Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking prednisone?

Prednisone is a synthetic form of adrenocortical steroid that doctors can prescribe to treat several different conditions.

Prednisone can help balance hormones in people whose adrenal glands do not produce enough corticosteroids.

It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help treat diseases that cause inflammation, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. Prednisone can also alter the function of the immune system.

Whether they are taking a short course of the medication or need to use it long-term, people often wonder if they can drink alcohol while taking prednisone.

Full story at Medical News Today

What is dermatophagia?

Dermatophagia is a psychological condition in which a person compulsively bites, chews, gnaws, or eats their skin. It often affects the skin around people’s fingers.

Dermatophagia is an emerging concept in mental health research. For this reason, there have been few studies into precisely what it is and how it differs from other conditions.

According to the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, mental health specialists sometimes classify dermatophagia as an “obsessive-compulsive and related disorder.”

Full story at Medical News Today

External reference drug pricing could save medicare tens of billions

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that prices for brand-name prescription drugs averaged 3.2 to 4.1 times higher in the U.S. when compared with prices in the United Kingdom, Japan and the Canadian province of Ontario. The study also found that the longer the brand-name prescription drug was on the market, the greater the price differential.

If the Medicare program used the same prices as these other countries, the estimated savings to Medicare Part D would have been almost $73 billion in 2018 alone, the study found. Medicare Part D is an optional prescription drug benefit, available to Medicare beneficiaries for a premium and administered by private insurance companies.

The findings will be published in the May issue of Health Affairs.

U.S. prescription drug prices for brand-name drugs are the highest in the world. One approach to lower U.S. prescription drug prices is to benchmark drug prices to those paid in other countries using a pricing model known as external reference pricing. An estimated 29 European countries as well as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa use this approach for the purposes of setting and negotiating the price of a drug.

Full story at Science Daily

Is procrastination friend or foe to health and creativity?

Many of us are familiar with the act of procrastinating — putting off tasks until, or past, their deadline. Why do people procrastinate? Does it only bring them disadvantages, or does it also have some benefits? We investigate in this Spotlight feature.

Procrastination typically gets a bad name as a habit that impacts productivity and holds people back from fulfilling their potential.

Some researchers define procrastination as “a form of self-regulation failure […] characterized by the needless delay of things one intends to do despite the expectation of negative consequences.”

Full story at Medical News Today

How to deal with anxiety: Coping tips and natural remedies

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates.

HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY ATTACKS:

The association describes a panic attack as the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort. It can happen out of the blue and for no obvious reason when a person is calm, or strike when he or she is feeling anxious. The body responds as if it’s in danger, even though there’s no threat.

Know that the worst of it should be brief: The height of a panic attack lasts a few minutes because the body can’t sustain that level of fight-or-flight arousal for very long.

Full story at NBC News