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Nonnarcotic Cough Suppressant Benzonatate Overdose Proves Fatal

Most people have a healthy respect for the dangers of opioid and narcotic prescription medications and as a result, are careful to take them exactly as prescribed. But the public may not be as aware that even nonnarcotic, nonopioid pharmaceutical drugs can cause serious—even fatal—complications if they are taken in large doses that exceed prescribing guidelines. This reality was recently …

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What’s Vitamin D Good For? The Evidence vs. The Hype

When you hit the physician’s office for your annual check-up and bloodwork, does your doctor test your vitamin D levels? If a “quick check” of vitamin D is a routine part of your health care, you aren’t alone. According to numbers I recently found, in 2016 alone, tests for vitamin D deficiency were ordered for Medicare patients alone no fewer …

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Two New Cases of HIV Remission Raise Hopes For Eventual Cure

In 2007, the scientific and medical ground shifted at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections when word emerged of the first patient whose HIV had apparently disappeared after two bone marrow transplants. At the time known only as “The Berlin patient,” Timothy Ray Brown had undergone the transplant procedures for leukemia (not HIV) only after chemotherapy had failed; his …

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Turmeric Can Cause Anemia? “Natural” May Not Always Mean “Safe”

When it comes to pharmacologic agents and their mechanisms of action, the line that divides “natural” and “unnatural” has always been somewhat…artificial. Consider medieval apothecaries. These equivalents of today’s drugstores and pharmacies once sold medicinal infusions, powders, tinctures, compresses, potions, and unguents to physicians and patients alike. But the medicines themselves? Those were prepared from wines, herbs, and spices. They …

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She’s Never Felt Pain or Anxiety and Heals Like a Superhero. It’s FAAH-OUT

Would you believe me if I told you a sort of “Wonder Woman” has been living on the shores of Loch Ness for 71 years…and for some reason, even though scores of amateur sleuths have been combing that area looking for something else out-of-the-ordinary, nobody ever noticed? It sounds like something out of science fiction or fantasy, but it’s not. …

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FDA Issues e-Cig Special Announcement: Seizures Reported after Vaping

It took decades to convince most Americans that smoking was harmful, but as health care professionals, we seem to have finally broken through the barriers and convinced most people that inhaling the incinerated byproducts of the tobacco plant directly into delicate lung tissue is a bad idea. If you want to see the evidence, check out this nationwide this Gallup …

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Fine, I’ll just vape without the nicotine.’ Not so fast! E-cig flavorings may cause damage all by themselves

Early last year, we got our first confirmation that vaping—once touted as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for smokers—isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. That confirmation came in the form of a 600+ page report that comprehensively analyzed 800 peer-reviewed studies. It concluded that the available evidence supports far more caution should be exercised with regard to vaping …