What is Levothyroxine?

Levothyroxine is a medication that replaces the hormone that is naturally produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid hormone regulates the body’s metabolism and energy levels. In cases where the thyroid gland does not naturally produce enough of this hormone for the body to function properly a medication may be used. The brand names for levothyroxine include levoxyl, synthroid, tirosint and unithroid.

Levothyroxine treats hypothyroidism or what is commonly known as low thyroid. It may also be used to treat other thyroid related problems such as goiter or enlarged thyroid gland. In addition to the natural imbalance in hormones, thyroid conditions may also be caused by other factors such as cancer, surgeries, or radiation treatments. Symptoms that are often seen as a result of a lack of the thyroid hormone may include decreased energy, a low metabolism, dry skin, hair loss and often feeling cold. Balanced thyroid levels are essential for the body to function and perform optimally.

Levothyroxine use can be harmful if a person has certain pervasive medical circumstances or untreated conditions such as signs or symptoms relating to a heart attack, uncontrolled adrenal gland disorder or thyrotoxicosis. Inform your medical providers before starting levothyroxine if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or have experienced excessive hair loss or had symptoms of a heart attack. The regulation of the dosage is essential for safety and the effectiveness of the medication.
Continue reading

What is Pramipexole?

Pramipexole is a medical compound that activates dopamine receptors in the brain. This allows for the activation of signaling pathways. Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in human and animal brains. The chemical serves as a neurotransmitter for bodily messages. It is often associated with reward-motivation behaviors and feelings of joy or satisfaction. However, it is also an important part of the body’s motor functions. Dopamine mediates the release of hormones central to allowing the body’s movement.

Low levels of dopamine are symptomatic of conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. Treatment of these conditions often uses medical forms of dopamine agonists, like pramipexole. Multiple studies exist on pramipexole, testing its efficacy in treating Parkinson’s and Restless Leg Syndrome. Studies have also investigated using pramipexole to treat forms of depression and bipolar disorder.[1]


What are Dopamine Agonists?

Dopamine agonists are compounds that activate dopamine receptors. This in turn activate signaling pathways. Medicines that aid in the treatment of hypodopaminergic (low dopamine) conditions use these compounds. In comparison to other drugs used to treat low dopamine, such as levodopa, dopamine agonists mimic the effects of dopamine without needing conversion.
Continue reading

What is Liothyronine?

Liothyronine is the generic name for a medication used to treat hypothyroidism or what is otherwise known as under active thyroid.  The common brand name for the medication is Cytomel.  The body requires a certain level of the hormone thyroid to stay healthy.  At times the body may produce too much or not enough thyroid hormone to function property. If problems with thyroid levels are not addressed it can prevent normal growth, development and functionality.  Too much or too little thyroid hormone in the body can have effects on how a person acts and feels. Many patients often find the perfect balance with medication supplements such as liothyronine.  There are known cases where the medication liothyronine is also used to treat certain types of depression.


A lack of thyroid hormone can occur naturally or because the thyroid gland becomes injured or disrupted due to other medications, injury, radiation treatment or because the thyroid it has been removed.  Liothyronine is a medication that is commonly used to replace the thyroid hormone in the body. Liothyronine is also used to treat other thyroid problems such as diseases in the thyroid, cancer or goiters and in some cases it can treat infertility if they are caused by low thyroid hormone levels in the body.

Liothyronine comes in tablet form and is for use by mouth and should be taken with 8 ounces of water and can be taken with or without food. Users should take the medication at the same time each day for consistency.  The dosage will be based on your specific condition and may be adjusted based on your body’s response to the medication. Regular testing of the thyroid levels will be done to check thyroid levels and adjust if and as necessary for optimal response.  It is typical that patients who use this medication to regulate thyroid hormones will take it for their entire life.
Continue reading

What is Dutasteride?

