Before Vaccines

The current issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on this year’s influenza vaccine, which reminds me how crazy the world has become. The temperature went up to 108 degrees in Paris, and young women with PhDs are refusing to vaccinate their children, and not just against flu. Well, flu can be scary; the […]

A New Drug for Female Sexual Dysfunction

Ordinarily The Medical Letter does not review new drugs before their price becomes available, but the FDA’s approval of bremelanotide (Vyleesi) for treatment of female sexual dysfunction created so much interest that we felt obliged to break that rule. An article on Vyleesi will appear in our July 29 issue, which is available online now. […]

Gabapentin and Pregabalin for Pain

An interesting recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine was critical of off-label use of gabapentin (Neurontin, and generics) and pregabalin (Lyrica) for treatment of pain,1 a subject The Medical Letter has reviewed with varying degrees of skepticism for many years.2-5 Goodman and Brett point out that both drugs were originally approved as anticonvulsants, but most […]

CBD

It is everywhere, promoted for almost everything. I can hardly walk down the street without having a card pressed into my hand that extols its therapeutic virtues and offers free samples at my neighborhood store. It might be an ingredient in a smoothie or a muffin consumed by an unsuspecting buyer. Mothers feed it to […]

Epinephrine Injections for Anaphylaxis

In July of 2016, a 15-year-old girl travelling by plane from London to Nice died from an allergic reaction to sesame. She had eaten an artichoke, olive, and tapenade baguette that she had bought from a Pret A Manger store in the airport. The girl was aware of her allergy, but the sesame seeds that […]

Dietary Supplements: When Will They Ever Learn?

When we wrote about problems with dietary supplements in 2002, we concluded by saying that physicians should tell their patients that we really don’t know what’s in them. An article that recently appeared in JAMA Network Open1 tells us what’s in some of them, and it’s not good. The data in the new report comes […]

No Financial Contamination Here

The September 14, 2018 issue of The New York Times included an editorial titled “Medicine’s Financial Contamination,” prompted by the report that the (now former) chief scientific officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center had repeatedly failed to disclose payments from industry. The Times went on to say that even little gifts influenced doctors’ prescribing […]