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What Are Some Good Sites Online to Get CBD Topicals?

Although seniors probably comprise the largest anti-marijuana age group, they are beginning to flock towards CBD. The non-intoxicating compound is used to treat medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, and PTSD, among other things. Although studies are encouraging, further research is required to prove the efficacy of the compound.

While oils, tinctures, and edibles are flying off the shelves in Western Europe and North America, CBD topicals are gaining a more significant foothold in the industry. Normally, they come in the form of lotions and creams that you rub on a specific part of the body. Proponents of CBD topicals suggest they get to work quickly, and you could rapidly feel the positive effects. 

How Do You Use CBD Topicals?

According to a 2019 report from the Arthritis Foundation, almost 80% of surveyed arthritis patients had already used CBD or were planning to do so. Of those who used the cannabinoids for arthritis symptoms, 55% chose CBD topicals which they applied to the joints. 

The effectiveness of NSAIDs and OTC pharmaceutical drugs for such conditions is open for debate. However, it is a fact that a significant proportion of people are allergic to these forms of medication. In contrast, some seniors say they apply CBD cream, walk away, and realize that they feel no pain. 

For the most part, applying CBD topicals to the joints twice a day is often sufficient. Individuals with conditions such as psoriasis and eczema also prefer CBD lotions and creams.

Are CBD Topicals Effective?

CBD appears to have science on its side. Creams and lotions could help tackle inflammation or pain at a specific site on the body, such as your joints. They are absorbed through the skin and interact with cells near the surface. The cannabidiol doesn’t enter the bloodstream and isn’t designed to ‘cure’ a systemic problem. However, those who use it often claim a diminished level of pain and inflammation in a specific area.  

Unlike OTC pain relief products, CBD topicals don’t ‘mask’ pain or inflammation. The skin contains a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors, part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). These CBD receptors are located throughout the body and are associated with immune function, memory, pain sensation, appetite, and much more.

A study by Philpott, O’Brien, and McDougall, published in the journal Pain in December 2017, looked at CBD’s effectiveness on pain and inflammation in rats. The team discovered that when rats with osteoarthritis received prophylactic treatment with CBD, they experienced a cessation of pain.

As promising as some of the research into CBD’s effects on pain is, recent reviews suggest that further studies are required. With the Farm Bill of 2018 legalizing the growth of industrial hemp in the United States, scientists can finally conduct detailed research into cannabidiol. 

Best Practices for Using CBD Topicals

  • Decide Where to Apply the Cream/Lotion: The actual site of the pain is potentially different from where you think it is. For instance, is it tension in your neck that is causing your migraine, or is it emanating from your head? If you want to use a CBD topical to address general pain, apply it to ‘sore’ spots such as the shoulders, soles of the feet, joints, or temples.

  • Thorough Cleanse the Site: Unless you had a bath or shower five seconds ago, there are bacteria and contaminants on your skin. Clean, and then dry the area where you intend to apply the compound.

  • Apply Liberally: Don’t be afraid to use lots of CBD cream on the site if necessary. Some users add a second or even a third dose! However, we recommend trying a small amount first to see how it affects you. 

  • Clean Your Hands: Wash your hands before AND after applying the CBD topical. Some products have added ingredients such as mint or citrus, which can sting the eyes.

  • Don’t Expect Miracles: Regardless of what you have read about the healing powers of CBD, the cannabinoid affects everyone differently. If you have had crippling arthritis for 15 years, don’t expect CBD to ‘cure’ it! In most cases, users report a reduction in pain; a sensation which takes a while to appear.

Where is the Best Place to Purchase CBD Topicals?

The industry as a whole has a problem with a lack of regulation. It is wise to invest in reputable brands such as Premium Jane?? known for producing high-quality CBD topicals. The best products include organic CBD taken from the raw plant material. Make sure the brand in question has third-party lab reports and a significant online presence with a professional-looking website.

Most sellers offer tubs containing 2-4 ounces of cream or lotion. While it doesn’t seem like a lot, it is normal for a 2-oz container to last over a month! When compared to expensive pharmaceutical products with questionable benefits, CBD topicals suddenly seem like excellent value for money! 

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Fungal Invasion May Drive Some Pancreatic Cancers

By EJ Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Fungi living in the gut can move into the pancreas, triggering changes to normal cells that can result in cancer, a new study suggests.

The finding could advance the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer, which is usually fatal because it’s often detected too late. The disease has been in the news lately because “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is waging a battle against an advanced form of the illness.

The new research focuses on a particular form of the cancer, called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which can be fatal within two years.

While the exact causes of pancreatic cancer remain unclear, the American Cancer Society has long recognized that viruses, bacteria and parasites can help spur pancreatic tumors, the authors of the new study noted.

But fungi haven’t been shown to play a role — until now.

