Certain Antihypertensive Drugs Associated with Risk for Lip Cancer.


Some commonly used antihypertensive drugs — hydrochlorothiazide and nifedipine — might increase the risk for lip cancer, according to a case-control study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Using a California-based cancer registry, researchers matched some 700 non-Hispanic white adults diagnosed with lip cancer to some 23,000 controls free of lip cancer. Patients who filled three or more prescriptions for hydrochlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide-triamterene, and nifedipine — all photosensitizing agents — had roughly double the risk for lip cancer relative to those with no prescriptions filled. Risks increased with duration of use. Atenolol, which is non-photosensitizing, was not associated with increased risk.

The authors write that photosensitizing drugs may absorb energy from sunlight, which leads to the release of electrons. This then produces free radicals that can cause inflammation.

An Archives‘ editor writes: “When initiating use of photosensitizing agents for our patients, we need to remind them of … simple measures to avoid sun exposure.”

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine

 

Honey Helps Kids with Nocturnal Cough.


In children with nighttime cough, honey appears to offer symptom relief and improve sleep quality, according to a study in Pediatrics. (The study was funded, in part, by the Honey Board of Israel.)

Nearly 300 children aged 1 to 5 years who presented to Israeli pediatric clinics with upper respiratory infections were randomized to a single, 10-g dose of honey or placebo within 30 minutes of bedtime. Their parents completed questionnaires before randomization and then the day after treatment.

Compared with baseline, cough symptoms and sleep quality improved significantly with honey and with placebo. However, improvements were greater in the honey groups than in the placebo group. Adverse events did not differ across the groups.

The researchers speculate that an interaction between fibers that control cough and those that taste sweetness may produce an antitussive effect. They conclude: “In light of this study, honey can be considered an effective and safe treatment [for nocturnal cough] of children >1 year of age.”

Source: Pediatrics

Retinopathy in Blacks Starts at Lower Levels of HbA1c Than in Whites.


Although blacks generally have higher glycated hemoglobin levels than whites at the same blood glucose levels, they develop retinopathy at lower HbA1c levels than whites, an Annals of Internal Medicine study finds. The authors say this difference in retinopathy risk argues against setting higher diagnostic levels of HbA1c for blacks.

Researchers examined U.S. NHANES data on over 3000 people. They found that after adjustment for such factors as hypertension and BMI, higher risks for retinopathy started at HbA1c levels of 6.0% and higher in whites, but at levels of 5.5% and higher in blacks. The reasons underlying the risk difference are unknown.

The authors conclude that their results “suggest that the HbA1c levels at which the risk for prevalent retinopathy begins to increase are lower in black adults than in white adults, arguing against a higher HbA1c diagnostic cutoff for blacks.”

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine article

The Basics of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.


  1. 1.       What does BHRT stand for?
    Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. BHRT is the use of supplemental doses of hormones that have a chemical structure identical to the hormones that the human body naturally produces.

    2. What does BHRT do?
    Treats the symptoms of menopause, perimenopause and postmenopause.

    3. How are BHRT treatments created?
    If bioidentical hormones are purchased at a compounding pharmacy, a cocktail of hormones is created, uniquely tailored for each individual patient. If they’re purchased at a conventional pharmacy, these hormones are available in a range of set doses. In both instances, the prescriptions are based on a series of tests administered by a doctor. Many of the bioidentical hormones used are made from soybeans and wild yams, which contain unique compounds that are processed chemically and made into identical replicas of hormones the body produces. They are used for their cost-effectiveness as well as their ability to readily extract compounds and turn them into exact replicas of human hormones.

    4. What is BHRT like?
    After a doctor determines a patient is in hormonal decline, he or she will administer static dosing, which is when hormone levels are approximated and a patient is prescribed the same amount of estradiol every day of the month. On days 18 to 28, a doctor would prescribe a static dose of progesterone to imitate what the body made previously.

    5. What are the different forms of BHRT?
    Static dosing is one manner. There also is rhythmic cycling, which is based on the cycles of nature and is meant to mimic the time during which women are at their reproductive peak. Rhythmic cycling is a relatively new approach in BHRT.

    6. How is BHRT taken?
    Bioidentical hormones are applied via a cream, a suppository, taken orally or are injected.

 

According to news reports, two of the main reasons doctors are hesitant to prescribe bioidentical hormones are the lack of long-term studies about their safety and inconsistencies with how some of these hormones are made.

The FDA sent The Oprah Show this official statement: “The FDA does not recognize the terms ‘BHRT’ and ‘bioidentical.’ Many compounding pharmacies use ‘bioidentical’ as a marketing term to imply that drugs are natural or have effects identical to those from hormones made by the body. FDA is not aware of credible scientific evidence to support these claims. There are potentially serious adverse effects associated with long term use of these products—even when consumers use FDA-approved hormone therapy drugs that have been proven safe and effective. FDA recommends that women use these products at as low a dosage and for the shortest amount of time necessary.”
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Bioidentical-Debate-with-Suzanne-Somers/9#ixzz22rR3jSA3

 

Source: http://www.oprah.com/health