Messenger RNA—or mRNA—vaccines have been in development for decades, and are now approved for use against COVID-19. Here’s how they work and what you should know about them. Visit https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19 for even more resources.
Statins are a type of medication used to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and reduce build-up in arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke. This short animated video explains the importance of statins, how they work, and why your doctor may prescribe them.
President Trump’s preferred coronavirus treatment is the focus of a new study suggesting it could cause more harm than good, but not everybody agrees. We discuss the fallout as trials around the world are paused and countries diverge over policy advice.
12:12 Are we rushing science?
Coronavirus papers are being published extremely quickly, while normally healthy scientific debate is being blown up in the world’s press. Is there a balancing act between timely research and accurate messaging?
18:49 One good thing
Our hosts pick out things that have made them smile in the last week, including hedgerow brews and a trip into the past using AI.
Recipe: Elderflower ‘Champagne’
22:30 The latest coronavirus research papers
Noah Baker takes a look through some of the key coronavirus papers of the last few weeks.
Eliquis nicely illustrates my contention in the Overview of Metabolism, that the body is a vast collection of pathways, or “supply chains”. Eliquis blocks a critical enzyme in the pathway leading to coagulation, or clotting” as the product.
Why in the world you want to block clotting? The staunching of blood flow, clotting, has saved countless hordes of early, Paleolithic humans, and continued useful through the bloody Roman and Medieval times, right through the violent 20th Century.
Recently, however, wars are becoming somewhat less popular, and eating excessively more popular, leading to a strange situation. Our evolutionarily-preserved CLOTTING mechanism is now leading to MORE problems than it is solving.
Obesity and type 2 Diabetes are leading to the production of so much fat, that it has to be stored in our arterial walls, clogging the blood flow to our Hearts and Brain, among other areas. This, and the somewhat surprising trend towards longer lives has led to an increase in a variety of age-related illnesses.
When I reached 80 years of age I developed Atrial Fibrillation, a condition leading to a tendency to form clots in my quivering atria, the upper chambers of my heart. To decrease the likelihood of clots getting into my blood stream, lodging in my brain and causing STROKE, my cardiologist started me on Eliquis, an anti-coagulant/blood thinner.
Drugs have three names. The proprietary name, Eliquis in this case, is given by the patenting company to be memorable; q,z,and x are popular letters. The second is the FDA drug name, Apixaban. The drug name often gives the doctor a clue as to its type: xaban refers to inhibiting (banning) of factor 10a (Xa). The third name is a chemical name of interest to biochemists and drug researchers.
When I started the Eliquis, at first unknown to me, I started to bleed internally, leading to a drop in my hemoglobin down to 8.6. I will go into this story when I start going through “how to read your laboratory report”.
I found that reducing my Eliquis from 5mg. to 3.75 mg. allowed me stabilize my hemoglobin by taking extra iron, which I will discuss later.
The doseage selected when the drug company markets a drug is fairly arbitrary, and usually involves round numbers. Interestingly, there is a 2.5mg. Eliquis, which is given if you meet 2 out of 3 criteria. I meet only one and am only 5 pounds shy of the second, in case you think (like my cardiologist does) that I’m taking a risk.
I believe that, whenever you are given a medication, you should be educated about the medicine, and the problem it is intended to benefit. Today’s physician often does not have the time to do this. The internet, including this website, offers a corrective.
I am trying my best to be helpful to you as a Patient Advocate. You and I both must have a doctor to rely upon. But to get the most out of our care, WE MUST BE INFORMED.