“While past studies from our group have shown that bacteria travel from the gut to the pancreas, our new study is the first to confirm that fungi, too, make that trip, and that related fungal population changes promote tumor inception and growth,” study co-author Dr. George Miller said in a news release from NYU Langone Health.

Miller is co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Research Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, in New York City.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is cancer of the tube in the pancreas where digestive juices drain into the intestines. This exchange causes fungal populations in the gut and pancreas — the “mycobiome” — to become abnormal, the NYU team explained. That change may cause pancreatic cells to turn malignant.

In the new study, the researchers first looked at fungal transfer from the gut to the pancreas in mice that already had pancreatic tumors.

In those experiments, the researchers found that treating the rodents with an antifungal drug shrunk the weight of tumors from between 20% to 40% over 30 weeks.

Investigating further, the team catalogued the species of fungi in the poop of mice with or without pancreatic cancer. They even tagged the fungi with “glowing” proteins to watch the microbes travel from the gut to the pancreas.

Continued

Certain patterns emerged, with some populations of fungal species increasing at a far higher rate in the cancerous pancreases versus the non-cancerous ones.

One such cancer-linked species is called Malassezia.

“We have long known that Malassezia fungi — generally found on the skin and scalp — are responsible for dandruff and some forms of eczema, but recent studies have also linked them to skin and colorectal cancer,” study senior co-author Deepak Saxena noted in the news release.

“Our new findings add evidence that Malassezia is abundant in pancreatic tumors as well,” said Saxena, who is professor of basic science and craniofacial biology at NYU College of Dentistry. Pancreatic cancers in the mice grew about 20% faster when Malassezia was allowed to grow unchecked, the team noted.

The researchers theorized that fungi spur growth of the cancer by affecting immune system mechanisms that lead to abnormal tissue growth.

Study co-first author Smruti Pushalkar, a research scientist at NYU College of Dentistry, added, “Moving forward, one goal for our team is to determine which species are most relevant to cancer, as doing so could guide future attempts to slow tumor growth with targeted antifungal medications, and to avert side effects.”

The results of the study add evidence to the theory that fungi increase the risk for cancer by activating an ancient part of the immune system, the researchers said. This immune response fights infections but also increases cell growth as the infection is cured. Past studies have shown that aggressive tissue growth can cause cancer when it’s combined with genetic flaws.

The report was published Oct. 2 in the journal Nature.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE:Nature,  news release, Oct. 2, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Some May Be Vulnerable to Severe Skin Reaction While Using Gout Drug

TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 — Some gout patients with heart or kidney disease might be more susceptible to severe skin reactions while taking the gout medication allopurinol, researchers report.

“Our findings suggest that heart disease, like chronic kidney disease, is a risk factor for allopurinol-associated severe cutaneous adverse reactions that warrants adoption of precautionary measures against these reactions,” said researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, from the Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Gout is form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in joints and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.

An earlier study found a link between heart disease and an increased risk of hospitalization for people who had a severe skin reaction to allopurinol.

For the latest study, Canadian and U.S. researchers used data from nearly 5 million people in British Columbia. More than 130,000 of these people were on allopurinol. Of these patients, those with heart disease and chronic kidney disease had a higher risk of severe skin reactions than those without such conditions.

People with the genetic marker HLA-B*5801, which is more common in Asian and black people, have a significantly higher risk of this adverse reaction than people without the mutation.

The report was published Sept. 30 in the CMAJ.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned patients about the risk of cardiovascular events from the gout medication febuxostat, so the number of prescriptions for allopurinol will probably increase, the researchers noted.

But severe skin reactions are rare, and allopurinol plays an important role in managing gout, they added.

“Physicians who prescribe allopurinol should look for these risk factors so that they may consider initiating lower-dosage allopurinol and other precautions, which may prevent this rare but serious adverse reaction,” Choi and his co-authors concluded in a journal news release.

More information

For more on gout, see the Arthritis Foundation.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Second Thoughts About That Tattoo? Here’s Some Advice

FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 — If it’s time for that tattoo to go, here’s some advice from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Lasers removal of tattoos has become safer and more effective, but the results depend almost entirely on the person doing the work.

“For the best results and to reduce your risk of serious side effects, such as scarring, burns and other wounds, it’s important to make sure the person treating you is a physician who is extremely skilled in using lasers and has in-depth knowledge of the skin,” said New York City dermatologist Dr. Marie Leger.

“After that, it’s also important to properly care for the treated skin between sessions, as your skin needs time to heal and flush out the ink,” Leger added in an academy news release.

After each treatment, wash the treated area twice a day with water and a gentle cleanser. Use a clean cotton swab to apply petroleum jelly to the area to help keep the skin moist so it doesn’t dry out or form scabs. To prevent infection, cover the treated area with a dressing until the skin heals.

The treated skin is more susceptible to sun damage, so you should protect it from direct sun exposure. When outdoors, wear protective clothing, such as a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants and a wide-brimmed hat, Leger advised.

