Last Saturday in the lecture I attended on pharmacology we spent at least half of our time discussing commonly prescribed pain medications. I was surprised to learn that Vicodin ES is the most frequently prescribed medication in the US. Despite the frequency with which prescriptions are written for narcotic medications they come with a host of negatives. Many of our patients will experience side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to drowsiness and disorientation.
Over the last few weeks one of the recurring topics I run into is sinus infections, or more appropriately sinusitis. A patient and I were discussing the recommendations that he had received from his family practitioner regarding his sinus symptoms, and the information was surprising. He had been told that the current thought was not to prescribe antibiotics as they are ineffective. I didn’t make much of it until today sitting in a lecture at the Chicago Midwinter meeting on pharmacology with Dr. Harold Crossley. The lecture turned to the topic of prescribing medication for a sinus infection and here again Dr. Crossley stated that new evidence supported that antibiotics are not effective or needed in most cases of sinusitis.
One of the hot topics over the last few years has been managing our patients who are taking bisphosphonates in order to minimize the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw. When I think about my practice it seems a higher and higher number of my female patients are on medication for osteoporosis or osteopenia. I decided to look this up and sure enough it is estimated that over 80 million Americans are on bisphosphonates. With that large a number and most of those folks being routine dental patients, what do we need to know? Just today I came across a blog post from my friend Dr. Marty Jablow on a recent ADA report for dentists on this topic. The ADA has complied the data and research between 2008 and 2011 on this topic and produced a report designed to help those of us in practice make some sense of this topic. I spent the morning reading the executive summary of the report and I finally feel like I understand what I need to about this issue.