Had a follow up appt with my pulmonologist, Dr. Lazarus yesterday. Among other things, we were talking about why my asthma is so bad. I jokingly blurred out…. it’s was because I was a victim of the 1970’s asthma mentality, where they were into over-treatment and under-treatment, but never prevention. It was a time in asthma history where patients were treated with toxic amounts of certain drugs . I told him about this doctor I saw a few times in the early 80’s , who used to overdose me on aminophylline injections. He gave me so much of the drug one time ,that my heart went into a weird fast rhythm and I had to go the hospital. When they checked my blood level, my theophyline level was 30. That’s about 8 times higher than it should have been. Aminophylline is basically a powerful stimulant that works as a bronchodialator, but is usually given slowly through an IV or in pill form. It was a popular asthma medication in the 60s, 70’s and 80’s and still is in the UK .
Anyways, at the end of my appt, Dr Lazarus tells me to check out this clip from the late 1970’s he found on Youtube called ” Aminophylline”. He wouldn’t tell me what it was about, but just that I should watch it when I get a chance.
So I get home, I look up the video on Youtube and watch it. Imagine having you asthma cured with a simple injection. But wait !.. theres more to this story. Try to watch the entire clip if you can.
Now that you’ve seen the video, here’s the really weird part, you know that “doctor” I mentioned earlier in the day? He’s the doctor in the video….Dr. Robbins! Those aminophyline injections that his patients claimed cured them, did nothing for me except make me nauseated and tachycardic all the time.
But, here’s the funny part….. You know that “other” doctor they show in the clip? Thats Dr Lazurus! ( 35 years ago) who has been my lung doctor at UCSF now for 6 years. That would explain why he wanted me to see this video. How funny is that!
(As a side note, Methylzanthines (aminophyline), are still used to treat asthma and COPD today, but not as often or widespread, and certainly not in toxic high doses like it was in the 1970’s).