After the treated skin heals, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that contains zinc oxide. Zinc deflects the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

Don’t pick at any flaking, peeling, blisters or scabs that form, and don’t pop any blisters. Doing so can cause infection.

After a laser tattoo removal session, it’s normal to see some redness, swelling and blistering as your skin heals. However, if you notice signs of an infection, such as increasing redness and pain, swelling or pus, see a doctor.

“Tattoo removal requires many treatments, with weeks between sessions,” Leger said. “For the best results, follow your dermatologist’s instructions for at-home care, and keep all of your appointments for laser tattoo removal, as each treatment removes more ink.”

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on tattoo removal

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Daily Low-Dose Aspirin May Help Some People

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Debate over the benefits and drawbacks of daily low-dose aspirin has flared in recent years, with guidelines now generally urging against the regimen to prevent a first heart attack or stroke in healthy people.

But some people with good heart health still might benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin, a new study from New Zealand argues.

About 2.5% of women and 12% of men would likely benefit from daily aspirin during a five-year period, based on an analysis of more than 245,000 heart-healthy New Zealand residents.

“In our study, we were able to predict for each individual, by taking into account their personal characteristics, their propensity to benefit from or be harmed by aspirin,” said lead researcher Vanessa Selak, an epidemiologist with the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

“Using this personalized approach enabled us to identify specific individuals who were likely to benefit from aspirin after weighing up aspirin’s effects on both cardiovascular events and serious bleeding,” Selak continued.

That would seem to contradict new guidelines issued earlier this year by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

The two groups concluded that for older adults with healthy hearts, the risk of bleeding that comes with aspirin therapy outweighs any heart benefit.

“We used to say aspirin generally yes, occasionally no. Now we say aspirin generally no, occasionally yes,” said Dr. Amit Khera, who served on the ACC/AHA committee that wrote the guidelines.

However, Khera feels this new study actually supports the new guidelines.

“This modeling exercise confirmed it’s a very small group of the population that potentially could be eligible for aspirin,” said Khera, a professor of cardiology with UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

These guidelines are not for people who’ve had an emergency regarding their heart health. Those people do derive overall benefit from aspirin, he said.

“If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, continue to take your aspirin,” Khera said.

But clinical trial data that emerged in 2018 showed that daily aspirin taken by people in good heart health only reduces their risk of heart attack and stroke by 11%, but increases their risk of dangerous bleeding by 43%, he added.

Continued

“I want to be clear that I’m not talking about nosebleeds,” Khera said. “I’m talking about needing a transfusion, being hospitalized, bleeding in the brain. Big stuff.”

To take a closer look at the potential benefits of aspirin, Selak and her colleagues studied hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders without heart disease who had their heart health risk calculated between 2012 and 2016.

The net effect of aspirin was calculated for each person by subtracting the number of heart emergencies the person was likely to have over five years from the number of major bleeds aspirin could cause.

After personalizing the risk-versus-benefit calculation, the researchers found that a select group of people would have a net benefit from aspirin if one heart health emergency that led to hospitalization or death was considered equal to one major bleed that led to hospitalization or death.

The percentages increased to 21% of women and 41% of men if a heart health emergency was considered equal to two major bleeds, the findings showed.

“This research suggests that decisions regarding the use of aspirin among people who have not already had a cardiovascular event should be made after undertaking a personalized prediction of cardiovascular benefits and bleeding harms from aspirin,” Selak said.

That’s already standard procedure under the U.S. guidelines, Khera said.

“No one is saying aspirin doesn’t help. It just doesn’t help as much as we used to think, and you have to appreciate the bleeding penalty,” Khera said. “Some people are more concerned about heart attack risk and are willing to pay the bleeding penalty, especially if they’ve never had any bleeding problems. It’s still OK for them to consider it.”

Both Selak and Khera recommended that people talk with their doctor about the risks and benefits before starting to take daily aspirin. Calculators are available that help physicians weigh your risk of heart attack and stroke against the risk of bleeding.

“In many ways, people think of aspirin as this benign thing because it’s been around for centuries. Anybody can get it over the counter,” Khera said. “But if you’re going to take it every day for the next couple of decades, there are definite penalties to it.”

The new study was published online Sept. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Vanessa Selak, Ph.D., epidemiologist, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Amit Khera, M.D., professor, cardiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Sept. 17, 2019,Annals of Internal Medicine, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pregnancy-Related Deaths Still Higher With Some Minorities

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 — Pregnancy is a far riskier undertaking for many minority women than it is for white women in the United States, a new government study shows.

The chances of dying from pregnancy complications is two to three times higher for black, American Indian and Alaska Native women than it is for white women.

