Popular medications for neutropenia
Popular medications for neutropenia
Neutropenia is a condition where the body does not have enough neutrophils. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cells that are vital to helping the body fight infection. They fight the infection off by destroying harmful bacteria and fungi like yeast that invade the body.
Importance of neutrophils
It is essential to have a sufficient number of neutrophils in the body; otherwise, the person is prone to several infections. The risk of infection is so high that the person has to be extra cautious about sanitation and hygiene. While washing hands, in general, is good practice, they must wash their hands regularly or they are at the risk of getting serious infections.
While neutropenia itself does not cause any symptom, it triggers infections which show symptoms like:
- Sore throat
- Sores in the mouth or a toothache
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Abdominal pain
- Pain near the anus
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Redness, swelling or pain around cuts or wounds
- Diarrhea or sores around the anus
- Shortness of breath or a cough
Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow of larger bones and anything that disrupts this process of production in the bone marrow can lead to this condition. One of the most common causes of neutropenia is chemotherapy, and in fact, almost half the cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy experience some level of neutropenia.
Treatment and medication
The treatment for this condition usually involves glycoprotein.
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)
It is a glycoprotein that triggers the bone marrow, which is a tissue that contains stem cells, to produce a sufficient number of neutrophils and release them into the bloodstream. Its generic name is filgrastim, but it also has different trade names that one may be aware of.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)
A naturally producing glycoprotein that carries out the same functions as that of G-CSF.
Since a low count of white blood cells leads to infections, some patients are also given antibiotics to treat those infections.
So apart from increasing the count of white blood cells, the doctor may also prescribe a combination of medicines to treat other conditions that are caused by this. While this is a serious condition, if someone had febrile neutropenia, it is regarded as a medical emergency and the person needs immediate attention.
Some trade names of the medications used to treat this condition that one should be aware of:
Neulasta, Udenyca, Fulphila
All these are trade names for pegfilgrastim. It is a man-made version of a certain natural substance in the body which helps make more white blood cells.
Its generic name is sargramostim, and it works similarly to pegfilgrastim in making a natural substance in the body that promotes the production of white blood cells.
Filgrastim is their generic name, which is again used to promote the production of white blood cells. It is given to people who are going through chemotherapy, chronic neutropenia or exposure to large amounts of radiation.
It is always advisable to consult a doctor before consuming any of these medications. These are medications that are prescribed by a professional after a detailed diagnosis that is done under proper care.
Know about the Various Symptoms of Neuropathy
Neuropathy refers to a generalized disease or malfunctioning of the nerves due to a variety of causes. Nerves are present throughout the body and damage in any location of this system affects the related body part.
What Is neuropathy?
The word is a combination of “neuro” + “pathy” where “neuro” refers to nerve and “pathy” means suffering or feeling. This is a term that is used to describe injury, damage or disease to the nerves. As a result of such damage, there can be several effects – pain, loss of sensation, loss of function or movement, impairment of gland or organ function. These damages are based on the part of the nervous system that is affected.
Neuropathy may be classified according to:
- The number of nerves affected- mononeuropathy, polyneuropathy, mononeuritis multiplex
- Type of nerve fiber that is involved in motor, sensory or autonomic systems
- Damaged or injured nerves can cause compression or inflammation
- Other classifications include cranial neuropathy vs peripheral neuropathy based on whether cranial nerves or peripheral nerves( those outside the brain/spinal cord system) are involved, focal neuropathy where only a single nerve or one single area of the body is involved.
- Terms like distal symmetric neuropathy are used to describe how distant the affected nerves are from the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
Symptoms of Neuropathy
- The malfunction of any nerves results in neuropathy.
- The symptoms of neuropathy depend on the type, location and number of nerves involved
- There are two types of neuropathy symptoms: loss of functions and gain of functions.
- Motor symptoms include weakness, tiredness, lack of balance, muscle atrophy, cramps, and muscle twitch
- Sensory symptoms include numbness, tingling, and pain
- In general, the sensory symptoms appear first before motor symptoms that’s why early diagnosis and intervention are crucial
- Autonomic neuropathy symptoms include dryness of the mouth, constipation, difficult urination, lack of balance or dizziness when you stand up, sexual dysfunction, feeling of bloating after meals, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, intolerance of heat, decreased sweating and hypoglycemia.
- Clumsiness or falls are common when the nerves that control joints are affected
- In peripheral neuropathy, the symptoms begin at the outer extremities and gradually progress towards the center of the body
- Length-dependent peripheral neuropathy presents with symptoms that affect the lower parts of the body and rarely the upper parts. Since the longest nerves end in the legs and feet, the pain and paresthesia (sensation of pins and needles) appear symmetrically and may not progress to the upper regions of the body.
