A new look at steroid injections for knee and hip osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common and potentially debilitating condition. It’s a degenerative joint disease (often called the “wear-and-tear” type) in which the smooth lining of cartilage becomes thinned and uneven, exposing the bone beneath. Although osteoarthritis is tightly linked with aging, we now know there is more to it than age alone: genetics, weight, physical activity, and a number of other factors can conspire to make it more likely that someone will develop osteoarthritis while someone else won’t. Osteoarthritis is the primary reason that more than a million joints (mostly hips and knees) are r...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - December 23, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Arthritis Osteoarthritis Pain Management Source Type: blogs

Living with Crohn ’s disease: Recognizing and managing flares
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Together with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s is one of the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s affects approximately 500,000 Americans and is a chronic, lifelong condition that typically alternates between periods of relatively stable or absent symptoms (remission) and periods of symptom flare-ups that can last for days, weeks, or even months. The goal of treatment is to induce remission and then to maximize the chance that patients stay in remission. However, almost everyone with Croh...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - November 26, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Garber, MD Tags: Digestive Disorders Health Source Type: blogs

Stopping the vicious cycle of rebound headaches
Rebound headaches, also known as medication overuse headaches, are caused by the frequent or excessive use of pain-relieving and/or antimigraine drugs to treat headache attacks that are already in progress. (Note that these are not the same as oral prophylactic or preventive medicines, which should be taken daily.) In other words, the same medications that initially relieve headache pain can themselves trigger subsequent headaches if they are used too often. Medication overuse headaches can be disabling, forcing people with this condition to take sick leave and to be less productive at work and home. To be diagnosed with m...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - November 7, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Sait Ashina, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Headache Health Source Type: blogs

I became a cyborg to manage my chronic pain | Popular Science
I don't remember what it feels like to live without pain. At 15, I began feeling aching, stabbing, and burning sensations in my lower back and down my legs. Swallowing a few Aleve didn't help —in fact, nothing did. If I sit or stand for any period of time, or lift something heavy or fall, I pay for it, sometimes for weeks or months. I've slept on the kitchen linoleum, because the carpet felt too soft to stand.For 17 years, I went to doctor after doctor, undergoing scans, physical therapy, and just about every"alternative" treatment that promised relief. Despite some amazing doctors and the expen...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 25, 2019 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Is tramadol a risky pain medication?
All medications come with a dose of risk. From minor side effects to life-threatening allergic reactions, every decision to take a medication should be made only after the expected benefits are weighed against the known risks. You aren’t on your own in this: your doctor, your pharmacist, and a trove of information are available for your review. Recently, I wrote about how newly approved drugs often accumulate new warnings about their safety, including a gout medication that garnered a new warning due to an increased risk of death. Now, according to a new study, the common prescription pain medication tramadol ma...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - June 14, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Addiction Pain Management Source Type: blogs

Headaches: What to know, when to worry
Everyone gets the occasional when-will-this-day-end headache. These headaches may even follow a certain pattern. (Mine usually strike like clockwork if I miss my morning cup of French press coffee.) But when is a headache cause for concern? “Most bouts of regular headaches are not serious and can be treated on their own,” says Dr. Elizabeth Loder, chief of the division of headache in the department of neurology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “However, being aware of the features of the different types of headaches can help you determine if your headaches are something more serio...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - June 11, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Solan Tags: Headache Health Migraines Source Type: blogs

Over-the-counter cold and flu medicines can affect your heart
As the cold and flu season continues this year, it is important to be aware that many of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for congestion, aches, pains, and low-grade fevers contain medicines that can have harmful effects on the cardiovascular system. Chief among these medications are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and decongestants. NSAIDs and your heart Certain NSAIDs are associated with a small increase in the relative risk for developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, increased blood pressure, and blood clots. NSAIDs relieve pain and inflammation by inhib...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - March 20, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Mark Benson, MD, PhD Tags: Cold and Flu Drugs and Supplements Health Heart Health Source Type: blogs

Podcast: A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Discuss Psychiatric Medications
 Psychiatric medication gets a bad rap when it isn’t deserved, while simultaneously being seen by some as the end-all treatment for people living with mental illness. Our hosts both need their prescribed medication to live well, and that makes people around them ask questions ― some of which are weirder than others. Tune in to this episode to hear what they have to say.   SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW “It took me so much pride to get over that I needed psychiatric medication.” – Michelle Hammer   Highlights From ‘Meds’ Episode [1:00] What happens when Gabe and Michelle ...
Source: World of Psychology - January 7, 2019 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast Tags: A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast Medications Schizophrenia Source Type: blogs

