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Comment Re:not really a ban (Score 3, Informative) 631

This is not why acetaminophen (aka paracetamol in UK & other places) is combined with opiates in compound preparations. Acetaminophen is an effective painkiller and it works in a different way to opiate drugs meaning that you take a smaller dose of opiates to get the same effect on your pain. Opiates have more side-effects (e.g. constipation, nausea) and also the problems of addiction and tolerance. NSAID drugs like ibuprofen can also be combined with acetaminophen meaning you take a smaller dose of them (they can cause damage to the stomach lining and kidney amongst other things). Paracetamol (sorry so much easier for me to type) is very well tolerated, side-effects are much rarer than other analgesics - its only major downside is that its so damned unpleasant in overdose. Paracetamol is really commonly taken in attempted suicide and also overdose as a 'cry for help' in the UK. Its really heart-breaking how many patients i see who take an overdose, wake up and regret it only to have their liver slowly fail over the next few days and sometimes die a horrific death. Unintentional overdose with paracetamol is much, much rarer. Despite this, i will always prescribe paracetamol to people who are in MASSIVE amounts of pain (cancer, post-op, palliative, trauma) as a first line in combination with other painkillers. Yes on its own it will only help with mild pain but thats not the point. Some people here seem to think that their doctor is precribing them something ineffective or trying to con them. That just isnt true.

Comment Re:That's not a good replacement (Score 1) 891

Very true. Fuel prices could be raised in a tax neutral way - so that everybody would pay e.g $500 less per year on income tax and the average car user would pay $500 more in fuel tax (with similar scheme for companies). It would have to be exactly the same reduction for everyone rather than a percentage reduction so that it doesn't penalise the poor. If you are paying more for fuel (but are the same amount richer at the end of the month) you have a greater opportunity to reduce your outgoings by driving a more efficient car, using public transport sometimes, driving at quieter times of day etc. - all the things governments are so keen on these days. But if you want to carry on as you are now - you're no worse off. Of course this would amplify the price variations in fuel due to oil prices, but it wouldn't be hard to set the tax per gallon of fuel for a whole year at the start of each tax year (based on the previous year's average fuel price without the possibility of politically driven fudges). This would mean that a big swing in oil price would have a smaller impact on individuals and businesses. Not to mention it's got to be much cheaper and easier to introduce and run, and doesnt have the privacy issues of the big brother's gps box. The government would lose the amount of tax you save by downsizing, all they have to do is set the level (ie $500 above) to give them the total cost they're happy to spend on reducing congestion/pollution. If it's too small to change anybody's behaviour then they havn't lost any money and they clearly don't care about congestion/pollution etc as much as they claim to.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain