Montelukast’s Underrecognized Adverse Drug Events


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first alerted healthcare professionals (HCPs) about a possible association between the use of leukotriene inhibitors and neuropsychiatric events in 2008 and added information to product labels in 2009. The reported events included agitation, aggression, anxiousness, dream abnormalities and hallucinations, depression, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), and tremor. While the precaution was extended to all agents in this class (montelukast [Singulair®], zafirlukast [Accolate®], and zileuton [Zyflo®]), particular concern has been raised about montelukast due to its widespread use in both adult and pediatric patients for multiple indications. Montelukast is approved for the chronic treatment of asthma, acute prevention of exercise-induced bronchial constriction, and relief of both perennial and seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms. Singulair is approved in adults and children 6 months of age and older. Continued concerns about suicidality and neuropsychiatric events with montelukast were again raised at a recent FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting in September 2014. Medscape spoke with Sally Seymour, MD, and Erika Torjusen, MD, MHS, both at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology at the FDA, about the advisory committee meeting, concerns with these agents, and the implications for HCPs.

Medscape: Can you briefly review the concerns presented at the advisory committee meeting about these agents?

Dr Seymour: On September 23, 2014, montelukast [Singulair] was discussed at the PAC meeting as part of a routine pediatric safety review conducted after a drug has new pediatric labeling.

During the open public hearing, a parent who represented numerous groups wanted to raise awareness of the potential for neuropsychiatric events with montelukast. The speaker stated that, despite the FDA’s communication efforts and information in the product label, many physicians are not aware or do not communicate the risk for neuropsychiatric events to patients.

As part of the discussion, the committee reviewed the current montelukast labeling regarding the risk for neuropsychiatric events. Members wanted HCPs to be cognizant of the association with neuropsychiatric events and consider discontinuing montelukast if they occur. The PAC recommended a communication directed at HCPs to raise awareness of the association of neuropsychiatric events. This Medscape interview is a result of the committee’s recommendations.

Medscape: In addition, the committee heard about the available objective data regarding montelukast and neuropsychiatric events. Could you summarize those data? What do we know about these adverse events, what they look like, how acutely they occur, and the populations in which they occur?

Dr Seymour: At the PAC meeting, we briefly summarized the FDA’s previous review of this safety issue. In 2008-2009, we reviewed available data (postmarketing and clinical trial data) to evaluate the risk for neuropsychiatric events with leukotriene modifiers: montelukast, zileuton, and zafirlukast. During this review of spontaneous postmarketing reports, we noted a variety of neurologic or psychiatric adverse events associated with use of these products. Reports included: agitation, aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, disturbance in attention, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, memory impairment, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), and tremor. Some of these reports appeared to be consistent with a drug-induced effect. Events were noted in both adults and children, and the onset of events varied.

Based upon these data, the FDA required the manufacturers to add information to the product labels. All of these labels now have a warning/precaution about the risk for neuropsychiatric events.

Medscape: This was a pediatric advisory committee meeting. Were all of these events reported in children, or are adults also experiencing these adverse events?

Dr Seymour: We have reports of children and adults experiencing these types of events. We especially want to reach out to HCPs taking care of children because montelukast is approved for children down to 6 months of age, and detecting these events in children may be more challenging. Small children can’t report side effects, and young children or teenagers may experience changes in behavior or mood that can be mistakenly attributed to a normal phase of development. Therefore, parents and practitioners need an increased level of awareness about the risks of montelukast in these age groups.

Medscape: Are these adverse events reversible with drug discontinuation, and is there a time frame in which they are likely to occur?

Dr Torjusen: The most common adverse events are typically not serious. These events are generally reversible with cessation of therapy. In terms of timing, we have reports following initiation of montelukast and after chronic use.

Medscape: You noted that the committee made a determination that more outreach and strengthening of prescriber warnings was warranted. Were there any other committee recommendations? For example, will there be any requirement to manufacturers to conduct any further studies?

Dr Torjusen: Based on the testimony provided during the open public hearing, the PAC recommended potential strategies for increasing awareness of the neuropsychiatric events that may occur with montelukast. Possibilities raised by the committee included labeling changes, education of providers, and consideration for further studies. The PAC recommendations can be found on our website.

Dr Seymour: When the FDA completed its initial review in 2009 and required the companies to update the product labeling, we did not require clinical trials to further evaluate this issue. Because this is a known safety issue, the FDA does not think that changes to the prescriber information or clinical studies are warranted at this time. The PAC noted that the patient labeling was clear.

Medscape: Given that this is a class-wide concern, should all leukotriene inhibitors be avoided in patients who experience these symptoms in response to one agent? Or is it worth a clinician trying another drug in the same class if it was felt it was really indicated?

Dr Torjusen: Based on the data available, this does appear to be a class effect and is the reason the labeling change was applied to all of the drugs in the class of leukotriene inhibitors. Therefore, if a patient experiences neuropsychiatric symptoms while on one leukotriene inhibitor, we would recommend that they avoid other drugs in the class.

Medscape: Why do you think this now 5-year-old safety issue is not well known by prescribers?

Dr Torjusen: That is a good question. It is possible that awareness of the association between montelukast and neuropsychiatric events has faded. HCPs are inundated with new products and new safety information, and keeping up with all of this can be a challenge. In addition, the types of events experienced are highly variable. Detecting these events in children and young adults can be particularly challenging. Young children may be less able to articulate these experiences, and parents may unknowingly attribute symptoms to be part of developmental changes. Therefore, reminders of important safety concerns may be necessary at times for both patients and providers.

Medscape: What are the key take-home messages for clinicians who are prescribing this class of drugs?

Dr Torjusen: The key take-home message is for HCPs to be aware of the risk for neuropsychiatric events with the use of montelukast. Providers should inform their patients and families that these types of side effects are a possibility with these medications, and they should follow up with their patients after initiation of therapy.

Patients should also notify their HCPs if side effects occur, and HCPs should consider discontinuing therapy if patients develop neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Medscape: Are there resources for patient education that clinicians can and should use?

Dr Torjusen: Certainly, clinicians can always refer to the product label for montelukast [Singulair], which provides safety information for the product. In addition, the patient prescribing information provides useful information on the product, including side effects.

Information about the FDA’s review of the safety issue can be found on the FDA website.

Serious adverse events should also be reported to the FDA MedWatch or by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Patients and HCPs who want more information about specific products can go to the FDA website or contact the FDA [1-888-INFO-FDA].

Sleep and Aging


Is your sleep different than it used to be when you were younger? It happens to a lot of people.

Nearly half of men and women over the age of 65 say they have at least one sleep problem. With age, many people get insomnia or have other sleep disorders.

It’s true that as we get older, our sleep patterns change. In general, older people sleep less, wake up and go back to sleep more often, and spend less time in deep sleep or dreaming than younger people.

But at any age, you still need quality rest to be healthy.

What Causes Sleep Problems With Age?

Some common reasons include:

Poor sleep habits: If you don’t keep a steady schedule for going to bed and waking up, it can affect your body’s internal clock and make it even harder to get good sleep. Also, at any age, it’s a minus if you drink alcohol before bedtime, nap too much, or stay in bed when you’re not sleeping.

Medications: Some drugs make it harder to fall or stay asleep, or even stimulate you to stay awake. If you think that might be true for you, ask your doctor to check.

Worry, stress, or grief. Aging brings many life changes. Some are positive. Others are really hard. When you lose someone you love, move from your family home, or have a condition that changes your life, that can cause stress, which can hamper your sleep.

If changes like these affect you or an aging loved one, talk with your doctor or a counselor. It could help ease your mind so you can sleep better.

Sleep disorders: Besides insomnia, these include apnea, restless legs syndromeperiodic limb movement disorder, and REM behavior disorder. Your doctor can see if you have one of these conditions.

Too much downtime. Many people stay active well into their golden years. But if your days are too idle, you may find it harder to get good sleep.

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Everyone is different. If you sleep less than when you were younger but still feel rested and energetic during the day, it might be that you now need less sleep.

But if you have noticed that your lack of sleep affects you during the day, tell your doctor. There are steps you can take to get better rest. Many are simple tweaks to your daily routine, like setting a regular bedtime, being more active, and taking steps to ease your mind before you hit the hay.

Sleep Easily: Guided Meditation for Sleep Problems and Insomnia


Sleep Easily: Guided Meditation for Sleep Problems and Insomnia

Whether we have sleep problems or not, it’s so important to empty our minds before we go to sleep. To release all our thoughts, plans, worries and concerns so that we can have a deep and restful sleep. And today’s guided meditation is meant to help you achieve just that.

Whether you have any insomnia or sleep problems or not, this magical guided meditation will help you experience the beauty and wonder of the sea, as you drift off to sleep, so that you can have a restful, relaxing and refreshing sleep.

“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Before you begin, remember to first, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Second, lay down and when you’re ready, press play. And in the morning when you wake up, you can share your experience with all of us by commenting below.

Enjoy 🙂

Guided Meditation for Sleep Problems

6 Science-Backed Cures For Insomnia


We all love getting an uninterrupted good night’s sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and invigorated in the morning. However, each night, millions of us struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep; and although this is only a brief problem for some, for others, insomnia can become an ongoing struggle. However, insomniacs can regain control of their sleep, without depending on medications.

Every year, in the U.S., as many as 40 percent of adults have insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Meanwhile, about 10 to 15 percent of people suffer from chronic insomnia, finding it difficult to get enough shuteye a few nights a week. Sleep deprivation is considered to be a “public health problem” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Get your best night’s sleep ever by applying these natural and scientifically proven treatments.

LIGHT THERAPY

Dimming the lights before going to bed can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Low-lighting at night will help trigger the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, while exposing yourself to bright daylight in the morning helps shut down melatonin production. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found office workers who got more natural light exposure slept about 46 minutes longer per night than their colleagues without windows. The findings suggest your work environment can also play a role in your sleeping habits at night — sufficient daylight exposure at work can help employees’ health and well-being.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

Popping a Ambien or Xanax in hopes of a good night’s sleep may not be the best first option for treating insomnia. Guidelinesfrom the American College of Physicians (ACP) published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I) was the best first-line treatment for insomnia, rather than sleeping pills. A 2014 study found an hour’s worth of talk therapy helped 73 patients improve their sleep quality, while another study found 86 percent of patients experienced reduced insomnia.

CBT-I involves learning new approaches to thoughts and behaviors that affect sleep. Therefore, persistent effort is critical, and patients should be aware symptoms may worsen before sleep improves. CBT-I could seem more complicated than medication because it involves long-term effort and follow-up, but support and encouragement could help patients abide by this therapy.

HYPNOTHERAPY

Hypnotherapy for insomnia may help patients relax and fall into an undisturbed slumber. In a 2014 study published in the journalSleep, women who listened to a sleep-promoting audio tape containing hypnosis cut their awake time by two-thirds, and spent 80 percent more time in deep sleep compared to women who didn’t do hypnotherapy. Hypnosis for insomnia aims to produce positive changes that will help undo the patterns of sleep disturbances that have been embedded in the subconscious.

Woman sleeping

AROMATHERAPY

The scent of lavender is known to elicit feelings of calmness and relaxation, and unsurprisingly, sleep. Studies show a massage with essential oils, particularly lavender, may result in improved sleep quality, more stable mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety. Research suggests aromatherapy with lavender slows the activity of the nervous system, which helps promote good quality sleep and positive mood in those with sleeping disorders.

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS

Melatonin is the most popular supplement for sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It can help insomniacs get through temporary sleep disturbances. A 2013 review published in the journal PLoS ONE found melatonin can help people fall asleep faster, lengthen sleep time, and improve their overall sleep quality. Moreover, they found the longer patients are on these supplements and the higher the doses, the greater effects it has on total sleep time. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking by mouth a single dose of 0.5-5 milligrams before bed or as a daily dose for one to three months.

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture may be able to boost the secretion of melatonin production. A 2004 study published in the the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found after five weeks of acupuncture treatment, there was a significant improvement in melatonin production, increasing total sleep time and sleep quality. Certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90 percent success rate for the treatment of insomnia.

Keeping these top 10 plants in your bedroom helps sleep better, says recent study – Top 10 Plants.


With stress and anxiety causing half of all insomnia issues, it’s a good idea to fill your home and bedroom with a variety of plants that have a calming effect.

Recent studies10 clearly show that spending time in nature reduces stress levels, so why not simply bring nature indoors?

One way to ensure a better quality of sleep is to fill your home with beautiful flowers and plants. Not only do they look great and bring vitality and life to your living spaces, but they can have fantastic relaxing and purifying benefits – which in turn can promote a healthy sleeping pattern.

1. Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)

This plant is that it emits oxygen at night time whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing. All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night’s sleep.

The Snake Plant also filters some nasty but common household toxins (namely formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene) from the air.

A very hard plant that needs little care and provides best returns.

2. Lavender

One of the most well-known of all plants when it comes to inducing sleep and reducing anxiety levels. Research backs up these claims, with lavender scents shown to slow down heart rate, lower blood pressure and levels of stress.

In one study3, the smell of lavender reduced crying in babies, sending them into a deeper sleep; while simultaneously reducing stress in both mother and child.

In women, lavender has been shown to increase light sleep, and decrease rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and the amount of time to wake after first falling asleep, with opposite effects in men.

3. Mogra or Arabian Jasmine

This exotic plant has a gentle, soothing effect on the body and mind. It has been shown in one study to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.

Not only that, but this research suggests that the positive effects of such a high quality sleep lead you enjoy increased alertness and productivity during the day.

4.Aloe Vera

Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, the fantastic Aloe works much like the Snake Plant – it emits oxygen at night, making for a more restful slumber.

It’s also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – it tolerates ‘neglect’ well and so doesn’t require frequent watering.

You can even pass on the gift of happy sleep to your family and friends! Keep it on your bedroom window as it does need a lot of direct sunlight.

5. Gardenia

With glossy evergreen leaves and beautifully scented blossoms, Gardenias are a popular plant choice for bedrooms. Studies indicate that keeping one in your room may help you achieve a better quality of sleep, with claims that it may be as effective as Valium in relieving anxiety and promoting sleep.

However, gardenias can be tricky to maintain as they require a lot of attention in order to keep their luscious leaves and delicate flowers. Indoor gardenias should be kept in a bright room, but not placed in direct sunlight.

6. Spider Plant

The Spider Plant is also a champion cleanser of air. The NASA tests showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air.

Since formaldehyde is found in common household products like adhesives, grout and fillers, it’s a good idea to keep one of these plants around.

In addition to cleansing the air, it will also absorb odors and fumes as well as sustaining oxygen levels in the room, promoting better sleep.

7.English Ivy

Another one of NASA’s top plants for purifying the air, English Ivy is simple to grow and only needs moderate exposure to sunlight.

Studies have shown that this leaf can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which all sufferers know can seriously impact both the quantity and quality of sleep.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that, in a 2005 experiment, English Ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours!

As mold can affect our breathing, it’s definitely a plant to have on hand for a great night’s sleep.

8.Peace Lily

Peace Lily is another of NASA’s superstar plants, helping to filter out harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde toxins.

The moisture given off by these striking flowers can boost a room’s humidity by up to 5%. This suppresses airborne microbes which can lead to allergies, and also helps relieve those irritating dry noses and throats that keep you awake all night.

Again a very low maintenance and hard to kill plant.

9.Bamboo Palm

This small plant is a fantastic air purifier. Ditch your chemical-laden air fresheners in favor of a few of these pretty palms and say goodbye to airborne smells and toxins.

Not only will you be able to enjoy your home’s pure, fresh air during the day, but you’ll enjoy a fantastic night’s sleep too.

Given its exotic origins, the Bamboo Palm will bring a tropical, warm feel to your bedroom. It’s fairly easy to care for – just keep the soil moist (but not wet) and place the plant in indirect sunlight.

10. Gerbera Daisies

These bright and cheerful flowers couldn’t help but put you in a good mood! With pink, orange, yellow and white, they should be a welcome addition to any room – and not just because they look good.

They also release oxygen at night, which helps you breathe easy while you snooze. If you suffer from apnea or allergies, then these daisies are definitely recommended.

Bonus Plant: Golden Pothos

With its marbled, heart-shaped leaves, the Golden Pothos is another exceptional air purifying plant according to NASA.

Not only will you have a better quality of sleep but you need not worry too much about nurturing it – a couple of hours of morning sun and a little water once a week is all it requires.

Can Insomnia Trigger Depression?


