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I: Vancomycin & the Nephrocidal Maniacs

Vancomycin was first isolated in 1953 by Edmund Kornfeld from a soil sample collected from the jungles of Borneo by a missionary. It is produced by the soil bacterium Amycolatopsis orientalis. It was first licensed for use in patients with penicillin resistant Staph infections in 1958. Yes, vancomycin has been around longer than the Beatles! […]

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Old Doc, New Drug: Ticagrelor

We all love to interfere with the clotting cascade in modern medicine, and this is a new way to do so!  Yet another unpronounceable new drug.  Ti-CAG-re-lor  is the latest in the family of drugs [cyclopentyltriazolopyrimidines.. forget that word immediately ] that stop clots and start bleeding.  I like to call it “tiger claw” and everyone around […]

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Old Doc, New Drug: Umeclidinium

When I first saw the name of this medication… I honestly thought that some smart physicist had discovered a new element way down the bottom of the period table.  Naturally, being a total chemistry nerd, I was excited… until I realised that it was in fact just another boring drug to treat the most mundane […]

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Old Doc New Drug: Tapentadol

The second instalment of the series of newfangled pharmacological favourites for your edification. This post is all about tapentadol… and its friends.  If you are like me you probably started noticing a trickle, then a flood of patients being discharged from big city hospitals on this new drug.  Now I am a simple rural doctor.  […]

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Old Doc, New Drugs: Levetiracetam

This is a new series of written posts I am doing for the blog.  Basic concept:  I last studied pharmacology 20 years ago. In that time a heap of new drugs have appeared in the pharmacy… and I have been using a lot of them in my practice with little or no understanding of their […]