- When there is a loss of sensation in the lower extremities and feet, the symptoms to watch out for are blisters and sores. These get infected and may not be noticed till the infection takes deep root in the tissues and bones. In such cases, amputation of the part or limb becomes necessary to save the person’s life.
Diabetic neuropathy symptoms
Diabetic neuropathy symptoms occur when a person suffers from diabetes. The high blood-glucose level over a prolonged period in the blood damages the nerves throughout the body. However, in most cases, it damages the nerves connected with the legs and feet. There are different types of diabetic neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, radiculoplexus neuropathy and mononeuropathy.
- In peripheral diabetic neuropathy, symptoms usually start at the feet and legs, then the hands and arms. The symptoms tend to get worse at night and recede during the day. They include pain, tingling, numbness loss of sensation, sharp and sudden cramps, weakness of muscles, loss of joint reflexes, joint and bone pain, loss of balance and gait, problems with the feet like ulcers, boils, abscesses, infections, etc. If symptoms are identified early, monitoring and control of blood-sugar are beneficial.
- In autonomic diabetic neuropathy, nerves controlling the heart, bladder, stomach, sexual organs and eyes are affected. Symptoms include increased heart-rate, sexual dysfunction, body-temperature problems, slower/decreased digestion, vision problems etc.
- In radiculoplexus diabetic neuropathy, nerves controlling the thighs, buttocks, hips, and legs are affected. This condition is usually seen in older adults. Symptoms include severe pain in these areas, weakening/shrinking of these muscles, weight-loss, difficulty in sitting/standing.
- In diabetic mononeuropathy, a single nerve is affected, causing focal damage in the face, torso, leg, and eyes. Pain in the area, loss of function and muscle weakness are typical symptoms. Dropping things, carpal tunnel syndrome, Bell’s palsy (paralysis of one side of face) may also be noticed.
When you or your loved ones notice any of the above symptoms, and if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to consult your doctor immediately. Diabetic neuropathy symptoms like wounds/ulcers/sores that don’t heal quickly or get infected, especially in the legs and feet, dizziness, changes in sexual, digestive or excretory functions, severe burning, tingling, crawling sensations that affect your ability to work, drive, sleep etc should be reported and treated immediately.
Benefits of Listerine for Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus occurs mainly due to a living organism called dermatophyte which starts growing in your toenail. It lives and thrives in places that are damp and dark. Therefore, your toenail becomes a perfect place for the organism to grow. There are multiple, both cheap and expensive, treatment options available for toenail fungus. However, one of the cheapest and the most effective treatment options for toenail fungus would be the listerine mouthwash. However, many are skeptic about the results of listerine for toenail fungus. So, in this article, let’s see the benefits of listerine.
What is listerine?
Before diving any further into the discussion, let’s have a look at the background and history of listerine. It was invented in the year 1879 as a disinfectant and surgical antiseptic by Dr. Joseph Lister. It is used effectively for the treatment of gonorrhea. Listerine is sometimes also used as a floor cleaner. Although it was invented long ago, listerine was not used as a bottle of mouthwash until the 1970s. Presently, many use listerine for toenail fungus treatment as well.
How listerine Works for Toenail Fungus
Listerine uses different antiseptic properties of various alcohols and other substances to treat toenail fungus. It has some incredible ingredients that really make listerine effective. However, the manufacturers of listerine do not market the product as a useful treatment option for fungal infection. Nonetheless, because it has some ingredients that might help to treat toenail fungus, you have all the right to assume the efficacy of Listerine for toenail fungus. Let’s have a look at some of those ingredients.
It is extracted from the herb called Thyme. Thymol is rich in Vitamin A and C. It is also a good source for calcium and magnesium. It gets absorbed in the skin and plays the role of an anti-inflammatory agent.
It is an essential oil that is extracted from the eucalyptus leaf. This oil is originated in Australia, and it is used by people all over the world to cure various illnesses that include fungus infections as well.
- Methyl Salicylate
There are numerous medicinal properties for methyl salicylate. This organic acid is used with many compounds to treat a wide number of diseases. One of the best things about methyl salicylate is the ability to eliminate dead skin cells and grow health cell in replacement.
The use of menthol for medicinal purposes dates back to the Egyptian civilization. It is extracted from the mint plant. Menthol works as an organic agent with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. That is why it works in a more than sufficient way for fungal infections.
Listerine has all the aforementioned four ingredients which are useful in treating fungal infections. Therefore, it could be assumed that listerine can be used to treat toenail fungus.