“These disparities are devastating for families and communities, and we must work to eliminate them,” said lead author Dr. Emily Petersen, medical officer in the Division of Reproductive Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There is an urgent need to identify and evaluate the complex factors contributing to these disparities and to design interventions that will reduce preventable pregnancy-related deaths,” Petersen said in a CDC news release.

Her team analyzed national data from 2007-2016 and found that the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths rose from 15 to 17 per 100,000 births during that time.

By racial/ethnic group, rates were 40.8 per 100,000 births for blacks, 29.7 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 13.5 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 12.7 for whites, and 11.5 for Hispanics.

The gap between blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives and other racial and ethnic groups widened with age. Among women older than 30, rates among blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives were four to five times higher than among whites.

The study also found that the rate among blacks with at least a college degree was just over five times higher than among whites with at least a college degree.

Cardiomyopathy, pulmonary embolism, and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among blacks than among whites. Hemorrhage and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives than among whites.

There was little change in racial/ethnic disparities between 2007 and 2016, according to the study published Sept. 6 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to the agency.

The CDC defines a pregnancy-related death as “the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication; a chain of events initiated by pregnancy; or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.”

A CDC report from May that analyzed data from 13 states concluded that each pregnancy-related death was associated with several contributing factors. These included lack of access to appropriate and high-quality care, missed or delayed diagnoses, and lack of knowledge among patients and health care providers about warning signs.

The data suggested that 60% or more of pregnancy-related deaths could have been prevented by correcting these issues.

“There are many complex drivers of [pregnancy-related death]. This [new study] shows the critical need to accelerate efforts and to identify the initiatives that will be most effective,” said Dr. Wanda Barfield, director of the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women’s Health has more about pregnancy complications.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

FDA Warns of Problems for Some Taking Hep C Drugs

By Robert Preidt        
       HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Taking the hepatitis C drugs Mavyret, Zepatier or Vosevi can trigger rare cases of severe liver problems or liver failure in patients who already have moderate-to-severe liver impairment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

The agency has identified 63 cases of worsening liver function, some resulting in liver failure or death, among patients taking the drugs.

While the medicines are safe and effective in patients with no or mild liver impairment, the same cannot be said for those with moderate-to-severe liver impairment, the FDA said.

“Hepatitis C virus remains a significant public health issue, but effective therapeutic options have helped patients to receive important curative treatments,” said Dr. Debra Birnkrant, director of the FDA’s Division of Antiviral Products at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Chronic hepatitis C, or HCV, is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to serious liver problems if left untreated. Hepatitis C medicines reduce the amount of HCV in the body by preventing it from multiplying and eventually curing a patient of HCV,” Birnkrant explained in an agency news release.

Health care providers should continue to prescribe Mavyret, Zepatier or Vosevi as indicated, but should not give these medicines to patients with signs and symptoms of worsening liver function, the agency advised.

Dr. David Bernstein, chief of hepatology at Northwell Health in Manhasset, N.Y., noted that these medications “are safe and effective when properly prescribed.”

Bernstein said that “most hepatitis C patients do not have impaired liver function, so these therapies should be safe.”

And he added that other hepatitis drugs such as Harvoni and Epclusa are safe for patients with impaired liver function because they do not contain the agent that can threaten liver function.

Patients should not stop taking these medicines without first talking to a health care professional, and those with liver disease should talk with a health care professional about the benefits and risks of the medicines, the FDA said.

In many of the 63 cases, liver failure occurred in patients who should not have been prescribed these medicines, according to the FDA news release.

In some cases, patients had no cirrhosis (liver scarring) or cirrhosis with mild liver impairment, but did have indications of advanced liver disease or risk factors for liver impairment. In most of the patients, symptoms improved after they stopped taking the potent medicines.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: David Bernstein, M.D., chief, hepatology, Northwell Health, Manhasset, N.Y.; U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Aug. 28, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Health Threats Don’t End for Some Sepsis Survivors

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 — Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don’t end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

“Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren’t out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survivors will die in the following year,” said study lead author Dr. Sachin Yende. He is a professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.

“Our new findings about chronic inflammation post-discharge suggest that addressing this condition may be important to improve patients’ long-term outcomes,” added Yende, vice president of critical care and deputy chief of staff at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Nearly all sepsis patients have increased inflammation in their bloodstream during the first few days of hospitalization, but how long the inflammation can persist and what effects it might have were unclear.

To find out, the researchers followed 483 people who survived hospitalization with sepsis at 12 U.S. hospitals between 2012 and 2017. They were assessed at three, six and 12 months after hospital discharge.

Up to a year after hospitalization, about one-fourth of the patients had elevated levels of inflammation and half had elevated levels of immunosuppression biomarkers, the findings showed.

These patients had higher rates of hospital readmission (particularly due to heart disease and stroke) and death than patients whose inflammation levels returned to normal after hospitalization.

