Colchicine Past and Present

The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine has been used for many centuries to treat acute flares of gout. In more recent times, it has also been used for treatment of familial Mediterranean fever, various dermatologic conditions, pericarditis and now, reviewed on our website, coronary artery disease. Colchicine is found in the seeds, flowers and underground stems of […]

AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine

An interim analysis of 4 randomized double-blind trials of an adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine was published recently.1 Developed through a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, this vaccine is relatively inexpensive and can be stored in standard refrigerators. It has been approved for use in the UK and several other countries, but not to date in […]

Vaccine Priorities

“Even the most privileged of humans in the Western world will join a tragically disfavored caste if they live long enough. They will belong to the last caste of the human cycle, that of old age, people who are among the most demeaned of all citizens in the Western world, where youth is worshipped to […]

The Royal Road to Recovery from COVID

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 […]