For epidural injections, the needle must be placed precisely in this tiny epidural space where the tiniest mistake can nick the spinal cord. Continue reading
When it comes to imaging the nervous system, nothing but an MRI will do for the fastidious neurologist.
CT has its uses, such as in detecting acute intracranial bleeding, but it lacks the sophistication to detect or differentiate between less glaring abnormalities. It also comes with a hefty radiation dose.
MRI on the other hand, relying on powerful magnetic fields, is a ‘cleaner’ technology. Continue reading
Antiepileptic drugs increase risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia – Science Daily – April 2018 – University of Eastern Finland
The use of [some] antiepileptic drugs is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE.
Continuous use of antiepileptic drugs for a period exceeding one year was associated with a 15 percent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the Finnish dataset, and with a 30 percent increased risk of dementia in the German dataset.
This is the class of drugs we are being coerced to take instead of opioids despite the fact that opioids have far fewer side effects. Continue reading
Another reason to avoid epidural injections for pain:
In this systematic review and critical literature appraisal, researchers evaluated 8 studies (n=7233) that reported on the effects of epidural steroid injections on bone mineral density, osteoporosis, vertebral fracture, or osteopenia.
Drug Safety Communication on Gadolinium Contrast Agents | Drug Topics – December 20, 2017
The FDA has issued a drug safety communication about gadolinium-based contrast agents used in MRIs. It is requiring a new class warning and other safety measures for these products.
This is not the first time this issue has arisen:
- FDA Issues Gadolinium MRI Contrast Alert 9/30/15
- Overview of Imaging-related Medications 3/4/16
- Are MRIs Leaving Toxic Traces in the Brain? 12/18/16
Persistent Postsurgical Pain – Practical Pain Management
Surgery is often counterproductive for chronic pain, so beware!
More than 45 million surgical procedures are performed in the United States each year. It has been estimated that acute postoperative pain will develop into persistent postoperative pain (PPP) in 10% to 50% of individuals after common operations.
Since chronic pain can be severe in up to 10% of these patients, PPP represents a major clinical problem—affecting at least 450,000 people each year. Continue reading
The antibiotic course has had its day | The BMJ – July 2017
With little evidence that failing to complete a prescribed antibiotic course contributes to antibiotic resistance, it’s time for policy makers, educators, and doctors to drop this message, argue Martin Llewelyn and colleagues.
Antibiotics are vital to modern medicine and antibiotic resistance is a global, urgent threat to human health. The relation between antibiotic exposure and antibiotic resistance is unambiguous both at the population level and in individual patients.
However, the idea that stopping antibiotic treatment early encourages antibiotic resistance is not supported by evidence, while taking antibiotics for longer than necessary increases the risk of resistance. Continue reading
Common heartburn drugs tied to higher risk of death – July 2017 – By Catharine Paddock PhD
A team of researchers from Washington University have found that a person’s risk of premature death rises with long-term use of PPIs.
Interfering with our body’s biologic functions, like proton pump inhibitors do, always seems risky to me.
Because we cannot isolate the changes we make in one part of the system from the rest of it, there will always be unintended consequences; only time will tell if they are harmful or beneficial, but they will rarely be inconsequential.
This information is an update to the FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA advises restricting fluoroquinolone antibiotic use for certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together issued on May 12, 2016
Some signs and symptoms of serious side effects include:
- unusual joint or tendon pain,
- muscle weakness,
- a “pins and needles” tingling or pricking sensation,
- numbness in the arms or legs,
- confusion, and
Recall of Zimmer Biomet’s Spinal Fusion Stimulators – May 31, 2017
Just when I thought electric stimulation could not possibly be damaging:
Zimmer Biomet has recalled the SpF PLUS-Mini and SpF XL IIb Implantable Spinal Fusion Stimulators due to higher than allowed levels of potential harmful chemicals,
“which may be toxic to tissues and organs, and that were found during the company’s routine monitoring procedure,” according to a release from the US Food and Drug Administration.
How are “harmful chemicals” released by an electric stimulator? Nowhere in the article are the specific “harmful chemicals” listed. Continue reading