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Breakthrough 1976-02
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Breakthrough 1976-02 - Page 6. February 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5266/show/5255.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1976). Breakthrough 1976-02 - Page 6. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5266/show/5255

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Breakthrough 1976-02 - Page 6, February 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5266/show/5255.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Breakthrough 1976-02
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 16 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 6
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_514f.jpg
Transcript Are the drugs worth the risks? By Wendy Haskell Meyer Know The Risks and Then Make Up Your Own Mind "Take responsibility for yourself." That's this year's prescription for mental and physical health. But sometimes it's not so easy for a woman to get information from her doctor. If a man, he may think she doesn't need to "worry her pretty little head about such things," he simply may not have the information, or the woman herself may be unable to afford the office visit. It's time women had regular sources of current medical information pertinent to their health problems. They can get this information in several ways: (1) by demanding it from doctors and other health professionals, (2) by supporting legislation and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requiring packaging inserts which describe risks and benefits of a particular drug, and (3) hopefully, by reading this column. Even the FDA now supports the consumer's right to such information. Last month, the agency revealed that women want and appreciate labeling inserts in oral contraceptives, and that over 90 percent of the women polled also want such inserts in other drugs such as tranquilizers and antibiotics. So it appears the FDA will require more patient labeling in the future. (Write them in Rockville, Md. to indicate your support.) But package labeling, if and when it comes, is only a partial answer. The woman willing to take responsiblity for her own health, needs other information in order to make medical decisions. She also needs a perspective. Weighing the evidence Recent reports have implicated several commonly used drugs as possibly carcinogenic. These .drugs include: (1) metronidazole (Flagyl-R) for trichonomal vaginitis (2) the sequential birth control pills Oracon, Ortho- Novum * SQ\ and' Nonumm (3) spironolactone (Aldac- tone-R) diuretic and an- tihypertension medicine (4) Premarin-R and other similar estrogen replacements. Do these findings suggest that a woman should avoid these drugs? There are three other questions that must be answered first. (1) What is the scientific evidence regarding the drug? Suppose the evidence shows that women taking the drug are 10 times more susceptible to cancer than women who don't. This information is probably, though not necessarily, more definitive than the finding that experimental animals exposed to high doses of the drug get cancer. (2) Are there equally effective alternative drugs which are considered risk-free? and (3) Do the benefits of the drug exceed its risks? Be sure to get your doctor's answers to these questions before taking these or any other drugs. Metronidazole (Flagyl-R) Flagyl was reported in "The Medical Letter" last June to be "carcinogenic in rodents, mutagenic in bacteria, and should thus be regarded as potentially dangerous in humans." Flagyl, however, is the only drug found to be effective in the treatment of the relatively uncommon amebiasis and giardiasis and in the more common trichomoniasis, genito-urinary infection caused by protozoan, Trichomonas vaginalis. According to Houston gynecologist Dr. Herman L. Gardner, co-author of the textbook "Benign Diseases of the Vulva and Vagina," before the introduction of Flagyl around 1960, 15 to 25 percent of women were found to harbor the organism trichomonas vaginalis. At that time, trichonomiasis made up about one third of the vaginitis seen in doctors' offices. Today it accounts for only about seven percent. (Candidiasis or moniliasis now make up about half, and haemophilus vaginalis vaginitis, formerly called nonspecific vaginitis, make up most of the rest.) Topical or local treatment of trichonomiasis doesn't work. Because the organisms trichonomas vaginalis inhabit not only the vagina, but also its inaccessible lubricating glands. It's also found in the lower urinary tract in women and the urethra in men. The disease can remain chronic and-or asymptomatic for years, but in its acute stage in women it is characterized by itching, a grayish- green discharge, swelling and foul order. Trichonomiasis is transmitted primarily through sexual intercourse, but it may also be transmitted by vulvar contact between homosexuals and occasionally by vulvovaginal contamination from douche nozzles, bath towels, or wet bathing suits. High estrogen levels (found in pregnancy, in post-menopausal women taking estrogen replacement, and in women on the pill appear to be predisposing factors. Diagnosis should always be confirmed