June

1. Strike up another victory for the DURAGESIC pain patch. A patient who had suffered for years with chronic pain from PORPHYRIA had great hopeful pain relief with this patch. Porphyria is a difficult disease to treat because of the extensive drug interactions, so discovering a safe and effective pain treatment is considered a major breakthrough. Duragesic also has found a niche in treating Rheumatoid arthritis. It works so well in this disease I consider it part of the diagnosis.

2. Music Motivates Eating for patients with dementia. An article in Clinical Geriatrics Vol 8, N 13, reports from the American Dietetic Association's annual meeting found that music can motivate patients to eat more often. Results suggested that over 20% more calories were consumed when background music was played. Super!

3. Opioids Still Worthwhile Despite Street-Drug Taint. A report from Atlanta, Oxycodone and other long-acting opioids are essential drugs of last resort for patients with peripheral neuropathy and other chronic pain, Dr. Sidney H. Schnoll said at the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine. "I think it's important to recognize that these also are useful products, and we're hearing only one side of the story. We're not hearing about the literally millions of patients who have benfited from the long-acting opiods," Dr. Schnoll said. Getting to the optimal dose requires changes. That may sound simple, but in everyday practice, fear of prescribing too much of a controlled agent results in patients never truly achieving a therapeutic effect and then lapsing into pseudo-addiction.

4. Vitamin E Supplements Cut Heart Disease Risk. Results from two major studies on cardiovascular disease, "Our data suggest that supplementation with vitamin E lowers coronary heart disease risk, and the decrease is greatest in those without preexisting risk factors." said Dr. Eric B. Rimm of Harvard Medical School, Boston. His report was given at a conference on cardiovascular disease sponsored by the American Heart Association.