Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

Monday night marked the first debate of Secretary Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump.  Though no fits of any kind - coughing or otherwise - were thrown, the two gave jabs as expected.  Mrs. Clinton stated, “You live in your own reality, Donald.”  Later, Mr. Trump asserted that while he has been campaigning she has been noticeably absent on the trail- “You have been at home.”    

She thwarted any attempted health discussion or resurrection of her recent pneumonia as a topic by responding “I think Donald Trump just criticized me for preparing for this debate… and I will prepare as President.”  His subsequent discourse included, “I have better judgement and much better temperament… I have a winning temperament…She doesn’t…She doesn’t have the stamina.”

And, though...

In January, U.S. Marshals, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raided Dordoniz Natural Products of South Beloit, Illinois, to seize almost 90,000 bottles of a drug the company called RelaKzpro, valued at around $400,000. What it really was about was kratom, a drug being sold as a supplement, but which slides under the radar because it is a "natural" product derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa tree.

Kratom is instead, in plain terms, an opioid, like codeine or hydrocodone, plus components of a psychoactive drug. For that reason,...

The U.S. FDA has approved the MiniMed 670G system developed by Medtronic, which sounds a little arcane in its description - a hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system - but is actually intuitive in concept. It's a computer algorithm working with a continuous glucose monitor to learn an individual’s insulin needs and adjust their insulin pump all day, every day, to keep the lows from being too low and the highs from being too high.

That's a big step on the road to a true fully automated, closed loop system - an "artificial pancreas" that can provide the proper continuous background (basal) insulin, for Type 1 diabetics.

It sounds like it's pure technology...

If the photo attached to this article does not make you smile, then I question whether you have a soul.  The act alone contributes to such known positive health benefits.  So, take a little look inside and find your joy - whether it is with animals or an activity.  Your world and the one around you will be enhanced.

We always hear that pediatric and veterinary medicine are similar, but is this true?  I often thought there were commonalities, but after becoming a pet parent and experiencing the other side I am certain.  Let’s journey through the lessons I have learned.

I always wanted an English Bulldog.  They made me laugh.  I crossed the street and was perpetually diverted whenever I encountered one.  But, the refrain was always ‘you are in medical school you won’t have...

Earlier this year, I wrote about GEN-003, the world's first effective genital herpes vaccine (1). Since that time, our readers have expressed considerable interest in the clinical progression of this vaccine. So, as your "one-stop herpes resource supercenter" (probably not something you'd want inscribed on your gravestone), we have been following this vaccine and other developments in the field.

This week, there are some preliminary, but nonetheless very interesting developments; this time with a different vaccine (two, actually). Rational Vaccines (RVx), a biotechnology startup founded in 2015, focuses on vaccines for both genital and oral herpes...

The first debate between businessman Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will take place at Hofstra University Hempstead, N.Y. this evening and it has gripped news media. Some wonder if Trump can switch from dealmaker to debater, while George Stephanopoulos, current Chief Political Correspondent for ABC News and former White House Communications Director for President Bill Clinton, said on ABC yesterday that Hillary Clinton simply can't have a coughing fit.

This is in reference to pundits (and even a few doctors) speculating about her health, a topic which I covered using evidence-based thinking here.

There are ways to ensure that Clinton won't cough - narcotics - but those are prescription medications and would unlikely be used during a debate, for...

By now everyone knows that smoking damages the lungs, causing bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer. Along with that goes heart damage, with smokers at a greater risk of heart failure than non-smokers or ex-smokers. A new report in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging provides insight into one possible mechanism by which smoking interferes with normal heart function.

Dr. Wilson Nadruz Jr. from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston,  and colleagues studied nearly 4600 participants in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study. At the time of the study, these people were free of coronary artery disease, heart failure and heart valve disease. They were categorized with respect to...

We can’t talk about penises and urethras without mentioning vaginas.  So, it seems like the perfect segue in my series on foreign bodies in the body to move directly from one family jewel to another.

So, let’s dive right in and open Pandora’s box, so to speak.

Our journey of exotic squatters assuming residence in the vaginal canal will involve an outside in approach, just as one would perform a medical examination.  We will track the common culprits from childhood through adulthood.  The former’s offenders tend to range from hygiene issues, curiosity and injury in the very young to the evolution of pubertal sexual discovery in adolescence.  Once in adulthood, the relevance of inanimate objects in the vagina typically arises from sexual exploration or toy exploitation....

Synthetic cannabis, of which Spice is an example, is linked to serious health issues ranging from difficulties breathing to psychotic episodes. But, despite well-known issues, these drugs are still in demand and homeless people, particularly, are at risk of mental health issues from their use. So what exactly are these drugs made of and why do they cause such violent reactions?

Spice is not a single drug, but a range of laboratory-made chemicals that mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Research suggests that Spice and other forms of synthetic cannabis is capable of producing much more intense and prolonged effects at much lower doses...

Flu Season Ahead

Flu Vaccine Updates for 2016-2017  

October marks the beginning of flu season, which means it is time to get a flu shot. The flu season spans the months of October to May, so the ideal time to get vaccinated is before the end of October.  In the United States alone, influenza-related deaths have been estimated to be 3,349 - 48,614 annually, depending on the year.  The influenza vaccine is our best defense against this potentially deadly virus.

Because the flu virus frequently undergoes mutations, a new vaccine must be formulated each year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses prevalence data from preceding months to determine which strains of influenza...