Dr. Sharon Orrange - October 24, 2017
If you have depression that hasn’t responded to a single antidepressant, switching to another one or adding a second medication is your next step. New evidence is guiding what to do next if you aren’t much better after 6 – 12 weeks of treatment.
When your antidepressant isn’t working to improve or relieve your depressive symptoms, what’s your next step?
- Don’t stop and switch. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - October 17, 2017
It’s not being overly dramatic to say that abnormal levels of potassium may actually kill you. Serum (bloodstream) potassium is an electrolyte, and imbalances are called hyperkalemia (when too high) and hypokalemia (when too low). Cardiac arrhythmias are a known serious outcome of both hypo- and hyperkalemia, and national statistics indicate that almost half of 1% of emergency department visits and 2% of hospitalizations for high potassium end in death. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - April 04, 2017
“Can I have a drink while I’m taking my medication?” This is a question that primary care doctors are frequently asked, rightly so. Almost 50% of Americans report taking a prescription medication in the previous month. Alcohol in moderation (3 – 5 drinks per week) is recommended for stroke and heart disease prevention, and many folks taking medications known to interact with alcohol still report regular use. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - November 30, 2016
The liver is the main organ for maintaining the body’s internal environment. Liver failure is always scary because there is currently no way to protect against the absence of liver function. Think about it this way: we can use dialysis to take over for the kidneys or a mechanical ventilator if the lungs fail . . . but there is nothing to compensate for the liver.
Medications are an important cause of liver injury. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 19, 2015
Dry mouth isn’t just an annoyance, it can lead to serious dental issues. Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth and when it happens, you’ll want to know what’s causing it.
Risk factors for dry mouth include medications, mouth breathing, older age, and a history of radiation therapy in cancer patients. Medical conditions that contribute to dry mouth include Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, and these can be easily ruled out by your doctor. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - March 03, 2015
Bipolar disorder is just as common in men as in women, yet women are more likely to experience mixed episodes. Bipolar disorder can have many types of mixed episodes but the most common are manic episodes with mixed features, and depressive episodes with mixed features.
What does that mean? Women more often experience mixed episodes. These can be manic episodes with at least three depressive symptoms (depressed mood, fatigue, suicidal ideation, etc) or depressive episodes with at least three manic symptoms. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - November 05, 2013
What’s the deal with the best selling mood medicine of the year?
Abilify. This tiny little pill, an atypical antipsychotic, made the drug company over 6 billion dollars this past year. It’s an expensive drug and there are many patient assistance programs out there for Abilify but the question you should ask first: is it worth paying for? Let’s find out.
Dr. Sharon Orrange - April 30, 2013
Memory loss, dementia, and cardiovascular disease prevention are the main reasons many of you wonder if you should be taking gingko (Gingko biloba).
There was hope for years in gingko. It works to improve blood flow through increased release of nitric oxide, and it works as an anti-inflammatory so it was believed to be neuroprotective.
Well, it doesn’t really do what we’d hoped. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine funded the Gingko Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study, the largest and longest trial done. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - January 18, 2012
Three to four years ago those of us in primary care started to see more and more of our adult and elderly patients on Risperdal (risperidone) for many different uses. As it turns out, the drug company making that drug, Johnson and Johnson, will now be paying $158 million to settle claims that it inappropriately marketed Risperdal for non-FDA-approved uses. They aren’t the only ones; several other antipsychotic drug makers are paying big bucks for doing the same thing, specifically for Geodon and Zyprexa. See More