drugs

For several hours on July 12, 2016, a group of 33 people in New York City were in a "zombie-like" state: staring blankly, moving and responding to medics slowly, and occasionally groaning. This bizarre spectacle was the result of a very bad trip on a synthetic cannabinoid that Reddit users have called "out-of-this-world potent."

Synthetic cannabinoids are used by researchers to study the nervous system, but they are now produced illegally and sold on the street. Though smoked like cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids share little in common with it or its active ingredient, THC. Indeed, the synthetic drugs are much more dangerous because some have killed people. 

To determine the cause of the NYC case, researchers chemically analyzed the contents of the packaging (shown in the...

There exists a long list of reasons not to take drugs: addiction, decreased productivity, deleterious health effects, damage to personal relationships, and the chance of fatal overdose are just a handful. To this tally of negative consequences, researchers have added another: an increased risk of suicide.

A team of Iranian epidemiologists searched the literature for papers on substance use disorder (SUD) and suicide. Because the researchers were primarily concerned with drugs other than alcohol, they excluded papers that did not separate the effects of alcohol from other drugs. They also excluded data on accidental overdose deaths. After applying these and other criteria, the team selected 43 papers (which represented a total of 870,967 participants) and performed a meta-...

The rising price for EpiPens, a drug delivery system that is crucial for persons experiencing potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, has resulted in outrage.

The price increase, from about US$94 for a two-pack of injectable epinephrine to more than $600 in just nine years, has...

FDA Stamp of ApprovalEarlier this month, the results of an investigation of the FDA by the federal General Accountability Office (GAO) were reported, and the agency is likely to be embarrassed by its findings. Under the rubric Drug Safety, the report was entitled "FDA Expedites Many Applications, But Data for Postapproval Oversight Need Improvement."

Beginning in 2003, the FDA set about establishing pathways for expedited reviews for new drug applications in certain categories where it was felt that the standard, multi-year process was too...

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Courtesy of PNAS

A surprising and disconcerting new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reveals a...

Drug ShortagesIn his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled "A Clintonian Misdirection on Drug Prices," former FDA associate commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb explains clearly how shortages of many common generic drugs have persisted, and indeed grown even worse, since this dire situation first manifested itself several years ago.

Our Dr. Josh Bloom discussed it in his 2011...

Fever 2When a mild fever strikes healthy kids or adults, that small rise in body temperature usually prompts a move towards the medicine cabinet, seeking relief in the form of a pill. But perhaps, this is a reaction that needs to be reconsidered.

The reason to do so comes into focus by first understanding why the body produces a fever in the first place. To that point, it's a self-corrective, physiological response that aids overall human health.

Knowing this, in deciding how to treat a fever, we need a better understanding of: normal human body temperature; what's happening to the immune and circulatory systems; and whether the...

TheFDA!Over the course of the past few weeks, we ve seen some disturbing alerts about commonly used drugs: a month ago, a large study showed a significant increased risk of heart attack associated with heartburn remedies of the proton-pump inhibitor class (PPIs): OTC drugs like Nexium and Prilosec, among many others. And only last week, the FDA revised their earlier warning on prescription...

market-movements-2-1388612-mHere s a simple question with nothing even close to a simple answer:

Do cancer drugs cost too much?

He says, There are obvious cases of recently approved cancer drugs that offer very little benefit in terms of either disease-free progression or extension of life. The annual cost for these drugs is roughly $100,000, but it can be more than twice that. The only reason that, in my mind, the answer is not clear-cut yes is that sometimes these drugs perform well better than expected, based on clinical trials.

ACSH friend and former...

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.14.53 PMThe answer is you won't believe it. ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom s new Science 2.0 piece examines why GNC and other supplement retailers are allowed to sell a stimulant called BMPEA. It is bad enough that it has never been tested in humans, but worse still, it is structurally and pharmacologically very similar to Adderall, aka amphetamine one of the drugs used to treat ADHD. This is a supplement?

What makes this especially insane is that Adderall is classified...