On the last page of the extremely interesting and useful article on ME (vol 4 no 5), you mention in the box that 'Biolab can help practitioners test for ... problems.' I used to use Biolab for hair mineral analysis, but when they found that I was not a doctor (the price of honesty!), they declined to accept any further samples from me for testing. This meant that I had to stop offering preconceptual care to my patients. If your information is that Biolab will now do testing for non-medically qualified professional practitioners, I should be very grateful to have this confirmed.- Alan Crook, registered homoeopath, Crowborough
WDDTY replies: I'm afraid to say that your in formation is correct. Biolab won't test for non-medical doctors. Our advice to non-medical practitioners is to find a sympathetic doctor who will agree to order the tests for you.
In reference to the article written by Harald Gaier on alternative medicines (vol 4 no 4) for asthma: In this article Mr Gaier refers to our product Sudafed when discussing 'proprietary asthma drugs' and also states that Sudafed is 'well known for [its] strong stimulant effect on the heart'.
The Actifed and Sudafed ranges are not indicated for the treatment of asthma. In fact, the datasheet for two products in our range, Sudafed Linctus and Actifed Compound Linctus, contain the statement that they '. . . should not be administered to patients where cough is associated with asthma. . .' The reason for this contraindication in asthma is dextromethorphan, the antitussive used in these two formulations, not the inclusion of pseudoephedrine. It is worrying to me that your readers may incorrectly feel that Sudafed is an asthma treatment.
I would disagree with the strength of Mr Gaier's statement about Sudafed being well known for its strong stimulant effect on the heart, presumably from pseudoephedrine.
Several studies have assessed the effects of pseudoephedrine on the human cardiovascular system. These show that pseudoephedrine exhibits less cardiovascular side-effects than ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine and has virtually no pressor effect in patients with normal blood pressure at recommended doses. - Andrew Lake, Technical Adviser, The Wellcome Foundation.
Harald Gaier replies: It is true that Sudafed is not listed specifically for asthma, but in MIMs (January 1992), which I consulted when writing the article, Sudafed is listed as a respiratory drug, specifically as an antiallergenic and decongestant for the upper respiratory tract, with no contraindication for asthma.
You may find the enclosed article, tucked away in a little-read magazine, of interest. Along with the hazards of mercury being passed to the child through the placenta or through the milk, this adds a further complication. - John Roberts, dental health practitioner, Rochdale.
WDDTY replies: Thank you for the photocopy of the article from the J Clin Periodontol (1993; 20: 606-8), which documents that the injections used for dental work, in this cases lignocaine and its metabolite monoethylglycinexylidade, pass through breastmilk.
Thank you for putting my case study in your magazine (vol 4, no 5), but I would like to point out, just to set the record straight, that I had a spinal anaesthetic, not an epidural for my caesarean.- V J D, Powys.