Americans have always loved their medicines and sought them out actively to cure whatever ailed them. Their interest ranged all the way from "staying well" to "feeling better." Productivity in this hard-charging, pull yourself up by the bootstraps society required activity, and it's hard to be active when you're sick. In the 18th-century in Germany, England, France, and Switzerland, men practicing pharmacy saw their retail operations as the ...

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Medical treatment has knocked down tumors in 6-year-old Easton Daniels’ brain, but the drug used also wiped out his immune system. To bolster his immune function and help keep him healthy, he has visited a hospital for intravenous infusions of immune globulin about every month for the past year and a half. But in early July, his family was stunned by a letter from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: “All of Easton’s appointments canceled ...

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One of the most important things we do as physicians is to empower our patients with the knowledge we have so that they can make informed decisions about their care. In oncology, patients also benefit from educating themselves about ways they can try to take some control of their disease process, for example, exercising. I often give patients pamphlets from national organizations such as the National Cancer Institute or Leukemia and ...

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I watched all three presidential debates this summer with health care being a time-consuming topic for all. Universal health care and Medicare for all, with or without an option for private insurance, were debated and discussed at length. At the same time, NBC Nightly News presented a story documenting that all our antibiotics come from production in China. With globalization policies, which promote moving production to lower-cost overseas factories, there is ...

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Dr. Wesley Boyd, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, has spent years working with state programs that help doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have become addicted to opioids get back on their feet professionally. He supports these non-disciplinary programs, in which doctors and nurses enroll for a number of years and are closely monitored by addiction specialists and state authorities as they seek to maintain or restore ...

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Lucas McClain started smoking cigarettes in high school but switched to vaping after he heard e-cigarettes were a safer alternative. His vape of choice became the Juul, the king of electronic cigarettes — which comes with a king-size nicotine hit. Now 21, McClain wants to quit so badly that he’s turning back to the problem he fled in the first place: good old-fashioned cigarettes. “Juul made my nicotine addiction a lot worse,” the ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Marijuana is made from the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. Made of more than 500 chemicals, including over 100 compounds called cannabinoids, the primary active compounds in the plant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ...

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Americans and Canadians are seven times more likely to fill a prescription for opioid pain pills in the week after surgery than Swedes, says a study published Wednesday, one of the first to quantify international differences. More than 75% of patients in the U.S. and Canada filled a prescription for opioids following four common surgeries, compared with 11% of Swedes, researchers report in JAMA Network Open. Americans also ...

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One question I get asked a lot lately is this: “Is it OK  for me to use CBD oil?” First of all, CBD oil and associated preparations are types of alternative medications, medicines that might not be mainstream or readily prescribed by doctors, but are nevertheless used by many people on their own. Alcohol and marijuana are two substances that are often used as “medicines” by those that think they function ...

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When they started practicing medicine, most surgeons say, there was little or no information about just how many pain pills patients needed after specific procedures. As a result, patients often were sent home with the equivalent of handfuls of powerful and addictive medications. Then the opioid crisis hit, along with studies showing one possible side effect of surgery is long-term dependence on pain pills. These findings prompted some medical ...

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