September 2015

Doctor’s Orders: Stay True to Your Prescription

Subscribers Only — Your medicine cabinet is a mosaic of pills in all shapes, sizes and colors. But it’s not unique. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that at least 90 percent of Americans age 60 and older take one or more prescription drugs, and more than a third regularly take at least five of them. Trouble is, many patients on multiple medications don’t take them as prescribed. As a result, they may not fully benefit from their medicines and, in some cases, may even put their health at risk. “Typically, we see compliance decrease when patients are on five or more medications,” says Mandy Leonard, PharmD, BCPS, system director of Drug Use Policy and Formulary Management with Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pharmacy. “It’s a big problem across the board.”   More...

In The News: September 2015

A drug used successfully in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases was believed to be beneficial for treating inflammatory osteoarthritis (OA) in the hand—until now. According to study results presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (June 2015), the disease-modifying antirheumatic drug hydroxychloroquine, used for 24 weeks, did not diminish mild-to-moderate pain from primary hand OA when compared to placebo. In addition, hydroxychloroquine showed no overall effect on pain, disability and joint stiffness, as measured by the Australian Canadian Hand Osteoarthritis Index (AUSCAN) and no overall change was observed in physical, social and emotional wellbeing scores, according to the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale. The findings do not support the prescription of hydroxychloroquine for patients with mild-to-moderate pain from hand OA, stated the study’s authors.   More...

Deciding if Surgery Is For You

When you have arthritis, it’s not hard to understand chronic pain. While it is clear that the condition is causing your bones to become rough and grind together, you may be unsure how to best manage the pain. Do you stick with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and stay the course of weight loss and physical therapy? Or, is the overriding pain causing you to consider joint replacement surgery?   More...

When You Have to Keep Going

Subscribers Only — With between 13 and 17 million adult Americans experiencing urinary incontinence— and half of those affected being women—the loss of bladder control may seem just an irritatingly normal part of aging. And if you have arthritis, the urge to keep going can become even more of a nuisance.   More...

Strengthen Your Back to Strengthen Your Bones

Osteoporosis is known for making your bones brittle and fragile—potentially so fragile that a fall or even bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. But, what often isn’t recognized is that the condition can literally sneak up on you before showing any symptoms. In fact, since osteoporosis is an asymptomatic disease, the first symptom is often a fracture.   More...

Ask The Doctors: September 2015

Despite the high prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA)—and the pain it causes—a definite treatment for the condition has yet to be found. The specific causes of OA are unknown, but are believed to be a result of mechanical and molecular events in the affected joint; it is also thought that cartilage abnormalities start the process. The disease process of OA involves the entire joint, including the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments and underlying bone; the breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness.   More...