According to senior study author Dr. Derek Angus, “The participants with increased inflammation had levels that were twice as high as levels in healthy individuals, and that elevated inflammation persisted long after hospital discharge.” Angus is chair of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Sepsis increases risk of heart disease and stroke, and, for the first time, we’ve linked these adverse outcomes to persistent inflammation,” he said in a university news release. “This opens the door to future studies into why high levels of inflammation persist for at least a year after hospital discharge, and the development of treatments aimed at modifying the inflammation with the hope that will improve health.”

The study was published online Aug. 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Sepsis affects more than 30 million people worldwide every year, according to the World Health Organization.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sepsis.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Some Meds and Driving a Dangerous Duo

SATURDAY, July 27, 2019 — Be careful about what medications you take before you get behind the wheel.

Most drugs won’t affect your ability to drive, but some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause side effects that make it unsafe to drive, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Those side effects can include: sleepiness/drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, slowed movement, fainting, inability to focus or pay attention, nausea and excitability.

Some medicines can affect your driving ability for just a short time after you take them, but the effects of others can last for several hours, or even into the next day.

Some medicine labels warn to not operate heavy machinery when taking them, and this includes driving a car, the FDA said in a news release.

There are a number of types of medications — or any combination of them — that can make it dangerous to drive or operate any type of vehicle whether a car, bus, train, plane or boat.

These drugs include: opioid pain relievers; prescription drugs for anxiety (for example, benzodiazepines); antiseizure drugs (antiepileptic drugs); antipsychotic drugs; some antidepressants; products that contain codeine; some cold remedies and allergy products such as antihistamines (both prescription and OTC); sleeping pills; muscle relaxants; medicines to treat or control symptoms of diarrhea or motion sickness; diet pills; “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (such as caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine).

Also, never drive when you’ve combined medication and alcohol, the FDA stressed.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about medication side effects, including those that interfere with driving, and/or ask for printed information about the side effects of any new medicine.

To manage or minimize medication side effects that can affect driving, your health care provider may be able to adjust your dose, adjust the timing of when you take the medicine, or change the medicine to one that causes fewer side effects, the FDA said.

Always follow a medication’s directions for use and read warnings on the packaging or on handouts provided by the pharmacy.

Tell your health care provider about all health products you are taking, including prescription, non-prescription and herbal products, and also about any reactions you experience.

Don’t stop using a medicine unless told to do so by your doctor, the FDA said.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on medications and driving.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Heat Bakes the Nation, Here Are Some Safety Tips

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The heat is on.

Across two-thirds of the United States, over 115 million Americans live where some level of heat alert is already in effect, and 290 million will see temperatures soar past 90 degrees at some point in the next week, USA Today reported Wednesday.

As a dome of high pressure settles over much of the eastern and mid-Atlantic states, the heat indexes (the real-feel temperatures) in many places will top 100 and approach 110 degrees or higher, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

What to do when the temperatures soar so high that heat-related illnesses start to take their toll? One expert offers some sage advice.

“Weekend athletes exercising in the heat need to remember to keep ahead of their fluids. It’s vital to stay ahead of your thirst during these heat extremes, not just to drink when you are thirsty,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Taking breaks is essential when intensely exercising in the heat for more than one hour. This includes rest, finding shade from the sun, and drinking water mixed with sugar and electrolytes. Salty pretzels, fruit and nuts are always a good option if you don’t have access to a drink with sugar and electrolytes,” Glatter noted.

If you exercise in the heat, try to do so early in the morning when humidity and heat from direct sunlight is low.

During heat waves, seniors are at greatly increased risk for heat stroke due to their reduced ability to sweat and therefore cool their bodies. They also may be taking medications to treat blood pressure, which can reduce their ability to sweat, Glatter said.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Call 911 in such cases.

Medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) do not reduce high core body temperatures, and could even be harmful. Patients need rapid cooling to reduce high core temperatures.

Along with blood pressure medications, antihistamines and medications to treat anxiety and depression may also increase the risk for heat stroke by reducing a person’s ability to sweat, Glatter noted.

Continued

“Hypertension, coronary artery disease and kidney disease — common in the senior population — all elevate the risk for developing heat stroke, due to reduced cardiac reserve and plasticity of blood vessels. These are major risk factors for heat stroke,” he explained.

During heat waves, check on seniors to see how they’re feeling. Make sure they have access to air conditioning, plenty of cool fluids, and create a heat response plan to help reduce the risk of heat stroke, Glatter advised.

Children are also at increased risk for heat stroke because they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults, and they may not drink enough in hot weather.

Everyone should drink plenty of cool fluids in the heat. Water is the best choice, but low-sugar sports drinks are recommended if you’re working in the heat or exercising for more than one hour. Don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks, such as soda, in the heat because they can cause dehydration due to excessive water loss, Glatter said.

