Medications

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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Michael Jackson dead from propofol, is Dr. Conrad Murray solely to blame?

Recent reports have said that Michael Jackson died from a propofol overdose. Is that really the case?

Here’s what happened, according to the published timeline.

— At about 1:30 a.m., [Dr. Conrad] Murray gave Jackson 10 mg of Valium.
— At about 2 a.m., he injected Jackson with 2 mg of the anti-anxiety drug Ativan.
— At about 3 a.m., Murray then administered 2 mg of the sedative Versed.
— At about 5 …

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Did Demerol cause Michael Jackson’s cardiac arrest and death?

Michael Jackson’s death continues to consume the news cycle.

There is currently no clear explanation. Some have speculated that it may be related to the narcotic pain drug, Demerol. According to this report from the UK’s The Sun, “An Emergency Room source at UCLA hospital said Jackson aides told medics he had collapsed after an injection of potent Demerol …

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Is House M.D. bad for medicine?

A few days ago, we talked about how Scrubs was a relatively accurate portrayal of medical life.

Let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum, namely, Fox’s House M.D.

As an emergency physician notes, the doctors in the House-universe seem super-human. Indeed, “the docs on that show are not only walking encyclopedias of rare diseases, but they are …

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Her hands and feet amputated, a Brazilian model dies from Pseudomonas aeruginosa sepsis. What happened?

Mariana Bridi da Costa, a 20-year old Brazilian model, tragically died early Saturday morning from Pseudomonas aeruginosa urosepsis.

How can this happen?

Miss Bridi da Costa initially presented on December 30th, and was diagnosed with kidney stones. An ultrasound, plain film, or CT scan likely would have been done to confirm the diagnosis. I assume that a urinalysis was also performed, and if …

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Epidural overdose: An anesthesiologist responds

Tragic event, but as usual, news reports raises more questions than answers:

The drugs used in labor epidurals are usually a dilute local anesthetic and a small amount of narcotic. Using both types of drugs in combination allows lower concentrations of each individual drug to be used, hence improving the margin of safety for each. In labor epidurals, our goal is relieve pain without causing significant weakness. That is why …

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The hypertension conspiracy

Dr. Crippen thinks Big Pharma is to blame:

Dr Crippen’Â’s old fashioned” treatment for blood pressure costs a few pence a month, and the drugs he uses (such as beta-blockers and diuretics) have been around for years. They have a proven safety record. They are not going to produce any surprises. The only problem is that they do not offer any profit to the big drug companies.

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