Pharmacology

Recommended antibiotic courses are often arbitrary.

Most people believe – and have been told by health professionals – that it’s essential to finish a course of antibiotics to prevent antibiotic resistance.

But this advice is not only wrong, it could actually be harmful.

Malaria is a critical health problem in West Africa, 11 percent of deaths are related to it, but for a variety of reasons they have more confidence in alternative medicine than they do modern health care practices. 

However, some herbal medicines work and an analysis of the pharmacological properties of an herbal medication derived from Cochlospermum planchonii (a shrubby weed known as N'Dribala), Phyllanthus amarus and Cassia alata shows that it may be the case with SAYE, which means “jaundice” in the Dioula language. 

When combined with leaves and aerial portions of the latter two plants and formulated as a tea,
C. planchonii


A liquid form of marijuana shows promise as a treatment for children with severe epilepsy, according to a study released today which involved 213 people, ranging from toddlers to adults, with a median age of 11 who had severe epilepsy that did not respond to other treatments.

Participants had Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, epilepsy types that can lead to intellectual disability and lifelong seizures, as well as 10 other types of severe epilepsy. 


Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is one of the most poisonous biological substances known, but in true' the dose makes the poison' fashion,  Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A , commonly known as Botox - took C. botulinum  from being known for the serious paralytic illness Botulism to smoothing out wrinkles due to its paralytic effect.

It's been used for decades with no serious side effects and outside cosmetic surgery is also useful for the treatment of over-active muscles and spasticity, because it promotes local and long-term paralysis, but a new study has found that some of the toxin is transported via our nerves back to the central nervous system.

This week Hilary Clinton and Marco Rubio announced their candidacies for President of the United States. This puts them alongside Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and I’m not sure who else.

One thing all these candidates have in common is that not one of them has mentioned antibiotics – at least as far as I know. Do any of you know anything different?

So here we are. Antibiotic resistance is killing a minimum of 23,000 Americans every year according to the CDC. (I think that is a gross underestimate of reality.) The FDA just published a study showing large increase in antibiotic use on US farms – but they don’t know how or why the antibiotics are used.
A lot of people are now scared of BMPEA because there are not any human studies. They say that there are only a handful of preclinical studies. Gee, thanks for saying that the research done by 99% of biomedical scientists is bogus. A recent study suggests that, based on recommended servings, users of certain supplements that contain BMPEA would take about 1 mg/kg of BMPEA .
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), certain drugs need to be regulated because they are bad. The “worst” drugs are put into the highest schedule. The funny thing about those drugs listed in the schedule 1 category is that preclinical assays of drug abuse have determined that they have relatively weak abuse liability or possibly none at all. From the DEA site, here are the criteria for schedule 1 and the list of example drugs:

Schedule I Controlled Substances

It’s not often that medievalists get as excited as they have been over the revival of a medieval remedy for eye conditions involving garlic, onions, wine and ox gall, prepared in a bronze vessel. The concoction, mixed up by a team from Nottingham University, appeared to show promising results in the battle against MRSA. It didn’t kill it all, but it apparently killed 90%. This has revived enthusiasm for trawling ancient texts for the solutions to modern problems.

The appearance of another questionable "dietary supplement" story in the news is about as surprising as the sun rising in the east. But this one is different. 

This is front page news all over the place, including a piece by Anahad O'Connor of The New York TimesO'Connor focuses on the FDA's failure to take action against companies which sold supplements containing an untested chemical stimulant called BMPEA, aka beta-methylphenethylamine, even though the agency knew about it two years ago.

Flakka - "gravel" - is all the rage with amateur druggies in Florida and Texas and wherever else people who have watched a lot of "Breaking Bad" do home chemistry. It is made from alpha-PVP, which is a chemical cousin of cathinone, found in bath salts.