Items in AFP with MESH term: Complementary Therapies
ABSTRACT: Premenstrual syndrome is defined as recurrent moderate psychological and physical symptoms that occur during the luteal phase of menses and resolve with menstruation. It affects 20 to 32 percent of premenopausal women. Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder experience affective or somatic symptoms that cause severe dysfunction in social or occupational realms. The disorder affects 3 to 8 percent of premenopausal women. Proposed etiologies include increased sensitivity to normal cycling levels of estrogen and progesterone, increased aldosterone and plasma renin activity, and neurotransmitter abnormalities, particularly serotonin. The Daily Record of Severity of Problems is one tool with which women may self-report the presence and severity of premenstrual symptoms that correlate with the criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision. Symptom relief is the goal for treatment of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. There is limited evidence to support the use of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B6 supplementation, and insufficient evidence to support cognitive behavior therapy. Serotonergic antidepressants (citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine) are first-line pharmacologic therapy.
ABSTRACT: The common cold, or upper respiratory tract infection, is one of the leading reasons for physician visits. Generally caused by viruses, the common cold is treated symptomatically. Antibiotics are not effective in children or adults. In children, there is a potential for harm and no benefits with over-the-counter cough and cold medications; therefore, they should not be used in children younger than four years. Other commonly used medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, oral prednisolone, and Echinacea, also are ineffective in children. Products that improve symptoms in children include vapor rub, zinc sulfate, Pelargonium sidoides (geranium) extract, and buckwheat honey. Prophylactic probiotics, zinc sulfate, nasal saline irrigation, and the herbal preparation Chizukit reduce the incidence of colds in children. For adults, antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, codeine, nasal saline irrigation, Echinacea angustifolia preparations, and steam inhalation are ineffective at relieving cold symptoms. Pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, inhaled ipratropium, and zinc (acetate or gluconate) modestly reduce the severity and duration of symptoms for adults. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal preparations, including Echinacea purpurea, improve symptoms in adults. Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms. Hand hygiene reduces the spread of viruses that cause cold illnesses. Prophylactic vitamin C modestly reduces cold symptom duration in adults and children.
Atopic Dermatitis: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema, is a chronic pruritic skin condition affecting approximately 17.8 million persons in the United States. It can lead to significant morbidity. A simplified version of the U.K. Working Party’s Diagnostic Criteria can help make the diagnosis. Asking about the presence and frequency of symptoms can allow physicians to grade the severity of the disease and response to treatment. Management consists of relieving symptoms and lengthening time between flare-ups. Regular, liberal use of emollients is recommended. The primary pharmacologic treatment is topical corticosteroids. Twice-daily or more frequent application has not been shown to be more effective than once-daily application. A maintenance regimen of topical corticosteroids may reduce relapse rates in patients who have recurrent moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are calcineurin inhibitors that are recommended as second-line treatment for persons with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis and who are at risk of atrophy from topical corticosteroids. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a boxed warning about a possible link between these medications and skin malignancies and lymphoma, studies have not demonstrated a clear link. Topical and oral antibiotics may be used to treat secondary bacterial infections, but are not effective in preventing atopic dermatitis flare-ups. The effectiveness of alternative therapies, such as Chinese herbal preparations, homeopathy, hypnotherapy/biofeedback, and massage therapy, has not been established.