Weekly Review #2: Toxicology on the Blogosphere

April 6, 2013, 12:42 pm

This week I came across two podcasts with excellent discussions of the problems and complications associated with using opioids for treating chronic pain:

ToxTalk: In Episode 10: When Morphine Hurts, Matt Zuckerman, a fellow in the University of Massachusetts medical toxicology program, talks to Drs. Eric Brush and Steve Bird about opioid-induced hyperalgesia and some adjuncts that might be useful when treating this paradoxical condition. By the way, Dr. Zuckerman must surely be the person in toxicology who sounds most like NPR personality Ira Glass. In the middle of the podcast, I half expected to be offered a tote bag and asked for money.

Journal of Medical Toxicology Podcast: Howard Greller and Dan Rusyniak do a really excellent job discussing the recent December 2012 JMT special issue devoted to opioid abuse and misuse. Every clinician who prescribes opioids or deals with patients on opioids should listen to this episode.

Other toxicology posts from around the web:

Emergency Medicine Resident Blog: A short post emphasizes the important of adequate history when dealing with potential overdose patients, including: 1) when, what, and how much was ingested; 2) were any other drugs or substances involved; 3) what other medications did the patient have access to.

Smithsonian Magazine: In a Smithsonian blog, Amy Henderson reviews the toxic history of cosmetics, and the poisonous farrago of lead, arsenic, mercury, and pig fat that used to be applied to “make up one’s face”.

Wired Magazine: In the first part of a series at the Wired blogs site, the always-interesting Deborah Blum (@deborahblum) talks about the chemistry of the murder mystery, especially in the works of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I hope that in later posts she gets around to one of my favorite poison-themed novels when I was in grade school, Ellery Queen’s The Dutch Shoe Mystery.

Emergency Medicine News: My review of Thomas Dormandy’s book Opium: Reality’s Dark Dream has just been posted. To read it, click here.


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