ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Subopitmal glycemic control in hospitalized patients with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus can have adverse consequences, including increased neurologic ischemia, delayed wound healing and an increased infection rate. Poor glycemic control can also affect the outcome of the primary illness. If possible, hospitalized diabetic patients should continue their previous antihyperglycemic treatment regimen. Decreased physical activity and the stress of illness often lead to hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes. When indicated, insulin is given either as a supplement to usual therapy or as a temporary substitute. The overall benefit of the traditional sliding-scale insulin regimen has been questioned. Insulin supplementation given according to an algorithm may be a logical alternative. Any antihyperglycemic regimen should be administered and monitored in a manner coincident with the intake of food or other sources of calories. Factors that can alter glycemic control acutely, including specific medical conditions and medications, should be identified and anticipated.
ABSTRACT: The primary goal of antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is suppression of viral replication. Evidence indicates that the optimal way to achieve this goal is by initiating combination therapy with two or more antiretroviral agents. The agents now licensed in the United States for use in combination therapy include five nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, stavudine and lamivudine), two nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (delavirdine and nevirapine) and four protease inhibitors (saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and nelfinavir). Current recommendations suggest that antiretroviral therapy be considered in any patient with a viral load higher than 5,000 to 20,000 copies per mL, regardless of the CD4+ count. Selection of the combination regimen must take into account the patient's prior history of antiretroviral use, the side effects of these agents and drug-drug interactions that occur among these agents and with other drugs as well. Because of the potential for viral resistance, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors should only be used in combination therapy. Antiretroviral agents are rapidly being developed and approved, so physicians must make increasingly complex treatment decisions about medications with which they may be unfamiliar.
Aminoglycosides: A Practical Review - Article
ABSTRACT: Aminoglycosides are potent bactericidal antibiotics that act by creating fissures in the outer membrane of the bacterial cell. They are particularly active against aerobic, gram-negative bacteria and act synergistically against certain gram-positive organisms. Gentamicin is the most commonly used aminoglycoside, but amikacin may be particularly effective against resistant organisms. Aminoglycosides are used in the treatment of severe infections of the abdomen and urinary tract, as well as bacteremia and endocarditis. They are also used for prophylaxis, especially against endocarditis. Resistance is rare but increasing in frequency. Avoiding prolonged use, volume depletion and concomitant administration of other potentially nephrotoxic agents decreases the risk of toxicity. Single daily dosing of aminoglycosides is possible because of their rapid concentration-dependent killing and post-antibiotic effect and has the potential for decreased toxicity. Single daily dosing of aminoglycosides appears to be safe, efficacious and cost effective. In certain clinical situations, such as patients with endocarditis or pediatric patients, traditional multiple dosing is still usually recommended.
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.
ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic, relapsing condition with associated morbidity and an adverse impact on quality of life. The disease is common, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 25 to 35 percent in the U.S. population. GERD can usually be diagnosed based on the clinical presentation alone. In some patients, however, the diagnosis may require endoscopy and, rarely, ambulatory pH monitoring. Management includes lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy; refractory disease requires surgery. The therapeutic goals are to control symptoms, heal esophagitis and maintain remission so that morbidity is decreased and quality of life is improved.
ABSTRACT: A growing number of Americans are using herbal products for preventive and therapeutic purposes. The manufacturers of these products are not required to submit proof of safety and efficacy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before marketing. For this reason, the adverse effects and drug interactions associated with herbal remedies are largely unknown. Ginkgo biloba extract, advertised as improving cognitive functioning, has been reported to cause spontaneous bleeding, and it may interact with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents. St. John's wort, promoted as a treatment for depression, may have monoamine oxidase-inhibiting effects or may cause increased levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Although St. John's wort probably does not interact with foods that contain tyramine, it should not be used with prescription antidepressants. Ephedrine-containing herbal products have been associated with adverse cardiovascular events, seizures and even death. Ginseng, widely used for its purported physical and mental effects, is generally well tolerated, but it has been implicated as a cause of decreased response to warfarin. Physicians must be alert for adverse effects and drug interactions associated with herbal remedies, and they should ask all patients about the use of these products.
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (or blockers) are a newer class of antihypertensive agents. These drugs are selective for angiotensin II (type 1 receptor); unlike angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they do not inhibit bradykinin metabolism or enhance prostaglandin synthesis. Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are well tolerated. Cough occurs much less often with these agents than with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and they do not adversely affect lipid profiles or cause rebound hypertension after discontinuation. Clinical trials indicate that angiotensin-II receptor antagonists are effective and safe in the treatment of hypertension. Their use in congestive heart failure and renal disease is under investigation.
ABSTRACT: Outpatient detoxification of patients with alcohol or other drug addiction is being increasingly undertaken. This type of management is appropriate for patients in stage I or stage II of withdrawal who have no significant comorbid conditions and have a support person willing to monitor their progress. Adequate dosages of appropriate substitute medications are important for successful detoxification. In addition, comorbid psychiatric, personality and medical disorders must be managed, and social and environmental concerns need to be addressed. By providing supportive, nonjudgmental, yet assertive care, the family physician can facilitate the best possible chance for a patient's successful recovery.
Update on Oral Contraceptive Pills - Article
ABSTRACT: Oral contraceptive pills are widely used and are generally safe and effective for many women. The World Health Organization has developed a risk classification system to help physicians advise patients about the safety of oral contraceptive pills. The choice of pill formulation is influenced by clinical considerations. By choosing appropriately from the available pill formulations, family physicians can minimize negative side effects and maximize noncontraceptive benefits for their patients. Additional monitoring and follow-up are necessary in special populations, such as women over 35 years of age, smokers, perimenopausal women and adolescents. Third-generation progestins are additional options for achieving noncontraceptive benefits, but their use has raised new questions about thrombogenesis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled emergency postcoital contraception for use following unprotected coitus. Oral contraceptive pills are associated with few clinically significant drug interactions, although consideration of interactions remains important.
Clinically Significant Drug Interactions - Article
ABSTRACT: A large number of drugs are introduced every year, and new interactions between medications are increasingly reported. Consequently, it is no longer practical for physicians to rely on memory alone to avoid potential drug interactions. Multiple drug regimens carry the risk of adverse interactions. Precipitant drugs modify the object drug's absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion or actual clinical effect. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and, in particular, rifampin are common precipitant drugs prescribed in primary care practice. Drugs with a narrow therapeutic range or low therapeutic index are more likely to be the objects for serious drug interactions. Object drugs in common use include warfarin, fluoroquinolones, antiepileptic drugs, oral contraceptives, cisapride and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors. Many other drugs, act as precipitants or objects, and a number of drugs act as both. Regularly updated manuals of drug interactions and CD-ROM-formatted programs are useful office references.