“Never leave a child or a senior in a parked car in the hot sun. In temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the interior of the car can reach 90 to 100 degrees in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s 90 degrees outside, the interior can heat up to 110 to 120 degrees in 30 minutes and be lethal in that short time frame,” Glatter said.

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Sources

SOURCES: Lenox Hill Hospital, news release, July 17, 2019;USA Today

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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‘Targeted Hygiene’ Embraces Some Dirt and Germs

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Somewhere between the Mom who obsessively wipes down every knob and toy her child might touch, and the Dad who thinks rolling in the dirt is “good” for kids, there’s a healthy medium, British experts say.

“We have to find a way to protect against infectious diseases and harmful microbes, whilst at the same time sustaining exposure to the essential beneficial microbes in our world,” explained Sally Bloomfield.

Bloomfield is a member of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, and also the co-author of a new report that surveyed British adults on their attitude towards dirt and germs in the home.

The 2018 survey, from the Royal Society for Public Health, suggests people are confused about how much dirt is OK. A lot of that confusion is probably coming from the rise of the “hygiene hypothesis” — the notion that today’s homes are overly sanitized, and kids need contact with germs to build up healthy immune systems.

But this notion can be taken too far, as Bloomfield’s group found.

In fact, nearly one in four people polled agreed with the statement that “hygiene in the home is not important because children need to be exposed to harmful germs to build their immune system.”

Men were twice as likely as women to express that opinion.

On the other hand, misconceptions around the level of “danger” posed by dirt were also common.

Bloomfield’s team found that “almost two-thirds of those we surveyed (61%) said touching a child’s dirty hands after they have been playing outside was likely to spread harmful germs.”

But that’s simply not true. In fact, “there is little evidence that outdoor dirt and soil is contaminated with harmful microbes (unless there are animals nearby),” according to the report.

Different germs, different hazards

Bloomfield, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the key thing to remember is that all germs are not created equal.

Exposure to diverse microbes from other people, domestic animals and the natural environment do help build a healthy immune system and microbiome — the varied microbes normally living in the gut and respiratory tract, experts agree. However, exposure to the wrong types of germs can both weaken the microbiome and cause infections.

Continued

And if those infections require antibiotics, “good” bacteria in the gut get destroyed along with the bad, they pointed out.

So, how to find a balance between being a compulsive germaphobe who’s constantly cleaning or the lax parent letting kids chow down on mud pies?

Bloomfield believes a new, more nuanced model, called “targeted hygiene,” is probably the answer.

Targeted hygiene means intervening with kids and their environment, but only when you can stop the risk of infection. This doesn’t necessarily mean avid cleaning. Cleaning does get rid of visible dirt, but it won’t necessarily reduce the risk of infection.

What does? Handwashing.

Handwashing is a simple component of targeted hygiene, and should be timed to certain activities, Bloomfield said.

“Our own bodies, our food and our domestic animals are the most likely sources of spread of infection — so the times that matter are [times such as] when we handle raw food, when we use the toilet, when we care for our pets, when we are infected or caring for someone who is infected,” she explained.

So, be sure to wash your hands well:

  • when you first come home;
  • if you’ve been caring for or playing with a pet;
  • after toileting;
  • before eating or preparing food;
  • after handling raw meat, fruits or vegetables;
  • after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.

‘Common sense’ clean

Most — but not all — of the British adults surveyed seem to understand the value of hand washing, since “73% of respondents said they ‘always’ washed their hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet and after preparing raw meat,” the report found.

In addition to hand washing, Bloomfield said other important measures include cleaning surfaces that come into contact with food, cleaning surfaces regularly touched by many people, and washing dishcloths immediately after using them so they don’t spread germs.

Dr. Aaron Glatt is a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He reviewed the new report and said he “likes the idea of targeted hygiene.”

“Good common sense remains the best way to prevent infection,” Glatt said. “You don’t need to wash your hands 40 times a day, but appropriate hand washing needs to be stressed. If you’ve just come out of the bathroom or are going to be preparing foods, wash your hands.”

Continued

When it comes to routine cleaning, Glatt said the kitchen and bathrooms are two major areas that need attention.

He agreed that pets can potentially be a point of transmission for infection, but if they’re cared for properly, they shouldn’t be a concern.

“We even allow pets into the hospital for therapy,” Glatt said. “In general, kids and pets interact in a positive way.”

Again, common sense should be your guide: “Kids shouldn’t let a pet lick their plate and then eat from it,” Glatt said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, United Kingdom; Aaron E. Glatt, spokesperson, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and chair of medicine, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Long Island Medical Center, New York; June 2019,Too Clean or Not Too Cleanreport, Royal Society for Public Health

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Some Drug Abusers Use Relatives to ‘Opioid Shop’

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — People who are thwarted in their attempts to “shop around” for prescription opioid painkillers at doctors’ offices and pharmacies may try to get the drugs via relatives as a last resort, researchers report.

