Arrow pointing up

emotional support dog

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL LAWS SPUR AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY

By now, most primary care providers have been asked if they are willing to sign something or write a letter stating that a patient's pet is an "emotional support animal." These requests usually come up when the patient has been caught by their landlord with a pet they aren't supposed to have or when they are trying to move into a place that doesn't allow pets or requires pet fees. Requests for these designations have become so common that an Internet search for "emotional support animal" brings up a number of online businesses that exist solely to provide these letters for a fee. more


Two oral therapies now available to treat outpatient COVID

covid virus and person wearing mask

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to two oral therapies for the outpatient treatment of COVID. Both drugs are recommended for people at high risk for severe COVID, and they should be taken within 5 days of symptom onset. Paxlovid is a therapy from Pfizer that contains two medications - nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. Nirmatrelvir is a protease inhibitor that inhibits COVID replication. Ritonavir, which has no activity against COVD, is included to block the metabolism of nirmatrelvir and boost its exposure. more

Vuity® eyedrops for age-related farsightedness

picture of eye

As people age, the lens in their eye loses elasticity, and this can cause difficulty in focusing on nearby objects, such as a newspaper or book. The condition is called presbyopia, and it affects millions of people. It usually begins around the age of 45 and progresses until the age of 65. To adapt to presbyopia, people often use reading glasses. The FDA recently approved a new drug called Vuity to treat presbyopia. Vuity is a once-daily eye drop that contains pilocarpine, a cholinergic muscarinic agonist. more

NEW MEDICATIONS

Winlevi® (clascoterone) - topical antiandrogen for acne

Brexafemme® - novel antifungal agent for vaginal yeast infections

Kloxxado® (naloxone) - nasal spray for opiate overdose

Qelbree® (viloxazine) - new norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor for ADHD

Azstarys® - new methylphenidate product for ADHD


Are knee injections effective?

knee receiving an injection

There is no question that knee injections are a popular treatment for knee pain. Patients who complain of chronic osteoarthritic pain almost always receive one or more steroid injections, and some are given hyaluronic acid (Synvisc®). A third type of injection, platelet-rich plasma, is becoming more popular. While patients may like the fact that their complaint received active and prompt treatment, there is little evidence these shots actually do anything. more

Cologuard pros and cons

cologuard kit

Nobody looks forward to a colonoscopy, and the manufacturer or Cologuard knows this. Cologuard commercials, which seem to run nonstop, promise an easy, at-home method for colon cancer screening that beats the heck out of messy preps and lying naked on a hospital bed in front of strangers for hours. But how good is Cologuard at detecting colon cancer, and what are the disadvantages? Your local gastroenterologist probably doesn't recommend it, but then again, he doesn't put his kids through college by telling you to skip the colonoscopy for Cologuard. more

Do statins cause muscle pain?

statin tablets

Do statins cause muscle pain? The short answer is no, they don't. Before delving into this sensitive topic, it's important to distinguish between muscle pain and muscle toxicity. Muscle pain is just that - achy muscles. Muscles can become achy from overuse, physical injury, or as a response to systemic inflammation (e.g. flu). Muscle toxicity, on the other hand, occurs when muscle cells begin to break down and necrose. In its most severe form, muscle toxicity can lead to rhabdomyolysis, more


Two small studies challenge blood pressure measurement recommendations

doctor measuring blood pressure

Recommendations on proper blood pressure measurement state that patients should relax for 3 - 5 minutes while sitting in a chair before taking their blood pressure. They also state that two or more measurements should be taken at least one minute apart. In the clinical setting, these recommendations are rarely followed. Two small studies published in Hypertension evaluated the effects of these recommendations on blood pressure readings. more

Amoxicillin vs placebo for bronchitis in children

Doctor listening to child's lungs

Acute bronchitis is a lower respiratory tract infection marked by inflammation of the bronchi, the large airways of the lungs. Viruses cause greater than 90% of bronchitis cases, and bacteria account for less than 2%. Bronchitis is responsible for more than 10 million doctor's visits in the U.S. each year. A study published in The Lancet randomized 432 children aged 6 months to 12 years (average age 3.2 years) more

Another study finds that antibiotics do not help uncomplicated diverticulitis

illustration of the intestines

Diverticulitis is a condition where outpocketings along the colon's lining become inflamed. Seventy-five percent of diverticulitis cases are uncomplicated, meaning only colon wall inflammation is present. Diverticulitis is considered complicated if abscess, stricture, perforation, obstruction, or fistula are present. For decades, the recommended treatment for diverticulitis has been antibiotics. more


Study compares platelet-rich plasma to placebo for the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis

Vial of plasma

Sports Illustrated recently reported that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott received platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for a calf injury. Proponents of PRP injections contend that injecting bloodborne cytokines and growth factors in and around damaged tendons and joints accelerates healing. more

When to repeat osteoporosis screening

Illustration of osteoporotic bone

Current guidelines recommend that all women 65 years of age or older be screened for osteoporosis with bone mineral density (BMD) testing. The guidelines do not, however, make recommendations on when to rescreen women. In practice, rescreening intervals are all over the place, with some patients never being rescreened and others receiving yearly BMD testing. The latter is particularly true if the practice owns a machine - mind you, nobody is accusing anybody of anything here. more

Study looks at vaginal "rejuvenation" lasers

Woman with hands over vagina

Vaginal "rejuvenation" therapy has become big business, as evidenced by Internet searches that bring up long lists of local practitioners who advertise these services. A popular treatment is the use of lasers that are supposed to "reverse vaginal atrophy and relieve symptoms like vaginal pain, dryness, and urinary incontinence" leading to "improved sexual functioning and cosmetic appearance." more