22 February 2011

The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect

Some of the interesting features of the placebo effect:

Darvocet decision a prelude a warm up for banning methadone?

Christian Sinclair over at Pallimed does some sleuthing into the FDA's rationale for pulling propoxyphene and comes away concerned:

He notes that
* Propoxyphene is a synthetic derivative of methadone.

* Methadone causes QT prolongation of questionable clinical significance in palliative care patients.

* QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias.

Combined with some FDA memo analysis (go read the post) he concludes

Well all this may be a whole lot of nothing but my real concern is that methadone may be a drug in the crosshairs of the FDA soon. It already has four strikes against it:

1) documented QT prolongation

2) stigma of heroin treatment programs

3) accelerating percent of all deaths related to opioids

4) methadone could be considered an orphan drug

This would be bad news indeed.

(Via: Pallimed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog: Are You Glad Darvocet Got Pulled by the FDA? Are You Sure?)

10 February 2011

Images from the History of Medicine (NLM)

Just discovered the National Library of Medicine's archive of images. Pretty neat (in a depressing sort of way).
Here's the main site:

and here's a link to search results for pain:

Images from the History of Medicine (NLM) - Search Results: All Fields SimilarTo 'Pain'