Side effects of listerine for the treatment of toenail fungus
One thing you need to keep in mind before creating any doubt about using listerine for toenail fungus is that listerine is absolutely safe to use. If there were any harmful effect, then people wouldn’t have put it in their mouth. However, when you use it to soak your feet, one of the most common side-effects you will get is the skin of your feet turning light green or blue. In order to avoid this complication, it is highly recommended not to soak your feet for too long in the listerine solution. The maximum time you can soak your feet in the listerine solution would be one hour. Also, note that listerine has a certain amount of alcohol which will make your skin dry. But, you need to remember that this drying of your skin is also a part of the healing process that will be going on inside your toenail. Some patients might also experience cracks in their skin which could be painful at times.
Pros and cons of the using listerine
There are many instances where people have found both pros and cons of using listerine for toenail fungus. Those who have tried listerine to treat their toenail fungus have reported that they have found it both advantageous and disadvantageous to be used for the said treatment.
- Easily accessible
- It is cheaper than the conventional treatment methods
- It is simple to apply
- It is also quite safe and convenient to use
- There have been multiple reports that prove the efficacy of listerine in treating toenail fungus
- Zero scientific evidence for the effectiveness of listerine in treating toenail fungus
- Takes a long time to show results
- Could cause crack and discoloration of the skin of many patients
Although there are some disadvantages, overall, Listerine is quite safe and effective for treating toenail fungus once and for all. However, seeking medical consultation before its usage will be a wise option.
All You Need to Know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
While irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) does not necessarily lead to other illness related to the colon, it does stay with a patient for a long time and requires a modification of lifestyle.
Gastroenterologists and primary-care providers found that 28% and 12% of total patient visits were for symptoms relating to irritable bowel syndrome, though most patients try to avoid treatment for it.
There are both indirect and direct costs related to irritable bowel syndrome due to leaves from work as well as the cost of hospital visits.
The quality of the patient’s life gets severely compromised, and the disease needs medical intervention for complete resolution.
What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
When one has irritable bowel syndrome, they may exhibit symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. A patient may also have pain or cramps in the belly due to this condition. One may feel this pain mostly in the lower part of the belly, and it will intensify after meals. The patient often feels bloated and may get some relief with bowel movements.
The belly protrudes, and the stools are either hard or soft. The symptoms get worse due to stress. Some patients also have problems with urination and sexual performance.
The types of irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome can be of four types:
- The first kind is irritable bowel syndrome with constipation or IBS-C
- The second type is irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or IBS-D
- The third category of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and constipation occurring alternately. It is known as mixed diarrhea or IBS-M.
When the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome do not fall into any of the above categories, they are usually known as unsubtyped IBS or IBS-U.
Risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome
Women are more susceptible to this condition than men. Women are two times more likely to be affected by it as compared to men. The symptoms usually surface during early childhood, and it is estimated that globally 7 to 10% of the population is afflicted by irritable bowel syndrome.
What causes irritable bowel syndrome?
There is no conclusive evidence to pinpoint what causes the disease. According to studies, the normal rhythm of the bowel muscles has a spasm leading to constipation and diarrhea.
How do doctors diagnose irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is identified by the process of exclusion. The physician will conduct tests for allergies or intolerances to foods. After that, the repercussions from high blood pressure medicines, antacids, and iron are ruled out.
Then, they will examine the possibility of an infection that could have led to these symptoms. The doctor will then try to explore the possibility of an enzyme deficiency that could lead to improper digestion. They may also consider other conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
One may have to undergo some tests to diagnose this condition. Some of them are flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to examine blockages or inflammation of the intestine, an upper endoscopy to rule out heartburn or indigestion, blood tests to rule out anemia, infection, or thyroid problems, stool tests to see if there is blood or any infection. A medical professional may also carry out tests for gluten allergy, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.
Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome
There is no single mode of treatment for patients. It is vital for the doctor and patient to analyze the root cause of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A multitude of factors could trigger irritable bowel syndrome such as medicines, allergies to certain foods, stress, and so on.
What are the diet and lifestyle changes required for treating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome will usually respond to lifestyle and diet changes like:
- Avoiding caffeine
- Consuming a diet that is rich in fiber with the inclusion of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts
- Drinking at least three to four glasses of water every day
- Quit smoking
- Find ways to reduce stress by learning relaxation techniques or exercising regularly.
- Consuming a limited amount of cheese or milk
- Instead of having three large meals, have smaller meals five times a day
- Keeping an eye on the food that you consume to find out which ones trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
What medications can one take for irritable bowel syndrome?
- To slow down the movement of food, one can take bulking agents like wheat bran, psyllium, or corn fiber.
- To change the bacterial count in the intestine, a doctor may suggest antibiotics like rifaximin. These are usually effective for six months.
- For pain in the abdomen or bloating, one can have antispasmodics, but they have some side effects. Sometimes, antidepressants can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well. Probiotics, which contain live bacteria, are also helpful.
- For constipation, osmotic laxatives are known to be quite effective. Linaclotide also helps with constipation, but it causes diarrhea. Lubiprostone is usually recommended for women.