Meds

Doctors can improve treating LDL cholesterol

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

Identification and treatment of individuals with high LDL or “bad” cholesterol has improved in recent years, but patients are still slipping through the cracks, according to a survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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A vocal minority of skeptical doctors are against the H1N1 flu vaccine

My position on the H1N1 flu vaccine is clear: everyone should get it.

But not every physician shares that sentiment. The Washington Post reports that there are a minority who are unconvinced of the vaccine’s safety and believe the H1N1 pandemic is over-hyped.

Worse, they aren’t vaccinating their patients. And when you’re talking about pediatricians, that can mean trouble for their patients; children who are most susceptible to the …

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How does Zetia and niacin affect the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT)?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Peggy Peck, MedPage Today Executive Editor

By a margin of 0.014 mm in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), extended-release niacin (Niaspan) demonstrated superiority over ezetimibe (Zetia) as an add-on for high risk patients on long term statin therapy.

But is a difference of 0.014 mm clinically significant?

The niacin versus ezetimibe findings come from the ARBITER 6-HALTS trial, …

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How should the FDA regulate the social media advertising of drugs?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today Washington Correspondent

Drug and device makers are urging the FDA to establish clear guidelines that will allow the industry to discuss and promote products in the unsettled world of online social media.

The FDA is hearing testimony from drug and device companies, online marketing experts, and consumer groups about what steps the …

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Niacin beats Zetia in the ARBITER 6-HALTS trial, and what this means for ezetimibe

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Peggy Peck, MedPage Today Executive Editor

Boosting HDL cholesterol with extended-release niacin (Niaspan) is a more effective way of slowing atherosclerosis in high-risk patients on long-term statin therapy than seeking additional LDL cholesterol reductions by adding ezetimibe (Zetia), researchers here reported.

Compared with ezetimibe, 2 grams of niacin led to significant reductions in both the mean …

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Patients who want the H1N1 vaccine need to be triaged

by Kairol Rosenthal

I am a young adult cancer patient who waited five and a half hours for the H1N1 vaccination along with 1200 other Chicagoans in a city college hallway. I do not have the trained eye of a public health analyst, yet it was easy to spy the glaring flaws that occurred in the whimsical distribution of this short supply vaccine. One of these oversights was the absence …

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What is the best insulin regimen for patients with diabetes?

Originally published in Insidermedicine

The best method for taking insulin among individuals with type 2 diabetes has been identified in research published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Do antipsychotic drugs cause weight gain in children?

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Second-generation antipsychotic drugs can produce unwanted weight gain and other metabolic effects among children and youths after only a few weeks, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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H1N1 vaccine adverse events, and how to reassure patients

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer

Failure to account for background rates when considering adverse events from pandemic H1N1 flu vaccination could spark public panic, researchers cautioned.

Coincidental cases of dramatic events including sudden death, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and spontaneous abortion can be expected to boost the true incidence of adverse events after immunization, said Steven …

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Poll: Should boys get Gardasil, the HPV vaccine?

The FDA recently approved the vaccine against human papillomavirus for use in boys and men to prevent genital warts. The vaccine has been used successfully in females to prevent cervical cancer, which is associated with the virus.

But should we recommend the vaccine for men?

Studies have concluded that the HPV vaccine was successful in reducing the incidence of genital warts in men, which is associated with cancers of the anus, …

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Beware using the web for H1N1 pandemic flu drugs

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

The Internet can be a great source of information about the pandemic H1N1 flu, but it’s also the mother lode of swine flu scams, the FDA is warning.

The agency says consumers should beware of products sold over the Internet that claim to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure the …

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This is why children need the H1N1 flu vaccine

by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer

The pandemic H1N1 influenza virus continues to disproportionately attack the young, the CDC warned.

Children and adults under age 25 have accounted for 53% of hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed H1N1 and 23.6% of related deaths since Sept. 1, the agency reported at a press briefing.

Seniors, on the other hand, have accounted for just 7% of …

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Have drug companies really curbed gifts to doctors at medical conferences?

by Roberta Friedman, PhD

Banning pharmaceutical companies from handing out token items to doctors at conferences is so tip of the iceberg.

I have tales to tell of conferences past, where the excesses were beyond farcical. As a medical reporter covering such meetings, I have seen everything. When my kids were young, I enjoyed roaming the floor of the exhibit hall along with the docs, collecting such swag as bouncy balls that …

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Is the newest, long-lasting insulin necessarily the best?

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Anita Ramsetty, MD

We are very fortunate to have a number of newer insulins available for our patients.

For years we had animal insulins only. NPH and Regular, then we had Ultralente. The development of analog insulins marked the upswing in technology that we would sustain for a period of time. The most recent big blip in the …

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Does the seasonal flu vaccine offer protection against H1N1 influenza?

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Receiving a seasonal flu vaccine may offer some protection against the H1N1 flu, although it by no means should replace an H1N1 vaccine, according to research published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.

Here is some information about the H1N1 vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine:

• They are two separate vaccines. A seasonal flu …

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Has the ban on doctors accepting drug company gifts gone too far?

Select states have taken a hard line against doctors accepting any type of gifts from drug companies.

And that includes food of any kind, which makes for some awkward moments at national physician conventions.

So, during this week’s ACEP Scientific Assembly in Boston, WhiteCoat snapped a picture of this notice, which borders on farcical:

drug company gifts

I’ve heard similar stories from other …

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Does Chantix increase suicide risk?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Contrary to information that led the FDA and other regulatory agencies to release warnings about varenicline (Chantix), a new study has found “no clear evidence” of a relationship between the risk of suicide and the smoking-cessation drug.

medpage-todayBoth varenicline and bupropion (Zyban), another drug used in smoking cessation programs, were …

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Migraines and the stigma of chronic pain medication use

by Diana Lee

A recent episode of the A&E show Intervention about a woman with occasional migraines and other serious health problems who takes up to 50 Percocet pills a day made me uncomfortable. Maybe Danielle, the woman featured in the episode, really does have migraine attacks. But she is also an addict. One condition really has nothing to do with the other. Many people with acute or chronic pain use …

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