Antidepressant medications are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States – one of the top three, depending on who is counting -- owing to a dramatic rise in antidepressant use in the last 10 to 15 years. A new health policy report finds, however, that this increase in antidepressant use is driven by nonpsychiatrist healthcare providers, often without a diagnosis of depression.
Richard Asher, considered one of the preeminent medical thinkers of the 20th century, said, “If you give a man a pill there are only two things he can do with it: he can swallow it or he can throw it away.” As the production and use of medications increases worldwide, it has become clear that a solution to the problem of consumer drug disposal is essential. In the past, many consumers have been told to flush unused or expired medications; however, concerns regarding accumulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the water supply and the unknown environmental impact have increased the awareness for proper disposal methods. Furthermore, imprudent disposal may increase the risk of accidental poisoning and drug misuse.
The latest generation of sleep hypnotics -- Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), and Lunesta (zopiclone) -- have introduced new terms into the American lexicon. We now speak of people “sleep-driving” under the influence of these medications, for instance. The official guide that comes with Lunesta, to take one example, warns of the side effects this way: You may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.
Headache disorders can be painful and debilitating conditions. Ranging from infrequent tension-type headaches to cluster headaches to migraines, headaches affect nearly every individual at one time or another. Pain – particularly of the neck and back – accompany many headaches. Traditional pharmacological treatment begins with acetaminophen (Tylenol), but this is not effective for all headache sufferers. More potent pain-killers are used in a step-wise manner to treat pain associated with headache, and preventive and abortive treatments are available and effective for certain types of headache. The most alarming headache treatment option to emerge is the use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin (a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms).
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