Are you taking too much anti-inflammatory medication?
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling You might call them pain relievers. You might take them for back pain, headache, or arthritis. Your doctor calls them “NSAIDs,” which stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Whatever you call them and for whatever reason you take them, NSAIDs are among the most popular medications worldwide. In fact, estimates suggest that about 15% of the US population takes an NSAID regularly (including those that are over the counter and prescription strength). Along with sporadic users, more than 30 billion doses are taken each year. Some of the most common NSAIDs include ibuprofe...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - April 2, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Arthritis Back Pain Drugs and Supplements Headache Health Injuries Pain Management Source Type: blogs

5 things that can help you take a pass on kidney stones
If you’ve ever passed a kidney stone, you probably would not wish it on your worst enemy, and you’ll do anything to avoid it again. “Kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and in about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within 10 to 15 years without preventive measures,” says Dr. Brian Eisner, co-director of the Kidney Stone Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Where do kidney stones come from? Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your ...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - March 8, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Solan Tags: Health Kidney and urinary tract Source Type: blogs

Medical marijuana
There are few subjects that can stir up stronger emotions among doctors, scientists, researchers, policy makers, and the public than medical marijuana. Is it safe? Should it be legal? Decriminalized? Has its effectiveness been proven? What conditions is it useful for? Is it addictive? How do we keep it out of the hands of teenagers? Is it really the “wonder drug” that people claim it is? Is medical marijuana just a ploy to legalize marijuana in general? These are just a few of the excellent questions around this subject, questions that I am going to studiously avoid so we can focus on two specific areas: why do...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - January 15, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Peter Grinspoon, MD Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Drugs and Supplements Health Pain Management Source Type: blogs

Is it safe to take ibuprofen for the aches and pains of exercise?
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling Not long ago, I took ibuprofen after a dental procedure and was amazed at how well it worked. Millions of people have had similar experiences with ibuprofen and related medications (called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) when used for a number of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, and headache. That’s why NSAIDs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. More than a dozen different NSAIDs are available, including naproxen (as in Naprosyn or Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren) and indomethacin (Indocin). Aspirin is also an NSAID...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - August 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Exercise and Fitness Health Kidney and urinary tract Source Type: blogs

Are there any good doctors?
Are doctors who follow “consensus guidelines,” rank high on quality standards set by hospitals, and adhere to rules set by the drug and medical device industries really providing “health”? Would you call a regimen of Lipitor, hydrochlorothiazide, aspirin, metoprolol, Prilosec, and Naprosyn “healthy” because it was prescribed by a “good” doctor? Health is not provided by doctors; revenue-generating healthcare is provided by doctors–there’s a difference, a big difference. Health is something you achieve on your own with results that are SUPERIOR to the results doc...
Source: Wheat Belly Blog - June 1, 2017 Category: Cardiology Authors: Dr. Davis Tags: Undoctored Wheat Belly Lifestyle diy healthcare prescriptions sick care Source Type: blogs

Some medications don ’ t help back pain as much as we thought
This study found that NSAIDs don’t work as well for back pain as many people think. However, it is not true (as stated by some headlines about this study) that NSAIDs were not effective at all. Some people did improve with these medications. The trick is figuring out in advance who is most likely to get better with NSAID therapy. We can’t yet do that very well. Here’s my suggestion: if you take an NSAID for spinal pain (or just about any other pain), keep track of how you’re feeling. A “pain diary” is one way to do this. If you aren’t clearly better in a week or two, talk to your d...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - March 2, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Back Pain Drugs and Supplements Pain Management Source Type: blogs

The Future of Work Part I
Have you ever taken some time to think about what work will look like 5, 10 or even 20 years from now? If you haven’t, it is probably worth the effort because a changing work environment may have dramatic implications for how you are employed in the future. In these two posts, I want to talk about some of the trends I’m seeing and how they may play out in the coming years. Outsourcing Companies are getting better and better at spinning off specific business functions and letting them be handled by others. For example, many businesses can’t justify running payroll in-house. It is cheaper to hire a company...
Source: Productivity501 - September 20, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Mark Shead Tags: Misc Source Type: blogs

