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A Drug A Day

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Aceclofenac

Aceclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Aceclofenac works by inhibiting the cyclo-oxygenase enzyme responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins, inflammatory mediators that can cause pain and swelling and induce fever and inflammation. Used for the relief of symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

 

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Cetuximab

 

Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody which is given by intravenous infusion. Cetuximab is used for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancers and head and neck cancer.

Cetuximab can cause side effects such as an acne-like rash, which is generally reversible. Further severe infusion reactions include but are not limited to: fevers, chills, rigors, urticaria, itchiness, rash, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, headache, shortness of breath, wheezing, angioedema, dizziness, anaphylaxis, and cardiac arrest.

Cetuximab works by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptors.

Methocarbamol

 

Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant that works by blocking nerve impulses sent to the brain. It is used to treat skeletal muscle spasms, and the muscle relaxant effects are largely attributed to the central depressant effects.

Methocarbamol has a high therapeutic index and common doses range between 3-6g daily, but can go as high as 24g for severe conditions such as tetanus. However, potential side effects include dizziness, disorientation, drowsiness, ataxia, nausea, fever and blurred vision. Due to the list of side effects associated with methocarbamol, it is considered a risk drug for the elderly.

 

Esomeprazole

Esomeprazole is used for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (in short term situations) for patients with irritation and swelling of the esophagus and are unable to take medications by mouth. Esomeprazole can also be taken in order to reduce the risk of bleeding ulcers post-endoscopy.

The method of action of esomeprazole is that it works as a proton pump inhibitor and so reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Esomeprazole is NOT recommended if the patient suffers from low blood B12/ potassium/magnesium levels, and diuretics are not recommended to be taken with esomeprazole as they can exacerbate the risk of low blood magnesium levels.

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Sorry for my hiatus. I’ve had a few health issues that needed to be dealt with but I am on the mend! Back to your normal scheduled daily posts.

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Mepacrine

Mepacrine can be used as an anti-malarial drug, an antibiotic and as a treatment for some types of systemic lupus, as well as giardasis.

The exact anti parasitic mechanism of action is unknown, but mepacrine is thought to interfere with the outer membranes of Protozoa.

Research is currently being undergone to ascertain whether Mepacrine would be a suitable treatment for persons affected with Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (mad cow disease).

Triflupromazine

Triflupromazine is a phenothiazine classed drug which is used as an anti-emetic and an antipsychotic. Used to treat serious mental disorders including schizophrenia, the drug reduces anxiety, emotional withdrawal, hallucinations, blunted mood and paranoia. Triflupromazine can also be used to control severe nausea as well as vomiting, and hiccups!

Triflupromazine works by binding to the dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, inhibiting their activity. Triflupromazine works on the central nervous system. By blocking the dopamine D2 neurotransmitter receptors in the chemoreceptor trigger zone and vomit centre, the anti-emetic functionality of the drug presents.

Lumacaftor/Ivacaftor

Lumacaftor, commonly known as Orkambi, is a drug used to treat specific variants (F508del) of cystic fibrosis, a disease in which the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein becomes dysfunctional. It is combined with ivacaftor for treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Lumacaftor works as a protein folding chaperone to increase the number of CFTR proteins reaching the cell surface rather than being destroyed by the F508del mutation. Ivacaftor is a potentiator of CFTR already at the cell surface which ensures the defective channel will be open and allow chloride ions to flow through.

Common side effects include interference with hormonal contraceptives, respiratory discomfort upon initiating treatment and children may develop cataracts.

Duloxetine

Duloxetine is a drug used for ongoing treatment of major depressive disorder as well as generalised anxiety disorder. Duloxetine can also be used for treatment of neuropathic pains associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia.

Duloxetine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. A potent inhibitor of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake, Duloxetine is a less potent inhibitor of dopamine reuptake. Duloxetine can also be used for urinary incontinence in women, by which the potentiation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the spinal cord which then increases the urethral closure forces and so involuntary urine loss is reduced. However the drug is not approved for this use in the US due to concerns over liver toxicity.

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