Blog

  1. April 12, 2024

    Hormones after 65? You bet!

    Just because you’ve hit 65, ladies, doesn’t mean you have to give up on hormone therapy. That’s according to the North American Menopause Society* — a new paper it published says, essentially, that fears of cancer and heart disease are unfounded … sort of. Rather, the risk is nuanced:

    A new large-scale study based on the records of 10 million senior Medicare women from 2007 to 2020, however, suggests that the implications of HT [hormone therapy] use beyond age 65 years vary by type, route, and dose.

    In other words, ‘there is no general rule for stopping hormone therapy in a woman based on age alone.’

    Did you read that bit about "type, route, and dose"? That's what your pharmacist can help with. There are more options than you know of, and he or she can work with your physician to make sure you get the right, safe, hormones customized

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  2. April 12, 2024

    Patient Case: The Use of Methylene Blue in Canine Methemoglobinemia

    There's an interesting case study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine about a dog (juvenile, mixed breed) who presented with cyanosis, tachycardia, tachypnea, lethargy, exercise intolerance, and aggression when touched on the head.

    There's a lot going on there. To cut to the chase, a methylene blue IV administration (1 mg/kg) took care of the problem, which turned out to be a pair of gene mutations that led to reductase deficiency and then methemoglobinemia.

    The symptoms returned after 11 days, but a slightly higher dose of the methylene blue fixed the issue and now Fido (not his real name) gets that higher concentration every other day which keeps his methemoglobin concentration at bay.

    Methemoglobinemia can affect different animals differently, and while the solution seems straightforward — methylene blue — it's obviously critical to choose the right concentration and possibly

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  3. April 12, 2024

    The Most Challenging Places to Live with Allergies: A 2024 Report

    Take a warming climate, a wet spring, and the fact that it's, well, spring, and you have the recipe for a fun-filled allergy season. And by "fun-filled" we mean not fun at all — sniffles, sneezes, watery eyes, and all the joy that comes with an immune system lashing out like a berserk warrior in a role-playing game.

    Some cities, though, are better for allergy sufferers than others — looking at you, Akron, Ohio, (where you'll find the lowest 'allergy burden' among major US cities).

    On the other end of the spectrum, send some thoughts and prayers to Wichita, Kans., which is the worst city to live in if you have seasonal allergies. That's based on "pollen scores for tree, grass, and weed pollen, over-the-counter medication use (allergy), and number of allergy specialists," in a new report (PDF) from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation

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  4. April 05, 2024

    Menopause brings major heart risks

    Most people think of menopause as a hormonal event. Sure, it can have a lot of effects on a woman's body — hot flashes and mood swings are probably what you think of — but it turns out there's a bigger danger lurking behind the scenes: heart problems.

    A new study out of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center found that "A woman's cardiovascular risk can rise sharply after she goes through menopause" — so high, in fact, that it's on par with men of a certain age.

    It's almost certainly about the estrogen. Lower levels after menopause seem to increase the buildup of coronary artery calcium (CAC), aka plaque. And plaque levels don't just increase — the buildup accelerates, "indicating that many women experience a steep rise in the risk of heart problems."

    This doesn't mean women should rush out and start taking estrogen supplements; you don't want to play fast and loose

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