Pharmacology

The pesticide methoxychlor has been linked to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity - generations after rats were exposed.  

Methoxychlor, also known as Chemform, Methoxo, Metox or Moxie, was invented in 1948 and became popular in the 1970s after DDT was banned. It was used on crops, ornamental plants, livestock and pets. It is still used in many countries around the world it was banned in the U.S. in 2003 due to concerns about toxicity and disruption of endocrine systems. Methoxychlor was found to behave like the hormone estrogen and affect the reproductive system.


For two decades, women at risk of developing placental blood clots have been prescribed the anticoagulant low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) but it's ineffective, according to a clinical trial published today in The Lancet.

As many as one in 10 pregnant women have a tendency to develop  thrombophilia
- blood clots in their vein. These women have been injected with LMWH daily, which means hundreds of needles over the course of their pregnancy. 


Pharmaceutical companies are in a tough position; they are highly regulated, trials are expensive, new products fail most of the time, and if they are successful, everyone complains the cost is too high while the company tries to make money before it goes generic.

In the UK, the company with the best antibiotic pipeline in the world, AstraZeneca, is trying to sell that business, because they don't think they will ever make money at it given current restrictions.


Ketamine has been used by emergency departments for analgesia, sedation and amnesia for rapid, life-saving intubation in critically ill patients but decades-old studies suggested it raised intracranial pressure.

 A systematic review of 10 recent studies comparing ketamine to sufentanil, fentanyl and other pharmacological agents (vasopressors, neuromuscular blocking agents, sedatives) found no differences in intracranial and cerebral pressures of patients who had been treated with them.


Once marijuana is legalized at the federal level in 2021,following the presidential election of Chelsea Clinton and her surprising vice-presidential pick of one of the Bush twins (Mitt Romney will only serve 1 term), it will be important that people are informed about the long-term use of marijuana since all of America will need drugs to get through another terrible presidential choice (like the past 217 years wasn’t enough to drive everyone to weed).  The good news is that marijuana is not lethal like acetaminophen or opiates because activation of cannabinoid receptors does not cause either liver toxicity or respiratory depression. 

A multicenter team of researchers report that in a phase III clinical trial, a combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in the majority of patients co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C.

"In many settings, hepatitis C is now a leading cause of death among HIV co-infected patients," says Mark Sulkowski, M.D., medical director of the Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease Center for Viral Hepatitis and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Approximately one-third of HIV patients in the United States have hepatitis C, with an estimated 7 million co-infected patients worldwide.


Niacin has been a mainstay cholesterol therapy for 50 years but it should no longer be prescribed for most patients due to potential increased risk of death, dangerous side effects and no benefit in reducing heart attacks and strokes, according to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Researchers have created a combination drug that controls both tumor growth and metastasis. By combining a COX-2 inhibitor, similar to Celebrex, and an epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitor, the drug controls angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), limiting a tumor's ability to grow and spread.

Both COX and sEH enzymes control lipid signaling, which has long been associated with inflammation, cell migration, proliferation, hypertension and other processes. COX inhibitors block production of inflammatory and pain-inducing lipids, while sEH inhibitors preserve anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds. Separate COX and sEH inhibitors were previously found to work together in reducing inflammation and neuropathic pain.


Mice exposed to arsenic in drinking water developed lung cancer in a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found. 

In the study, researchers gave mice orders of magnitude acceptable limits of arsenic in water - 5X the EPA maximun, 50X and 500X. The reason they used so much is because mice need to be exposed to greater concentrations of arsenic in drinking water than humans to achieve the same biological dose and similar health effects.  Arsenic in public drinking water cannot exceed 10 parts per billion (ppb) by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Private wells, from which millions of people get their drinking water, don't have a specified standard because arsenic is found in nature. 


Hippies on LSD in the 1960s described it as a 'dream state' and a new study finds that is a pretty accurate description.

Researchers recently examined the brain effects of the psychedelic chemical in magic mushrooms, called psilocybin, using data from brain scans of volunteers who had been injected with the drug. The results were that brains display a similar pattern of activity during a mind-expanding drug trip as it does during dreams.