Some people who misuse opioids go to numerous prescribers and fill prescriptions at multiple pharmacies to avoid detection. But states are cracking down on such “shopping,” forcing them to find other ways of getting the drugs.

The new study suggests some try to get opioids from family members who are prescribed the painkillers. University of Michigan researchers said it’s the first study to examine doctor and pharmacy shopping within families.

For every 200 U.S. patients prescribed opioids in 2016, one had a family member who shopped for opioids, the study found.

The findings underscore the need to reduce the number of opioids available for such diversion by limiting unnecessary prescribing, according to authors of the study published May 10 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The researchers analyzed 1.4 million opioid prescriptions in 2016 for 554,000 people and relatives covered under the same private family insurance plan.

Of those prescriptions, 0.6% (1 out of 167) were filled by a patient with a family member who met the criteria for opioid shopping — they had received prescriptions from four or more sources and filled them at four or more pharmacies in the past year.

That percentage means that 1.2 million of the 210 million opioid prescriptions in the United States in 2016 may have been dispensed to people who had family members who shopped for opioids, said lead author Dr. Kao-Ping Chua and colleagues.

When researchers defined opioid shopping as getting prescriptions from at least three sources and filling them at three or more pharmacies, 1.9% of opioid prescriptions met that criteria.

For opioid prescriptions to children, 0.2% were filled when the child, doctor and pharmacy met opioid shopping criteria, the study found.

And 0.7% of opioid prescriptions to kids went to those with a family member who met pharmacy shopping criteria. Though researchers can’t be sure from their data, they suspect the adults were often the children’s parents.

Continued

“This apparent doctor and pharmacy shopping behavior in children is likely driven by an adult family member, since children can’t obtain opioid prescriptions from multiple prescribers and fill them at multiple pharmacies on their own,” Chua said in a university news release. He’s a pediatrician and health care researcher at Michigan.

To prevent people who shop for opioids from misusing family members’ medicine, Chua said doctors should not prescribe more doses than patients need, and should order over-the-counter painkillers when possible.

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SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, May 10, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Tinnitus May Drive Some to the Brink of Suicide

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Imagine a ringing in your ears so intense and unrelenting that you become desperate enough to try to kill yourself.

That is a reality for some — women in particular — who suffer from severe tinnitus, new research shows.

The survey of 72,000 Swedish adults found that 9% of women who suffered from severe tinnitus had attempted suicide, as had 5.5% of men.

After analyzing the data, European researchers found that the association between ringing ears and risk for attempted suicide was only significant for women.

“It is important to say that an increased risk of suicide attempts does not mean an increased risk in suicide events,” said lead researcher Christopher Cederroth, from the laboratory of experimental audiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Also, only an association and not a cause-and-effect link was observed.

Cederroth added that he isn’t aware of any completed suicides related to tinnitus.

“Our results reflect more the sex-specific psychological impact of tinnitus rather than a risk of committing suicide,” he said.

On the plus side, Cederroth said that the risk for suicide isn’t significant for people who have had their tinnitus treated.

“Medical attention by a specialist may help decrease tinnitus-related distress,” he said. “Even though there are currently no treatments to get rid of tinnitus, seeing a specialist may help decrease the distress and diminish the risk of suicide attempts.”

Dr. Darius Kohan, director of otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and the Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City, reviewed the study. He said that although the cause of most tinnitus isn’t known, ways to help people cope with the condition are available.

“Tinnitus can be very severe and debilitating,” Kohan said, noting that it’s a very common condition, affecting about 20% of the population. He isn’t sure why the association between tinnitus and suicide risk appears more serious in women than men. Perhaps it’s just the way the study was done, he said.

“It’s old age and degeneration of the blood supply to the inner ear, plus hearing loss as the nerve cells die off,” said Kohan. In addition, stress, caffeine and aspirin can cause tinnitus, he said.

Continued

Treatment usually involves helping people cope with the condition, Kohan said. Treatments can include cutting out caffeine and aspirin and also taking supplements such as ginkgo biloba or B vitamins.

In addition, patients can use various devices to provide a background sound to mask the ringing in their ears. These can include white noise generators, an air conditioner, or even the TV, Kohan said. This can be especially effective at night when tinnitus can be at its worst.

Other treatments that may work are acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy, Kohan said. Patients can be taught to ignore the sound. Some patients may also need antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, he added.

Richard Tyler, an audiologist and professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Iowa, said that most insurance doesn’t cover treatment for tinnitus.

“It certainly is true that many tinnitus sufferers have severe problems with thoughts and emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration,” Tyler said. “Unfortunately, there is no reimbursement to the hearing health care field for counseling and sound therapy. This is a major obstacle.”

