Extended-Release Oxycodone/Acetaminophen Revisited

The most recent (July 21, 2014) issue of The Medical Letter included an article on a new formulation (Xartemis XR) of the popular combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, and others). The raison d’être for the new product is a new coating that delays the release of both acetaminophen and oxycodone long enough to justify […]

Advertisements for Januvia

A full-page advertisement by Merck in the July 11, 2014 New York Times urges adults with type 2 diabetes to talk to their doctors about Januvia (sitagliptin). Since we published an article on Drugs for Diabetes fairly recently (March 1, 2014), I thought a comparison between Merck’s advice and ours might be interesting. The advertisement […]

Oral Anticoagulants in Atrial Fibrillation

The most recent issue of The Medical Letter (July 7, 2014) on Drugs for Atrial Fibrillation coincided with the publication in The Lancet (July 5, 2014) of several letters commenting on an article in The Lancet earlier this year on the use of new oral anticoagulants in this disorder. The earlier article was a meta-analysis […]

NSAID Toxicity

Two articles currently being prepared for publication in The Medical Letter touch on the risks associated with NSAIDs. One is a brief article reporting that the FDA has approved 2 generic formulations of celecoxib (Celebrex), which is the only COX-2 selective NSAID remaining on the market in the US. The COX-2 selective drugs, also called […]

Antidepressants and Suicide

An article in the June 14, 2014 issue of BMJ reported that safety warnings about an increased risk of suicidality associated with antidepressant use by children and adolescents led to decreased prescribing of these drugs and increased rates of attempted suicides among young people. That should not be a surprise to readers of The Medical […]

Learning More about New Drugs

Inside the front covers of both the June 3, 2014 issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine and the June 12, 2014 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine you can find the same advertisement for Farxiga (dapagliflozin) telling you that it is now approved, that it comes in 5-mg tablets, and that you […]


An interesting exchange of letters in the June 3, 2014 issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine offered some sharply differing views on the utility of vitamin supplements. This debate started with a review article in the December 17, 2013 issue of the Annals written for the US Preventive Services Task Force, which found limited […]


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