A paper in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology warns that the use of unvalidated natural "medicine" may lead to severe poisoning.

A 45-year-old Chinese woman was diagnosed with a severe heart-rhythm disorder, bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (BVT), associated with aconitine poisoning. BVT is a rare form of tachycardia (characterized by a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute) and a distinct pattern of ECG waves on presentation.

Smokeless tobacco is used far less than cigarettes, primarily among men and young people, but it has become a cause for concern due to links with adverse health effects and identification as a cause of cancer.

Survey results and biomarkers published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers&Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, find that U.S. adults who used only smokeless tobacco products had higher levels of biomarkers of exposure to nicotine and a cancer-causing toxicant -- the tobacco-specific nitrosamine NNK -- compared with those who only used cigarettes.

 Brian Rostron, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Drug Driving

Drug Driving

Nov 17 2015 | comment(s)

Warning labels on medications about the dangers of driving don't stop people from getting behind the wheel, according to Dr Tanya Smyth, from the Queensland University of Technology   Centre for Accident Research&Road Safety.

Driving while affected by prescription and over-the-counter medications had the potential to be as dangerous as driving under the influence of illegal drugs. Medication warning labels and accompanying pharmacist advice were the primary method to control drug driving but required the user to self-assess their impairment.

Good news for space travelers on medication - expiration dates aren't different in the low orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). 

While the ISS is regularly resupplied with medicines to replace those which have passed their expiry date, this may not be possible on exploration missions that travel to more distant points. On Earth, medicines degrade over time, particularly when exposed to light, oxygen, or humidity. Although temperature and humidity conditions on board the ISS are generally within ideal ranges for medicine storage on Earth, until now, there has been little evidence of how medicines might react to factors unique to spaceflight, such as microgravity and constant exposure to elevated radiation levels.

The opioid addiction for more than half of female methadone clinic patients began with painkillers prescribed by doctors, according to a paper in Biology of Sex Differences.

More than half (52%) of women and a third (38%) of men reported doctor-prescribed painkillers as their first contact with opioid drugs, a family of drugs which include prescription medicines such OxyContin and codeine, as well as illicit drugs such as heroin.

One organization and one law, the federal government's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), are why a govenment that won't let you get a haircut without a certification and hygiene standards won't do anything about supplements until dead bodies show up.

Thiazide is a popular diuretic for lowering high blood pressure but may not excrete salt as expected in patients with congestive heart failure and or dehydration and should be taken with caution, according to a study in mouse models presented at a meeting of the American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week activities in San Diego.

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.