Items in AFP with MESH term: Drug Therapy, Combination

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Insulin Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes: Rescue, Augmentation, and Replacement of Beta-Cell Function - Article

ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is characterized by progressive beta-cell failure. Indications for exogenous insulin therapy in patients with this condition include acute illness or surgery, pregnancy, glucose toxicity, contraindications to or failure to achieve goals with oral antidiabetic medications, and a need for flexible therapy. Augmentation therapy with basal insulin is useful if some beta-cell function remains. Replacement therapy with basal-bolus insulin is required for beta-cell exhaustion. Rescue therapy using replacement regimens for several weeks may reverse glucose toxicity. Replacement insulin therapy should mimic normal release patterns. Basal insulin, using long-acting insulins (i.e., neutral protamine Hagedorn [NPH], ultralente, glargine) is injected once or twice a day and continued on sick days. Bolus (or mealtime) insulin, using short-acting or rapid-acting insulins (i.e., regular, aspart, lispro) covers mealtime carbohydrates and corrects the current glucose level. The starting dose of 0.15 units per kg per day for augmentation or 0.5 units per kg per day for replacement can be increased several times as needed. About 50 to 60 percent of the total daily insulin requirement should be a basal type, and 40 to 50 percent should be a bolus type. The mealtime dose is the sum of the corrective dose plus the anticipated requirements for the meal and exercise. Adjustments should be made systematically, starting with the fasting, then the preprandial and, finally, the postprandial glucose levels. Basal therapy with glargine insulin provides similar to lower A1C levels with less hypoglycemia than NPH insulin. Insulin aspart and insulin lispro provide similar A1C levels and quality of life, but lower postprandial glucose levels than regular insulin.


Using Progestins in Clinical Practice - Article

ABSTRACT: Progestational agents have many important functions, including regulation of the menstrual cycle, treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, prevention of endometrial cancer and hyperplastic precursor lesions, and contraception. Because of the reported side effects of synthetic analogs called "progestins," there has been interest in replicating the natural hormone for clinical use. Natural progesterone is obtained primarily from plant sources and is currently available in injectable, intravaginal and oral formulations. An oral micronized progesterone preparation has improved bioavailability and fewer reported side effects compared with synthetic progestins. Adolescents and perimenopausal women may require progestational agents for the treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding resulting from anovulatory cycles. These agents may also be used in women at risk for endometrial hyperplasia because of chronic unopposed estrogen stimulation. Progestin-only contraceptives can be used in women with contraindications to estrogen; however, efficacy requires rigorous compliance. New progestins for use in combination oral contraceptive pills were specifically developed to reduce androgenic symptoms. It is unclear whether these progestins increase the risk of venous thromboembolic disease. Progestin-only emergency contraception offers a regimen that is more effective than combination oral contraceptive pills, with fewer reported side effects.


Quinupristin-Dalfopristin: A New Antibiotic for Severe Gram-Positive Infections - Article

ABSTRACT: The steady increase in resistant organisms is related to the widespread use of antibiotics in community and hospital settings. New therapeutic options are needed, including treatments for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant gram-positive organisms. Quinupristin-dalfopristin, the first formulation of a distinct class of antibiotics known as the streptogramins, has activity against a range of gram-positive bacteria that are usually resistant to other agents, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. The pharmacodynamic (postantibiotic effect) and pharmacokinetic characteristics of quinupristin-dalfopristin allow dosing at eight- to 12-hour intervals. The safety profile of the formulation is generally favorable, with no demonstrable ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity, bone marrow suppression, or cardiovascular adverse effects. Reversible arthralgias, myalgias, and peripheral venous irritation are the formulation's major side effects. A potential for drug interactions exists because quinupristin-dalfopristin significantly inhibits the cytochrome P450-3A4 enzyme system. Quinupristin-dalfopristin has been shown to be effective in the management of documented severe infections caused by vancomycin-resistant E. faecium, nosocomial pneumonia, and infections related to the use of intravascular catheters.


