Pharmacology

On face value, if you read Anita Clayton's Huffington Post piece entitled “The FDA, Sexual Dysfunction and Gender Inequality,” you could not come to any conclusion other that the FDA is overtly sexist.

Canada has gotten a bizarre sort of entrepreneurial in the last decade. With Toronto mayor Rob Ford making headlines and a booming ecstasy industry, they have become a party destination. 

And that success has led to even newer designer highs which are flooding the drug market.

"The chemists who are making these drugs are coming up with about 10 new drugs per year; the legislation cannot keep up with the market," said University of Alberta pharmacologist Alan Hudson, who studies how ecstasy and other drugs affect brain neurochemistry. "The best way forward is to educate people that they're playing Russian roulette—the health risks from taking these drugs are high, and potentially lethal."


In America, after a startling homicide occurs, there is a lot of talk about society and guns and violence culture and what we should ban, everything from guns to video games. Much less discussed, because we don't want to demonize mental illness, is the overwhelming prevalence of psychiatric medications in those events.

It does the public and patients a disservice to dismiss one factor and focus solely on others; we could end up solving the wrong problem and helping no one at all.


If you were pregnant, did you ever take a Tylenol?

If not, you have unreal levels of tolerance for discomfort but if you did, and you think your child is hyperactive, a new study may have some answers. Not 'why' answers, just a 'perhaps' answer. But look for mainstream media to declare that Tylenol causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids.

Ecstasy, marijuana (including synthetic cannabinoids sold as ‘Spice’ and ‘Incense’) and various psychoactive ‘legal highs’ have surged in popularity and Canada has become a major criminal hub for ecstasy. 

Recent deaths have been linked to paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) in ecstasy pills and with Canadian producing most of the ecstasy in the North American market, a timely paper in Drug Science Policy and Law looks at trends in ecstasy adulteration and the facts around PMA/PMMA-linked deaths. 


In America, social authoritarians are ban-happy but the Canadian authors also argue for an alternative to a new ban.

The review finds: 


Last week, an article appeared in The Lancet Neurology (doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70278-3) which reviewed studies and asserted that there is a "pandemic" of developmental toxicity. This led to a press release and a variety of stories in the media linking things like pesticides to brain disorders in children.

It would be almost impossible to find a better example of the difficulties that face the pharmaceutical industry than the campaign against hepatitis C.

Unfortunately, this example is now at the expense of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a small, but top-notch drug discovery organization that began as a biotech startup in 1989.

The world's oceans contain algae that produce certain chemicals
that can accumulate in seafood and are known to cause brain damage.

This natural neurotoxin, domoic acid, is a very stable and heat resistant and is also toxic to the kidneys, but at much lower concentrations than guidance has suggested, according to an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).


Most medications prescribed in primary care contain animal derived products.

Are they suitable for vegetarians?

Dietary preferences are common in the general population. Influences such as religion, culture, economic status, environmental concern and personal preferences all play a part in the foods that people choose to consume. Most doctors are unaware that commonly prescribed drugs contain animal products and would be surprised that it matters. But most patients are not aware either and if they have a dietary preference it might impact the medicines they are willing to take also. 


Survey results analyzed by psychologists at The Fenway Institute, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, found that gay and bisexual boys use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) at rates much higher than their straight counterparts - almost 6X higher.