ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Drug Therapy, Combination
Management of Dyslipidemia in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: The importance of treating dyslipidemias based on cardiovascular risk factors is highlighted by the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines. The first step in evaluation is to exclude secondary causes of hyperlipidemia. Assessment of the patient's risk for coronary heart disease helps determine which treatment should be initiated and how often lipid analysis should be performed. For primary prevention of coronary heart disease, the treatment goal is to achieve a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level of less than 160 mg per dL (4.15 mmol per L) in patients with only one risk factor. The target LDL level in patients with two or more risk factors is 130 mg per dL (3.35 mmol per L) or less. For patients with documented coronary heart disease, the LDL cholesterol level should be reduced to less than 100 mg per dL (2.60 mmol per L). A step II diet, in which the total fat content is less than 30 percent of total calories and saturated fat is 8 to 10 percent of total calories, may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to the target range in some patients. A high-fiber diet is also therapeutic. The most commonly used options for pharmacologic treatment of dyslipidemia include bile acid-binding resins, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, nicotinic acid and fibric acid derivatives. Other possibilities in selected cases are estrogen replacement therapy, plasmapheresis and even surgery in severe, refractory cases.
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.
Drug Treatment for URIs: Back to the Drawing Board - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Patients receiving antidepressant monotherapy may be partially or totally resistant to treatment in 10 to 30 percent of cases. In patients who have experienced only partial treatment results, the clinician should first consider optimizing antidepressant dosage or lengthening therapy. Antidepressant drug substitution should generally be reserved for use in patients who haven't responded at all (nonresponders). Combining two or more antidepressants is generally not recommended, as this approach may obscure adequate monotherapy evaluation and lead to significant adverse effects or drug-drug interactions. Use of electroconvulsive therapy is recommended in patients with psychotic and severe refractory depression. Augmentation therapy is often efficacious in patients who exhibit a partial antidepressant response. Lithium and thyroid hormone have been the most extensively studied augmentative agents but, more recently, pindolol and buspirone have also been used for this purpose.
Treatment Guidelines for Heart Failure Stress Multidrug Approach - Special Medical Reports
ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic and interventional studies have led to lower treatment targets for type 2 diabetes (formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes), including a glycosylated hemoglobin level of 7 percent or less and a before-meal blood glucose level of 80 to 120 mg per dL (4.4 to 6.7 mmol per L). New oral medications make these targets easier to achieve, especially in patients with recently diagnosed diabetes. Acarbose, metformin, miglitol, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone and troglitazone help the patient's own insulin control glucose levels and allow early treatment with little risk of hypoglycemia. Two new long-acting sulfonylureas (glimepiride and extended-release glipizide) and a short-acting sulfonylurea-like agent (repaglinide) simply and reliably augment the patient's insulin supply. Combinations of agents have additive therapeutic effects and can restore glucose control when a single agent is no longer successful. Oral therapy for early type 2 diabetes can be relatively inexpensive, and evidence of its cost-effectiveness is accumulating.
ABSTRACT: Except for a small subset of patients with angina whose survival is improved with coronary artery bypass surgery, chronic stable angina can be appropriately managed with medical therapy in the vast majority of patients. Drug therapy includes aspirin, beta-adrenergic blockers, cholesterol-lowering agents and other anti-ischemic drugs that can ameliorate angina and improve the patient's quality of life. Understanding how and when to use these medicines involves knowledge of the mechanisms of these drugs as well as familiarity with the literature supporting their efficacy in various patient populations.
Topical Therapy for Acne - Article
ABSTRACT: Acne is a common problem in adolescents and young adults. The disorder is caused by abnormal desquamation of follicular epithelium that results in obstruction of the pilosebaceous canal. This obstruction leads to the formation of comedones, which can become inflamed because of overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes. Topical retinoids such as tretinoin or adapalene are effective in many patients with comedonal acne. Patients with inflammatory lesions benefit from treatment with benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid or topical antibiotics. Frequently, the use of comedonal and antibacterial agents is required.
Managing Pain in the Dying Patient - Article
ABSTRACT: End-of-life care can be a challenge requiring the full range of a family physician's skills. Significant pain is common but is often undertreated despite available medications and technology. Starting with an appropriate assessment and following recommended guidelines on the use of analgesics, family physicians can achieve successful pain relief in nearly 90 percent of dying patients. Physicians must overcome their own fears about using narcotics and allay similar fears in patients, families and communities. Drugs such as corticosteroids, antidepressants and anticonvulsants can also help to alleviate pain. Anticonvulsants can be especially useful in relieving neuropathic pain. Side effects of pain medications should be anticipated and treated promptly, but good pain control should be maintained. The physical, psychologic, social and spiritual needs of dying patients are best managed with a team approach. Home visits can provide comfort and facilitate the doctor-patient relationship at the end of life.
ABSTRACT: Herpes zoster (commonly referred to as "shingles") and postherpetic neuralgia result from reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus acquired during the primary varicella infection, or chickenpox. Whereas varicella is generally a disease of childhood, herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia become more common with increasing age. Factors that decrease immune function, such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, chemotherapy, malignancies and chronic corticosteroid use, may also increase the risk of developing herpes zoster. Reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus from dorsal root ganglia is responsible for the classic dermatomal rash and pain that occur with herpes zoster. Burning pain typically precedes the rash by several days and can persist for several months after the rash resolves. With postherpetic neuralgia, a complication of herpes zoster, pain may persist well after resolution of the rash and can be highly debilitating. Herpes zoster is usually treated with orally administered acyclovir. Other antiviral medications include famciclovir and valacyclovir. The antiviral medications are most effective when started within 72 hours after the onset of the rash. The addition of an orally administered corticosteroid can provide modest benefits in reducing the pain of herpes zoster and the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia. Ocular involvement in herpes zoster can lead to rare but serious complications and generally merits referral to an ophthalmologist. Patients with postherpetic neuralgia may require narcotics for adequate pain control. Tricyclic antidepressants or anticonvulsants, often given in low dosages, may help to control neuropathic pain. Capsaicin, lidocaine patches and nerve blocks can also be used in selected patients.