Dr. Gustin's Blog

Darvon: Pulled from the Market in 2011

Darvon, generic name propoxyphene, is no longer.  Several months ago, the FDA pulled it from the market.  Some have called propoxyphene the worst drug in history.  Read more to see why:

Read more: Darvon: Pulled from the Market in 2011

Energy Drinks Are Dangerous

The latest craze amongst kids is energy drinks.  These drinks have high levels of caffeine.  When combined with other stimulants or alcohol or other illicit drugs, they become toxic, and have resulted in a surge of emergency room visits; in some cases death has resulted.  

The following news release points out some of the statistics and discusses this disturbing toxicologic phenomenon.

Read more: Energy Drinks Are Dangerous

Lead Levels to be Lowered Again...

Over the past 30 years the EPA and CDC have lowered the level of blood lead that has been considered acceptable based on newer and more sophisticated scientific studies demonstrating adverse health effects at lower and lower blood lead levels.  Now for the first time in 20 years a federal committee is again recommending that the acceptable level of blood lead by less than 5 mcg/L a 50% drop from its current acceptable level of 10 mcg/L.

Lead in children at even extremely low levels can cause neurobehavioral abnormalities including attention deficit disorder and lower intelligence.

To read the latest press release, CLICK HERE

FDA Warnings on Dronedarone

Dronedarone, brand name Multaq, is an increasingly popular anti-arrythmic drug used by cardiologists and critical care physicians.  The FDA has recently determined that this drug is dangerous in a certain subset of patients.  Death has been reported in patients who have chronic atrial fibrillation.  To see the full news report which was posted yesterday on a toxicology/pharmacology site, see the following article:

Read more: FDA Warnings on Dronedarone

Chronic Acetaminophen Toxicity

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most commonly consumed medication in the United States.  Most people just assume that it is benign and can be taken with impunity.  The truth, however, is that acetaminophen is toxic when taken in excess both acutely and chronically.  The following blog discusses a recent study out of Britain that proves just how toxic acetaminophen is when consumed regularly.  The dangers of this medication are clear and immediate.

Read more: Chronic Acetaminophen Toxicity

Problems Arising From Poor Patient Communication

Medical malpractice lawsuits frequently arise because of misundertandings, poor communication, and the reactive emotions that naturally follow. When patients become angry, they are apt to escalate the situation, magnify the problems or bad outcomes, and become predisposed to blaming the doctor or the hospital. Much litigation can be avoided if situations are de-escalated early.

There are ways to deal with such encounters in which you work with the angry patient and guide them through their emotions, and the accompanying volatility, to the point where it is possible to have a constructive, or at least manageable discussion with them.

Read more: Problems Arising From Poor Patient Communication

Can Vitamin Supplements Cause Death?

The following article is from a recent issue of Medscape. Vitamin supplements are ubiquitous and are commonly taking by people who want to be health conscious and maximally healthy. But not all vitamins and minerals are benign. The Medscape summarizes a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The citation appears at the end of this report. The study has serious public health implications.

Read more: Can Vitamin Supplements Cause Death?

Substance Abuse: New DEA Emergency Ban for Bath Salts

Recently the DEA took emergency action to ban for one year bath salts that are composed of PABS, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which is structurally and toxicologically related to pyrovalerone and a-pyrrolidinophenone compounds that inhibit norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake and act as central nervous system stimulants.  These salts are deadly, and are sold under the brand names:  Ivory Wave and Vanilla Sky.

Users take it orally, intranasally, intravenously, or rectally and achieve a high that is similar to methamphetamine.  It enhances alertness, increases energy, and is an aphrodisiac.  On the street, it is being called "legal cocaine".  

Doses as low as 3-5 mg will produce an effect.  The average dose ranges from 5 to 20 mg, and the risk for overdose is high because packages contain up to 500 mg.  In fact, it was the increase in overdose, emergency room visits, and death that prompted the DEA to take action.  Orally, absorption is rapid, and the rush (euphoria) that is produced peaks at 1-2 hours after ingestion, and the total effect lasts about 3-4 hours.

The physical effects of PABS include tachycardia, hypertension, arrhythmias, hyperthermia, seizures, stroke, myocardial infarction, and even death. Behavioral and mental effects include panic attacks, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, aggressive or violent behavior (such as self-mutilation, suicide attempts, and homicidal activity), insomnia, anorexia, and depression.

Emergency treatment consists of benzodiazepams for sedation and IV fluids to prevent hypercatabolic rhabdomyolysis.  Metabolic acidosis, if present, is treated in the usual manner.

Click Here:  to obtain the New England Journal of Medicine article in PDF format

A Vaccine for Substance Abuse?

Can you imagine a vaccine that would eliminate smoking, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin or opiate use?  Researchers are tantalizingly close to developing a vaccine that would permanently block those receptors that when stimulated by these and other substances of abuse provide the addictive euphoric and mind-altering effects.

Addicts would no longer be able to use and enjoy the effects of the substances they abuse.  The research is being headed by Dr. Janda at Scripps Research Institute.

To read the full NY Times article:  Click Here

Call Emergency Medicine Expert 510-549-1041
Copyright © 2020 - toxicologyexpert.net