Category Archive: Meds

Suboxone for pain makes sense. Why don’t more doctors prescribe it?

Many patients who end up in Suboxone treatment have chronic pain. They were originally prescribed other opiates and ended up addicted to them. Skeptics argue that is just substituting one opiate for another. But that isn’t quite accurate. More on that …

The thorny side of medical marijuana

Patients legally using medical marijuana (cannabis) at home may be stunned if they are admitted to a hospital because many hospitals may prohibit them from using it. In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 31 states, and research shows that…

Students shouldn’t take Adderall as a study aid

College students work hard, and many are looking for ways to improve their studying and learn more effectively. Getting more sleep and more exercise would probably help, but up to a third are trying ADHD medications to see if pills can give them that e…

3 ways physician-pharma partnerships are improving quality of care

We’ve all heard about the importance of greater stakeholder collaboration in health care. It’s the premise of current movements aimed at improving the outlook on some of the most costly, chronic conditions. Like most physicians today, I maintain a tigh…

When Western medicine fails patients and clinicians

It’s a common scenario: a patient shows up to my office lugging a bagful of over-the-counter supplements, defiantly informing me that they “don’t believe in prescription drugs.” In the very next breath, they present a lab slip with a list of bloodwork …

Market-based approaches solving the opioid epidemic

Mary first took oxycodone after a minor surgery and found she liked it. Returning to her surgeon a month later with vague ongoing pain, she received another prescription. Her primary care provider took over from there — until one day that physician checked a urine drug screen and a prescription monitoring program (PMP) report, only […]

Market-based approaches solving the opioid epidemic

Mary first took oxycodone after a minor surgery and found she liked it. Returning to her surgeon a month later with vague ongoing pain, she received another prescription. Her primary care provider took over from there — until one day that physician checked a urine drug screen and a prescription monitoring program (PMP) report, only […]

A physician’s breakthrough against prior authorization

A few weeks ago, I saw a young patient who was suffering from an ear infection. It was his fourth visit in eight weeks, as the infection had proven resistant to an escalating series of antibiotics prescribed so far. It was time to bring out a heavier hitter. I prescribed ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic rarely used […]

Take a close look at the number of opioid pills you’re prescribing

Recently, a generally healthy friend of mine had two small, unrelated surgeries over the course of a few months. For the first, a small operation on his hand, he received a prescription for 30 oxycodone pills. He used one the night after surgery, to make sure pain wouldn’t wake him. Over the next few days […]

Telemedicine should be easy. Here’s why it’s not.

Who was Ryan Haight? Ryan Haight was an 18-year-old honor student from La Mesa, California who died on February 12, 2001, from an overdose of hydrocodone ordered from an online doctor he never saw — and shipped to his home from a rogue online pharmacy during the beginning of the opioid epidemic. The pharmacist, Clayton […]

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