Weird Facts About Caffeine, Coke, and Viagra

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a cup of coffee in a white mug

Caffeine:

It turns out 90% of people take caffeine daily in some form. And 10% of people in the USA take an antidepressant on any given day. Anyone else see a connection?

Weirdly enough, it turns out that there is such a thing as caffeine laced tights. No joke. I’m not entirely sure why such a travesty exists, except perhaps to give a competitive dancer a leg up, so to speak.

On a darker note, I recently read about how caffeine is being marketed to younger and younger people. One company took pride in its specially designed containers that fit oh-so-snuggly into a kids hand. If wearing those tights were all it took to satisfy corporate greed, heck, I’d do it.

Cocaine:

Cocaine has the honor of being the very first local anesthetic (something that makes you stop feeling pain in just a certain part of your body). Your favorite shrink, Freud, was a big fan of cocaine. Freud was a big fan of that use, and of its energy giving properties.

It gets better. Novocaine turns out to be a close relative. So the next time you see the dentist, you’re pretty much getting a hit of Coke.  (Okay, maybe not.  But it’s still disturbing!) And cocaine is actually still used in medicine as an anasthetic in a TAC combination.  Some doctors have argued that its time to use something else.  You think?

And let’s not forget that Coka-Cola originally had this wonder-drug as an ingredient. I wonder if you can get any of those old bottles on ebay…

Yellow Fever:

This disease is so called because it turns you yellow. In addition to making people laugh at you, it’s extremely dangerous.  Thankfully, it is fairly uncommon.

Researchers originally didn’t know how this disease was spread but they thought it might have to do with mosquitoes. To prove this, they did the logical thing: forced some poor army soldier to get bitten by an infected mosquito to see if he got sick.

The researchers had some heart: they also let themselves be infected. One died. And this is where it gets weird.

Instead of doing the logical thing, which was stop experimenting on humans, his fellow researchers set up a camp in his honor. The goal? To try infecting as many people with as many different mosquito based diseases as possible.

Doh.

Viagra

It’s kind of funky that this extremely popular medication was discovered completely by accident (along with antibiotics and several other drugs). Viagra was being tested for a heart condition, and, though it might not have worked so well for that use, certainly did improve blood flow – in certain parts of the body, that is.

Interestingly enough, Viagra might also have uses for treating jet lag. In some people, it tints their vision blue. Turn on? Maybe not.

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Pharmaceutical analyst who loves blogging about health and medical issues. Has written more than 150 articles and a book on attention deficit disorder. Correctly predicted delayed approval of Bydureon, approval of Provenge by FDA, and the non-approval of Acthar on June 11.

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