Beefed-Up Flu Vaccine for Seniors

The current issue of The Medical Letter (1486; January 18, 2016) includes an article on Fluad, an adjuvanted seasonal flu vaccine for older adults that will become available in the US later this year for use in the 2016-2017 influenza season. Fluad has been available in Europe since 1997 for persons >65 years old, so […]

Homeopathic Drugs

The next issue of The Medical Letter (1485; January 4, 2016) includes an article on ColciGel, a homeopathic drug currently being marketed to the public for the treatment of gout. We generally do not review homeopathic drugs, but since the FDA requires a prescription for homeopathic drugs sold for treatment of “conditions not amenable to […]

Old Drugs

The next issue of The Medical Letter (1483; December 7, 2015) includes an update of one of my all-time favorites, an article on drugs past their expiration date. We had received several inquiries over the years about whether outdated drugs were safe enough to use in an emergency, including one from a surgeon in Bosnia […]

Conflicting Results with an IV Antiplatelet Drug

Cangrelor (Kengreal), the first IV P2Y12 platelet inhibitor to be approved by the FDA, will be reviewed in the next issue of The Medical Letter (1480; October 26, 2015). Its competition for use in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), its only approved indication, comes from three oral P2Y12 platelet inhibitors – clopidogrel (Plavix, and generics), prasugrel […]

SGLT2 Inhibitors

The next issue of The Medical Letter (1479; October 12, 2015) will include an article on 2 recent reports about SGLT2 inhibitors, one favorable and one a little worrisome. The SGLT2 inhibitors, which are used to treat diabetes, have been proliferating rapidly since 2013, when canagliflozin (Invokana) was the first to be approved. Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) […]

Live vs Inactivated Influenza Vaccine

The next issue of The Medical Letter begins with an article on influenza vaccine for the 2015-2016 season. Only one paragraph touches on the choice between the standard inactivated vaccine given by injection and the live attenuated vaccine, which is sprayed intranasally. Last year the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended use of the […]

A New Drug for Heart Failure

Since our most recent issue (August 3, 2015; 1474) includes an article on a new drug, sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto), for treatment of heart failure, we have asked our Contributing Editor, Dan M. Roden, MD, to be our guest blogger this week. Dr. Roden is Vice-Chancellor for Personalized Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt […]


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