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Amiodarone hydrochloride intravenous injection (Faulding Pharmaceuticals) is now available to initiate treatment for, and to prevent, frequently occurring ventricular fibrillation and hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia in patients who have not responded to other therapies. Patients for whom oral amio-darone is indicated but who cannot take drugs orally are also suitable candidates for the injectable form. generic protonix
The drug is available in packages of 10 ampules, each at a dose of 150 mg/3 ml.
An experimental vaccine has been found to be 100% effective in preventing the mortality associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV), now considered to be the cause of all cases of cervical cancer. It is expected that the vaccine will be marketed within five years.
Cervical cancer affects almost 450,000 women throughout the world each year, and the mortality rate in women with this disease is 50%. In the U.S, where Papanicolaou (Pap) smears are widely used for screening, cervical cancer occurs in about 15,000 women each year and about one third die as a result of this disease.
The new vaccine is aimed at viral strain type 16, which is responsible for about 50% of cases. Merck & Company and the University of Washington tested the vaccine on American women ages 16 to 23 and observed their status for almost a year and a half. Of the 768 women who received injections, none showed type 16 infection or precancer-ous tissue; however, of the 765 women who took “dummy” injections, 41 experienced persistent infections and nine had precancerous tissue. singulair drug
The women who had been inoculated were able to build up almost 60 times the concentration of virus-fighting antibodies than women whose infections are a consequence of natural causes. Some researchers had suspected that the cervical mucous membrane would have posed a barrier to these antibodies.
Because cervical cancer is caused by multiple viral strains, it is unclear whether it can be eradicated completely. One disease specialist emphasized that only the short-term duration of the antibodies is known at this point.
Patients will probably have to be tested for periods longer than five years. It is hoped that the vaccine might prevent other harmful effects posed by HPV, such as genital warts in men and women and rare forms of oral, vaginal, penile, and anal cancers. It is possible that the vaccine might be able to be given to men so that they might avoid infecting their partners.
Two drugs have been approved for the treatment of opiate addiction. Buprenor-phine hydrochloride (Subutex®, Reckitt Benckiser) and buprenorphine hydro-chloride plus naloxone hydrochloride (Suboxone®, Reckitt Benckiser) tablets prevent symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates.
Subutex® and Suboxone® are the first narcotic drugs for treating opiate dependence that can be prescribed in an office setting and that can be prescribed under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of2000, which limits the number of patients who can be treated by individual physicians.
These new formulations of buprenor-phine act as a kind of tag team. Subutex® is intended for use at the beginning of treatment, and Suboxone® is used for maintenance treatment. Naloxone is added to help prevent intravenous abuse. lexapro 5 mg
With both drugs, the tablets are placed under the tongue, where they dissolve. Studies in more than 2,000 patients have shown that the drugs are safe and effective. Side effects, which include cold or flu-like symptoms, headaches, sweating, sleeping difficulties, nausea, and mood swings, usually peak in the beginning of treatment but may last for several weeks.
Although buprenorphine has been associated with deaths resulting from diminished breathing, especially in combination with alcohol or other central nervous system depressant drugs, the clinical data indicate that when these drugs are used in high doses or in an overdose, the risk is lower than with other opioids.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that buprenor-phine be listed as a Schedule III controlled substance because it is considered to pose less risk for causing dependence than morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, or methadone, all Schedule II drugs. The manufacturer has developed a comprehensive risk management program, including close monitoring of drug-distribution channels.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved frovatriptan succinate (Frova, Elan Corporation, plc/UCB Pharma, Inc.) for the treatment of acute migraine attacks with or without aura in adults.
Frovatriptan succinate is the newest drug in the triptan class; it is unique because it has a half-life of 26 hours, which means its active ingredient remains in the blood for at least 20 hours longer than any other triptan. The drug treats migraine pain by constricting targeted blood vessels in the brain.
The efficacy and tolerability of frovatriptan succinate was demonstrated in five randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of 4,129 patients. Frovatriptan succinate reduced migraine pain compared to placebo. Less than half the patients taking frovatriptan succinate needed additional medication for their pain. It also offered relief from associated symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
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Only 1% of the study patients withdrew because of adverse events; most were reported to be mild or moderate and transient. Adverse events reported included dizziness, fatigue, paresthesia, flushing, headache, dry mouth, hot or cold sensation, and chest pain.
The drug is available in 2.5-mg tablets that must be taken with fluids at the onset of a migraine. If relief is not achieved with the first dose, then a second dose may be taken two hours later.
Since 1993, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) has been giving hope to patients with spinal injuries, according to a study at the Specialties Hospital in Mexico City. Twenty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral 4-AP 5 mg/day, increased to a maximum of 30 mg/day, or placebo for 12 weeks. Patients were then switched to the opposite treatment for 12 weeks.
The results from the first 12 weeks were used to test efficacy. Improved motor function, sensation, and independence were observed more often in the patients receiving 4-AP (69%) than in the placebo patients (46%). When each scale was considered separately, motor function was the only marker that improved significantly (92% in the drug group but only 46% in the placebo group).
The researchers also measured whether the drug’s effects persisted after therapy was stopped. At week 24, they found lasting effects in sensation (in 67%) and independence (in 83%) of the 25 patients who finished the study. Five patients experienced a small loss of 4-AP improvements beginning three to four days after they started taking placebo and mainly one week after discontinuing treatment, but no other patients experienced this change.
One patient who had received 4-AP was partially impaired during the first two weeks of placebo treatment but then improved progressively to reach higher scores on both motor and sensory tests at the end of his placebo treatment— significant differences were seen in his scores at the end of the 4-AP treatment.
Fourteen patients had adverse reactions, which were mostly mild to moderate and transitory.
Although 4-AP is safe, the researchers suggest that patients be monitored for possible peripheral vasospasm and, at the highest dose, for changes in enzyme levels and platelet counts.