Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

If you haven't taken Paxlovid you cannot possibly fathom the vile sensory experience called "Paxlovid tongue." What to do? Write a song. The Blues, of course.
Wanna hear something sickening? Neurontin, a drug developed for epilepsy and used off-label for neuropathic pain, had its sales grow 250% between 2004 and 2019. Why? We don't have 250% more epileptics. No, it's because the drug is being forced down the throats of people who can no longer get sufficient pain relief. The result? Abuse and also more overdose deaths. Just another chapter in our psychotic war against legitimate opioid drugs and the people who need them.
Recently, Contrafect, an antibiotic biotech company developing a novel product for the treatment of severe staphylococcal infections, suffered a failure in its phase 3 trial. The trail was designed to show the superiority of its new drug over standard treatments. Why is it so hard to show that one antibiotic works better than another in a clinical trial?
We sure need a new pain medicine without the baggage of NSAIDs or the stigma of opioids. Johnson & Johnson thinks it might have an answer - a derivative of Tylenol without the associated liver toxicity. But does it treat pain? Not very well.
In general, the dietary supplement industry has the scruples of a three-card monte game. One of the most popular products is melatonin, which is used as a sleep aid because it's natural (wrong) and not a drug (also wrong). Let's take a look at some supplement sleight of hand.
It has always been known that biological females and males have different body compositions.  For example, men typically are larger, have more muscle, and weigh more than women in humans, a trend seen across almost all mammals.  That difference can potentially influence body hydration, organ blood flow, and organ function, which can affect many drugs' metabolism.  
This is some potentially exciting news coming from China: a Covid drug called Azvudine (originally an HIV drug) that appears to be quite effective in reducing symptoms from the infection. However, there are two problems: 1) The information comes from Chinese newspapers, not journals; 2) the science doesn't add up.
Since 2020 Dr. Roneet Lev has been doing podcasts called High Truths, most often about addiction and drugs. So, I was happy to participate in an episode about fentanyl. It turned into quite a bit more.
Paxlovid, the most effective Covid drug to date has its share of critics. But is the criticism fair? Drs. Henry Miller (an ACSH advisor) and Josh Bloom examine the benefits and limitations of the drug.
The FDA just decided that the anti-Covid drug Paxlovid can be prescribed by pharmacists. ACSH & Company was on this 6 months ago.
News organizations have recently been down on Paxlovid, while it has become the standard of care. Some claim Pfizer's Covid drug "has lost its luster" because of "failures" in two clinical trials. Now, a third trial looks like it could deliver another black mark: the drug doesn't improve symptoms in low-risk patients with Covid. Is this criticism valid? Let's look a little deeper.
There's been a lot of news, some of it fear-mongering, about Pfizer's Covid drug Paxlovid. Some people are having their symptoms return after completing the five-day course. Does that mean there is something wrong with the drug, or it's simply a property of the virus? Drs. Henry Miller and Josh Bloom try to provide an answer in Issues & Insights.