The term "opioid" has become a dirty word. "Synthetic" is also dirty. When putting them together you get something that is dirty but also confusing -- and probably intentionally so. There's no scientific reason to categorize a drug as a "synthetic opioid" or a "synthetic anything," as you will read here. To see how silly it is, let's perform the same exercise with antibiotics and see how that works out.
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
It's now more than seven months into the pandemic in the U.S. and doctors and scientists have been trying pretty much everything -- with little to show for their efforts. Perhaps the most effort has gone into finding drugs to prevent the immune system meltdown caused by the virus. Here's another: Can a simple, safe, approved drug called phenylbutyric acid tread the line between under- and over-treatment of the immune system by reducing cell stress?
What happens to the global economy if the medicine ends up harming those it is meant to cure?
Europe used to be the voice of reason in antibiotic discovery and development, but that is no longer the case. The European Medical Agency, Europe's equivalent of the FDA, is requiring so many clinical trials for antibiotics that it is no longer feasible for companies to market the drugs in the E.U. ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes (pictured) explains.
It is difficult to overstate the potential damage that an ineffective or unsafe coronavirus vaccine could inflict on confidence in public health institutions. Conspiracy theories already abound and would multiply further.
The University of Oxford, in collaboration with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, has produced a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate. However, the Phase 3 clinical trial was paused because one patient is thought to have developed a serious adverse reaction. What could it be?
There is no safe way to inject heroin. Narcan (naloxone) may not save your life. Your friends may not be able to, either.
For every additional microgram per liter of lithium in the water supply, the suicide rate dropped by 0.27 per 100,000 people per year.
If you're someone who believes that the Food and Drug Administration is purely guided by science and that politics has never influenced its decisions, we likely live on different planets. As for some background, here's some recommended reading to go with our overall perspective on this issue.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of studying repurposed drugs to battle COVID-19. In an interview, ACSH advisor Dr. Kathie Seley-Radtke weighs in on this method while providing a glimpse at some of the very promising research now going on in her lab. If you want to know how antiviral drug discovery might tame COVID-19, this is a must-read.
Antibiotic resistance, or AMR infections, has been with us since the dawn of the antibiotic era. Their numbers grow slowly every year and they are often hidden from view, but we don’t consider this issue a crisis. Why? Because it's been going on for so long? Because AMR infections are a chronic, and not an acute, problem? Why is this not a crisis?
In March I wrote about Phase IIa results of a novel NSAID-like drug ATB-346 (now called otenaproxesul), which is structurally and functionally similar to naproxen (Aleve). But the non-opioid drug lacks its gastrointestinal side effects, especially ulcers. Now Phase IIb results are in and it still looks good. Will it become the first member of a novel class of pain drugs? We could sure use it. A summary of the company's report to shareholders.