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).
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new drug Makena (17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate) for the prevention of preterm labor. This is the first FDA-approved drug for this indication, but the active ingredient in the drug has been a standard of care for preventing preterm labor for nearly a decade. Until now, it has been compounded by pharmacies consequent to an individual medication order; this is not an approved practice in the eyes of the FDA, since the drug was never approved for use in preterm labor. Makena was originally met with triumph, but it soon felt like a tragedy to countless physicians and patients when KV Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Makena, announced that it would sell Makena for $1500 per injection. When compounded individually, the drug is available for $10 to $20 per injection. Up to 20 injections are needed per pregnancy. The FDA announced on March 30, 2011, that it will allow pharmacies to continue compounding individual orders for hydroxyprogesterone caproate injections without repercussions.
Colic is a syndrome that appears in up to 20% of infants. It is generally defined by a set of criteria in which a baby between the ages of 2 weeks and 16 weeks cries inconsolably for at least 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week, lasting at least 3 weeks. Colic has no defined etiology, and no effective treatments. But, any parent who has suffered through a baby with colic would be willing to try almost any remedy to soothe a crying baby.