Management of Common Symptoms in Terminally Ill Patients: Part II. Constipation, Delirium and Dyspnea - Article

ABSTRACT: In addition to pain, patients who are approaching the end of life commonly have other symptoms. Unless contraindicated, prophylaxis with a gastrointestinal motility stimulant laxative and a stool softener is appropriate in terminally ill patients who are being given opioids. Patients with low performance status are not candidates for surgical treatment of bowel obstruction. Cramping abdominal pain associated with mechanical bowel obstruction often can be managed with morphine (titrating the dosage for pain) and octreotide. Delirium is common at the end of life and is frequently caused by a combination of medications, dehydration, infections or hypoxia. Haloperidol is the pharmaceutical agent of choice for the management of delirium. Dyspnea, the subjective sensation of uncomfortable breathing, is often treated by titration of an opioid to relieve the symptom; a benzodiazepine is used when anxiety is a component of the breathlessness.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder - Article

ABSTRACT: From 2 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age have severe distress and dysfunction caused by premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Current research implicates mechanisms of serotonin as relevant to etiology and treatment. Patients with mild to moderate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome may benefit from nonpharmacologic interventions such as education about the disorder, lifestyle changes, and nutritional adjustments. However, patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and those who fail to respond to more conservative measures may also require pharmacologic management, typically beginning with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This drug class seems to reduce emotional, cognitive-behavioral, and physical symptoms, and improve psychosocial functioning. Serotoninergic antidepressants such as fluoxetine, citalopram, sertraline, and clomipramine are effective when used intermittently during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Treatment strategies specific to the luteal phase may reduce cost, long-term side effects, and risk of discontinuation syndrome. Patients who do not respond to a serotoninergic antidepressant may be treated with another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Low-dose alprazolam, administered intermittently during the luteal phase, may be considered as a second-line treatment. A therapeutic trial with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist or danazol may be considered when other treatments are ineffective. However, the risk of serious side effects and the cost of these medications limit their use to short periods.


Alternative Therapies for Traditional Disease States: Osteoarthritis - Article

ABSTRACT: Americans spend more on natural remedies for osteoarthritis than for any other medical condition. In treating osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, two of the molecular building blocks found in articular cartilage, are the most commonly used alternative supplements. In randomized trials of variable quality, these compounds show efficacy in reducing symptoms, but neither has been shown to arrest progression of the disease or regenerate damaged cartilage. Although few clinical trials on S-adenosylmethionine exist, preliminary evidence indicates that it relieves pain to a degree similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but with fewer side effects. Clinical trials of dimethyl sulfoxide offer conflicting results. Neither ginger nor cetyl myristoleate has proven clinical usefulness.


Management of Helicobacter pylori Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcer disease and a primary risk factor for gastric cancer. Eradication of the organism results in ulcer healing and reduces the risk of ulcer recurrence and complications. Testing and treatment have no clear value in patients with documented nonulcer dyspepsia; however, a test-and-treat strategy is recommended but for patients with undifferentiated dyspepsia who have not undergone endoscopy. In the office setting, initial serology testing is practical and affordable, with endoscopy reserved for use in patients with alarm symptoms for ulcer complications or cancer, or those who do not respond to treatment. Treatment involves 10- to 14-day multidrug regimens including antibiotics and acid suppressants, combined with education about avoidance of other ulcer-causing factors and the need for close follow-up. Follow-up testing (i.e., urea breath or stool antigen test) is recommended for patients who do not respond to therapy or those with a history of ulcer complications or cancer.


Controlling Hypertension in Patients with Diabetes - Article

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.


Combination Therapy with ACE Inhibitors and Angiotensin-Receptor Blockers in Heart Failure - Article

ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers have different pharmacologic mechanisms for blocking the effect of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system on the cardiovascular system. Pharmacologically, the combination of these drug classes completely blocks the deleterious effect of angiotensin in patients with heart failure. However, clinical trials have not shown a marked benefit from using this combination compared with using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors alone. Patients who take combination therapy do not live longer, although they are less likely to be hospitalized for worsening symptoms. Most patients who take combination therapy will not experience marked improvement in symptoms or quality of life.


Asthma Update: Part II. Medical Management - Article

ABSTRACT: The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program recently updated its guidelines for the management of asthma. An evidence-based approach was used to examine several key issues regarding appropriate medical therapy for patients with asthma. The updated guidelines have clarified these issues and should alter the way physicians prescribe asthma medications. Chronic inhaled corticosteroid use is safe in adults and children, and inhaled corticosteroids are recommended as first-line therapy in adults and children with persistent asthma, even if the disease is mild. Other medications, such as cromolyn, theophylline, and leukotriene modifiers, now are considered alternative treatments and should have a more limited role in the management of persistent asthma. The addition of a long-acting beta2 agonist to an inhaled corticosteroid is superior to all other combinations as well as to higher dosages of inhaled corticosteroids alone. Combination therapy with an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2 agonist is the preferred treatment for adults and children with moderate to severe asthma. Antibiotic therapy offers no additional benefit in patients with asthma exacerbations.


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