Shire Pharmaceuticals made a fortune selling its attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) after convincing doctors to prescribe it to millions of children across the globe.
Now, you may have heard the name Vyvanse somewhere else and that’s because the drug was recently approved for a completely made-up condition called Binge Eating Disorder – a ridiculous diagnosis that can be given to anyone that sometimes turns to food for a bit of comfort (we’ve all been there).
But as if that wasn’t enough, Shire Pharmaceuticals has one more trick up its sleeve to expand the market for Vyvanse.
The drug maker now claims that Vyvanse can help keep menopausal women’s brains razor sharp and improve something called “Executive Function”… and if the drug gets approved to treat this fantasy disease millions of women could be at risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death.
“Executive Function” is one of those made up umbrella terms that get tossed around a lot. It basically means mental skills that allow you to pay attention and complete a task.
A recent study, funded by none other than Shire Pharmaceuticals and the US National Institutes of Health, makes the silly and completely unsupported claim that Vyvanse could possibly help improve memory loss and concentration in menopausal women.
If this is not proof that Shire Pharmaceuticals can sell Vyvanse to treat just about anything, then I don’t know what is.
To make this whole thing even more of a scam, the claim that Vyvanse will keep your brain as sharp as a razor is complete codswallop.
Women already taking the drug have complained of “mental fog” and “confused thinking.” Some women believe they are actually “losing their minds” while on Vyvanse.
One Vyvanse patient named Lara said that while on the drug she couldn’t remember even simple things, such as the names of her children’s teachers.
So much for that Executive Function cure.
And while most menopausal women won’t see any brain benefits from Vyvanse, many will be left dealing with its debilitating and even deadly side effects.
I’m talking about anxiety, irritability, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Vyvanse also can send your blood pressure skyrocketing and if you have a problem with your heart, taking the drug could even result in “sudden death.”
Could it be that when your heart races and you’re nauseous and having an anxiety attack that you actually think better? I seriously doubt that.
It’s true that women who are going through menopause can have trouble with their short-term memory and concentration. But you don’t need a dangerous pill like Vyvanse to get you through the day.
Here are some simple (and safe) things you can do to help:
- Take a high quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement: Past research has even suggested that omega-3 can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline.
- Get enough sleep: I know you’ve been hearing about the benefits of more sleep everywhere you turn. But there’s no better way to bring about brain fog – menopause or no menopause – than to cut yourself short in the sleep department.
- Talk to your doctor about taking a black cohosh supplement: Black cohosh has been traditionally used to treat common symptoms of menopause.
And whatever you do, don’t fall victim to Big Pharma’s profit-driven attempts to treat a perfectly normal time in every woman’s life like a dreaded disease.
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“Shire’s Vyvanse could bag another lucrative new market in menopausal women” Carly Heflan, June 16, 2015, Fierce PhramaMarketing, fiercepharmamarketing.com