Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yet Another Example of Over-the-Top Woo

I just discovered that some people are selling levodopa as a dietary supplement.

Yes, levodopa -- arguably the world's most infamous anti-antipsychotic. Yes indeed, legal home psychopharmacology has reached a new low. Just when I think the quacks can't get any more outrageous...

For those of you who don't understand my reaction, levodopa, also known as L-dopa, is a particularly infamous anti-Parkinson's drug and the basis of Dr. Oliver Sacks's well-known book, "Awakenings". It is an extremely potent drug with a host of known side effects which include (but are not limited to):
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Drowsiness and narcolepsy
  • A condition which strongly resembles stimulant psychosis
  • Hair loss
  • Emotional effects (it tends to make emotions more "extreme" or "vivid", which wouldn't be such a bad thing if anxiety and libido weren't the aspects most notably/commonly amplified).
  • Cardiac arrhythmia

And then there are the effects of chronic use. This is not a safe drug.

And yet people are selling it as a dietary supplement, completely absent any sort of real regulation. Thank you very much, DHSEA.

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