Sleep is a critical contributor to our health and well being. Sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health. Depression and insomnia  are closely connected; difficulty in sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of depression.

 Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. According to studies, 15 to 20 percent of people diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression [1].

Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances and/or certain biological factors. There are many medical conditions like nasal/sinus allergies, gastrointestinal problems such as reflux, arthritis, asthma, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease etc. that can lead to insomnia.

Relationship between Depression and Insomnia 

The relationship likely works in both directions. Studies have found that the cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences such as depression [3].

 The inability to get a sufficient amount of rest can result in neurotransmitter changes (cholinergic-aminergic imbalance), circadian phase advance and hormonal changes that perpetuate the cycle of depression [4].

Insomnia may also lead to abnormal activity in neo-cortical structures that control executive function and are responsible for modulating behavior related to basic arousal and emotions. This activity has been associated with depression [5].

Ayurveda Sleep-Inducing Tips

According to Ayurveda insomnia is caused due to excess Vata. That’s why Ayurveda recommends Vata-calming suggestions like:

Oiling your body daily, especially before bed. Use sesame oil, brahmi oil, jasmine oil or coconut oil and massage gently for a few minutes. Slightly warm the oil before applying.
Practice breathing and relaxation techniques.
Have a vata-pacifying dinner which includes foods that are warm, moist, and grounding. Avoid eating dry or raw foods and drinking ice-cold beverages.
Take herbs that calm and nourish the nervous system.
Ayurveda also encourages conventional practices for improving sleep hygiene such as: establishing a bedtime routine, waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, avoiding stimulants (like caffeine) or eating a large meal before bedtime, avoiding napping close to bedtime and getting adequate exposure to natural light [6].

Conclusion

Insomnia may act as a risk factor and a manifestation for depression. The striking association between depression and insomnia in so many studies suggests that insomnia is also an early marker for the onset of depression. Hence effective treatment of insomnia can help prevent or alleviate depression.

Recommended Articles

Natural Ways To Manage And Cure Insomnia


Having trouble to get a good night’s sleep? Do not panic. You are just facing a sleep disorder called as Insomnia where falling asleep become great trouble. A few symptoms of Insomnia are sleepiness during the day, general tiredness, irritability, and problems with memory. Here are a few ways you can manage insomnia and treat yourself naturally.

Chronic Primary Insomnia – Diagnosis, Evaluation and Therapy

Natural Ways To Cure Insomnia

Many definitions of insomnia exist in western medical literature. Most authors will describe insomnia as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, sleep that is poor quality, trouble sleeping despite adequate opportunity and circumstances for sleep, or waking up too early.
Cure Insomnia Naturally with these 10 simple tips

How to naturally cure insomnia

How to naturally cure insomnia
In order to get rid of Insomnia, you need to be comfortable in your bed. If you do not find your bed enjoyable and comfortable, how will you sleep on it? Thus make your bed comfortable first. If you do not follow a bed- time schedule, you will never get rid of the sleep disorder. Hence, you need to think of the natural processes by which you can get rid of Insomnia.

Ayurveda- How to cure insomnia naturally
Imbalance and aggravation of the Vata dosha or the air body humor is believed to be the fundamental cause that impedes normal sleep pattern. Thus, for restoring Vatta balance and gaining restoring sleep, there are some diet and lifestyle tips counseled in Ayurveda text.

Seven-Natural-Ways-To-Cure-Insomnia

 

In Ayurveda, the 5,000+ year-old art and science of well being from ancient India, proper sleep is considered one of the three Upastambhas (pillars) of health (with the other two being proper food and balanced sexuality). Natural sleep at night is called Bhutadhatri, a Sanskrit term derived of the words Bhuta, meaning the physical body, and Dhatri, which means mother.

Beat-Insomnia- Cure insomnia naturally

 

If you have difficulty achieving or maintaining normal sleep, you have insomnia. Trouble falling asleep at bedtime is referred to as sleep-onset insomnia. If your trouble is with waking up frequently or very early, you have sleep-maintenance insomnia. Insomnia usually has a psychological cause–depression, anxiety or tension.

