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Comment: Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (Score 1) 258

by brianleb321 (#33336166) Attached to: Anti-Depressants Used Against <em>StarCraft</em> Addiction

This is a drug often used ... to lose weight

Generally, antidepressants don't do this. Wellbutrin (from experience) also, does not do this. Which ones do?

Anecdotal evidence is a poor substitute for facts. Bupropion does indeed cause weight loss in a very significant number of patients. Of all of the antidepressants available in America, it has the highest rate. The reported rate of weight loss (defined as greater than 5 pounds) at 400mg/day is 19%. One in five people. This comes from the prescriber information (aka the package insert). The drug acts as a weak norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (referred to as an NDRI in some literature), and these actions suppress appetite, cause activation (e.g. you move more), and often cause weight loss. The antiaddiction properties come from the dopamine reuptake inhibition, as you have probably heard that "dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter" or something to that effect. It helps you quit smoking and it can help you quit other addictions as well by modulating the reward system in your brain.

Many people have been calling this an SSRI in the comments. Bupropion is not an SSRI. Not all antidepressants are SSRIs. You have SSRIs, SNRIs, the NDRI, alpha-2 antagonists, "SARIs" (Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology likes to place all of the drugs in classes), dopamine partial agonists, 5HT2a antagonists, and more. Most of the drugs have more than one mechanism of action. The brain is a complicated place.

SSRIs can cause weight gain because they activate all of your 5HT (serotonin) neurons nonselectively. Yes, you say "but it's a SELECTIVE serotonin reuptake inhibitor!" Yes, it selects for 5HT over NE/DA/alpha2/etc., but it does not select 5HT1a (where you get most of your antidepressant effects) over 5HT2a (ideally we want to antagonize this one, activation is where sexual dysfunction side effects come from), 5HT2c, 5HT3 (this is where GI upset comes from with SSRIs, so ideally we want to antagonize it), etc. I recommend trusting me on this. I sound like I know what I'm talking about, don't I? For more information, Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology is an excellent starting place if you have a background in pharmacology.

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/search.cfm?startswith=bupropion&x=0&y=0

Comment: Re:Antidepressants can make people suicidal (Score 1) 182

by brianleb321 (#32895464) Attached to: Antidepressants In the Water Are Making Shrimp Suicidal

We've got to get people to stop flushing old drugs down the toilet or tossing them in the garbage though. They're finding so many pharmaceutical substances in drinking water and soil and now the oceans that we're heading for bigger problems than depression. I can't believe there aren't already good methods for disposal of medications widely in use. All the hormones and antibiotics in my pork chops are bad enough, I don't need to get a pharmaceutical cocktail every time I take a drink of water.

Just FYI, drugs wind up in our water supply because we take them, not because we throw them away. A percentage of almost all drugs leave the body unchanged via urine (or feces). Just food for thought. The media got ahold of 'drugs in the water' and instead of, say, asking a pharmacist or someone in the know, they just kind of made up their own reason ("people must be flushing these drugs they're paying out the ass for!").

Comment: Re:Religion (Score 3, Insightful) 892

by brianleb321 (#32379930) Attached to: The "Scientific Impotence" Excuse

What if that ideology is rationalism?

Surely you know people - or even yourself - who this applies to. I know it applies to me sometimes, and if you read enough comments on /. you can certainly find a number of others. Unblinking rationalism will cause you to lose the ability to appear reasonable to other people. This is, in a sense, "turning off your brain," as the GP stated. And if you're very deep in that rut, it will indeed be very hard to get out of it. You won't want to compromise, because you think your belief is the only right belief. It's important to temper pragmatism with a bit of frivolity or whimsy every now and then, just to balance things out a bit. Being able to consider viewpoints other than your own is always a strength, not a weakness.

