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ABSTRACT: Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are common diseases in the United States. Patients with diabetes have a much higher rate of hypertension than would be expected in the general population. Regardless of the antihypertensive agent used, a reduction in blood pressure helps to prevent diabetic complications. Barring contraindications, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are considered first-line therapy in patients with diabetes and hypertension because of their well-established renal protective effects. Calcium channel blockers, low-dose diuretics, beta blockers, and alpha blockers have also been studied in this group. Most diabetic patients with hypertension require combination therapy to achieve optimal blood pressure goals.
Tourette's Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Tourette's syndrome is a movement disorder most commonly seen in school-age children. The incidence peaks around preadolescence with one half of cases resolving in early adulthood. Tourette's syndrome is the most common cause of tics, which are involuntary or semivoluntary, sudden, brief, intermittent, repetitive movements (motor tics) or sounds (phonic tics). It is often associated with psychiatric comorbidities, mainly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Given its diverse presentation, Tourette's syndrome can mimic many hyperkinetic disorders, making the diagnosis challenging at times. The etiology of this syndrome is thought to be related to basal ganglia dysfunction. Treatment can be behavioral, pharmacologic, or surgical, and is dictated by the most incapacitating symptoms. Alpha2-adrenergic agonists are the first line of pharmacologic therapy, but dopamine-receptor-blocking drugs are required for multiple, complex tics. Dopamine-receptor-blocking drugs are associated with potential side effects including sedation, weight gain, acute dystonic reactions, and tardive dyskinesia. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment can substantially improve quality of life and psychosocial functioning in affected children.
ABSTRACT: Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition affecting older men. Typical presenting symptoms include urinary hesitancy, weak stream, nocturia, incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Acute urinary retention, which requires urgent bladder catheterization, is relatively uncommon. Irreversible renal damage is rare. The initial evaluation should assess the frequency and severity of symptoms and the impact of symptoms on the patient's quality of life. The American Urological Association Symptom Index is a validated instrument for the objective assessment of symptom severity. The initial evaluation should also include a digital rectal examination and urinalysis. Men with hematuria should be evaluated for bladder cancer. A palpable nodule or induration of the prostate requires referral for assessment to rule out prostate cancer. For men with mild symptoms, watchful waiting with annual reassessment is appropriate. Over the past decade, numerous medical and surgical interventions have been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Alpha blockers improve symptoms relatively quickly. Although 5-alpha reductase inhibitors have a slower onset of action, they may decrease prostate size and alter the disease course. Limited evidence shows that the herbal agents saw palmetto extract, rye grass pollen extract, and pygeum relieve symptoms. Transurethral resection of the prostate often provides permanent relief. Newer laser-based surgical techniques have comparable effectiveness to transurethral resection up to two years after surgery with lower perioperative morbidity. Various outpatient surgical techniques are associated with reduced morbidity, but symptom relief may be less durable.
Mirtazapine: A Newer Antidepressant - Article
ABSTRACT: Mirtazapine is a newer antidepressant that exhibits both noradrenergic and serotonergic activity. It is at least as effective as the older antidepressants for treating mild to severe depression. Sedation is the most common side effect. Although agranulocytosis is the most serious side effect, it is rare (approximately one in 1,000) and usually reversible when the medication is stopped. Mirtazapine is relatively safe in overdose. Many clinicians consider mirtazapine a second-line or even third-line antidepressant to be used when older antidepressants are not tolerated or are ineffective. Physicians who are concerned about the risks of elevated lipid levels and agranulocytosis may choose to reserve mirtazapine as a third-line choice. It is particularly useful in patients who experience sexual side effects from other antidepressants. Mirtazapine is also a good choice in depressed patients with significant anxiety or insomnia. Although mirtazapine has been used successfully in Europe for a number of years, its place in the care of patients with depression in the United States has not yet been established.
Medical Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
Managing BPH: When to Consider Surgery - Editorials