Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The difference between glyburide and glipizide?

Both medications are common sulfonylureas use to treat type II diabetes. However, glipizide has a shorter half-life compared to glyburide (12 hours versus 22 hours). And glipizide has a lower incidence of hypoglycemia. Although the pharmaceutical companies want us to prescribe their newer oral agents (which are not part of the ADA guidelines), sulfonylureas like glipizide are considered "well validated" and "Tier I" medications for the treatment of type II diabetes (after metformin).
Monday, May 23, 2011

Booster Now Recommended for Menactra

This is an awesome tip that I learned from Dr. Ernestine Lee (who is the Assistant Director here at Florida Hospital Family Medicine Residency): A booster is now recommended for Menactra at age 16. Here is an excerpt of the CDC's recommendations:
All 11-12 years olds should be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4). Now, a booster dose should be given at age 16 years. For adolescents who receive the first dose at age 13 through 15 years, a one-time booster dose should be administered, preferably at age 16 through 18 years, before the peak in increased risk. Adolescents who receive their first dose of MCV4 at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.
Friday, May 20, 2011


This is an awesome tip that I learned from Dr. Jennifer Keehbauch (who is the Associated Director here at Florida Hospital Family Medicine Residency). This tips was given as part of our "Learning Center" teaching series which our faculty personally do for our residents. Enjoy!

      S     =     Systemic Signs (such as fever, meningismus, or weight loss)

      N     =     Neurologic Signs or Symptoms (slurred speech, double vision, abnormal neuro exam)

      O     =     Onset Sudden ("worst headache of life", thunderclap)

      O     =     Onset < 5 years or > 50 years (don't forget about temporal arteritis)

      P      =    Progression of Existing Headache (increased severity or frequency or change in quality)

If a patient has any of these symptoms, consider imaging to look for a secondary cause of the headache. 
Friday, May 13, 2011

RED FLAG FRIDAY: Subungual Melanoma

Most melanomas are evident on plain site. But sometimes they can also be "hidden" or they can look like something else. For examples, a melanoma underneath a nail looks very much like a hematoma. And often the only way to tell a subungual melanoma from a hematoma to do a biopsy. Thankfully, melanomas in general are pretty rare. But it's good to remember that in non-caucacians, about 30% of melanomas are subungual.
Friday, May 06, 2011

RED FLAG FRIDAY: Shingles on Tip of Nose

Herpes Zoster (shingles) is not typically "dangerous". But when the rash presents on the tip of the nose (Hutchinson's Sign), we have to worry about possible eye involvement. Refer those patient's immediately to an ophthalmologist.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Commonly Prescribed Anticholinergic Medications

Yesterday we discussed the classic anticholinergic side effects. Today we are going to list some commonly prescribed medications in primary care with anticholinergic side effects:
  • Muscle relaxers (flexeril, robaxin)
  • Incontinence medications (Detrol, ditropan)
  • Atrovent inhaler and Spireva
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitryptyline)
  • Benadryl
  • Antispasmotic medications (Bentyl, Levsin, trihexphendyl)
  • Atropine
  • Cogentin
  • Antidiarrhea medications (Lomotil)
Monday, May 02, 2011

Classic Anticholinergic Side Effects

  • Blind as a bat (blurred vision, mydriasis)
  • Mad as a hatter (hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, memory loss, coma)
  • Red as a beet (flushing)
  • Hot as heat (fever, hyperthermia)
  • Dry as a bone (dry mouth, dry eyes)
  • The bowel and bladder lose their tone (constipation, urinary retention, ilius) 
  • And the heart runs alone (tachycardia, hypertension)
To remember this pneumonic, the first two rhyme with "bat", the next two rhyme with "beet", and the last three rhyme with "bone." Some of this pneumonic doesn't really make any sense since "bowel and bladder lose their tone" suggests diarrhea and urinary incontinence when, in fact, the opposite is the case.