Bayer Unveils Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Back Pain Relief System
Bayer is releasing a new consumer TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) system marketed using a familiar name, Aleve Direct Therapy. Designed specifically to help treat back pain, it sticks to the skin using double-sided gel pads and is operated via an accompanying wireless remote control. Once activated, the system begins delivering electric pulses to the back, going through a series of three stages that are intended to optimize the blocking of nerve signals moving up the spine and to motivate the release of endorphins. There’s a plus and minus buttons on the remote to control the overall leve...
Source: Medgadget - July 18, 2016 Category: Medical Equipment Authors: Editors Tags: Neurology Neurosurgery Orthopedic Surgery Pain Source Type: blogs

Listening to our patients
Around 30 years ago, LRZ taught me a most important lesson.  LRZ, one of my most fondly remembered patients, was a classic blue collar guy.  He had a wonderful gregarious personality.  He had significant systolic dysfunction, yet still worked hard for the city.  Amongst other things he did, he shoveled the salt into trucks on snow and ice days.  He functioned well most days. One day he came to see me.  In those days, prior to ACE inhibitors or the use of beta blockers, we focused on digoxin and diuretics.  As I picked up his chart I noted that he had gained 3 pounds.  From past exper...
Source: DB's Medical Rants - June 21, 2016 Category: Internal Medicine Authors: rcentor Tags: Medical Rants Source Type: blogs

Don’t forget the power of over the counter remedies
I recently had an enormous kidney stone. Well OK, it seemed enormous to me. But in terms of kidney stones, it was reasonably large; 9 mm, in fact. Large enough that I had to have lithotripsy (the use of sound waves to break up the stone) performed by my friend and most excellent urologist, Dr. Robert McAlpine in Seneca, SC. As uncomfortable as the whole experience was (and it wasn’t my first rodeo either), I was reminded of something very important, which is that prescription drugs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. In fact, the best pain relief I had from my kidney stone involved the little blue wonder...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - May 3, 2016 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Tags: Meds Medications Primary care Source Type: blogs

Lots More Whining
Just can't get enough of it! Last Wednesday's visit to Mayo Clinic marked the end of the every-week 200-mile round trips, but the results didn't shed much light on my medical condition.  Is the "flare" in my vertebrae due to the myeloma itself, or is it inflammation caused by my immune system attacking the myeloma?  We're hoping for the latter, of course, and sticking with the current medication study, but this does require more than a little faith. Here is the whining:   Last night I was quite uncomfortable for much of the night.  The neuropathic pain on the right side of my back beca...
Source: Myeloma Hope - February 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

Lots More Whining
Just can't get enough of it!Last Wednesday's visit to Mayo Clinic marked the end of the every-week 200-mile round trips, but the results didn't shed much light on my medical condition. Is the " flare " in my vertebrae due to the myeloma itself, or is it inflammation caused by my immune system attacking the myeloma? We're hoping for the latter, of course, and sticking with the current medication study, but this does require more than a little faith.Here is the whining:  Last night I was quite uncomfortable for much of the night. The neuropathic pain on the right side of my back became much...
Source: Myeloma Hope - February 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

Know the signs of diverticulitis!
Diverticulosis is a condition that describes small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract that occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. When these diverticula become inflamed, that is called diverticulitis. Diagnosis of diverticulosis/diverticulitis is made over several methods, including a physical exam which includes a digital rectal examination, blood tests, x-rays or CT scans of organs in the abdomen, a colonoscopy or a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Treatment for diverticulosis includes a diet high in fiber, fiber supplementation if needed, plenty of fluids and exerc...
Source: Nursing Comments - November 8, 2015 Category: Nursing Authors: Stephanie Jewett, RN Tags: Advice/Education Caregiving General Public Nursing/Nursing Students Patients/Specific Diseases abdominal pain bloating diverticulitis diverticulosis fever and chills gas nausea painfule urination rectal bleeding vomting Source Type: blogs

How a Simple Little Pill Ended Up Costing 99 Percent More Than Its Ingredients
By DEVON HERRICK A recent New York Times article profiled a pair of ultra-expensive pain medications designed to go easy on the stomach. Common pain relievers, like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are prone to irritate the stomach if taken repeatedly throughout the day. A newer class of pain medication, called cox-2 inhibitors, are the preferred pain relievers for those who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on a long term basis. Celecoxib, the generic version of Celebrex, is now available at a cost of about $2 per tablet, but that can add up to about $700 to $1000 per year. More than ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 4, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: THCB aspirin Devon Herrick Duexis Ibuprofen Naproxen New York Times Vimovo Source Type: blogs

