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  1. Cannabis Legalization Linked with Driving Fatalities

    New evidence shows that cannabis legalization may be linked with driving fatalities. As more and more states legalize recreational cannabis, healthcare providers must continue to counsel patients about the effects of cannabis on reaction time and coordination.

    Using different methodologies, two new studies evaluated changes in driving fatality rates by state since retail sales began. One study looked at Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis. It found that an additional 75 deaths annually were linked to cannabis legalization in Colorado, but not in Washington. The second study reviewed data from four states, adding Oregon and Alaska to the first two. In this study, cannabis legalization was linked to increased fatalities. The authors projected an additional 6,800 deaths each year if legalization occurred nationwide.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  2. Dosing Recommendations for Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Alternate-day iron supplementation has become the preferred dosing regimen for some patients. Check out our recently updated monograph to learn why. Also, review our interactions section to learn whether vitamin C affects iron absorption.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  3. NEW Monographs
      For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  4. Why “Natural” Beauty Products Aren’t Necessarily Better

    A growing list of celebrities and bloggers criticize the use of chemicals and preservatives in any skincare or beauty products, opting for only “natural” options. But the “natural” ingredients used in beauty products aren’t as well studied as many synthetic ingredients. And there’s actually more evidence that some of them can cause side effects, including sensitivity to the sun and skin irritation. Now that the summer months are upon us, it’s important to educate patients about why these products aren’t necessarily a better option. And for those who choose to use them, following up with an effective SPF is necessary.

    Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a big culprit in this area. While there’s a fair amount of evidence supporting their use for aging skin, products containing these ingredients can increase sun sensitivity and other skin irritations. A growing number of skincare products contain AHAs, so make sure patients understand that proper sun protection is needed when using these products.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  5. Help Patients Address COVID-19 Quarantine-Related Weight Gain

    While stay-at-home recommendations are easing across the country, many people are facing new weight-related healthcare concerns. Many factors, including gym closures, increased time at home cooking, anxious eating, and the closure of many outdoor spaces, haven’t helped the country’s collective waistline. Take advantage of our diet and exercise resources to educate your patients about ways to get back on track.

    You’ve probably heard about the keto diet. When people talk about the “keto diet” they are usually referring to a high-fat, very low-carb diet (typically less than 50 grams of carbs daily). It works by tricking a person’s body into thinking it is fasting. This causes the body to use fat rather than carbs for energy. Anti-inflammatory diets are also growing in popularity. Despite what you might hear, there isn’t just one specific “anti-inflammatory diet.” It’s a style of eating that minimizes foods that can cause inflammation and maximizes foods that can reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, and the Zone diet are all examples of anti-inflammatory diets.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  6. Help Patients Address COVID-19 Quarantine-Related Weight Gain

    While stay-at-home recommendations are easing across the country, many people are facing new weight-related healthcare concerns. Many factors, including gym closures, increased time at home cooking, anxious eating, and the closure of many outdoor spaces, haven’t helped the country’s collective waistline. Take advantage of our diet and exercise resources to educate your patients about ways to get back on track.

    You’ve probably heard about the keto diet. When people talk about the “keto diet” they are usually referring to a high-fat, very low-carb diet (typically less than 50 grams of carbs daily). It works by tricking a person’s body into thinking it is fasting. This causes the body to use fat rather than carbs for energy. Anti-inflammatory diets are also growing in popularity. Despite what you might hear, there isn’t just one specific “anti-inflammatory diet.” It’s a style of eating that minimizes foods that can cause inflammation and maximizes foods that can reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, and the Zone diet are all examples of anti-inflammatory diets.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  7. Be Aware of New Potential CBD Drug Interaction

    A new report suggests that taking cannabidiol (CBD) might increase methadone levels and increase its side effects. This is especially concerning in chronic pain settings such as cancer.

    A 13-year-old patient with chronic cancer pain who was previously stabilized on methadone 7.5 mg twice daily was admitted to the ER with opioid-related side effects. These side effects started 5 days prior to the ER visit, which occurred about 2 weeks after her parents increased her dose of CBD oil 4-fold. After stopping CBD, the side effects resolved. CBD may increase methadone levels by inhibiting the cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and CYP2C19 enzymes, which metabolize methadone. This is the first case report suggesting there is an interaction between CBD and methadone. The interaction appears to be dose-dependent – in this case, it occurred with a very high dose of CBD but not with a much lower dose. More evidence is needed to verify this interaction and to determine the CBD dose threshold at which it might occur. 

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  8. Concerns About Biotin Interference with COVID-19 Test

    False test results are an ongoing concern during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Now some experts are warning that biotin supplements might interfere with COVID-19 antibody testing.

    Many lab assays use biotin, so it’s well-known that taking biotin can skew numerous other lab results. For example, it can cause falsely low results on parathyroid hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, prolactin, and prostate-specific antigen testing. It can also cause falsely high results for many tests, including thyroxine, progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone. There’s now some concern that biotin can interfere with the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test – a widely used antibody test for determining if a patient has been exposed to, and developed antibodies against, the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While it’s still unclear if testing positive confirms any type of immunity to future infection, ensuring test results are accurate is an important step in efforts to understand the virus.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  9. Concerns About Biotin Interference with COVID-19 Test

    False test results are an ongoing concern during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Now some experts are warning that biotin supplements might interfere with COVID-19 antibody testing.

    Many lab assays use biotin, so it’s well-known that taking biotin can skew numerous other lab results. For example, it can cause falsely low results on parathyroid hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, prolactin, and prostate-specific antigen testing. It can also cause falsely high results for many tests, including thyroxine, progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone. There’s now some concern that biotin can interfere with the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test – a widely used antibody test for determining if a patient has been exposed to, and developed antibodies against, the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While it’s still unclear if testing positive confirms any type of immunity to future infection, ensuring test results are accurate is an important step in efforts to understand the virus.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

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