. Nearly 2 million cataract surgeries are performed per year. Flomax is a widely used drug for treating benign prostate hypertrophy, which affects millions of older Americans.

This study is another in a series of warnings on the long-term use of drugs that poison enzymes or block receptors. Flomax can provide relief for those suffering with an enlarged prostate gland. However, older men do not get an enlarged prostate gland due to a lack of Flomax. My experience has shown that a holistic approach which emphasizes detoxification and hormonal balancing is very effective for treating an enlarged prostate gland.

An enlarged prostate gland is a sign of inflammation. The holistic way to treat inflammation is to reduce the underlying cause. Many times the underlying cause includes eating a diet that promotes inflammation. What is this diet? A diet high in refined carbs as well as high in white sugar, flour and salt. A diet of unrefined, whole foods with plenty of water and good salt is an anti-inflammatory diet.

If you are going to have cataract surgery and you are taking Flomax, please speak to your surgeon before the surgery. If you need a medication for an enlarged prostate, there are safer alternatives available than Flomax.


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