How a Simple Little Pill Ended Up Costing 1000 Percent More Than Its Ingredients
By DEVON HERRICK A recent New York Times article profiled a pair of ultra-expensive pain medications designed to go easy on the stomach. Common pain relievers, like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are prone to irritate the stomach if taken repeatedly throughout the day. A newer class of pain medication, called cox-2 inhibitors, are the preferred pain relievers for those who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on a long term basis. Celecoxib, the generic version of Celebrex, is now available at a cost of about $2 per tablet, but that can add up to about $700 to $1000 per year. More than ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 4, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: THCB aspirin Devon Herrick Duexis Ibuprofen Naproxen New York Times Vimovo Source Type: blogs

District Court Dismisses Chicago's Painkiller Marketing Lawsuit Against Four of Five Opioid Manufacturers; Purdue Pharma Still on the Hook
District Court Judge Jorge Alonso of the Northern District of Illinois recently dismissed the City of Chicago’s lawsuit against four out of five pharmaceutical manufacturers that the city accused of marketing opioids in violation of Illinois’ consumer fraud laws and for causing doctors and pharmacies to submit, and the city to pay, claims that were false. Judge Alonso found the majority of allegations lacked the necessary specificity needed for a successful case. For example, while the City alleged fraudulent marketing schemes in fairly good detail, the complaint failed to mention the names of Chicago doctors o...
Source: Policy and Medicine - May 13, 2015 Category: American Health Authors: Thomas Sullivan Source Type: blogs

Reuters Exclusive: Bayer, Novartis, others eye Merck's consumer health unit - sources
By Olivia Oran, Soyoung Kim and Anjuli DaviesNEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - A handful of consumer and healthcare companies including Bayer AG and Novartis are exploring a deal for Merck & Co Inc's consumer healthcare business, as they seek to gain scale in a fragmented industry, according to several people familiar with the matter.Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC and Procter & Gamble Co are also among the parties that have held discussions with Merck about buying the unit, best known for Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin allergy medicine, the sources said this week.The Merck business, which also includes Dr. Scholl's ...
Source: PharmaGossip - February 20, 2014 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

NSAIDs — Yet another dubious “health” product at CVS
Now that the ‘healthiness’ of products sold at CVS stores is a matter of public discourse, it seems a perfect time to mention the common pain relievers known as Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). It just so happens that two FDA advisory committees are meeting today and tomorrow to discuss the cardiovascular risks of NSAIDs. The Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee will hash out details on labeling, and will likely offer comment on whether naproxen (Aleve) may be the least risky NSAID from a cardiovascular standpoint. I’ve written a lot about the ...
Source: Dr John M - February 10, 2014 Category: Cardiology Authors: Dr John Source Type: blogs

Dental Implant Procedure
My Dental Implant This post has nothing to do with myeloma, except that I am able do implants now because I am not (yet) taking any bisphosphonates. I'm writing it here because it was an interesting experience and I want to keep a permanent record of it. My left lower jaw is running out of teeth. Number 17, the "wisdom tooth," has been gone for 50 years (possibly explaining the lack of wisdom). Number 18, a huge molar, is in place and working, the only remaining chewing surface. Numbers 19 and 20 have been gone for years, and number 21 has been slowly "resorbed" (dissolved from the inside - unusual) o...
Source: Myeloma Hope - September 14, 2013 Category: Cancer Source Type: blogs

Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Aspirin -- What’s the Difference?
Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, and aspirin all relieve pain and reduce fevers. However, that is about as far as the similarities go between these medications. There are many factors you must consider to prevent harmful and potentially fatal drug effects.Contributor: Maria GuerraPublished: May 08, 2013 (Source: Most Recent Health Wellness - Associated Content)
Source: Most Recent Health Wellness - Associated Content - May 9, 2013 Category: Other Conditions Source Type: blogs

Congratulations! You're a Loser!
I am a body that fills in a space at any number of chain pharmacy locations in the large midwestern state I dwell in.  Different cities and counties have different laws concerning sales of Sudafed containing products.  Most areas have an rx only requirement but when I work at the ones that allow Sudafed sales with a government issued photo ID the antics ensue. The only acceptable forms of ID are passports, military photo ID, driver's license or state ID.  Some people try  to pass off expired IDs, stolen IDs, library cards, public pool photo ID, employment badge, etc.  Each pers...
Source: FAST FOOD Pharmacy - August 9, 2012 Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: blogs