Bronchodilators evolve better and safer

Bronchodilators evolve better and safer

Dear Dr. K:  I recently heard that the “black-box” warnings on LABAs (long-lasting bronchodilators) has been removed.  Is that true, and are LABAs safe? These are two great questions.  The answer to both is “yes”.  It’s best, however, that we explain a few things.  The two most common of these bronchodilators are Formoterol and Salmeterol.  They are basically long-acting forms of Albuterol.  When they first became available about 20 years ago they could be used as a single agent to…

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An allergy shot for Alzheimer’s? In the pipeline. . .

An allergy shot for Alzheimer’s? In the pipeline. . .

By:  Sasha Klemawesch, RN, MD Well…sort of.  Alzheimer’s has been and continues to be one of the most frustrating diseases for researchers, patients, and caregivers alike.  But there may be hope on the horizon. A new immune therapy called Aducanumab – an antibody against B-Amyloid – is undergoing human testing right now.  B-Amyloid leads to plaque creation and deposition in the brain, and those plaques, along with neurofibrillary tangles  caused by the Tau protein, are the two key pathologic findings…

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Eczema med Dupixent may also offer major benefits to asthmatics

Eczema med Dupixent may also offer major benefits to asthmatics

In a previous newsletter we discussed the new biologic drug Dupixent (Dupilumab) as a true “Godsend” for severe eczema.  By way of reminder, it is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the interleukin-4 receptor, and thereby prevents the inflammation that causes eczema.  This medicine has proven to be both safe and effective, and the injections can be done at home. Because interleukin-4 also plays a big role in asthmatic inflammation, researchers at Washington University have studied its benefits in severe steroid-dependent…

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Summer means lots of swimming fun, but remember to stay alert and aware

Summer means lots of swimming fun, but remember to stay alert and aware

Bathing in warm sulfur spring water has been touted for its potential health benefits, but some susceptible individuals – especially allergic people who may tend to have dry skin or eczema – may turn up with a severe skin rash from exposure to this water. Typically, the rash appears suddenly about 24 hours after the water exposure.  The rash is red with a look of “punched out” ulcers and pits.  It is caused by the acidic nature of the hydrogen…

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Q – Tips : Summer is here

Q – Tips : Summer is here

Summer is grass pollen season in Florida and throughout the United States.  This summer’s weather pattern has led to higher than usual pollen levels.  One simple measure to reduce grass pollen is to mow the lawn more frequently.  The pollen comes from tall “overgrown” grass stalks that contain the flowering plant heads.  

Q Tips: NAC

Q Tips: NAC

If you’re looking for help with breaking up thick mucus in the sinuses or lungs, try N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC).  NAC is a stable form of the amino acid L-cysteine and has a wonderful benefit of loosening and lessening thick mucus.  Because it is basically an amino acid (a building block for proteins), it is considered a food supplement and is safe to use.

New drug goes after major cause of asthma — eosinophils

New drug goes after major cause of asthma — eosinophils

Maybe you’ve seen the ads on TV lately for Fasenra, also known as Benralizumab, a new monoclonal antibody to help treat asthma. Fasenra blocks the proliferation of asthma-causing bad guys called eosinophils. The decreasing of these white blood cells helps prevent asthmatic inflammation. The new Fasenra antibody is “selective for interleukin-5 (IL-5),” counteracting this chemical mediator that causes the proliferation of eosinophils — the major cause of asthma. It is indicated for severe asthmatics 12 years old or older. Clinical…

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Causes clearer for this eczema than relief

Causes clearer for this eczema than relief

Dyshidrotic eczema is a common condition that is still poorly understood. In fact, there is as much confusion with its name(s) as with its etiology. The condition is a type of eczema that is characterized by pruritic vesicles (itchy, tiny blisters) that erupt in the fingers, palms and sometimes feet. It affects both children and adults, and can range from a rare, self-limiting problem to a chronic, severe and sometimes debilitating one. Unfortunately, it also tends to be resistant to…

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Diabetes med Metformin quite a multi-tasker

Diabetes med Metformin quite a multi-tasker

Dear Dr. Sasha K: I read that the Metformin I take for my Type II diabetes has an anti-cancer benefit. Is this true? In a word: yes. Metformin is an old drug that keeps making itself new. Metformin’s origins go back to medieval Europe where the French lilac plant was used to treat diabetes. The lilac contains biguanide, the main component of Metformin. This drug works for diabetes by reducing the amount of glucose the liver makes by decreasing the…

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Pharma companies give free meds for school adrenalin emergencies

Pharma companies give free meds for school adrenalin emergencies

The two pharmaceutical companies that produce the two available forms of auto-injector adrenalin to deal with anaphylactic (allergic) shock are offering a program of free epinephrine doses to schools. The companies are Mylan, which makes the EpiPen, and Kaléo, maker of Auvi-Q. Epinephrine, as many know, must be on hand to treat food allergy and insect sting emergencies. Even with insurance coverage, these drugs have become very expensive. For some families this expense limits the purchase of the adrenalin to…

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