The joys (or otherwise) of spam comments

October 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 11 Comments
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I’ve now been privileged to receive my first two Spanish spam comments, after posting about Barcelona so much recently! Multilingual spam – cool.

On a serious note though, I’d personally recommend that everyone moderates all their comments on blogs because spamming via comments is a popular pastime. Why? Because the spammer gets a link to their site at the same time, and the more links from outside sites to a website, the higher it’s ranked on Googe and other search engines. It’s known as black hat SEO and it’s not funny and it’s not clever.

Some spam is more targetted – for instance a certain mattress is being subtly and perhaps unethically advertised on various R.A. blogs at the moment. Odd that I had an identical comment saying how great the mattress was to one on one of the blogs I follow, and yet purporting to be a different person posting. These guys are taking it to a new level though. Instead of posting a general comment like ‘great blog man. Cool info! So glad I found it’ which can apply to any blog in the known universe, the mattress folk are responding to actual blog posts – must be time consuming but probably pays better dividends as they look like ‘real posts from real people’.

Interestingly I recent saw some information that suggested this was now illegal in America – you have to actually state a material link to the thing being advertised, if one exists. It may simply be that you were sent a free one to review – you still have to make it clear that you received it for free.

So … watch out mattress folk – gut subtler, get out or get your fingers burned.

On the bright side – I kinda get a kick out of spotting them and going ha ha, didn’t fool me … this time!

Oops! Pill trays are NOT infallible!

October 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, fibromyalgia, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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I wondered why I was feeling so peculiar this morning … put it down to the fact that hubby and I both slept terribly last night, as did half of Norfolk if hubby’s patients’ comments are anything to go by. Now I wonder if it was more than that.

When I got home this evening I went to take my evening pills (augmented at the moment with antibiotics for the lump doing Vesuvius impressions on my arm) and found it empty.

I then had a vague memory of taking my pills after breakfast this morning and thinking, ‘Odd that I forgot to take them before breakfast as I usually do!’

You guessed it – I didn’t forget to take them before breakfast. I had my evening pills about twenty minutes after my morning pills.

I think I should probably be panicking and phoning NHS Direct and stuff, but given that that was now nearly 12 hours ago and I’m still sitting here writing this, I figure there’s probably no need. Luckily the only apparent ‘side effects’ were the desire to eat a horse (not literally of course, although who knows what went into the pasty I ended up having, most unhealthily, for lunch) and a feeling of general wooziness which may have had nothing to do with it given that a) I did have a lousy night and b) I’ve been feeling dopey all week!

And another one!

October 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment
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The EU are keeping busy with their approvals programme. Simponi (golimumab) is another biologic just approved for rheumatoid arthritis. It’s approved for moderate to severe R.A. either in conjunction with methotrexate or on its own.

More evidence that Abatacept IS effective in treating R.A.

October 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment
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Current NICE guidelines say that Abatacept (one of the many biologics, anti-TNFs) should not be used in R.A. patients who have not responded to other biologics. Now a Cochrane Review (a review designed to help policy makers and healthcare workers make decisions on what is and isn’t effective) says that Abatacept IS effective in R.A. treatment. NICE are already in the process of reviewing their current guidance, but a decision is not expected until June 2010. The review strongly recommends that for the moment Abatacept is not used WITH other biologics – but says nothing about use if other biologics have been tried and have failed, which suggests that perhaps NICE should be recommending it for those with rheumatoid arthritis who have failed on other anti-TNFs.

Like all anti-TNFs, how safe it is in the long term has not yet been established – because none of them have been around long enough, but the Cochrane review (by Dr. Lisa Maxwell in Ottawa) showed that patients given Abatacept were twice as likely to achieve a 50% improvement in symptoms such as pain and the number of tender and swollen joints.

In the meantime a study on intranasal administration of recombinant Human Cartilage glycoprotein-39 for treatment of R.A. has failed. Personally I don’t fancy a regular treatment via my nostrils … although if I had moderate to severe R.A. I guess I’d try anything once! However it didn’t show any improvement over placebo, so I dare say I will never need to try that one. Phew.

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