An article in the New York Times recently described the increasing use of stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin among high-school students.  Titled “The Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill,” the article discussed how 15 to 40 percent of students, competing for straight-As and spots in elite colleges, use stimulants for an extra “edge,” regardless of whether they actually have ADHD. I’ve written about ADHD.  It’s a real ...

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It seems like every day in the office I see at least one man concerned about testosterone deficiency.  If you look at the symptoms of testosterone deficiency most of us have one or more of these symptoms at least some of the time.  Fatigue, depression, weight gain, lack of energy, reduced sex drive, loss of physical strength, and moodiness are all described as symptoms typical of testosterone deficiency. Making the ...

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Acute and chronic pain is bad. Proper pain management is essential and has been strongly emphasized by the American medical establishment for the past nearly two decades. Simultaneously, during these years, both the quantity of opioids prescribed by physicians and dentists has increased dramatically and prescription opioid abuse has escalated at an alarming rate among chronic pain patients and the general population. Opioid analgesics now result in
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Everybody knows that some medications can cost a lot of money.  I always try to take the cost to my patients into account when prescribing a medication- after all, if someone can't afford it, they are not going to take it.  When it's appropriate (and 9 times out of 10 it is), I try to prescribe a generic medication.  They are much cheaper and work just as well as the ...

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Hydrocodone as it is currently prescribed in the U.S. is a schedule 3 drug.  The FDA puts rules and regulations on the prescribing of medications that have a significant potential for abuse, diversion or addiction, and the lower the schedule number, the more the restrictions. Schedule 1 drugs are illegal in the U. S.  They are deemed to have no legitimate medical purpose.  Examples are heroin, LDS, methamphetamine, marijuana (strange but ...

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I am employed by a hospital, and have health insurance through my job. The coverage is comprehensive, and the cost has an employer contribution and employee contribution. I still get confused (though I have the hospital's own plan) about what is covered and what is not. I can only imagine how hard it must be for my patients. The prescription plan that comes with this insurance is straight forward: $40 for ...

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Now more than ever, the growing consensus among many is that doctors should avoid seeing pharmaceutical sales representatives, otherwise known as drug reps. A position statement from the AAMC, the head organization of all US medical schools and residency programs, recommends that all academic health centers avoid having drug reps on their campuses, hospital and clinics. Many medical institutions including the VA and Kaiser have also enacted similar policies banning ...

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Willful blindness of our public health officials on tobacco is still killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Here are the facts: i) There are approximately 46 million tobacco smokers in the United States. ii) While three-quarters say they want to quit smoking, and about one-third try to quit each year, fewer than 10% succeed. iii) The FDA-approved smoking cessation aids simply do not work: They improve quit rates only minimally, if at ...

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I am not a huge baseball fan to begin with, and when I am, I root for the Nationals.  Thus, I pay little attention to the New York Yankees, and was not aware that Yankee player Mark Teixeira had been suffering from a cough for the past month until it the story from the New York Times came through one of my Twitter feeds. According to the story: "Mark Teixeira had ...

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It seems that study after study has been touting the benefits of chocolate – eat more of the (delicious!) dark stuff and you might find yourself losing weight, suffering fewer or less severe heart attacks, possessing cleaner arteries, and having a lower blood pressure. Despite the theoretical explanations for chocolate’s health benefits, it is usually found packaged and processed along with some other not so healthy ingredients including saturated fat, ...

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