Women: beware of Big Pharma’s latest menopause remedy

It’s the oldest scam in the Big Pharma playbook.

First convince millions of people they have a disease. And then get rich offering to cure it.

And nobody plays that game better than Shire Pharmaceuticals.

The company made a fortune selling its ADHD drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) after convincing docs to hand it out like Halloween candy for countless kids and adults who never needed it. And just last year Shire got Vyvanse approved for a completely made-up condition called binge eating disorder.

Now it looks like the company has one more dangerous trick up its sleeve.

Shire is making a ridiculous claim that Vyvanse can help keep menopausal women’s brains sharp and improve something called “Executive Function.”

And if the FDA goes along with the plan (and even if it doesn’t), millions of senior women could be at risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death.

Money on the brain

“Executive Function” is one of those fancy-sounding umbrella terms that gets tossed around a lot. It basically means mental skills that allow you to pay attention and complete a task.

And a just-out study funded by Shire and, unbelievably, the U.S. 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 whole thing sounds fishy to you, well, join the club. Because in the first place, menopause is not a disease. It doesn’t need a drug straight out of a horror show to treat it.

And why are our tax dollars being spent to help further pad Shire’s bottom line?

The company has gotten rich forcing Vyvanse down a generation of kids’ throats to treat ADHD – a disorder most health experts believe has been badly over-diagnosed, largely thanks to drug company marketing.

And just last year, Shire won a second pot of gold with an FDA approval of Vyvanse for yet another absurd condition, called binge eating disorder.

Shire has proven it can sell Vyvanse to treat just about anything. And now the company is sniffing around for its next payday.

You see, there are 90 million menopausal women who just need to be convinced that any problem with concentration, memory or completing a task is a job for Vyvanse.

And while you can bet Shire will be seeking FDA approval for Vyvanse to treat Executive Function, it actually doesn’t even need the agency’s blessing for the drug to be handed out to women everywhere.

Because Vyvanse is already on the market, docs can write an off-label prescription for it to treat Executive Function anytime they want. And you can bet that Shire’s army of sales reps has been deployed around the country – with this latest study in hand — trying to convince doctors everywhere to do just that.

But, of course, because Vyvanse is already being sold, we know that these latest claims that it will keep your brain as sharp as a razor are a sham.

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 kids’ 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.

Now, 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 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 more shut-eye. 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 – then to you 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.


“Shire’s Vyvanse could bag another lucrative new market in menopausal women” Carly Heflan, June 16, 2015, Fierce PhramaMarketing, fiercepharmamarketing.com