Pharmacology

What have I been doing for the last twoweeks, you ask? I’ve been waiting for news on the antibiotic front.  The G7 came out with a completely lame statement that has no specific commitments.  They suggest they meet together again to share ideas for “best practices.”  What we really need is money.  But again, no one wants to talk about that. 
This isn't the Dr. Oz show or some nutrition site selling Vitamin D supplements or whatever the big Superfood/Miracle Vegetable craze is this week, 'miracle' is a bit of a dirty word in science. But when it fits, you have to use it.

And Hepatitis C may have gotten its miracle. 

It's not well known, Hepatitis C does not have the PR of diseases like AIDS, but 3 million people have it, many of them Baby Boomers. Some got it of their own volition, using skin poppers or needles for drugs, but hygiene was a different beast 50 years ago and it was also possible to get it just by going to the dentist.

Researchers have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind -- one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

Scientists once believed that drug addiction was simply a physical craving: Drug addicts who became sober and then later relapsed merely lacked willpower. But that view has gradually shifted since the 1970s.


And I thought *my* job was fun. 

I regularly get to ridicule an incredible variety and quantity of nonsense that poses as science and medicine. Some of it borders on hilarious. 

On the other hand, making this stuff up is probably just as much fun, and maybe even more lucrative. There might even be an office pool: "Yo, Autumn Flower. I managed to get four old ladies to hide under the bed last week. Hand over the bitcoins."

And the competition must be fierce. In the absence of some kind of incentive, I cannot imagine any other way to get people to come up with a constant and creative (waste)stream of entertaining, yet marginally believable content. 

Doctors often misdiagnose zinc deficiency, and seem to be unaware of the impact of excess zinc on the body, according to a small audit of clinical practice.

Zinc is an essential trace element that is required in daily quantities of 5.5 to 9.5 mg for men, and 4 to 7 mg for women. But zinc supplements are usually only available in formulations of 45 or 50 mg. The US recommended tolerable limit is 40 mg/day.


Ever wonder how much it costs to develop a new drug? The independent, non-profit research group, The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, estimates US$2.6 billion, almost double the centre’s previous estimate a decade ago. But how accurate is this figure?
The return of diphtheria in Spain after nearly three decades highlights the challenges posed by infectious diseases that had been mostly eliminated from Europe.

Falling vaccination rates, complex population movements, and the disappearance of international health practices perceived as redundant, all contribute to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases that were thought forgotten.

At the same time, such public health crises throw light on the delicate relationship between state and citizens, and competing concepts of responsibility for health.

A variety of factors including questions about risk and reluctance to offend patients limits clinician willingness to prescribe a potentially life-saving medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose, according to a Kaiser Permanente Colorado study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The number of fatal overdoses from opioid medications has quadrupled in the U.S. since 1999. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day 44 people die of prescription painkiller overdoses. In the event of an overdose, opioids depress respiration until breathing stops. The drug naloxone reverses these effects on the body and can be life-saving.


Scientists have found that a drug candidate with anticancer potential can be activated by one of the body's natural responses to cellular stress.

Once activated, the agent can kill prostate cancer cells.

The study highlights the potential of the natural compound called leinamycin E1 (LNM) for development as a "prodrug," a medication converted through a metabolic process in the body to become an active therapy.


A new psoriasis drug, ixekizumab , has resulted in 40 percent of people showing a complete clearance of psoriatic plaques after 12 weeks of treatment and over 90 percent showing improvement.