What is pentosan polysulphate sodium (PPS)

AFL players are reportedly being treated with injections of the drug pentosan polysulphate sodium (PPS) for knee and bone pain. While PPS is approved for use in Australia in oral capsule form to treat bladder inflammation, it...

Which medicines don’t go well with flying?

Every day, more than 10 million people take a flight somewhere in the world. While flying is relatively safe, the unique environmental conditions can put passengers at risk if they’re taking certain medications. These include any hormone-based...

Is it OK to chew or crush your medicine?

Some people are incapable of swallowing tablets because of physical reasons, such as surgery or gastric reflux, while others struggle for psychological reasons. What can these people do when the doctor prescribes a drug...

Nutraceuticals are often big on promise but fail to deliver

Extracts from a berry can improve the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug, according to research published today in the Journal of Clinical Pathology. But it’s best to view this finding with caution because while nutraceuticals (foods...

Smoking or eating marijuana is not a cure for cancer

There’s a modern myth that marijuana (cannabis sativa), in its natural form, is effective at both preventing and treating cancer. This myth has become ever more popular with the gradual approval of marijuana for recreational use in many...

Complementary medicines may put cancer patients’ lives at risk

Recent German research found that more than 70% of people with cancer supplement their regular hospital treatment with complementary and alternative medicine. More worryingly, many do so without advising their doctor. This is important because interactions of...

Another step in cancer therapy’s move towards personalised medicine

Although in use for over 50 years now, chemotherapy is a blunt instrument in the battle against cancer and one that’s based on an outdated understanding of tumour biology. Personalised treatment has been the...

Can’t pronounce the name of your medicine? Here’s why

Gone are the good old days when medicines had simple, easy to pronounce names such as aspirin, paracetamol and morphine. Nowadays pharmaceutical companies almost seem to revel in giving drugs names that are near impossible...

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