Dutasteride is the generic name of a medication that is typically used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with enlarged prostate. It is a triple 5a-reductase inhibitor that inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestostene (DHT) in the body, which is involved in the development of BPH. This medication has been used as treatment for other conditions but primarily it is used to treat BPH. Avodart is the brand name for dutasteride, which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Dutasteride works to treat symptoms and improve conditions in men with BPH.  It helps to improve urinary flow, which in turn may reduce the future need for prostate surgery.  While the medication works to reduce the need for prostate surgery, it also may increase the risk for prostate cancer, which is a potential side effect of the medication.  Doctors will do tests in advance of starting the medication to ensure that pre-existing conditions or contraindications with other medications do not interfere with the safe use of dutasteride.

It is always important before starting dutasteride to inform your doctor of all medical conditions and currently prescribed medication. Patients should also inform their doctor that if they have had allergic reactions to this medication as well as other similar medications such as finasteride also known as Propecia or Proscar. Dutasteride is sometimes given as a part of an entire medication regime.  It is common to couple Dutasteride with a medication called tamsulosin or Flomax.
Continue reading

What is Clomiphene?

Clomiphene is a non-steroid fertility medication. Some other common names for this medication include Clomid, Clomiphene Citrate or Serophene. This medication is the one most commonly used to treat infertility. Originally its purpose was to primarily treat anovulation. This medication is used to stimulate the pituitary gland causing the release of hormones that will in turn stimulate ovulation in women do not ovulate naturally. It is also used for women with ovulatory dysfunction.

Clomiphene is often a first step to treating infertility. Clomiphene is taken for 5 days during the menstrual cycle. A specialist will determine the right course of treatment and the days of the menstrual cycle that are best to start the medication each month.  Clomiphene is usually started as a course of infertility treatment prior to moving to more aggressive methods of fertility treatments or drugs. It is not uncommon for Clomiphene to be used by specialists in combination with other methods such as intrauterine insemination.

The medication works naturally with the menstrual cycle. This medication may increase the chance for pregnancy, especially in women who already ovulate on their own. Statistics show that Clomiphene offers an 80% chance of ovulating within the first three months of taking the medication.  It is during this ovulation that many women have increased their changes for pregnancy to 50% in the first six months of starting the medication.
Continue reading

What is Letrozole?

Letrozole is a drug that within a class of medications known as aromatase inhibitors and goes by the trade name Femara. It has been extensively used with women suffering from breast cancer, after having surgery for the disease. Another FDA-approved use for letrozole is for use with women suffering fertility problems and having trouble conceiving.  It has been preferred over the long time use of the drug clomiphene citrate because letrozole does not stay in the body as long and produces fewer side effects.

As a breast cancer treatment, letrozole works mainly in post-menopausal women with particular types of cancer, such as hormone-receptor-positive. Estrogen causes certain types of breast cancer to spread faster, and letrozole works by decreasing the amount of estrogen the body produces and aids in slowing or reversing the advancement of these cancers. It is not known to work for hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer.

The drug is specifically used to treat women who are postmenopausal with early-stage breast cancer, immediately after surgery or in some cases, after chemotherapy and radiation. In other cases, its used with postmenopausal women who have received 5 years of tamoxifen to lower the chances of hormone-receptor-positive, early-stage breast cancer returning. Women who have metastatic or advanced-stage hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer can also benefit from taking letrozole.
Continue reading

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is a type of steroid known as a reductase inhibitor.  The medication is primarily used to treat men. It is typically prescribed to treat urinary problems in men and also to treat male pattern baldness or hair loss. The common names for the medication are Finasteride (Propecia), used to treat male pattern hair loss and Finasteride (Proscar), used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Finasteride works to treat the symptoms of BPH, which is not a curable condition but is treatable. The treatment for BPH will focus on the elimination of discomfort and addressing the symptoms of the condition, rather than the elimination of the condition. Typically treatment will be rendered based on symptomology, complications and may be coupled with other treatment methods such as Finasteride as a primary treatment option.

