Friday, November 23, 2007

DEPO Unrest

Like most people, I spend my leisure time observing post-market surveillance of theraputic drugs and emerging pharmaceutical technologies not supported by the for-profit drug industry.

I usually just skim what's out there and then make a sandwich, but I found something just disturbing enough to write about last Thursday.

I have a deep natural bias against the authority figures who offer me information. I naturally suspect what white male supremacist companies and corporations offer me, so it is with unease and distrust that I observe ads for birth control pills that claim to make me more independent. They do on one level, but they are only marketed to women, making us solely responsible for birth control (what else is new?) and implicitly reminding both men and women that men are untrustworthy oversexed ogres. If men are never treated as capable of responsibility, why on earth will they ever step up to act responsibly? I find the whole thing deeply insulting, but again, what else is new?

So imagine my surprise to find that Depo Provera, a drug I've been told repeatedly is one of the safest and most advanced forms of birth control out there is not approved to be sold as birth control in Canada. I'll just repeat that: Depo Provera is NOT approved by Health Canada to be sold as birth control in this country. According to Health Canada, it is to be used only to treat endometriosis and selected cancers. Upjohn Canada doesn't feel this is a huge hurdle, and apparently it isn't. Depo Provera is still repeatedly prescribed by doctors to be used as a birth control pill for women despite Health Canada refusing to approve it. Their reason? It irreversibly reverses bone density. Sort of a shop till you drop situation.

Many such drugs that are designed to alter hormone imbalances have long-lasting side-effects, the nature of which is nowhere close to being understood since the drugs are so new. The hormonal birth control movement itself has been described as the largest live study ever undertaken with almost no accountability, no follow-up or indeed, curiosity.

When wealthy white men tell me that I can be more in control of my body by drastically altering it's hormonal makeup, I have to stop for at least a moment and admire the art of their sophistry. Apparently, the way out is through. By dramatically altering my emotions, weight, blood flow, bone density and increasing my risk of heart disease, stroke, infertility, cancer et cetera, I'm (according to them) taking charge of my life, my body, my freedom, ad nauseum.

On the subject of strokes, nurses in neurological wards apparently see pill strokes all the time. When eighteen-year-olds get migraines, that can't be why. So we continue to coagulate our blood and increase the amount of blood clots we get and tiiiiiimbeeeeeeeer.

There is no argument about the day to day lifestyle changes the pill has allowed for. A new drug consumer-base was created, families could more easily plan their size and so direct their money to commodity items, lower-class women had a better chance of limiting their dependents and so on. However, since it is women who are being tested on sometimes against their will or without their knowledge, and since it is white male owned & operated pharmaceuticals who benefit, I must strongly suggest limiting the use of such toxic, behaviour altering drugs.

For anyone out there who's on it and just skipped to the end: Depo Provera is NOT approved for sale as a birth control drug in Canada.

1 comment:

Depo-Provera Prescription Information said...

My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Depo-Provera.

I am 24 years old. I have been on Depo for 9 years and did not realize that the symptoms I experienced might be related to the shot. I am now facing thousands of dollars in dental work due to bone density loss, and will probably end up with osteoporosis. I am getting off Depo and will never touch it again!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Low libido, joint pain, bone density loss, dental problems, headaches, fatigue, out of control eating, gained 40 lbs., depression

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Janice Still