Medical Notes


e careful even with over-the-counter (OTC pain relievers.   Acetaminophen (paracetamol) should never be taken with alcohol; this could potentially damage your liver.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, can cause ulcers in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Never take this kind of medication on an empty stomach.

Antiviral medications are different from antibiotics. Antivirals are effective against viruses, whereas antibiotics are effective against disease caused by bacteria.

Medical science has figured out how to replace nearly every part of the human body, from prosthetic limbs to artificial hearts, pacemakers to ear implants,  But until recently, ‘manufacturing’ blood was no more than a pipe dream.  In 2017, England’s National Health Service (NHS), conducted early safety trials in which 20 people were given small amounts of synthetic blood made from stem cells. The short-term goal was to create red blood cells to treat specific conditions and illnesses, like sickle cell anemia. The long-term goal is to make enough for transfusions to treat people with rarer blood types.

Half of patients with Type 2 diabetes will die from complications of cardiovascular disease. The odds go up to 70 percent after reaching the age of 65. Recently, however, two new medications began reducing the mortality rates considerably.  Empagliflozin modifies the progression of heart disease by working with the kidney while Liraglutide has a comprehensive effect on many organs. Given these positive results, experts predict a marked shift in the lineup of medicines prescribed for diabetes patients. 

 One of the first cellular immunotherapies for leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphomas is about to hit the market. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies are a type of immunotherapy where a patient’s immune system T-cells are removed and genetically reprogrammed to seek and destroy tumor cells. Results have been impressive. Some studies focusing on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have reported a remission rate of 90 percent.

Tests known as "liquid biopsies” uncover signs ofactual DNA, or cell-free circulating tumor DNA(ctDNA), which is shed from a tumor into thebloodstream. This ctDNA is more than 100 times more abundant in the blood than tumor cells.

While studies are still underway, annual sales of this revolutionary cancer test are forecast to be $10 billion. Several companies are developing testing kits to hit the market this year.

Most sexually active women contract human papillomavirus (HPV). Certain strains of HPV are responsible for 99 percent of cases of cervical cancer. Despite great strides in HPV prevention and treatment, the benefits are restricted to a small population — women with access to HPV tests and vaccines. To expand access, scientists have developed self-administered HPV test kits that include a test tube, a swab and a mail-in box. Women can administer their own test, mail a sample back to a lab and be alerted to dangerous strains of HPV. Experts believe that 2018-2019 will see  these tests deployed on a large scale, representing the biggest prevention effort for cervical cancer to date.

One in 9 newborns in the U.S. is born prematurely, about 450,000 children a year. But thanks to medical research, the survival rate for preemies has improved dramatically over the last few decades. One of the biggest threats faced by a baby that small is Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), which develops when a baby's immature lungs are unable to produce enough of compound known as surfactant needed to help them breathe. The development in the 1980s of a way to supplement surfactant helped lead to a 41 percent decline in deaths from RDS.