Midnight of 31st December will ring in 2011 amid much revelry. The bygone year however left much to ponder in medicine. Briefly:
- Propoxyphene, a painkiller, was linked with potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities and withdrawn. Drugs like Algaphan, Diagesic, Distalgesic, Depragesic, Femidol, Darvon etc contain propoxyphene and need to be avoided/changed.
- HbA1c is a better test to screen for diabetes according to new guidelines and would lead to earlier diagnosis and fewer missed diagnoses.
- Calcium supplements taken without Vitamin D may increase the risk of heart attack by up to 30%. So take Vit D with your calcium tablet!
- Tramadol (Tramal, Adolan, Campex, Merlon, Tramagesic etc.), a commonly used morphine-like painkiller, is not only habit forming but linked to a higher risk of suicide!
- Chocolate may be good for you! Consumption of chocolate may decrease the incidence of stroke and stroke related death.
- Codeine (Codagesic, Napadoc, Paracod, Paracodeine etc), a common morphine-like painkiller used for 6 months is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular (heart) events. Use for as little as 30 days is linked to a higher risk of death from all causes. Especially to be avoided in the elderly.
With best wishes for a happy and risk-free new year from your friendly neighbourhood orthopod!