“All psychiatrists do is push drugs!” I have heard this repeatedly, from students, wary patients, even family members who don’t pick up on a carefully worded hint that they just might benefit from getting help.  For some reason, no one makes the same complaint about infectious disease specialists, or oncologists, though I wager that the success rates of our drug treatments are roughly equivalent. As a psychiatrist, I try to treat people ...

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Linzess is a new drug that received FDA approval by Forest Laboratories for use in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation and in chronic idiopathic constipation.  It got my attention because of its biochemistry. Learning about the mechanism of action of new drugs like Linzess reminds me how much more is understood about the molecular biological level of physiologic function of the human body than when I was in med school.  Linzess ...

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I have been beating the population health drum for more than 20 years, and I think the rest of the band is finally catching on to the rhythm. From healthcare reform efforts at the very top of the heap to the healthcare industry to large and small communities, there is a heightened awareness that the physical and mental health of our diverse population is linked to our continued health and success ...

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The current fungal meningitis outbreak has put a spotlight on compounding pharmacies, and regulators and stakeholders say Congress needs to clarify exactly who should regulate these entities. The practice of compounding, which has been around for decades, was intended to give pharmacies the ability to produce a product under a doctor's orders when a particular drug wasn't available. ...

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There are interesting double standards that we apply to different fields of human endeavor. In sports the use of performance enhancing drugs is forbidden. Whilst that does not necessarily stop athletes using them at least it is not condoned.   Efforts are made to try and catch and sanction those who are found to be using such drugs. The rationale behind this is that sporting contests are meant to be about who ...

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You may have heard that veteran NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw was hospitalized recently after he reported feeling lightheaded after making an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He's fine. Brokaw tweeted, "All is well. Early a.m. I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual." And that's what you've got to be careful not to do. Any time you get up in the wee hours of ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. To say prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest drug problems in the United States today is clearly an understatement. The Partnership at Drug-Free America cites every day more than 2,000 kids use a prescription drug to get high for the ...

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I got an unusual request last week.  I written a prescription of a generic medication (which has been generic for a couple of years) and the prescription was denied by the insurance carrier.  The reason for denial: I had to try a brand-name medication first. Stop.  Read that again.  They wouldn’t allow me to give a prescription for the (cheaper) generic drug because I had to try the brand-name medication first.  This ...

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I’ve always had a tough relationship with cigarettes and the people who love them. As a lung doctor I hate cigarettes, and I hate that patients I see everyday continue to use them. But I also understand that vilifying smokers seems to be in vogue right now. I figure that if someone does something that is not considered socially palatable, and that does them harm, even as they strive to ...

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With regard to antibiotics, physicians and the public have each been enablers of the other. Patients want them and we doctors supply them. There’s nothing evil about this arrangement. Antibiotics are one of medicine’s towering achievements and have saved millions of lives. Shouldn’t we prescribe them to patients who need them? Of course we should. But why do we prescribe them to patients who don’t? Before you race to the comment ...

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