An excerpt from The Medical Marijuana Guide: Cannabis and Your Health. Despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services applied for a patent on cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants in 1999 and was granted that patent in 2003, cannabis is still Schedule I. This means it ...

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I prescribe heartburn medicines every day. There’s a gaggle of them now -- Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix -- to name a few. As far as experts know, their primary effect is to reduce the production of stomach acid. This is why they are so effective at putting out your heartburn fire. In simple terms: no acid, no heartburn. I am quite sure that well-meaning physicians like myself do not understand or ...

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The oncologist had prescribed Xgeva hoping it would strengthen her bones while also delaying the progression of Angela Kahn's breast cancer. But Kahn (a pseudonym) couldn't get over the price of the drug. Before the oncologist had a chance to ask how she was feeling, she blurted out that the medication cost "$15,000 a shot." "That's crazy," the oncologist replied, continuing by saying the price "fits right in with the ...

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Results of a much-anticipated trial on fish oil and vitamin D generated conflicting headlines recently. Some stories declared good news about the popular supplements. Reuters wrote that fish oil “can dramatically reduce the odds of a heart attack while vitamin D’s benefits seem to come from lowering the risk of death from cancer.” The Washington Post reported fish-oil medications were found “effective” in protecting ...

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A 30-year old male patient was recently admitted to my service via the emergency department. He came in complaining of abdominal pain and dark tarry stools. He mentioned a recent fall resulting in knee pain for which he had been taking 400 mg ibuprofen four times daily. He underwent upper GI endoscopy and was diagnosed with a bleeding gastric ulcer from his self-prescribed misuse/overuse of ibuprofen. Fortunately, he recovered, but this ...

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As the health care landscape evolves, health care provider roles continue to shift. Industries recognize the power of collaboration and the strength of communication between different providers; among those, the pharmacist and the physician. Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists have historically had strained relationships. In many cases, communication suffers, which can lead to adverse drug events (ADEs), or harm caused to a patient as a result of medication exposure. It’s worth noting, though, that ...

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“Alice Woods” is dying of metastatic breast cancer, but she cares little for awareness efforts like pink ribbons and catchy hashtags like #stage4needsmore. You see, Alice has akathisia due to an adverse effect from discontinuing Klonopin — a condition that has caused her far more suffering than her terminal cancer. It has also prevented her from receiving adequate cancer treatment and is, therefore, ending her ...

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Many patients who end up in Suboxone treatment have chronic pain. They were originally prescribed other opiates and ended up addicted to them. Skeptics argue that is just substituting one opiate for another. But that isn’t quite accurate. More on that in a bit. In my seven years of prescribing Suboxone for opiate addiction, I have often observed how potent a pain reliever this medication is, even in fairly low doses. More ...

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Patients legally using medical marijuana (cannabis) at home may be stunned if they are admitted to a hospital because many hospitals may prohibit them from using it. In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 31 states, and research shows that medical marijuana can effectively treat pain — but patients beware. The issue of medical marijuana is a complicated one, and patients may be precluded from ...

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College students work hard, and many are looking for ways to improve their studying and learn more effectively. Getting more sleep and more exercise would probably help, but up to a third are trying ADHD medications to see if pills can give them that extra boost. A small, recent study shows that they’re not getting the effect they’re looking for. We’re not talking, here, about teens who have ADHD. There’s ...

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