In mild cases BPH can be treated with simple lifestyle changes. In more severe cases or cases where the condition has gone untreated for a time, medication such as Finasteride has proven to be very effective. Surgery is one method used to treat BPH, however with preventative treatment this condition may be remedied by less restrictive methods such as medication.  In most cases the use of Finasteride and close medical monitoring have proven successful in management of this condition.
Continue reading

What is Avanafil?

Avanafil is a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). It moderates the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) as it breaks down and relaxes blood vessel muscles to enhance blood flow to certain areas of the body and is widely used as an erectile dysfunction treatment. Avanafil is a comparably new PDE5 inhibitor that was approved for use in the US by the FDA in 2012 and by EMA in 2013.

Developed by Vivus Inc., avanafil is also known by the trademark names Spedra and Stendra. It performs by inhibiting PDE5 mainly in the corpus cavernosim penis, which allows the majority of users to conduct sexual activity within 15 minutes of consumption. This is considered to be quite fast in comparison to other PDE5 inhibitors on the market. Maximum concentration is reached in around 30-45 minutes.

The recommended dosage of Avanafil is 100 mg for a single dose on an as needed basis, taken one half hour prior to sexual activity. Avanafil is ready for consumption in tablets of 50, 100 and 200 mg. Based on the effects on the user and their tolerance level, dosage can be adjusted, with a maximum recommendation of 200 mg. If users believe they have overdosed on avanafil, emergency medical attention should be sought or the Poison Control Center should be called.
Continue reading

What is Albuterol?

Albuterol, also known by the name salbutamol, is a medication widely used to treat breathing problems, such as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It was discovered by a team in 1966 that was headed by David Jack, in England, and it was released in 1969 as Ventolin. Albuterol works by opening up the medium and large airways in the lungs by acting as a short-term β2 adrenergic receptor agonist that makes the smooth muscles of the airway relax. In some cases, it is also used to care for high potassium levels in the blood. Albuterol is commonly administered via nebulizer or inhaler. Once inhaled, the effects begin with 15 minutes and can last two to six hours.

In less common instances, albuterol is administered as an intravenous solution or pill. This is when the drug is used in the field of obstetrics to delay premature labor. In its IV form, albuterol may be used to relax the uterine smooth muscle as a totolytic. Acute hyperkalemia has been treated by albuterol because of the ay it stimulates the flow of potassium into cells, which lowers its level in the blood.

Generally, albuterol has been found to be well-tolerated and any negative effects are aligned with its pharmacological activity. How severe these effects are depend on how the drug is administered and the dosage. When given via a metered dose inhaler, there have been found to be less systemic effects than when higher doses have been administered by nebulizer or orally.

Continue reading

What is Anastrozole?

Anastrozole is a drug that reversibly attaches to the aromatase enzyme and stops the conversion of androgens to estrogens through competitive inhibition in external gonadal tissues. Simply put, it blocks the production of estrogen. Because of this mechanism, anastrozole is used as a medication to treat breast cancer, especially for breast cancer found to be hormone-receptor positive. Anastrozole has also been used as a preventative treatment for those who have been found to be high risk for breast cancer. The medication works by reducing estrogen hormone levels to aid in the shrinking of tumors as well as slow their growth.

After trials, anastrozole was shown to be the drug preferred to treat postmenopausal women who have localized breast cancer. A 40% reduced risk of occurrence was found in estrogen receptor (ER) positive patients, who also benefited from changing from tamoxifen to anastrozole after having finished two years of adjuvant tamoxifen. It is critical to the patient’s safety that they tell their doctor or pharmacist of any allergies to medications or otherwise.


Anastrozole is a medication that is taken orally and has been in medical use since 1995, eight years after it was patented, in 1987. It is considered an effective and safe medicine necessary in a health system and is included on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Anastrozole is also put out as a generic medicine and is sold under the name Armidex. It is to be used with women who are postmenopausal in addition to any initial treatment, such as surgery with or without radiation. It is important that anastrozole not be taken with any estrogen-containing therapies or tamoxifen. Anastrozole has 83-85% bioavailability, is 40% protein binding, and has a biological half life of 48.2 h.
Continue reading