Our Opioid Crisis is perhaps a Side Effect of Our Mental Health Crisis

There is a lot of money invested to address our current opioid crisis. We discuss an opioid strategy and implement measures at various levels.  We distribute naloxone kits through our community pharmacies, we provide support through academic detailing services at physicians’ offices and we increase awareness of the risks and harm with long term opioid use in public education campaigns. On many levels, all these activities are addressing our ongoing opioid crisis. But if we dig further, we are also looking at our mental health crisis that desperately needs more attention too.

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Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms – “Oozing from the Orifices”

I am happy to see some of my patients’ opioid therapies being tapered down. Last week, I went to a talk on Opioid Use Disorder. The speaker described the opioid withdrawal symptoms as “oozing from the orifices”.  I agree this description wholeheartedly! When opioids are tapered too quickly, it can cause tearing eyes, runny nose and diarrhea…..

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Is Nabilone the next best thing?

Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid, originally marketed for nausea and vomiting secondary to chemotherapy. However, its recent drug shortage isn’t because we have many patients who require it for nausea and vomiting.  I think the drug shortage is a side effect of two things that are happening in our society: 1) the opioid crisis, 2) legalization of marijuana

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Shingles – to treat or to prevent?

I have seen few cases of Shingles recently – both confirmed and false ones which have prompted me to look closer at the current recommended approach – to treat or to prevent? Shingles or herpes zoster is caused by a varicella-zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV3). It is the same virus that causes chicken pox in kids. But in Shingles, it is a result of latent reactivation within the sensory ganglia of the nervous system.

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The Role of the Pharmacist during the Opioid Crisis

As we continue to hear the impact of the opioid crisis in our communities across Canada, I wonder how pharmacists have positioned themselves in the communities to help address the concern.   Continue reading The Role of the Pharmacist during the Opioid Crisis

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Every time when I hear the term fibromyalgia, I always need to look up what it means, its pathophysiology, clinical presentations and its guidelines and management strategies. In fact, Hauser et al recently published a review article, looking at the management of fibromyalgia.  The authors describes the various diagnostic criteria and recommendations from Canada, Germany and Israel and highlighted how they differ to a great extent in their overall approach in symptoms description, recommended investigations and screening procedures.

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