The Royal Road to Recovery from COVID-19

The president of the United States and the former governor of New Jersey sailed through their bouts with COVID-19. Both would be considered high-risk patients: the president because of his age and weight, and the governor because of his weight. According to newspaper reports, both were hospitalized, despite not having severe symptoms, and treated, first […]

Antivirals for Influenza

The upcoming issue of The Medical Letter leads off with an article on antiviral drugs for influenza, which could be considered an underused resource. Influenza isn’t COVID 19, but it often kills 30,000 people or more in a year, which is automobile accident and gunshot territory. Maybe this year widespread use of masks will limit […]

Coronavirus Vaccines

The Medical Letter’s online table of Treatments Considered for COVID-19 now includes a section on vaccines, neatly arranged by mechanism of action: adenovirus-vectored, mRNA, adjuvanted recombinant nanoparticle, and inactivated vaccines. Our list is incomplete, of course, because the number of vaccines now in clinical trials around the world is approaching 50, but we have included […]

So Many Drugs for Schizophrenia

Our next issue includes an article on lumateperone (Caplyta – Intracellular Therapies), a new oral treatment for schizophrenia. Lumateperone is the 13th second-generation drug for this indication, and there are 8 first-generation drugs still out there as well. Why are 21 drugs with more-or-less similar mechanisms of action being marketed for the same disease? One […]

Early Use of Remdesivir (Continued)

Two important communications turned up on my computer recently. First, two letters to the editor of The New England Journal of Medicine commenting on Beigel et al, Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report, published online on May 22 at NEJM.org. Both drew attention to the late introduction of remdesivir in the trial: […]

Timing Antiviral Treatment of COVID-19

The randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of remdesivir sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1063 hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement began on February 21 and was closed to new enrollments on April 19. The results have not been published to date, but the NIAID reported in a […]

Problems with EpiPen Auto-Injectors

The FDA has alerted healthcare professionals and patients that various malfunctions can occur with EpiPen auto-injectors (Mylan) and their generic equivalents (Mylan, Teva). More specifically, the agency warned about: Device failure from spontaneous activation caused by using sideways force to remove the blue safety release. Device failure from inadvertent or spontaneous activation due to a […]