Friday, July 3, 2015

Health risks of stress and tips for dealing with it

Stress is defined as the human body's response to a change. Even though it is good in short term, it can cause harm to your body in long term. Stress can increase certain hormonal levels in the body. This can cause certain changes in long term which can cause heart attacks, stroke and various other problems.

Importance of stress in our current society

Even though our society increased its sophistication our body's mechanisms are lagging behind in the Stone Age. As a caveman our body has to main physiological roles. They are rest or face threats (fight/flight). During rest our body increases digestion of food, stores energy and do general housekeeping jobs. But in a threat it increases energy expenditure, increases metabolism and prepare our body to fight or run. 

In the stone stage, threats are not persistent. Once the caveman saves itself from a predator he can relax. But in current society our body identifies normal day to day stressors as threat to its survival and switch to fight/flight mode. The difference is that our day to day stressors never end like in the Stone Age. 

In addition, our day to day stressors do not need a flight/fight response (anxiety). They need a calm mind to sort the things out. 

Our body is not prepared to maintain fight/flight mode forever. Maintaining in that mode for longer duration would result in various diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes mellitus.

This maladaptation of physiology in current society makes stress one of the main causes of disease.

How stress increase the health risks

Stress increases adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol levels in the body. These hormones increase blood lipid and sugar levels. When the stress is persistent for long time, above risk factors can cause ischemic heart disease and precipitate diabetes mellitus. In addition, Stress hormones increase heart rate and power of the heart contractions. These actions could cause wear and tear of heart muscles. It could lead to heart failure and heart muscle dysfunction (cardiomyopathy). 

Stressed out heart

In addition, elevated levels of stress hormones for longer duration can cause hypertension. This could further increase the heart dysfunction.

Addition to above methods stress could lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as increased smoking, increased alcohol intake and unhealthy dietary habits (taking fast foods, salty foods).

Tips for dealing with stress
  • Don't worry about things you can't control, such as the weather.
  • Solve the little day to day problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.
  • Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, such as a job interview.
  • Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.
  • Work to resolve conflicts with other people.
  • Talk with a trusted friend, family member or counselor.
  • Set realistic goals at home and at work. Avoid overscheduling.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals and get enough sleep.
  • Meditate.
  • Participate in something you don't find stressful, such as sports, social events or hobbies.
Therefore, long term stress affects our health badly. It can cause increase heart diseases and hypertension. However, if you could control your stress levels by way of good coping strategies, meditation and exercises it could increase the longevity. 

Further reading

Stress: How to Cope Better With Life's Challenges

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Uses and side effects of Lonazep tablets

Lonazep is a brand of clonazepam manufactured by Sun pharmaceuticals, India. It is a benzodiazepine class medication prescribed for epilepsy, calm down disturbed patients, and induce sleep and to treat anxiety. Its main side effects are drowsiness, dizziness and unsteadiness or ataxia.

What are the uses of Lonazep?

Lonazep is mainly prescribed to treat epilepsy. It is effective in most types of epilepsies and it is usually prescribed in combination with other anti epileptic medications. It is also prescribed immediately to prevent further seizures when a seizure attack occurs.

In addition, it is prescribed for short term relief of insomnia (poor sleep). However, it should not be used for more than three weeks for the purpose of insomnia, as it is known to cause dependence (habit forming).

It is also used to treat alcohol dependence. In addition, it is helpful for people with poor sleep following discontinuation of alcohol. Medications like Zolfresh would also help people with sleep problems

Another brand of clonazepam that is commonly prescribed is Anxit. 

Summary of uses

1.       To induce sleep
2.       To calm down disturbed patients
3.       Epilepsy
4.       To relieve Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Who should not use this medication?

Lonazep should be used carefully in patients with breathing difficulties. It is known to cause breathing difficulties, especially in higher doses. It should not be used in patients with myasthenia gravis.

In addition, it should not be used in patients with sleep apnea. Therefore, if you have poor sleep associated with snoring at night then you need to inform that to your doctor.

Lonazep should be used cautiously in patients with severe liver and kidney problems.
You should be cautious when you have following problems and inform them to the prescribing doctor.

1.       Breathing difficulties
2.       Snoring at night with poor sleep
3.       Kidney and liver problems

Lonazep 2mg tablets pack.

What are the common side effects of Lonazep?

Drowsiness and light headedness can go on to next day when it is taken in the night. In addition, it can cause unsteadiness or ataxia. It is also dangerous to operate machinery or drive vehicles when its effects are present.

Operating machinery can be dangerous when taking Lonazep tablets

In addition, some patients who were given Lonazep can become more agitated and it is called paradoxical excitation.

In addition, this medication is habit forming in long term use. People can become addicted to this medication and they may find that sleeping is becoming dependent on medication. It is common when this medication is taken more than three weeks.

Summary of common side effects

1.       Drowsiness
2.       Light headed ness
3.       Ataxia
4.       Danger of operating machinery and driving even in next day
5.       Habit forming
6.       Paradoxical excitation
How do you take Lonazep?

This medication is taken as oral tablet. It should be taken without crushing or breaking. It should be taken with a full glass of water. Also it should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. Never adjust dose for yourself or use it for poor sleep for more than three weeks.

This medication is available as 1 - 2mg tablets.
Lonazep mouth dissolving tablets
Mouth dissolving tablets are useful when the patient is violent and refusing medications. In such situations putting the tablets into the mouth causes rapid disintegration and patient cannot spit out the medication.

In addition,  they can be given in covert medication administration. Here the tablets are dissolved into a drink without patient’s knowledge. However, it has associated legal and ethical problems.
Lonazep mouth dissolving tablets


Lonazep is a benzodiazepine class medication prescribed for epilepsy, poor sleep and to calm down agitated patients. Its main side effect is drowsiness and difficulty in operating machinery and driving. In addition, this medication has abuse potential and can be habit forming.

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