The report was published online May 2 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Christopher Cederroth, Ph.D., laboratory of experimental audiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Darius Kohan, M.D., director, otology/neurotology, Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital, New York City; Richard Tyler, Ph.D., audiologist and professor, department of communication sciences and disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City; May 2, 2019,JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Radiation Helps Some Hormone-Driven Breast Cancer

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For women with hormone-driven breast cancer, adding radiation to hormone therapy might keep their cancer from coming back for up to a decade, a new study finds.

Breast cancer didn’t come back in the same breast for 97.5% of women who had radiation therapy plus hormone therapy compared to just over 92% of women who had hormone therapy alone, the researchers said.

In addition, over the study’s 10-year follow-up period, 94.5% of the women in the radiation therapy group were still alive without a cancer recurrence, compared to just over 88% of women who only had hormone therapy.

Study author Dr. Gerd Fastner, from Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, said the study shows that adding radiation therapy can increase disease-free survival and improve the odds a cancer won’t come back over the long term.

Dr. Alice Police, regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Breast Care Centers Westchester in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., said the findings are important because “there have been a lot of studies trying to prove that in small cancers in postmenopausal women, there may be a group of women who can skip radiation. This study shows it’s still not safe to omit radiation therapy in women who have had breast-conserving surgery.”

Police added that while women with these specific cancers might think they can choose one treatment or another, a combination yields the best results.

The study included nearly 900 postmenopausal women. Fastner said they were between 46 and 80 years old, with an average age of 66. All of the women were from Austria, and most were white.

The women in the study all had breast cancer that was considered low risk for spreading. Their tumors were small in size (under 3 centimeters).

All of the women had breast-conserving surgery. That means rather than removing the entire breast (mastectomy), surgeons remove the tumor and a bit of the healthy tissue around the tumor.

The study patients all had hormone receptor-positive cancers, which means that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone fueled the cancer’s growth, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. About two of three breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive, according to the American Cancer Society.

Continued

After surgery, the women in the study were all treated with hormone therapies such as tamoxifen or anastrozole. These therapies either remove hormones or block their action, according to the cancer institute.

Some women — 439 — received radiation therapy for just over a month within six weeks of their surgery. The remaining 430 women took hormone therapy alone.

A decade later, 10 women in the radiation group had a recurrence of cancer in the same breast. In the hormone therapy-only group, 31 women had a cancer recurrence, the researchers found.

The findings are to be presented Sunday at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) meeting, in Milan. Findings presented at meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Fastner said it’s still a matter of some debate if all women with these low-risk cancers should be given radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery, largely because of newer techniques, such as partial breast radiation and brachytherapy.

And, in a small, select group of women, it might be better to forgo radiation.

“The total omission of radiotherapy should only be considered in frail, elderly patients who would not be able to tolerate such treatment,” Fastner said in a meeting news release.

Funding for the study was provided by Astra Zeneca, a pharmaceutical company that produces hormone therapies.

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Sources

SOURCES: Gerd Fastner, M.D., associate professor, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria; Alice Police, M.D., regional director, breast surgery, Northwell Health Breast Care Centers Westchester, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; April 28, 2019, presentation, ESTRO meeting, Milan

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Hospital Privacy Curtains Attract Some Scary Germs

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Privacy curtains in hospital rooms might offer patients some personal dignity, but they can also harbor dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.

That’s the claim of a new study where researchers took more than 1,500 samples from privacy curtains in 625 rooms at six skilled nursing facilities in Michigan. The samples were collected from the parts of the curtains touched most often. Samples were also gathered from patients.

Sampling was done when patients were admitted, and again after 14 days and 30 days, and then monthly up to six months, when possible.

The findings showed that 22% of the samples from the privacy curtains tested positive for multidrug-resistant organisms, with contamination rates ranging from 12% to 28.5%, depending on the facility.

Of those samples, nearly 14% were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), 6% with resistant gram-negative bacilli, and about 5% with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

“We were surprised to see that multidrug-resistant organisms, especially VRE, shed by patients routinely contaminate their privacy curtains. These pathogens on privacy curtains often survive and have the potential to transfer to other surfaces and patients,” the study authors wrote.

In fact, the same resistant germs were detected on patients and their privacy curtain in nearly 16% of the sampling visits, the researchers found.

“Patient colonization with MRSA and VRE were each associated with contamination of the bedside curtain,” according to Dr. Lona Mody and colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Where six-month data could be collected, curtain contamination was often intermittent, the investigators found.

The findings were scheduled for presentation this week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, in Amsterdam. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Based on the findings, the researchers said that drug-resistant germ contamination of privacy curtains is common, as is patient/curtain co-contamination.

“As privacy curtains are used all over the world, it’s a global issue,” Mody and colleagues explained in a meeting news release. “Further studies are needed to determine conclusively whether contaminated privacy curtains are a source of multidrug-resistant organism transmission to patients.”

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SOURCE: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, news release, April 11, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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