Tag Archives: Drugs

Do you need to change asthma medications, during pregnancy?

Generally change of common asthma medications are not required, however, a consultation from your doctor in this regard is important. Most medications used in asthma are considered safe in pregnancy. Steroid based medications too are well tolerated. 

For all your health concerns please be guided by your health care provide and not this blog.
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Childhood eczema & antibiotics

Eczema, a chronic skin problem that causes itchy dry skin problem. Sometimes the condition is referred as atopic dermatitis. It can occur in any age and sex. And it has no cure till date, therefore all the treatment rotates around symptom management using drugs like steroids, anti-histaminics (itch relievers) moisturisers, avoiding various environmental allergens (like mites ) etc. In children eczema may occur with asthma. Common sites affected in body are scalp, inner side of elbow, inner side of knee etc. House dust mites and various other allergens are primarily blamed to elicit an eczema.

However, in case of children another possible cause found its importance. Childhood eczema may be associated with antibiotics a child was exposed to during ones infancy i.e. the first year of life. This drugs suppress the normal gut bacteria and decrease their load. Normal bacterial count in the gut help developing components of our immune system to allergic conditions like eczema. Antibiotics hamper the developmental process of child’s immunity and finally make kids vulnerable to eczema. To ease a child’s life a doctor treating an infant may avoid injudicious use of antibiotics. Eczema is an extremely distressing condition for many and should be taken empathetically.

English: Photograph of typical, mild dermatitis
mild dermatitis
For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider.  
Please cross check information from other sources too. 
Reference: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.12476/abstract

Vitamin E and sperms

Vitamin E is a well-known fat soluble vitamin for its antioxidant actions. Few food products rich in vitamin E are: sunflower oil, safflower oil, almonds, mangoes,avocados etc. Studies have shown that vitamin E if taken along with certain antiestrogenic drugs (like clomiphene ) can increase sperm count and sperm motility.

Low sperm count is called oligospermia (generally less than 15 million sperms per ml) and decreased sperm motility is called asthenospermia. Oligospermia isn’t an uncommon cause of oligospermia.

Clomiphene is an anti-estrogenic drug used for treatment of infertility. Clomiphene is used in women to induce ovulation as a part of infertility treatment in women. Although people are concerned about risk of various infertility drugs a recent study showed no association between infertility drugs and ovarian cancer.

Vitamins!

You may share your opinions below in the comments section. Please cross check information from other sources too. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider.References:1,2,3,4

Medical representatives today

Drug Company Reps In Doctor’s Office

Today we will talk about an interesting issue of health care sector which somehow skips our eye many a times. Yes talking about the drug company representatives (referred as ‘reps’ in this writing) who visit doctors office to advertise their products. Let me start with a story I came across during my practice experiences. It was the early days in my medical practice life, as a young doctor just started functioning and was quite innocent about the behind screen culture of drug company representatives vs. doctors.

Advertising advertising

I regularly encountered about 10-12 reps a day and the first illusion I use to get is, they seemed to be extremely knowledgeable persons by their dressing outfits, style of speaking and professional courtesy (although they may be knowledgeable don’t want to argue on that).

Each of the reps generally used to speak a minute or more about their products. Finally when they are done they will leave some leaflets (of expensive print quality) about their product so that we can refer later and prescribe. After the leaflet comes the most delicious part, a gift which ranges from a small pen to a car or freeze or a fortnight trip to Switzerland and in future they might offer doctors a space travel too (since space travel is getting easy these days). Although I don’t support this culture of giving gifts but when you are gifted it pours in some greed at least in the unconscious mind.

But if we try thinking from where the drug company will make out the money it spends for advertising and giving gifts to doctors, obviously not from their pocket rather from the consumers wallet who have to pay more while buying drugs for these luxurious offers to doctors made by the drug companies.

While writing this article another issue bubbling in my mind are the ‘middlemen’ (not sure if the wording is correct) found in hospital settings and how they work. You may not know but such also exist, I remember one such middleman I came across who was well oriented with what type of patients visit a doctor’s office daily. I found him requesting a doctor to order CAT scan to all patients who come with the complain of headache even it might not be needed; generally people take headaches seriously since many fears that they might have a brain tumor and easily agrees to get a CAT scan and for every CAT scan the doctor orders the middleman will give a share to the doctor. Although that doctor denied the offer not sure if every doctor does the same. There are many other types of middlemen related to medical profession and mostly found in developing world, since today we are focusing on the reps lets not talk more about middlemen to stay on track.

Coming back to the  medical reps issue, we already talked about the gift part now lets focus on what about their claims or information they share with the doctor. Starting with my own experience, they deliberately try putting certain words I found in their speech to appear stunningly appealing and convincing to the doctor, following are some examples of such words-  ’evidence based medicine’,  ‘randomized control trial’, ‘sensitivity’, ‘specificity’, ‘positive predictive value’, ‘double blind’ and so on. Although not necessarily they understand all the words they say; rather they might be trained to speak the language the doctors like to listen or understands better.

It’s not completely true that they don’t inform the doctor with correct information, but they might not be sharing the COMPLETE information about their product. Based on my experience while encountering medical reps myself or in other doctor’s office they almost never spoke a single line about the adverse side effects of a drug they are speaking about. Forget about my experience which can be too individual specific but here I will share some raw evidence from a survey conducted on doctors in USA, France and Canada – they found that drug company representatives don’t inform doctor completely about the side effects of their drugs (Ref. LINK). Well these 3 countries make a very small fragment of the world, if surveyed in the rest of the world I believe the scenario will not be any different and might be more grave. Although I don’t think its the drug rep’s who should be blamed alone may be they have no other way besides following their companies training and instruction guidelines about the marketing and presentation methods to doctors.

However, hope medicine practice be tailored for the betterment of mankind and only be encased by truth rather than the deliberate displays of  business stunts. People should raise voice to compel the government’s to bring in bills to protect the basic human rights of health and wellness of their citizen.

Drug companies use direct-to-prescriber advert...
You may share your opinions below in the comments section. For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. 
NOTE: This piece of writing is a glimpse of  thought of the author of this website and not meant to hurt anyone in any means. If such happened unknowingly please understand it as purely a coincidence rather than an intention. Thanks.

Mercury and diabetes

Mercury may raise diabetes risk

The list of what are the things that may be associated with developing type 2 diabetes mellitus now no more limited to family history or high calorie diet or sedentary lifestyle, now extends to exposure to mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal atomic number 80 and its the only heavy metal found in liquid state.

You may wonder how can you get exposed to mercury especially if your occupation don’t need any dealing with mercury, unknowingly you might be consuming high amount of mercury through eating certain sea fishes in large amount. Sea fishes are said to be good for heart since they contain some good fatty acids (omega 3) but certain sea fishes like swordfish and shark are examples of high mercury containing fishes whereas salmon and catfish have the element in less amount. So young people who are consuming lot of sea fish for a healthy heart might consider rethinking about the quantity and type of fish to consume.

English: Mercury metal in an ampoule
Mercury metal
For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider. Please cross check informations from other sources too. Reference: LINK