Melatonin Dietary Supplements for Children

When The Medical Letter discusses dietary supplements of one sort or another, we often end by urging our readers to tell their patients not to take them because we really don’t know what’s in them. A Research Letter in a recent issue of JAMA on the quantity of melatonin in melatonin gummies gives us an […]

A Complement Inhibitor for Dry Macular Degeneration

The April 3 issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on the first treatment ever approved by the FDA for use in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). More specifically, pegcetacoplan (Syfovre) was approved for treatment of geographic atrophy, which is a late stage of dry AMD. AMD is common; according to the […]

Single-Dose Treatment of Covid-19 with Pegylated Interferon Lambda

The February 9th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine includes an article on a randomized controlled trial of a new antiviral treatment for Covid-19.1 Interferon lambda (IL-28 and -29) is an antiviral protein that has a protective effect at epithelial surfaces.2 It has been studied for antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and in two […]

Underuse of Paxlovid

The combination of the oral antiviral nirmatrelvir and the protease inhibitor ritonavir (Paxlovid – Pfizer) has been available in the US since late December, 2021.  In the clinical trial that led to the Emergency Use Authorization for Paxlovid, the drug decreased hospitalization or death, compared to placebo, by 88%.1 US COVID-19 deaths in 2022 averaged […]

TV Drug Ads

One of the many unsolicited messages that I receive daily on my computer screen informed me recently that Rinvoq has retaken the crown for top drug ad spender ($55.8 million in November) from Dupixent. I recall seeing unwanted TV ads for both drugs, but I had no idea that I was being visited by TV […]

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

Health authorities are warning of a looming triad this winter: COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus infections. Their emphasis has been on encouraging vaccination against COVID-19 and influenza. No vaccine is available for prevention of RSV infection, but one monoclonal antibody is available, and several vaccines and more monoclonal antibodies are in development.1 Most children […]

USPSTF Indications for Statins for Primary Prevention of CV Disease

Statins are recommended for virtually all patients who have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), but the indications for prevention of ASCVD are less clear. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation statement on statin use for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1 The USPSTF lists […]