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 […]

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 […]

Treatment of Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The next issue of The Medical Letter (Issue 1551, July 16, 2018) includes an article on lofexidine (Lucemyra), a new drug for management of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Lofexidine is new in the sense that it was only recently approved by the FDA, but the drug has been approved in Europe for many years for the […]

Tramadol Is an Opioid

During the recent postoperative course of a family member, I was repeatedly assured that tramadol is not an opioid and would not cause constipation. That seems to be a common misconception, possibly related to tramadol’s designation by the DEA as a Schedule IV controlled substance, a class that includes various benzodiazepines, but no other opioids. […]

What a Sham: The Power of Placebo

The November 2, 2017 issue of The Lancet included an online first article (R. Al-Lamee et al) describing a sham-controlled trial of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the treatment of stable angina pectoris. Each year more than 500,000 PCI procedures are done for stable angina worldwide and unblinded randomized trials have shown significant relief of […]

One Drug Interaction

The unveiling of Drug Interactions from The Medical Letter® reminded me of the profound effects of a single drug interaction that occurred in the emergency room of New York Hospital in 1984. Libby Zion was an 18-year-old college student who came to the hospital seeking treatment for a flu-like illness. She had been taking the […]