What are the health risks of marijuana legalization? Colorado and Washington state have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. I thought this would take longer to legislate, especially with the recent backlash from the federal government about medical marijuana. Eighteen states (including California, Alaska, Vermont and Oregon) allow marijuana to be used for medical reasons, but have restrictions on which conditions can be treated with it, which don't necessarily correlate ...

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Big Pharma: There is nothing evil about making money Am I an apologist for the pharmaceutical companies?  I don’t think so, but others may disagree based on some sympathetic Whistleblower posts that have appeared in this blog.  It is without question that the drug companies have been demonized and portrayed as rapacious gangs of greed who seek profit over all.  Haven’t you come across the pejorative term, Big Pharma?  Linguistical note:  ...

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In 1804, Frederich Serturner experimented with opium and created something new—morphine—named after the Greek god of sleep and dreams, Morpheus. More than 200 years later, at least 8 million Americans fall asleep at night under the influence of an opioid. Every morning, 40 of them don’t wake up. As described in a previous article on this subject, the United States is in the grip of a prescription opioid disaster: with 2 million ...

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Use of generic drugs has the potential to reduce annual consumer spending on prescriptions by billions.  A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and discussed in the New York Times' Economix blog in 2012 looked at Medicare Part D expenditures and correlated them with drug prescribing patterns. The regions of the United States with the highest Medicare expenditures were those where ...

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Toradol in sports: A culture change is needed Former Boston Red Sox closing pitcher Jonathan Papelbon may have opened up a can of worms with his remarks about his frequent use of the injectable anti-inflammatory drug Toradol (ketorolac) during his time with the Red Sox. Papelbon, who now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, told ESPNBoston.com that several Red Sox players were frequently injected with the drug:

"It was kind of ...

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For as long as I can remember I have tended to develop a bad cough nearly every time I get sick in the cold and flu season. I’m not sure if I have a minor tendency to bronchospasm or if my years of passive smoke exposure as a child somehow damaged my lungs. Who knows, but I seem to have the tendency for every URI become a lingering brohchitic cough. In ...

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Answers to common vaccine questions from patients One of the true joys of being a primary care doctor is partnering and educating patients to make the best decision for themselves and their families. Though they may not always agree with what I have to say, at least I know I’ve done my best to give them the information they need to be informed. What follows are common conversations I ...

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It’s almost unthinkable that in an era preoccupied with “evidence-based” medicine and “best practice” advice, one of the worst drug problems in the United States flows right out of our health care system. Unlike other major epidemics such as those connected to methamphetamine, crack cocaine or other illegal drugs, our prescription opioid problem is full of irony and agony, because it has been fueled, to a certain extent, by the ...

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At some hospitals, pantoprazole is not on the formulary. So, when a patient takes clopidogrel and pantoprazole, the drugs are automatically switched to clopidogrel and omeprazole. For a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), the default is omeprazole. The Medical Letter, the FDA and UK's National Guidelines for Stroke recommend if patients take clopidogrel and need a PPI, avoid omeprazole and use pantoprazole instead. The concern is ...

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This series is brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Some SSRIs Tied to Heart Rhythm Problems. Citalopram and two other antidepressants were associated with prolongation of corrected QT interval -- a marker of increased ventricular arrhythmia risk. 2. RUC Targeted at Senate Hearing on Primary Care. The nation's primary care physician (PCP) shortage might be eased by requiring more transparency from the group that helps ...

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