Meds

Medications that increase the risk of photosensitivity

by Marianna Rakovitsky, RPh

Oh, Summer! The weather is warm, the sun is shining and it is the time when we try to get outside as much as possible. Summer is my favorite time of the year. I love the beach, days that are filled with light and sunshine,  trips to the orchards and hanging out in the backyard. The sunshine that makes the summer such a …

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The Massachusetts gift ban benefits health insurance companies

by Edison Wong, MD

With the recent proposal to repeal the so-called Massachusetts “gift ban” (more appropriately referred to as the “interaction ban”), I asked myself who stands to gain the most from such bans?

Is it the consumers or patients? Is it the physicians or their practices? Is it the federal or state governments? Nope. Sadly, it is the insurers who gain the most, at the expense of patients.

The …

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Multiple vaccines in infants are harmful, a theory disproved

by John Gever

Worries that cramming multiple vaccinations into the first months of life slows brain development have no basis in fact, researchers said.

There was no evidence of neurodevelopmental delays or deficits associated with on-time vaccination in an intensively studied cohort of more than 1,000 children, according to Michael J. Smith, MD, and Charles R. Woods, MD, of the University of Louisville, in the June issue of Pediatrics.

“These data may reassure …

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Alternative medicine isn’t taught to doctors in medical school

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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Your metformin may smell like dead fish

Originally published in MedPage Today

An immediate-release form of the antidiabetic agent metformin has a dead fish odor that may cause patients to stop taking the drug, clinicians warned.

Metformin is known to cause adverse gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, distention, and abdominal pain. Those side effects “often necessitate discontinuing the drug,” a group of physicians and pharmacists …

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Why doctors are too quick to prescribe drugs for ADHD

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Physicians may be too quick to medicate children suspected of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The etiology of the disease is not well understood, and while some cases may have neurological causes, children may respond to psychotherapy instead, Esther Fine, PhD, a psychoanalyst in private practice in Los Angeles, told …

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How psychiatrists may be giving their patients too many drugs

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

Psychiatrists who prescribe drugs for their patients today usually give more than one at a time, often with little scientific basis, researchers said.

About 60% of patients with psychiatrist office visits leading to a drug prescription received at least two medications in 2005-2006, according to government survey data analyzed by Ramin …

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Did Michael Jackson’s doctor give propofol, a possible cause of death for the King of Pop?

Things are looking increasingly bleak for Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician.

Reports are circulating that the powerful anesthetic propofol, also known by its trade name Diprivan, was found in the singer’s body. According to ABCNews, “the autopsy of Michael Jackson found the powerful anesthetic propofol, as well as several prescription drugs, in his system, and law enforcement sources say …

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