You’re at the doctor’s office, and you see strolling up to the window a good-looking, well-dressed professional. They’re usually pulling a little discreet cart, and after a few words with the receptionist they’re rushed right back. Sometimes they’ll bring a tray of cookies, or they’ll be followed by a caterer with a cartful of food. You think they had an appointment? No, but you can be they’re here to see the ...

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When you reach for ibuprofen for your sore back or a pill to help you sleep, are you sending a bad message to your kid? Yes, says Bryant Gumbel in his video commentary about the drug charges against ball player Alex Rodriguez. While he thinks that Rodriguez should be punished for being a liar and a cheat, he doesn’t think that people should be shocked by the fact that Rodriguez was ...

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You probably already know that what you do know about your medicine could kill you. You may not know that what you don't know could do so as well. Hold that somber thought -- we'll get back to it. You, and I, and everyone else has seen those direct-to-patient drug ads that Big Pharma runs on primetime television. Invariably, they feature a person skipping through butterflies and wildflowers, demonstrating the ...

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E-cigarette use in teens has doubled in a year. The CDC reports that 1 in 10 high school students admitted to ever using an e-cigarette in 2012. The rate of use doubled for middle school students as well. Although I’m not surprised, I remember just weeks ago tweeting about my dismay with Jenny McCarthy’s new job -- advertising e-cigarettes. I took flak. Some advocates for e-cigs felt I was shortsighted and ...

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Annoying mall vendors have been pushing what may be one of public health’s greatest accomplishments—and few have taken notice. Behind pillow pet stations and the candle stand, mall shoppers can find electronic cigarettes, or “vapes.” Often targeted at smokers wanting to quit, e-cigarettes offer many of the joys of smoking without one of its major components: smoke. Smokeless cigarettes have become a hot product, with an estimated $1.7 billion in sales ...

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It wasn't so much the side effects -- nausea and belly pain that had once kept me from enjoying my aunt’s home cooking. I didn't fill my prescription for the malaria prophylactic Malarone before a family trip to India because the $50 co-pay seemed outlandishly expensive to a medical-student-in-debt. Years later, I find that my patients skip crucial medications to treat diabetes and depression because of the reality or even ...

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Recently, I "launched" my oldest off to college. As anticipated, it was an intense emotional experience full of joy, sadness, and many things in between. (I have to tip my hat to Beverly Beckham for her piece I was the sun, the kids were my planets that was very helpful. However, I might have written that my child was the sun, a burst of light in our household, and the experience ...

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Here’s an interesting clinical dilemma brought to my attention by another physician. She was asked to refill a prescription for a drug called domperidone to help a patient with lactation. Domperidone is not FDA approved in the United States for any indication. However, in Europe and in Canada it is approved as a promotility agent for patients with a condition called gastroparesis, which causes the stomach to empty very slowly and results in ...

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After investigating the potential of cannabis as a medication over the last year, I had a change of heart. I am more convinced than ever that we need to study this like any other medication and not deny it to people who may currently benefit. The response to our reporting on this topic has been robust, and we will continue to seek the answers people want and deserve. People ...

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Dr. Sanjay Gutpa has come out on the side of medical marijuana.   To him, that is a big deal.  Here is a snippet of what he said:

I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose ...

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