Health care updates, Sept 24: nifty drug innovations

September 24, 2010 by  

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Nose drops for brain cancer? Aspirin on a drip? Here some updates on innovations at the drug front.

New drug could help stop the spread of disease during cough: U of A research
Coughing season is almost here as we await the cold months of autumn and winter. And being an airborne disease, it spreads fast. But Canadian researchers at the University of Alberta may have found a way to stop cough transmission in its tracks. They developed a drug that when inhaled, would reduce the droplets that come out of the mouth of the sick person.

According to researcher Malcolm King:

“Our treatment has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of fine virus-laden droplets that result from coughing and therefore reduce the risk for people who come in contact with carriers of the flu.”

Nifty, eh?

Toward the first nose drops to treat brain cancer
Now, here is another nifty drug for a more serious ailment – brain cancer. The drug is not new but the method of delivery is rather novel. Nose drops for brain cancer? The anticancer drug methotrexate used in the treatment of brain tumors is usually administered as injection. The initial testing of the new delivery method showed a lot of promise. But it is not just the convenience of administration that in question here. It seems that the nose drops would actually be more effective than the injection. It is because drugs usually cannot penetrate the brain because of the so-called blood-brain barrier. However, drugs delivered through the nose such as drops or spray seem to be able to overcome this barrier easily. According to the authors:

The strategy to utilize the nose-brain direct transport can be applicable to a new therapeutic system not only for brain tumors but also for other central nervous system disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases.”

High-dose IV aspirin reduces pain for severe headache and migraine
This drug is not new either –more than a hundred years old, in fact. But administered differently, it might just be the answer to your splitting headaches and migraine attacks. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco Headache Center report promising results in a study using high-dose aspirin intravenous against headaches. Study participants report a significant reduction in pain. But why only now? The thing is, aspirin is available mainly as tablets taken orally. However, oral aspirin in high doses is associated with serious side effects of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin is nontoxic, non-addictive, non-sedating, and IV administration circumvents the side effects. It is also cheap.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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