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patient-care

Some drugs may be off-label, but not off focus

Photo courtesy Flickr user Jamie

The advancement of medicine and technology have allowed doctors to find many uses for medications beyond the initially intended benefits. For example, a teenager’s alopecia was recently cured by an arthritis drug. This type of use is called “off-label drug use,” the common term for using a medication to treat or manage symptoms outside the approved uses.

Off-label drug use is more prominent than you may think. For example, aspirin helps reduce blood pressure and oral contraception can be used to treat acne or endometriosis. These are all examples of using a drug off-label.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: The evidence is in (again). Vaccines are safe

Photo courtesy Flickr user Lou Bueno

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published fraudulent evidence blaming the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination as the cause of autism in young children, prompting parents around the world to stop vaccinating their children. Despite the fact the paper was retracted, the damage was done and the anti-vaccine movement is still prevalent today.

CNN recently addressed the issue of vaccination refusal, and stated once again that children should be vaccinated. Period.

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news-and-notes

Chronic stress, depressive symptoms, and hostility associated with increased risk of stroke

Photo courtesy Flickr user hapal

A new study from the University of Minnesota links negative emotions with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, or mini strokes) in middle-aged and older adults.

The results are published in the latest edition of the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

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patient-care

Study urges reduction in use of routine pelvic exams for women

Photo courtesy Flickr user Maggie Osterberg

After reviewing 52 past studies, researchers from the University of Minnesota and VA found little evidence to support routine pelvic exams for average-risk women with no gynecological symptoms, other than for cervical cancer screening.

For decades, providers and patients alike recognized pelvic exams as a part of a woman’s routine health exams. The study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, has led to a new clinical practice guideline being issued by the American College of Physicians.

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education

50 years out: Will your genes define your Rx?

Photo: Flickr user net_efekt/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/4ahq13

Tylenol should relieve pain, cough suppressants should ease cough and serious ailments should reliably respond to vital medication. But when a prescribed medicine doesn’t do its intended job, it can be difficult to decide who or what is to blame.

It doesn’t help that sometimes the problem doesn’t lie within the medicine or the doctor; it can lie within your genes.

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in-the-news

In The News: Future of hospitals: Revamping to Meet Patient Needs

Photo courtesy Flickr user Nick Dawson

As technology expands, its use in hospitals increases dramatically. In the future, the use of technology will allow hospitals to center their facilities around patient needs instead of the needs of doctors and nurses.

Instead of simply going to the closest hospital, an increasing amount of patients search online to find the best possible care. This has inspired hospitals to rebrand their facilities in order to attract patients.

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