Q – Tips: PUPS

Q – Tips: PUPS

PUPS, also known as papular urticaria of pregnancy syndrome is the appearance of hives during pregnancy. It is a benign condition and causes no harm to the baby. Seventy percent of the time the child is male, leading some researchers to believe it is due to the male DNA irritating the mother.

Better efficiency noted in flu vaccines for persons over 50

Better efficiency noted in flu vaccines for persons over 50

Remember the word “recombinant” as it relates to flu vaccines for those over 50 years old. The definition of the term is a little “medical,” but progress in the research for a better flu vaccine to protect that age group is definitely worth cheering on. The current flu vaccine confers only 36% to 80% protection. This new DNA technology, as recently reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, was successfully used by the researchers to vaccinate with only the…

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Allergy to medical implants on the rise

Allergy to medical implants on the rise

Biomedical implants are becoming more and more common in today’s world of modern medicine. For instance, roughly one-million knee replacement surgeries were done in the U.S. last year. With these numbers, it’s not a surprise that allergic reactions to the implants is also increasing.  Diagnostic features of metal hypersensitivity to an implant include: rash developing in the skin overlying the implant, generalized skin rash beginning weeks to months after the implant, unexplained pain and/or failure of the implant, positive patch…

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Eczema relief: Dupixent approved; Nemolizumab research encouraging

Eczema relief: Dupixent approved; Nemolizumab research encouraging

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just recently approved the drug Dupixent for treating atopic dermatitis (eczema). It is a human monoclonal antibody (dupilumab) that targets two inflammatory molecules – IL-4 and IL-13 – the main driving forces for the rash and itch that characterize eczema. This drug is intended for people with moderate-to-severe eczema that is not otherwise controlled by antihistamines or topical steroids. The medicine is administered by subcutaneous injection from a pre-filled syringe. The current recommendation…

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Yellow jacket sting vs risk of immunization — relative

Yellow jacket sting vs risk of immunization — relative

Dear Dr. K:  My father, who is 70, has had two near-fatal anaphylactic reactions to yellow jacket stings. His cardiologist says he shouldn’t see an allergist for venom immune therapy (VIT) because he‘s on a beta-blocker since he had a heart attack. What should I tell him? Tell him it’s a matter of relative risk and he should see an allergist. This is a complex problem, but not a rare one, so a little explanation will help. First of all,…

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Guess everything needs a name, But really, EIEI-O and TWIT?

Guess everything needs a name, But really, EIEI-O and TWIT?

By Sasha Klemawesch –    A recent article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine gave me both pause for thought and a good chuckle. The researchers studied human behavior on escalators and moving airport sidewalks. They observed that more than 90% of passengers in these conveyances failed to move by stepping or walking, despite having no one in their immediate path. Moreover, they observed fairly frequent startle responses when fellow “travelers” asked to be able to step or walk past….

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Peanut allergy protection just got easier: peanut vaccine in a patch

Peanut allergy protection just got easier: peanut vaccine in a patch

A peanut patch vaccine is the newest option being studied for children with severe allergy to peanuts. The two types of “vaccine” that have received the greatest study are oral immunotherapy (OIT), and sublingual immune therapy (SLIT). Both approaches are flawed and thus have not been approved by the FDA. Oral therapy provides the best results in terms of vaccine protection against peanut exposure, but it has an intolerably high frequency of side effects. Sublingual therapy is less prone to…

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COPD treatment guidelines offered

COPD treatment guidelines offered

The Medical Letter recently published guidelines for treating COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease): For all COPD patients – Stop smoking. Patients with mild disease should use a short-acting bronchodilator inhaler as needed: either albuterol (beta agent), or ipatropium (muscarinic agent), or a combination of both (combivent). Patients with moderate disease should use regular inhaler treatments of a long-acting broncho-dilator – either a beta, muscarinic or combination agent. Patients with severe disease should add a daily inhaled steroid to step 3…

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Q – Tips: Chlorhexidine

Q – Tips: Chlorhexidine

The FDA has mandated that over-the-counter products containing chlorhexidine gluconate be labeled citing the risks of allergic reactions, including the rare anaphylaxis. Chlorhexidine is used as a topical antiseptic wash but is also found in prescription oral rinses. In medical settings, chlorhexidine is often used as a pre-op scrub or as a cleanser prior to IV or central line placement.