Ways-To-Overcome-Self-Induced-Insomnia

 

Can you imagine how much energy you’d have throughout the day? Can you imagine how much healthier you’d feel? But how many of us actually get sleep like this every night? If that’s you every night, consider yourself blessed! The unfortunate truth is that insomnia is more common than ever – and that’s no chance.

Natural Ways To Cure Insomnia

 

We are getting less sleep these days than ever before in history. Many of us wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. Who here hasn’t at one point questioned whether they could be productive while luxuriating in a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? Insomnia has become the new normal. We have a nickname for those who go to bed at a decent hour: old fuddy duddys.

 

Insomnia can occur due to several reasons. While stress is the most common trigger, others include asthma, chronic back pain and neurological disorders. However the most common form of insomnia is self-induced, where one’s sleep pattern is broken for a day and then it becomes difficult to sleep in the days to come and eventually sets a routine. This is the onset of insomnia triggered due to a psychological conditioning, where your mind isn’t in a state for sleep.

Simple-Bedtime-Rituals-To-Cure-Insomnia

 

At some point in time, we have all experienced insomnia for one reason or another. There are times when lack of sleep just can’t be helped, such as when you’re having a baby, going through a divorce or even losing your job (to name a few).

 

Sleep is a critical contributor to our health and well being. Sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health. Depression and insomnia are closely connected; difficulty in sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of depression.

Banish Osteoporosis, Insomnia, Fatigue and More With Simple Taoist Bone Breathing Technique


Many years ago in the U.S., while walking one of the main streets through the heart of Berkeley, California, I stumbled across an unassuming store dedicated to Tao philosophy. Books galore, recordings, diagrams — along with various trinkets and tools — lined the walls. I wasn’t overly familiar with Taoism, but I was strongly drawn to the recorded tapes of bone breathing meditations. Since I was struggling mightily with insomnia, the tapes seemed like a godsend — promising nights of restful sleep and days filled with vitality. I adhered faithfully to the program for many months. Be it by coincidence or not, I enjoyed an exceptionally energetic (and well-rested) period in my life while utilizing this unusual practice.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the tremendous potential of bone breathing had been demonstrated several years prior, when a middle-aged woman suffering from severe osteoporosis was dramatically healed by the method.

A Miracle in the Making

Mantak Chia is considered one of the foremost Taoist masters alive today. He has introduced many important Taoist teachings to the West — like Bone Marrow Nei Kung — and has made this wisdom accessible to the general public. In the early 1980’s, he had an American student in Los Angeles, California who was plagued with rapidly deteriorating bone mass from osteoporosis. Specialists in Western medicine tried everything within their arsenal, to no avail — and the disease continued to progress at an alarming rate. The prognosis was bleak: collapse of the spine, threatening the nervous system with paralysis or even death.

After enrolling in the bone breathing class taught by Chia, the student began a daily practice involving 3 hours of continuously “washing” her skeletal system, with what is referred to as the subtle breath in Taoism.

Within half a year, not only was the bone loss arrested, but it began to reverse. She gained an impressive 10% bone mass during the six month period. Her physicians were astounded. At the end of five years of diligent practice, she had replaced 100% of her bone mass without any symptoms of osteoporosis. This is just one instance of many where people have been miraculously healed by the method.

Banish Osteoporosis Insomnia, Fatigue and More With Simple Taoist Bone Breathing Technique

Basic Bone Breathing

“The ancient Taoists have left us the maxim that says that `The practice of the Tao begins with feeling’. Without feeling the practice may degenerate into being just a mental exercise unrelated to the bones. Bone breathing is not only for those repairing bones, … the Taoists developed these practices for opening the human potential to its maximum. One powerful effect of bone breathing sessions is the ability to calm the mind and arrest the current of internal talk which goes on constantly. It also brings a profound sense of relaxation and openness that aids in resolving muscular tension and stress.” ~ Healing Tao

Bone breathing (or marrow washing) is a profound, yet simple technique to strengthen the bones, reduce stress, encourage revitalizing sleep, fortify immunity, boost energy and overall heal the body. It can be practiced anytime and is easy to learn.

Beyond healing the bones, Taoist practitioners use the method as a means to absorb subtle energies — of the trees, rivers, sun, moon and stars — to maintain ultimate health and enjoy the ocean of calmness the technique inspires.

