The New Yorker on use of psilocybin to treat cancer patients

February 9, 2015, 1:38 am

Recommended long-read of the week is Michael Pollan’s New Yorker article “The Trip Treatment,” a look at research being done at several medical centers — including New York University and Johns Hopkins — into the use of the psychedelic drug psilocybin to ameliorate anxiety and depression in cancer patients.

Similar work had been started half a century ago, …

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News flash: dead overdose victims can have drugs in the GI tract

February 5, 2015, 8:35 pm

venlafaxine bezoar★½☆☆☆

Retained drugs in the gastrointestinal tracts of deceased victims of oral drug overdose. Livshits Z et al. Clin Toxicol 2014 Dec 30:1-6 [Epub ahead of print]


This is certainly one of the more bizarre medical papers I’ve seen for quite some time.

The main objective of the study was to determine the presence of “undigested or partially digested” tablets …

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Colorado’s experience with medical effects of legalizing marijuana

February 5, 2015, 12:27 am


The Implications of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado. Monte AA et al. JAMA 2015 Jan 20;313:241-2.

No abstract available

This brief article, from the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, gives a concise summary of the medical consequences following Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

Although Colorado changed its state constitution in …

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NEJM discussion of ethylene glycol poisoning misses crucial points

February 3, 2015, 1:51 pm


Case 4-2015: A 49-Year-Old Man with Obtundation Followed by Agitation and Acidosis. Cooper CM, Baron JM. N Engl J Med 2015 Jan 29;372:465-473.


This episode of the Journal‘s “Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital” series is the latest of their amazing inept discussions of medical toxicology cases. Yet again, the discussants do not include a medical toxicologist …

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The Bud Light Commercial Too Toxic for the Super Bowl

February 1, 2015, 2:05 pm

In case you missed it when TPR posted this clip on previous Super Bowl Sundays, here is the toxicology-themed Bud Light commercial that was banned from the air during Super Bowl XLI in 2007.…

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Tox Tunes #93: Lithium (Evanescence)

January 26, 2015, 12:54 am

As with the Nirvana song of the same title, the lyrics are not completely clear as to whether the singer is describing the experience of the drug, or using it as a metaphor for emotional ambivalence. (We should note that in fact Nirvana’s “Lithium” never mentions the drug in its lyrics.)

I thought of this song after reviewing the new …

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Saturdays with SMACC: Hinds & May debate cricoid pressure

January 24, 2015, 3:02 pm

At the 2014 smaccGOLD conference in Australia, two motorsport enthusiasts, Drs. Brent May (@DocBrent) and John Hinds (@DocJohnHinds) engaged in a very amusing debate about the efficacy of cricoid pressure in managing airways. Taking the pro side, Dr. May argued that applying cricoid pressure is superior (or at least non-inferior) to not doing so in preventing aspiration. Dr. Hinds’ position …

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Hemodialysis in lithium poisoning: what is the evidence?

January 23, 2015, 11:59 pm

0Lithium Carbonate, 300mg, 1,000 Capsules per Bottle★★★½☆

Extracorporeal Treatment for Lithium Poisoning: Systematic Review and Recommendations from the EXTRIP Workgroup. Decker BS et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2015 Jan 12 [Epub ahead of print]


The purpose of this review, from the Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning (EXTRIP) workgroup, was to give evidence-based recommendations related to use of hemodialysis and other extracorporeal modalities in the …

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Evidence does not support use of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain

January 21, 2015, 11:14 pm


The Effectivenss and Risks of Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review for a National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop. Chou R et al.  Ann Intern Med 2015 Jan 13 [Epub ahead of print]


Although prescription opioids have been advocated and used for long-term treatment of chronic non-cancer pain, there is scant literature supporting such …

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