Two New Promising COVID-19 Drugs – Analysis and Questions

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet. Despite the success of vaccines, people continue to get the disease. Most cases are in the unvaccinated, but even those who have been fully vaccinated can have “breakthrough” infections. Relief appears to

Dos nuevos fármacos prometedores contra el COVID-19: análisis y preguntas

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] La pandemia del COVID-19 aún no ha terminado. A pesar del éxito de las vacunas, las personas continúan contrayendo la enfermedad. La mayoría de los casos corresponden a personas no vacunadas, pero incluso aquellas que han sido vacunadas por completo pueden

Genetic Testing for Selection of Psychotropic Medications

GeneSight is a blood test to determine which neuropsychiatric medications are indicated for an individual based on genetic analysis. The test is expensive and not likely to be helpful for most patients. Patients who suffer from major depression and other neuropsychiatric conditions usually improve with medication, but about half of patients fail to respond to

Error al aprobar un medicamento para el Alzheimer

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] La tarea de la FDA (Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de los Estados Unidos) es difícil. No tiene personal ni fondos suficientes. Tiene que transitar una línea muy fina entre aprobar prematuramente un nuevo medicamento que puede resultar inútil o incluso

The FDA Blundered When It Approved Alzheimer Drug

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] The FDA has a difficult job. It is understaffed and underfunded. It has to walk a very fine line between prematurely approving a new drug that may turn out to be useless or even harmful and rejecting

Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

I could have chosen a prescription eye drop for my dry eyes. I decided not to. Here’s why. Dry eyes can have many causes: disease, medications, environmental irritants, or just age. Tear production tends to decrease as we get older. My husband (age 80) and I (age 75) were both diagnosed with dry eyes by

A New Medication to Combat Obesity

New study in The New England Journal of Medicine finds impressive evidence that weekly semaglutide injections produce clinically significant weight loss as well as many other benefits, approaching the improvements seen with weight loss surgery. Not a definitive answer to obesity, but a very encouraging step in the right direction. Science works. Science works. The rapid development

Evenity for Osteoporosis

Hip and wrist fractures are a common result of osteoporosis. A new drug, Evenity, reduces the risk of vertebral fractures, but it doesn’t significantly reduce the risk of non-vertebral fractures. Other drugs do. Atypical fractures of the femur can occur with bisphosphonate drugs, but the benefits exceed the risk. Evenity reduces the risk of vertebral

Statin Side Effects Revisited

Patients on statins frequently report muscle pain and other side effects, but controlled studies have shown side effects are not more frequent than with placebo. Why this discrepancy? A new study sheds some light. His muscles hurt. Is it from statins or some other cause? Something strange is going on. People who take statins frequently

Salonpas

Salonpas is an over-the-counter topical NSAID used to treat pain. It’s probably safe and might be worth trying for minor pain, but the effect is small and the advertising is more hype than substance. Do you get annoyed when the media keep repeating the same commercials? I do. And recently I’ve been particularly annoyed by

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