So what do I know about this issue? As the physician and City public health administrator tasked with the initial implementation of Proposition 215 (legalizing medical marijuana) – I learned a lot. On the data side, I compiled every bit of published research about marijuana (positive and negative) from the previous thirty years, researching every conceivable symptom and/or adverse event. The results were published and widely cited. I also ...

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by Cole Petrochko As a person who has handled salt in cooking, is prone to headaches from sodium, and has written an article on legislating salt content in prepared and packaged foods, let me tell you about salt, because I know a thing or two. Well, it would be hard to not know much about salt after the recent string of attention paid to the "white shaken one" -- eat too ...

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Free is good, right? If you have to pay out of pocket for medicines, free prescription drug samples from your doctor's office might seem like a godsend. But nine times out of ten, these free samples end up costing you more money. Here's how. First of all, pharmaceutical reps only get paid to give out brand new medicines that their companies are trying to promote. They are giving out these drugs ...

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by Peggy Peck First, my disclosure: I've written at least one news article about every major statin trial since 4-S, and I've been mightily impressed with almost all of the statin data. So, I was also impressed when the JUPITER results were reported about a year and a half ago -- although I became a little less "impressed" as JUPITER continued to spew forth ...

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by Crystal Phend Physicians don't know much more about complementary and alternative medicine than their patients do, according to a new survey. Most healthcare professionals who answered an online survey of Drug and Therapeutic Bulletin subscribers said their profession was just as poorly informed about herbal medicines (75.5%) as the general public (86.3%). And almost half of respondents rated their own knowledge about herbal medicines as "quite" or "very" poor (36.2% and 10.4%, ...

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Frequently in preventive health we ask patients to take medications that will reduce the risk of a certain bad medical outcome years down the road: cholesterol-lowering agents that lower the risk of a heart attack, blood pressure-lowering agents that reduce the risk of kidney disease, glucose-lowering medications that reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Sometimes these medications make patients feel better — for example, insulin in patients with symptomatic diabetes or ...

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Colchicine is a commonly used drug to treat gout. It used to cost pennies a pill, but now its price has since soared to $5 or more a pill. What happened? It's an unintended consequence of FDA regulation. Colchicine had been used for centuries, but was caught up with the FDA's zeal to regulate unapproved drugs. A profit-driven pharmaceutical company swooped in at the opportunity, and performed the studies showing ...

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Dysrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AF), more often than not, require medical therapy. The dreaded blood thinner, warfarin (Coumadin) comes to the fore often. In aggregate, I have likely spent months of my life discussing the risks and benefits of this much maligned drug. Common rat poison is made from the same ingredients as warfarin -- only rats keep eating it and die days later of bleeding, while humans have the blood ...

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by Kristina Fiore Diet pills that are adulterated with undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients can be addictive, researchers say. In a case report, a 29-year-old female patient became addicted to Brazilian diet pills that contained unlabeled ingredients, and suffered subsequent psychiatric comorbidities, Benjamin R. Smith, BS, and Pieter A. Cohen, MD, of Harvard Medical School reported in The American Journal on Addictions. "Given the rising prevalence of adulterated diet pills, increasing awareness among clinicians of ...

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Most people use non-prescription medications without giving much thought to the potential side effects or problems that may be associated with their use. Here are 5 popular OTC meds you should avoid, and better alternatives. I bet most of you use one or more of these. Neosporin, Topical Vitamin E, Afrin nasal spray (or other short acting nasal decongestant sprays), daily headache medications, and sedating antihistamines. 1. Neosporin: Neosporin in the most ...

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