Drugs

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Drugs

Reversible Dementia in the Elderly

The New Old Age blog at the NYTimes — hadn’t read it before, but I like it — has a post about reversible causes of cognitive decline in the elderly. I think they make a really good point: there are reversible causes to senility. Not all mental decline in the elderly is “normal” and certainly…

If you work in infectious diseases in a hospital — or frankly if you work anywhere in a hospital — the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a serious problem. You have to be constantly aware of what the right drug is to prescribe to ensure its maximum effectiveness, and — though rare — there…

In the Economist, they have a piece in “honor” of the 100th year anniversary of the first attempts to render drugs illegal. After looking at the evidence, they take a dim view of the drug war’s effectiveness: A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to…

The Collateral Damage of the Drug War

Radley Balko over at Reason summarizes the collateral damage that has been incurred in our nation’s drug war. These casualties include police militarization, repeated foreign policy travesties (read: the entirety of Latin America has good reasons to hate us), the incarceration of hundred of thousands for nonviolent offences, and impediments to the use of to…

PhRMA — the association of pharmaceutical companies — has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on drug paraphernalia given to doctors: Starting Jan. 1, the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on the kind of branded goodies — Viagra pens, Zoloft soap dispensers, Lipitor mugs — that were meant to foster good will and,…

I caught this article on ScienceDaily about the work of Professor Bart Hoebel at Princeton who has been attempting to show that sugar is an addictive substance like a drug. He presents data at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting to suggest that sugar fulfills the criterion for substances that we traditionally define as addictive:…

Drug companies are not publishing all the trial data that they submit to the FDA, and those trials that are published are more likely to show positive results. Rising et al. compared all the New Drug Applications (NDAs) (the vehicle for initiating a new clinical trial) given to the FDA in 2001 and 2002 to…

John Tierney reports this shocking revelation: our marijuana control doesn’t work and no one — particularly the government — wants to admit it. Now that the first five years’ results are available, the campaign can officially be called a failure, according to an analysis of federal drug-use surveys by Jon Gettman, a senior fellow at…

Q&A: Riccardo Ricco and Epo Abuse

People have been asking me about Riccardo Ricco, the Italian cyclist who was thrown out of the Tour de France for testing positive for the hormone erythropoietin (Epo), so I want to do a little Q&A about Epo detection and abuse.

Sedating the Demented

There was a very sad article in the NYTimes about the regular practice in some long-term care facilities of treating demented patients with anti-psychotic medications like Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa: The use of antipsychotic drugs to tamp down the agitation, combative behavior and outbursts of dementia patients has soared, especially in the elderly. Sales of…