Category: Pharmaceuticals

What goes in must come out – in some form or another. Our bodies are relatively efficient processing systems, so when we have extracted what we require from pharmaceutical agents, the rest is excreted in urine and faeces and finally makes its way to our wastewater.  Seventy-two percent of these pharmaceuticals end up in our […]

Do drugs really lose their potency and if they do are they really a danger to us? The recent decision by the FDA to extend the shelf life of EpiPens beyond what is on the label has challenged conventional thinking about the long-term safety of stored drugs – and it’s about time. Unfortunately, there is very […]

Pharmaceutical names are an important part of branding products. They are designed to encode a message about the product. Older names were focussed on the clinical aspects of a drug. Sometimes they alluded to the disease such as Procardia for heart problems and Tamiflu for influenza treatment. Other names related to what the drug does […]

Recycling old drugs is not new.  Clinicians quite often prescribe treatments with drugs that are “off label”, that is, proven for other conditions. Up to one-fifth of all available drugs are prescribed off-label. Almost 90% of drugs that are approved for one condition have other conditions that they can treat. Fortunately, most off-label uses are […]

One in three adults use daily medicines that don’t require prescriptions. Most of these over the counter (OTC) medications are our first treatment for common problems such as pains, aches, sprains, colds and rashes. Non-prescribed use of pain killers comes in fourth in the list of most frequently used drugs: behind alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, […]

Patients know how to take holidays from their illnesses. In one study of patients on blood pressure medications, half of them stopped treatment within a year of starting and the other half had at least one drug holiday every year. Drug holidays can also extend life It seems you can miss a few doses and […]