Comment: Re:Haven't seen this one yet... (Score 2, Insightful) 409

by brianleb321 (#31987776) Attached to: Obama To Decide On New Weapons
To be fair... 504 promises = 3.76% broken = 21.82% kept = 28.57% kept if we count 'compromise' as kept (which I'm fine with) Leaving 67.67% promises stated but not yet completed, kept or broken. I check on the Politifact Truth-o-meter periodically, and over the next two years, I think it's going to be more important whether there's an increasing trend toward promises broken or not. Still have a long way to go. And as was said, how many broken promises is too many? Is it one, or is it more than one? How many promises will you let a friend break, versus the leader of the free world?

Comment: Re:Quite the opposite (Score 1) 397

by brianleb321 (#31820938) Attached to: Google Preparing iPad Rival?

Apple is selling a phone with outdated hardware (screen size and type, low screen resolution, bad camera etc), while Android vendors continuously improve the hardware - look at Samsung Galaxy S specs, for example.

Yet iPhone dominates Android in the market. Why do you suppose that is? It's because people don't care about spec sheets as much as you might think. They care about the only thing that truly matters, and that's the experiences having the device brings. No Android device can compete with the iPhone in that aspect, outside of a geek niche, regardless of specs.

Actually, the reason the iPhone dominates Android is because the iPhone has been available for several years longer than Android products. It has an established user base. Given that we're talking about several hundred dollar handpieces here, a lot of middle-America is going to wait until they need to switch (or until it's cheapest) before they make that decision again.

Comment: Re:. . . of course. . . (Score 2, Informative) 244

by brianleb321 (#31820842) Attached to: Hollywood's Growing Obsession With Philip K. Dick
You sound a little too hung up on 'cool,' friend. Enjoy what's good. Enjoy what you want. Why is it wrong for someone with money to fund a movie? Why is it cool for someone to risk his immediate fiscal future on a book? I've read some books that I enjoyed, even though some of them were published before I was born. Because I'm taking an interest in it after the fact, does that make me uncool? Just because someone has money doesn't mean that everything they produce is going to be white washed, over done garbage.

Comment: Re:Screamers (Score 1) 244

by brianleb321 (#31820724) Attached to: Hollywood's Growing Obsession With Philip K. Dick

That short story was excellent. I will have to look into the Screamers movie. Thanks for the info!

Be careful, there are actually several Screamers movies. They released a sequel about a year ago, which is simply god-awful. The first Screamers movie isn't too great, but as a fan of the short story, you may enjoy it simply on principle.

Screamers
Screamers: The Hunting

(also not to be confused with the documentary on System of a Down, Screamers

Comment: Re:probiotics for the vagina (Score 1) 456

by brianleb321 (#31695720) Attached to: Gonorrhea As the Next Superbug
Oh my goodness. This is one of those sorts of stories pharmacists trade at bars (e.g. the patient who chewed their suppository not knowing where it was supposed to go). Those yogurts, in the yogurt section? They're foods. They aren't for vaginal application. Yes, they may improve vaginal flora, as well as GI flora. Nowhere on the packaging does it say anything about inserting vaginally, because that is NOT what you are supposed to do. From the article you even linked, it clearly states:

L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 have also been shown to be effective when taken orally. After oral administration, these organisms survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and apparently migrate to and colonize the vaginal mucosa.

PLEASE never recommend anyone apply yogurt to their vagina. That just seems... cruel and unusual. Also, your analysis of how 'bad' flora take over isn't terribly accurate. Our bodies are full of bacteria, we know that. An imbalance of the bacteria in any given area may cause problems, such as overgrowth of a particular species, which may cause problems on a macro scale ('signs and symptoms'). This may occur for any number of reasons, including diet, lifestyle choices, recent illnesses, etc. However, less than 5% of women experience recurrent vaginal candidiasis ('yeast infection'). It is notably inaccurate to say that once you stop taking the drugs, the bad bacteria come back, and that the drugs can never kill everything. One adequate course, taken correctly, will most certainly clear up candidiasis. In more than two thirds of women, they'll never experience another bout of vaginal candidiasis in their lifetime. So please stop telling people the things you tell them.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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