Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Heavy metals found in hunt for source of India's mystery illness

Traces of heavy metals such as lead and nickel have been found in samples taken from 550 people stricken by a mystery illness in a southern Indian town where some victims have collapsed in the street, officials said.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Cannabis to treat gynecological conditions

A significant number of women would consider using cannabis to treat gynecological conditions, primarily gynecological pain. Women with a history of cannabis use are reported in a study in Journal of Women's Health.

Immunology

Is there a connection between asthma and acid reflux?

Asthma and acid reflux often occur together. It isn't clear why, or whether one causes the other. But we do know that acid reflux can worsen asthma and asthma can worsen acid reflux - especially severe acid reflux, a condition ...

Oncology & Cancer

India's culture of coping with cancer

When Dwaipayan Banerjee began studying the lives of poor cancer patients in and around Delhi, India, he noticed something distinctive: Virtually none of them used the word "cancer" itself. One elderly man Banerjee met got ...

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Analgesic

An analgesic (also known as a painkiller) is any member of the diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain (achieve analgesia). The word analgesic derives from Greek an- ("without") and algos ("pain"). Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems; they include paracetamol (acetaminophen), the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, narcotic drugs such as morphine, synthetic drugs with narcotic properties such as tramadol, and various others.

In choosing analgesics, the severity and response to other medication determines the choice of agent; the WHO pain ladder, originally developed in cancer-related pain, is widely applied to find suitable drugs in a stepwise manner. The analgesic choice is also determined by the type of pain: for neuropathic pain, traditional analgesics are less effective, and there is often benefit from classes of drugs that are not normally considered analgesics, such as tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

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