Sarah Ludwig Rausch

Sarah Ludwig Rausch is a freelance writer and copyeditor based in South Dakota. Find her at BlueZebraMedia.com.

Early in 2022, the FDA granted emergency use authorization to two antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19: Lagevrio (molnupiravir) and Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir). These treatments aren’t 100% effective, though they are more effective the sooner they’re prescribed, so it’s been crucial for scientists to continue to study other drugs and combinations to determine the best treatments—old and new—for COVID-19. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and the biopharmaceutical industry have been working to determine if available medications can treat COVID-19, knowing that existing treatments would be faster and easier to get to people who need them than newly-designed…

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Editor’s note (08/06/20): Because COVID-19 is thought to attach itself to ACE-2 enzymes as a way to gain entry to the human body, some people believe that taking ACE inhibitors may increase one’s chances of contracting the virus. This isn’t proven. One in two Americans has hypertension, aka high blood pressure, and about 87 million of them are prescribed a medication. Of the drugs liberally doled out to Americans, Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are the most common. Like any drug, ACE inhibitors can cause serious side effects, and it’s essential to understand all the facts about this medication, as well as…

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Three doctors share some words of advice, as well as their own perspective on the novel coronavirus pandemic. Hana Akselrod, MD MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences “My first advice is do not panic. It’s a completely unprecedented challenge for all of us, but there are fantastic people on the front lines of it in clinical medicine and in science and on the patient advocacy side and together, we will rise to the challenge on this. I think there is a rich history of…

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We all know that smoking can lead to major health issues and that it can worsen other medical conditions. Quitting for good isn’t easy and may take many tries, but the potential for improving your current and future health is worth the effort. And here’s a piece of inspirational information: The Surgeon General says that former smokers now outnumber current smokers, meaning that more than half of all smokers have successfully quit. If you’re trying to quit smoking, there are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help. Common Names Prescription drugs that can help you quit…

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Glaucoma, a group of eye conditions in which the pressure in one or both of your eyes increases and damages your optic nerve, is a sneaky disease with no symptoms in its early stages. If it’s left untreated, you can lose your sight. Although there is no cure, if it’s detected and treated early, treatment can usually stop or significantly slow down vision loss. Because glaucoma is progressive, the best treatment for you will depend on what stage of the disease you’re in, but the choices are pretty straightforward: eye drops, laser therapy and surgery. Eye Drops Eye drops are…

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NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are some of the most commonly used pain relievers and can either be prescribed by your doctor or purchased over the counter (OTC). They’re used to treat a wide range of illnesses, from arthritis to headaches to sprains to postsurgical pain. Like any medication, NSAIDs can cause side effects, some of them serious. Common Names of NSAIDs Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, etc.), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn), celecoxib (Celebrex), fenoprofen (Nalfon), indomethacin (Indocin), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), diclofenac (Voltaren), salsalate (Disalcid) How They Work (Method of Action) NSAIDs block proteins called cyclooxygenase enzymes…

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Though birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives or “the pill,” are commonly prescribed, understanding all the facts about this medication can help you make informed decisions about the type of birth control you use. Common Names of Birth Control Pills Ortho-Cept (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol), Natazia (estradiol/dienogest), Yasmin (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol), Beyaz (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol/levomefolate), Zovia (ethynodiol diacetate and ethinyl estradiol), Seasonale (ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel), Ortho Micronor (norethindrone), Loestrin (ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone), Ortho-Cyclen (ethinyl estradiol/norgestimate), Ogestrel (norgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) How They Work (Method of Action) Birth control pills release small amounts of a version of the hormones estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone (progestin) that prevent pregnancy…

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