The life cycle of a medical advance usually goes something like this: from discovery at the research bench and replication of findings to translational research and clinical trials, to implementation. The bottleneck can be at any one of these stages, and often it is in the discovery one; we just haven’t yet found the thing that works. But other times, we have -- the intervention works, we have shown and confirmed ...

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shutterstock_103945322 Most women report some painful or discomfort with their period. However, some women have killer cramps (the medical term is severe dysmenorrhea) and for many of them life goes on a 3 to 5-day hold once a month. Period pain is due to release of a substance called prostaglandins from the lining of the uterus during menstruation. Prostaglandins help the uterus contract ...

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Between 1991 and 2010, opioid drug prescriptions increased from 75.5 million to 209.5 million.  How can we stop prescription drug abuse? Let's start in the ER.

Welcome to Friday night as a hospitalist in the ultimate Green State, Colorado: Time to gear up for some marijuana-facilitated paranoia, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, and memory loss. I’m not a teetotaler, but I do find the new surge in cases of preventable disease a bit disheartening if not occasionally humorous. Prior to this past year, it wasn’t uncommon for me to encounter an occasional marijuana medical problem, but ...

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India is not, yet, a wealthy country. Nevertheless its people experience many of the same expensive-to-treat illnesses as wealthier populations in the U.S. and Europe. Therefore, the country has made a series of policy decisions designed to lower the cost of medical treatments. For example, until 2005, it offered no -- I repeat, no -- patent protection for pharmaceutical products, thereby spurring the development of its robust and relatively inexpensive generic ...

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He was known to the hospital as someone who would try to manipulate his caregivers. And I fell for it anyway. Frequently admitted for pain crises associated with a chronic illness, he spent most of his hospital course avoiding eye contact with the team. So, too, were avoided answers that involved more than a few words. Providing care for him was business-like; we knew better than to expect pleasantries. The day of ...

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shutterstock_152411498 Dr. Mehmet Oz, also known by many as America’s doctor, is a very influential face within American medicine.  An accomplished cardiac surgeon and Columbia University faculty member, Dr. Oz has impressive academic credentials. However, in the last year, Dr. Oz has received significant criticism for claims he has made about nontraditional medical treatments on his nationally syndicated television show where he has ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians.

A 32-year-old woman is evaluated as a new patient. She is planning to attempt conception with her partner. She has a history of systemic lupus erythematosus complicated by chronic kidney disease that has been inactive for several years off of treatment. She has had borderline blood pressure elevations since the ...

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Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), the new hepatitis drug manufactured and marketed by Gilead Sciences, has garnered considerable media attention over the last several months. The drug was approved by the FDA in December after phase III clinical trials showed it was highly effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection. In fact, with an overall SVR (sustained virologic response) of 90 percent for the genotypes studied, Sovaldi may represent a cure for many of the 3.2 million Americans afflicted ...

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Doctors have a long and illustrious history of addicting people to narcotics.  In the 1800s this was largely because they didn’t know what else to do, they had no idea what was wrong with anyone, and they didn’t have any drugs that worked.  Apothecaries, pharmacists, and doctors made proprietary concoctions in which opium was always the active ingredient. And it worked, right?  Morphine works for anxiety, works for pain, works for ...

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