Pharmacology

Betcha that got your attention. I hope so.

Because, even though the title may sound like the essence of juvenile stupidity, if you read this—if only to see what the hell I'm talking about—it could save your life. And, no— I'm NOT kidding about this.

I'm talking about colonoscopies—one of the most feared words in the English language. 

The reality is that something that is so feared is actually rather enjoyable. Nope—I'm not kidding. And I know what I'm talking about. I've had enough of these done that I'm considering adding it to my CV under "hobbies." 

Chemsex, the unfortunately chosen term for sex under the influence of illegal drugs (unfortunate because it connotes chemistry with illegal, when love is clearly a chemistry event in the brain) - needs to become a public health priority, argue experts in The BMJ. This intentional sex under the influence of psychoactive drugs occurs mostly among gay men.

Chemsex usually refers particularly to the use of mephedrone, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and crystallized methamphetamine. The drugs are often used in combination to facilitate sexual sessions lasting several hours or even days, with multiple sexual partners.


Want to be an athlete but think it is too much work?

Psychoactive drugs may be the answer.

Let's face it, exercise is a lot of work. Our ancestors worked all of the time and they lived to be 35 so we have clearly evolved to be lazy. Effort is the largest barrier to why people do not exercise so Professor Samuele Marcora at University of Kent suggests that reducing perception of effort during exercise using caffeine or other psychoactive drugs (e.g. methylphenidate and modafinil) could help many people stick to their fitness plans. By fooling them into thinking it is less effort than it is.


Vitamin D supplements have been linked tp everything but improved exercise performance in 2015 - and a preliminary study presented today at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh took care of that. Plus claiming this supplement will lower the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin D, which is both a vitamin and a hormone, helps control levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and is essential for the formation of bones and teeth. Sources of Vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but it can be difficult to get enough through diet alone. Most people generate vitamin D by exposing their skin to ultraviolet B rays in sunlight.


A new survey of 15,000 patients at drug-treatment centers in 49 statesshows that drug abusers are not completely abandoning prescription opioids for heroin. Instead, many use the two concurrently based on their availability.

The findings also reveal regional variations in the use of heroin and prescription painkillers.

"On the East and West coasts, combined heroin and prescription drug use has surpassed the exclusive use of prescription opioids," said senior investigator Theodore J. Cicero, PhD of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, . "This trend is less apparent in the Midwest, and in the Deep South, we saw a persistent use of prescription drugs -- but not much heroin."


Ivermectin, a workhorse of a drug that a few weeks ago earned its developers a Nobel prize for its success in treating multiple tropical diseases, is showing early promise as a novel and desperately needed tool for interrupting malaria transmission, according to new findings presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting.


The Harlem Globetrotters had very little to worry about. After all, they had won 2,499 straight exhibition games against their foils, the Washington Generals. What could possibly go wrong? 

Cigarette smoking is bad because it's nicotine that is addictive but it is the hundreds of carcinogens in smoke that kills people. They are a deadly combination. For that reason, advocates often promote harm reduction techniques while smoking cessation happens - gums, patches and e-cigarettes all replacement the nicotine with the cigarette smoke.

What is happening in the brain? It's a lot like codeine.

According to new research in rat models, nicotine use over time increases the speed that codeine is converted into morphine within the brain, by increasing the amount of a specific enzyme. It appears smokers' brains are being primed for a bigger buzz from this common pain killer - which could put them at a higher risk for addiction, and possibly even overdose.


For hundreds of millions of people around the world, chewing betel nut produces a cheap, quick high but also raises the risk of addiction and oral cancer.

The betel nut, a seed of the areca palm, is grown and used throughout India, parts of China and much of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and most of the Pacific islands. Chewing the betel quid -- a mixture of areca nut, spices and slaked lime wrapped in betel vine leaves -- has been a cultural tradition in those regions for centuries. In small doses, it creates a sense of euphoria and alertness. Prolonged use can create addiction and the World Health Organization classifies the betel nut as a carcinogen.



Earlier this week, former National Basketball Association star Lamar Odom was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel, after taking what the owner said was a large quantity of “herbal Viagra.” He is said to be near death at this time.

It may be little consolation for his family and friends, but this tragic development can serve as a cautionary tale for the American public, which has been systematically been fed lie after lie about the benefits of dietary supplements.

Thanks to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, courtesy of Senators Orrin Hatch (R, UT) and Tom Harkin (D, IA), so-called dietary supplements have been given a special niche.