Posts Tagged ‘FDA’

Blackout Beers: Caffeine + Alcohol = Dangerous?

PharmD 2011 |

We know that the energy drink, Red Bull, has been around since 1987.  We don’t know, however, when the first individual had an epiphany and said to his friend, “Hey, this would be great mixed with alcohol!” Whoever he is, he probably regrets failing to patent his idea. At one point in time, it was the drink to order because it had everything most young (but, of course, over 21) drinkers would ask for. Alcohol to develop a buzz? Yes. Caffeine from an energy drink to make sure the buzz doesn’t make you sleepy? Yes. Flavored? Yes.  Flash-forward a decade or so at which point companies have caught on and have started manufacturing drinks called caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CAB’s) or alcoholic energy drinks (AED’s) that contain both caffeine and alcohol already combined for you (no bartender needed). We’ll be referring to them as CAB’s for the rest of the article for consistency’s sake. There were more than 25 different brands of CAB’s on the market a couple of years ago including popular brands like Sparks, Four Loko, Joose, and Max. Combining alcohol and energy drinks has always been controversial due to concerns over the cardiovascular effects of such a combo. Recently, the controversy has heated up due to multiple hospitalizations linked to consuming CAB’s.  As potential consumers of these drinks, you may be wondering why they are so bad for you and what the future holds for CAB’s.  Grab a drink and keep reading.

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02 2011

Botox: Just for Cosmetic Use…Right?

MD 2012 |

For generations, mankind has searched for the mythical “fountain of youth” that will both make them look and feel younger while prolonging their life.  While immortality remains a myth, modern cosmetic medicine has found a number of ways to make us appear younger, with the wonder drug that is Botox toping the list.  Since the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic purposes, its use has spread like wildfire across the country to the point where Botox is now a household name.  But what is Botox?  Furthermore, do we use Botox for anything besides wrinkles?

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01 2011

The Mad Hatter + Fish: Mercury Levels & Your Health

by Brenton Bauer, MD 2011 |

You are probably wondering why the title of this article references a character from Lewis Carrol’s famous childhood story, Alice and Wonderland, when we are supposed to be discussing the effects of mercury on human health. Well, interestingly enough, it has everything to do with mercury. To take you back on a quick journey through history, 19th century hat makers (aka “hatters”) used to utilize a mercury-based solution in the process of curing animal pelts for their hats. Furthermore, they typically worked in very poorly ventilated workshops and, during the curing process, they would inhale large quantities of vaporized mercury. Over time, these hatters began developing neurological symptoms, which Carrol used as the framework for the idiosyncrasies seen in the character of the Mad Hatter. As Lewis Carrol has shown us, mercury and its impact on human health is not a novel idea. There is, however, a lot of hype regarding this heavy metal in contemporary news. Below, we strive to break down some of the key issues regarding mercury’s interaction with human health in today’s day and age.

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12 2010

Shopping for Pills Across the Border

by Georgina Lee, PharmD 2011

How many times have you heard, “Drugs are too expensive in the U.S., just buy them from Canada!”  Nowadays, all you have to do is Google “Canadian medications” and you’ll have access to over a million online pharmacies at your fingertips.  Yet, how many of them are legitimate (and not located in a dilapidated one-bedroom cabin in a remote part of northern Canada)?  Not only are the same medications you’d find in America available, they are also much cheaper, especially for those without insurance (such as the 15 million unemployed people out there).  The question remains, however: Do we really know how reliable these online pharmacies are?  Do we know where and how they are getting their medications?

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10 2010

Sunny side up with a side of Salmonella, please

by Georgina Lee, PharmD 2011 |

If you’re the type of person that absolutely adores breakfast burritos, scrambled eggs, Egg McMuffins and anything else you can get your hands on made with eggs (think puff pastries), then the recent Salmonella scare is like a real life Steven King novel for you.  More than 500 million eggs have been recalled by the FDA nationwide including brands such as Ralph’s, Albertson and Farm Fresh (that’s a lot of potential omelets).  The question is: How serious are these bugs that have managed to make national headlines?  Do you need to swear off eggs for good?

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09 2010

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