by microscopic examination of vaginal secretions. Gardner says treatment with Flagyl is especially important because trichonomiasis may cause a chronic irritation which in itself could increase susceptibility to cancer. There is evidence that former or current trichonomiasis patients are more likely to develop cancer than those who have not been infected. But there is no proof that trichonomiasis itself causes cancer. Possibly both disease have the same predisposing factors. Women are understandably concerned about Flagyl's potential for carcinogenicity since Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Ralph Nader's Health Research Group asked the FDA to withdraw its approval of the drug two years ago. But Wolfe's recommendation was based on the discovery in 1971 that Flagyl was Femininity s:\fcginitis t2Mf <£ ien still believe that a a cure-all for vaginal I and malodor. Mother iter and the myth is sd. osmetic products are not er Though they may be i some minor infections. ?t touch the real medical vhich very often is ji vaginitis. Medicine's most effective cure for trichomonal vaginitis is Flagyl* (metronidazole). It is also pleasantly feminine because it provides the simplicity of oral medication... frees women from the unpleasant mess and bother of douches. When the problem is trichomonal vaginitis remember Flagyl, tt cures trichomoniasis with en unmatched high degree of effectiveness Flagyl is indicated for the treatment of trichomoniasis in both male and female patients and the sexual partners of patients with a recurrence of the infection provided tricho- monads have been demonstrated by wet smear or culture. fkgyr (metronidazole) w? carcinogenic in mice exposed to five times the usual human dose for their lifetime (about two years). The FDA replied that lifetime studies of hamsters given 20 times the usual daily human dose were negative. The agency also noted that all drugs which are carcinogenic in animals are not also carcinogenic in humans. You will have to make up your own mind about the benefit- risk ratio if you get Spironolactone (Aldactone) Last June, two Washington doctors reported in Britain's most prestigious medical journal, Lancet, the five women developed breast cancer during or after prolonged use of spironolactone, a diuretic and anti-hypertension agent. Although it may be a coincidental finding, they were concerned that spironolactone JT!L??^:.?^l*J!,J!j^'J?!* I*!?* f" Thcttjmontnit Hi 0f f«n*t On* n _■• (metoaidaaDfe) trichonomiasis, but remember- there has never been a cancer in a woman that could be attributed to Flagyl. _ More important than the warning about the carcinogenicity of Flagyl might be the warning that most men harboring the infection are unaware of having it. Fewer than 20 percent have signs or symptoms, and the disease is hard to diagnose because the organism is hard to isolate from the urethra. Treatment of the woman, however, wiU be effective only when her sexual partner is also treated. Sequential birth-control pills The so-called sequential pills are estrogen-only pills taken the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, followed by one week's regimen of estrogen and progesterone combined. These pills are marketed as Oracon by Mead Johnson & Co., Ortho- Novum SQ by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., and Norquen by Syntex Corp. Two University of Colorado pathologists analyzed 27 randomly reported cases of women under 40 who had endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus). They found that the "overwhelming majority" had been on sequential pills instead of the nine times more commonly used combination pills (estrogen and progesterone regimen over a three-week period). This is a relatively small study and the FDA has not yet banned the sequential pills pending further evidence and discussion with the manufacturers. It seems prudent for women to change immediately from the sequential to the combination pill. (Aldactone) and a related drug (Aldactazide) "may play a role in the intiation of breast cancer or in the stimulation of an unrecognized pre-existing cancer." They theorize that spironolactone has an estrogenlike configuration, noting that it has been known to cause menstrual irregularities, breast soreness in women, and impotence in men. Other diuretics and hypertensive agents are available. Pending further studies of Aldactone and Aldactazide one would be wise not to use them. Premarin Two reports in the December 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and another report at the FDA hearings indicate that postmenopausal women taking estrogen are four to 14 times more likely to develop cancer of the endometrium (The lining of the uterus). Continued on page 10 Money talks MONEY'S WORTH: 'Our Money's Worth," a workshop on women's financial responsibility is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 13 at Rice University. The purpose of the workshop is to help women of all incomes learn more about money management - what to do with it and how to make it work for them. The workshop is sponsored by Houston area NOW. Coordinators are Alice Shrader, Gretchen Davis Stephens and Mark Delaquaize. For more information, call Mark at 781-7420 or evenings, 666-8116. Registration fee is $5.