Tag Archives: medication

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS REDUCE SKIN CANCER RISK

Good news for Arizonans who use lots of Advil, Aleve, or prescription anti-inflammatory medications.  A recent study demonstrated reduced skin cancer risk in patients on these medications.

Although anti-inflammatory medications have their negatives, there are also hidden ‘positives’  and it’s nice to hear the good news about medications that we have to take to help control arthritis symptoms.

Of course, taking anti-inflammatory medications have their pro’s and con’s.  You can read more about that below, in my summary about SAFE USE OF NSAID MEDICATIONS.

You can find this information and more at the new DoctorDoug.com website coming next month.  Look for it.

 

This information and other health topics can be found at….

DoctorDoug.com

 

 

 

TAKING ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS SAFELY

 

 

 

Advil/Ibuprofen

Aleve/Naproxen

 

 

These are among the most important medications doctors use on a regular basis, and they are potent over-the-counter medications.

 

They are great for a myriad of conditions and can be used effectively and safely if this is done properly.  Below I will list the pro’s and con’s of these medications, and the proper way to take these medications.

 

Pro’s:

  • Great for relieving inflammation both short term and long-term
  • Great for various musculo-skeletal pains

 

  • Probably prevents colon polyps and colon cancer
  • Probably prevents Alzheimer’s dementia to a small degree

 

 

Con’s:

  • Can be irritating to the stomach, causing ulcers.  This is particularly a concern in women over 60 and if used continuously for over a week.
  • They have a statistical associated risk of stroke and heart attack.  This is very small, but statistically present
  • Long-term use can bother kidney function and requires monitoring if used for over one month.

 

 

Taking these medications properly:

 

Dose correctly:

  • Advil/Ibuprofen…400-800mg at a dose, up to 3 times per day (max dose 2400mg)
  • Aleve/Naproxen…220-440mg at a dose, up to 2 times per day (max dose 1000mg)

 

Take with food if possible, but it is fine to take on an empty stomach if need be.

 

If taking For Longer than 1 week:

 

  • Take with Prilosec 20mg daily or Prevacid 15mg daily (or a prescription PPI medication)

 

  • I recommend that anyone over the age of 60 who takes these medications regularly use a stomach-protecting medication regularly, to prevent ulcers in the stomach.
  • PPI medications such as Prilosec or Prevacid are effective.  Pepcid/Ranitidine is not effective.

 

 

Taking for longer than 3 months:

  • Check kidney bloodwork

 

  • If you are taking these medications on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that you assess the kidney function twice yearly as a precautionary measure.

 

 

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BEWARE…….FAKE ADDERALL

Adderall is a medication in wide use for Attention Deficit Disorder and is also a medication that is abused as it is a potent stimulant.
Due to a shortage in manufacturer, there are concerns about fake Adderall and it is important to be aware of the difference that can identify these ‘fakes’.
This includes:

1.  They come in a blister package instead of a 100-count bottle;
2.  They are white instead of orange/peach;
3.  They are smooth and not embossed with the markings “dp” and “30”;
have misspellings on the label (for example, “Singel” instead of “Single”)

IS ZPACK SAFE?

Zithromax is one of our ‘staple’ antibiotics due to it’s tolerability, effectiveness of respiratory infections, and low cost.  No doubt overused for viral infections, it is the modern version of Erythromycin, but easier on the stomach.

Now, there are questions being raised about the safety of Zithromax and they are worth understanding.  Zithromax, along with similar medications, can cause variations in the electrical activity of the heart, and it is thought that this effect is what can cause issues in heart patients and patients with diabetes.  The risk for this issue is very small, but when they did a study of over a half-million people on Zpack, they found a concern that was statistically valid, particularly in the groups mentioned.

So….taking Zithromax is far safer than driving your car to the pharmacy to get Zithromax, but still, we should consider reducing the use of unecessary antibiotics.  Don’t call in for an antibiotic with every cold and sniffle.  We will reserve this for patients who require antibiotics, but will use this medication still, as it remains safe and effective for most people.

Here is a quote from an Infectious Diseases researcher…..descrying the fact that antibiotics are too readily prescribed, and he was commenting in response to the latest issue with Zpack:

In HIV and ID Observations, Dr. Paul Sax writes: “If there’s a silver lining to this report … it’s that clinicians will stop prescribing azithromycin for conditions that clearly don’t need it — which is just about every uncomplicated outpatient respiratory infection. … Hey, we can dream, can’t we?”

GENERIC PLAVIX IS HERE

Plavix, a ‘super aspirin’ used for stroke and heart attack prevention, has been approved as a generic medication.  This will be a boon to many patients as plavix is very expensive and can be cost-prohibitive.

The costs will remain high for six months usually, but then there should be a dramatic drop in cost.  I’m told that Bristol-Myer-Squibb will offer the branded medication at approximately $37 per month.

CHEMO SAFE IN PREGNANCY

A recent study in the Lancet British Medical Journal demonstrated clearcut safety of chemotherapy in pregnant woman.
The predicament of women with cancer when pregnant, has been a delicate situation without clearcut data to support immediate treatment vs. delay, and decisions were often made based on the doctor’s personal experiences and their patients ‘gut instincts’. This study goes a long way to reassure us that chemotherapy can be initiated and continued during all phases of fetal development in pregnancy.