If you would like to experience this deep healing and relaxation for yourself, below is the fundamental practice. For a more comprehensive understanding, see: “Bone Marrow Nei Kung: Taoist Techniques for Rejuvenating the Blood and Bone” by Mantak Chia.

The Fundamental Practice

  • To begin, bring yourself into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Fingers are stretched open and relaxed. Inhale through the nose and take several deep breaths. Imagine there is energy in your environment that can be felt subtly on the surface of your skin.
  • Next, bring your attention to the tips of your fingers on your left hand. Feel the energy of your surroundings move through the skin and down into the bones — you should experience a sense of warmth/heaviness/tingling. Keep the breath rhythmic and deep. Continue to the draw energy into all the bones of the hand and upwards into the wrists, forearms, upper arm and shoulders — visualizing your bones are like a sponge absorbing energy from all around. Repeat with the right hand.
  • Proceed by drawing energy into the scapulae, collarbone, sternum and ribs from both arms. Now, move your attention to your toes, moving energy up through both feet to the ankles, calves, knees, thighbones, pelvis and sacrum. You will then breath energy up the vertebra into the spinal column and skull. Lastly, breath energy into the whole body for a minimum of nine full breaths. Conclude by drawing all energy into the navel center and imagine “closing” it.

In addition to fortifying the skeleton, bone breathing increases the production of red and white blood cells, fosters sexual energy, stimulates the immune system and improves the flow of blood.

Healing Tao offers this final advice about the practice in “Bone Breathing: Strengthening your Bones”:

“Eventually it is possible to have the whole skeleton doing bone breathing, that is including the teeth. As practice develops try to breathe through the whole body at once, like a sponge.

If more specific knowledge of the bones is desired then it is advisable to work with a anatomical chart of the skeleton to guide the energy with more precision.”

Ayurveda for Sleeping Well : Natural Cures for Insomnia


Ayurveda for Sleeping Well : Natural Cures for Insomnia

Having a good night’s sleep is sure aid for our well being as Ayurveda regards Optimum Sleep as one of the three pillars of Natural wellness and longevity ( the other two are diet and exercise).
Ayurveda Cautions Against Suppressing Sleep
Do you occasionally deprive yourself of a good night sleep? Yes, this is part of our lifestyle today. Blame it on overwork or nightlife. But let me tell you this is again one of the most deleterious practices that you are unknowingly inuring yourself with. Problems like: general malaise, lethargy, indecisiveness, heaviness and pain in the eyes and head, lack of enthusiasm, habitual insomnia, and digestive maladies might be just round the corner.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder which is becoming common world over, and which may mainly be characterized by little or no sleep. This loss of sleep or insomnia may sometimes simply be accompanied by disturbed sleep, light sleep or simply rolling in the bed throughout the night.
Some Causes of Insomnia or Loss of Sleep
  • Many times you tend to suffer from loss of sleep or insomnia due to the imbalance in diet and lifestyle and the escalating stress in day-to-day living.
  • Due to exceeding cut-throat competition in our everyday life and work situations, sleep related disorders are on the rise.
  • Sometimes insomnia may result from a drug reaction.
  • Diseases like hypertension and anxiety etc relate to loss of sleep or insomnia as a natural sign.
 Sleep Well with Natural Health and Sleep Awareness Tips
  • Sleeping in a dark room with calm and quiet environment is vital for overcoming Insomnia and to get natural relaxed sleep.
  • Your body works on natural clock. Therefore, fix a proper time and routine like listening to soft music, reading etc. before your everyday snooze. This helps to signal the body and makes it ready for sleep.
  • Involve yourself in physical activities and mental work through the day so that it exhausts you enough to obtain a sound sleep.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine rich foods like coffee, chocolates etc. as these interfere in the natural pattern of sleep.
  • You need to restrict having oily, spicy and heavy to digest meals before going to bed as this also could result into disturbed sleep.
  • Take care not to take a long nap during afternoons as this might keep you awake in the night.
  • Try not to take worries to bed and also refrain from staring at the darkness if you’re unable to sleep. It is better to go to another room and try any creative activity like reading. Go to bed only when you actually feel sleepy.
  • Go in for mud nap occasionally. This is good news for all those suffering from stress, anxiety, insomnia and related maladies.
  • Sleeping in the mud also benefits significantly in case of nervine debility and mental instability.
  • Imbalance and aggravation of the Vata dosha or the air body humor is believed to be the fundamental cause that impedes normal sleep pattern. Thus, for restoring Vatta balance and gaining restoring sleep, there are some diet and lifestyle tips counseled in Ayurveda text.
    • Heavy and nourishing diet like ghee, milk, sugarcane juice, rice, curds, jaggery based products etc.
    • Lifestyle measures include self massage ( especially head region and mildly on ears and closed eyes), bathing with perfumed herbal soaps, local application of perfumed pastes or lotions on the body and head, soft pressing of the weary limbs etc.
    • Mental relaxation is also considered vital for the commencing of relaxed sleep. Ayurveda text mentions to be sparing some time with your kids and agreeable alliances and family members, before going to bed.
    Ashwagandha and Tagara are some of the well known Ayurveda herbs recommended for loss of sleep. Another herb by the name of Shatavari(Asparagus racemosus) is a body and brain rejuvenator and good for intellect. All the more, it helps undo the everyday strain and induces sound sleep.
    Ayurveda Dosha Healing Guide for Sleep Pattern for Vatta, Pitta & Kapha Types 

