Short Shorts June 2016

Just Two items of interest:

Many people, particularly young kids, seem to think they can have sex with whomever and not be concerned about the possible consequences for their health and the health of others. Today, everything has become appropriate for public discussion on talk shows and social media except facts about the STD epidemic. April was STD Awareness Month and pharmacists were encouraged to share with the public  the following facts:

  1. You can get STDs in your eyes. If semen infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia gets into a patient’s eye, the eye tissue may become infected.
  1. STD costs burden the health care system. New estimates show that there are about 20 million new sexually transmitted infections in the United States each year, costing the American health care system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, according to the CDC.
  1. You can get STDs from tattoo ink or piercings. Certain strains of hepatitis, HIV, and any other blood borne disease can be transferred if the equipment used to perform the tattoo or piercing procedure isn’t sterilized.
  1. Certain STDs like chlamydia are often asymptomatic. If left untreated, they can seriously jeopardize the reproductive system. Chlamydia, for example, can jeopardize a woman’s chance of getting pregnant if left untreated. The infection may also affect the uterus and fallopian tubes, or cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
  1. HIV isn’t the only incurable STD. Other viral STDs like herpes, hepatitis B, HPV, and genital warts are also incurable.

On a related note, online HIV prevention resources face resistance from black female college students. New research from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University finds that black female college students were often unlikely to use online resources related to HIV prevention, due to the stigma associated with the disease and concerns that their social network would learn they were accessing HIV-related materials.

Senator Claire McCaskill, the ranking member of the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, is seeking clarification about potential interactions between dietary supplements and chemotherapy treatments. Her attacks on dietary supplements have been relentless.

Could she more wisely spend her time and  our tax money investigating dangerous FDA approved drugs? The FDA has issued a warning to patients and providers concerning a potential risk of leg and foot amputations associated with the use of the diabetes medication canagliflozin. That drug is marketed as Invokana and Farxiga. You are undoubtedly aware that Farxiga is heavily advertised on TV as the drug of choice for happy, smiling, “everyday people” with diabetes. If you are a male taking Farxiga, go to and check out side effects relating to male genital infections. It’s not pretty.



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