The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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Archive for June, 2015

Avoid marijuana during pregnancy and breast feeding

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published its position on use of pot during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

The bottom line.

Yes, there are limitations in the available data about marijuana’s effects on the fetus during pregnancy and on the neonate during lactation. However, ACOG has seen enough to recommend that during pregnancy and during breast feeding to advise “discontinuation of maternal use [of marijuana], whether recreational or medicinal.”

There are no FDA-approved indications regarding marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation. Also, there are no standardized formulations, dosages, or delivery systems. Smoking, the most common route of administration of THC, cannot be medically condoned during pregnancy and lactation, according to ACOG.

The use of marijuana during pregnancy is associated with lower scores on tests of attention, coordination, and behavior in offspring.

6/25/15 JR

Up in smoke: Medical marijuana debunked

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

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Proponents of the use of medical marijuana like to start speeches and articles by quickly stating that cannabinoids are of proven value in treating many diseases.

Poppycock. This site has stated repeatedly: not true, not true, not true.

Now the evidence is in, and we were right. JAMA confirms that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabinoids is tenuous at best. And risk of side effects with cannabinoids to treat anything is high.

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Milk thistle interaction with raloxifene (Evista)

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

milk_thistleRaloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that is used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Researchers at Washington State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro evaluated the inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal glucuronidation (detoxification) of raloxifene.

First, the details.

  • The inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal metabolism of raloxifene were studied in the lab.
  • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1-1 (also known as UGT-1A) is an enzyme in human intestines, which along with UGT1A8, and UGT1A10 are critical to metabolizing and removing raloxifene from the body.

And, the results.

  • Milk thistle components silybin A and silybin B were potent inhibitors of raloxifene metabolism.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded: “Silibinin and silymarin [the major active constituents] were predicted to increase raloxifene systemic exposure by about 5-fold, indicating a high risk of interaction. Safety of raloxifene is discussed here.

It’s understandable that these women seek CAM, including herbals, to supplement raloxifene treatment.

It needs to be studied in humans, but for now, the risk of taking milk thistle would seem to outweigh any potential benefits. Check with your healthcare professional.

6/20/15 JR

 

What you should know about aromatherapy

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

If you expect aromatherapy to cure a major illness, you will probably be disappointed, according to AromaWeb — a source of practical information on this complementary treatment.

The available scientific evidence (such as it is) supports this statement. The Natural Standard website (which charges a membership fee) conducted literature reviews on the various applications of aromatherapy and concluded that even for the best documented conditions (eg, anxiety and agitation), the data are conflicting and based on small, poorly designed trials.

However, to conclude from this that aromatherapy is to be avoided would be excessive. Its current use is not intended to replace standard medical care but complement it. If using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, improves your sense of psychological and physical well being, by all means, indulge yourself.

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