     
    Vata Types – Sleep pattern needs to organized and followed. Advised Sleeping Time is around 10:00 p.m. The best Sleep position would be to sleep in left side.
     
    Pitta Types – Avoid lights at bedtime, sleep more relaxed. Advised to sleep by 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. For the Fire types, sleeping in right side is recommended. 
     
    Kapha Types – Day sleep is strictly forbidden. Sleeping little late is fine , around 11:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The Sleep position for the Phlegm types is Left side.

FDA Approves Belsomra (suvorexant) for Insomnia


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Belsomra(suvorexant) tablets for use as needed to treat difficulty in falling and staying asleep (insomnia).

Belsomra is an orexin receptor antagonist and is the first approved drug of this type. Orexins are chemicals that are involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and play a role in keeping people awake. Belsomra alters the signaling (action) of orexin in the brain.

Insomnia is a common condition in which a person has trouble falling or staying asleep. It can range from mild to severe, depending on how often it occurs and for how long. Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and lack of energy. It also can make a person feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. People with insomnia may have trouble with attentiveness, learning, and memory.

“To assist health care professionals and patients in finding the best dose to treat each individual patient’s sleeplessness, the FDA has approved Belsomra in four different strengths – 5, 10, 15, and 20 milligrams,” said Ellis Unger, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Using the lowest effective dose can reduce the risk of side effects, such as next-morning drowsiness.”

Belsomra should be taken no more than once per night, within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least seven hours remaining before the planned time of waking. The total dose should not exceed 20 mg once daily.

The most commonly reported adverse reaction reported by clinical trial participants taking Belsomra was drowsiness. Medications that treat insomnia can cause next-day drowsiness and impair driving and other activities that require alertness. People can be impaired even when they feel fully awake.

The FDA asked the drug manufacturer, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp., to study next-day driving performance in people who had taken Belsomra. The testing showed impaired driving performance in both male and female participants when the 20 mg strength was taken. Patients using the 20 mg strength should be cautioned against next-day driving or activities requiring full mental alertness. Patients taking lower doses should also be made aware of the potential for next-day driving impairment, because there is individual variation in sensitivity to the drug.

The effectiveness of Belsomra was studied in three clinical trials involving more than 500 participants. In the studies, patients taking the drug fell asleep faster and spent less time awake during the remainder of the night compared to people taking an inactive pill (placebo). Belsomra was not compared to other drugs approved to treat insomnia, so it is not known if there are differences in safety or effectiveness between Belsomra and other insomnia medications.

Like other sleep medicines, there is a risk from Belsomra of sleep-driving and other complex behaviors while not being fully awake, such as preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex. Chances of such activity increase if a person has consumed alcohol or taken other medicines that make them sleepy. Patients or their families should call the prescribing health care professional if this type of activity occurs.

Belsomra will be dispensed with an FDA-approved patient Medication Guide that provides instructions for its use and important safety information. Belsomra is a controlled substance (Schedule-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence.

Belsomra is made by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp. of Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Source: FDA