Stilnox/Ambien/Zolpidem: Give a dog a bad name ....
A woman dies in an unusual way, with signs of murder and a history of depression. She also has traces of 3 drugs in her. So what is the headline? Just one of those drugs is picked on! We have a scapegoat drug! I have used Zolpidem for insomnia and found it perfectly satisfactory
CONTROVERSIAL sleeping drug Stilnox could have prompted "bizarre" actions that led to the death of a young woman who fell 12 storeys down her apartment building's rubbish chute, a court in Melbourne has heard.
Victorian Coroner Peter White opened the inquest into the death of Phoebe Handsjuk yesterday and heard evidence that the 24-year-old woman's unusual end could have resulted from foul play, suicide or a cocktail of prescription drugs that caused her to enter the chute without having any intention of committing suicide.
She was found in the garbage disposal room of her luxury apartment building in St Kilda Road in Melbourne in December 2010 - the first known such death in Australia.
A forensic pathologist found Handsjuk had suffered recent bruising to her neck, wrist and arm consistent with grip marks, as well as significant blood loss from the fall.
Counsel assisting the coroner Deborah Siemensma told the inquest that Handsjuk's injuries suggested she went down the chute in the hall outside her apartment feet first.
She shared the unit with her boyfriend of 18 months, Antony Hampel.
"Issues have been raised in this case about the competency of the police investigation," Ms Siemensma said.
Handsjuk had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 per cent at the time of her death, and was taking the sleeping pill Stilnox as well as the antidepressant Cymbalta.
Ms Siemensma said the cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol could have led to her experiencing an "atypical" state of mind that prompted her to go down the chute with "no intent or will to take her own life".
The coroner would hear evidence that Stilnox is capable of causing "bizarre" behaviour in people and has been the subject of warnings from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Ms Siemensma said.
Handsjuk had suffered from depression since her teenage years and was an avid writer but had left no suicide note, she said.
The inquest heard entry to the garbage chute would be difficult to manage, even for a young and slim woman like Handsjuk, and that broken glass and traces of her blood had been found in her apartment.
Mr Hampel, who opposed the inquest taking place, is scheduled to give his testimony towards the end of the month-long inquiry.
The building's former concierge Betul Ozalup said a friend of Mr Hampel visited her regularly in the weeks after she discovered Handsjuk's body. He brought her wine and chocolates and and told her Mr Hampel had tried to help his girlfriend with her depression. The man had said she "couldn't have been saved, she didn't want to be saved", Ms Ozalup told the inquest, which continues today.
Eating raw garlic twice a week HALVES the risk of developing lung cancer, claims new study
Chewing raw garlic might have some following in China but I doubt that it is much done elsewhere. In my youth I used to chew raw garlic to help alleviate symptoms of colds but it was so strong it made my tongue swell up! I think this one might have to be left to the Chinese
Eating raw garlic just twice a week can almost halve the risk of lung cancer, new research shows.
A study carried out in China found adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 per cent less likely to suffer the disease.
Even when researchers allowed for whether people smoked - the biggest single cause of lung cancer - they found garlic still seemed to reduce the dangers by around 30 per cent.
Around 40,000 people a year are diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales alone.
Smoking is thought to cause at least 80 per cent of cases and fewer than one in ten sufferers are still alive five years after their diagnosis.
Previous studies have suggested garlic can protect the lungs against various conditions, as well as ward off other malignancies such as bowel cancer.
One study at the University of South Australia suggested the popular herb could slash the risk of bowel tumours by nearly a third.
In the latest investigation, scientists at Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention compared 1,424 lung cancer patients with 4,500 healthy adults.
Each one was quizzed on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked.
The results, published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week were significantly less likely to get lung cancer, even if they smoked or were exposed to high-temperature cooking oil fumes, thought to be another trigger for the disease.
It's not clear whether cooked garlic would have the same effect.
But previous research suggests the key ingredient seems to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped.
It is thought to dampen down inflammation in the body and act as an anti-oxidant, reducing damage from so-called free radicals to the body's cells.
Other studies have found it may help ward off the common cold, hospital superbugs and even malaria.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer.'