The magic of psychedelics – a tale told in quotation marks

Mind-altering psychedelics (or specific serotonergic hallucinogens), such as LSD, are psychoactive substances that “have the capacity to reliably induce states of altered perception, thought, and feeling that are not experienced otherwise except in dreams or at times of religious exaltation.” These brain serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonists or partial agonists evoke portentousness or “the capacity of the mind to see more than it can tell, to experience more than it can explicate, to believe in and be impressed with more than it can rationally justify, to experience boundlessness and ‘boundaryless’ events, from the banal to the profound”. It is estimated that at least 300 million people have taken a psychedelic agent at least once. Psychedelics may be used for a number of reasons, including for spiritual or mystical experiences, increasing self-knowledge, and recreation. They may also be used therapeutically for mental illness.

Focus on solifenacin

Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) is a chronic medical condition that can have a major effect on quality of life. OAB causes a frequent and sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control and can also lead to urinary incontinence. First-line treatment starts with behavioural therapies such as bladder training, pelvic floor muscle exercises, and fluid management. After lifestyle interventions, anticholinergic drugs are the next step in treating OAB. Antimuscarinics are the drug class of choice for OAB symptoms and have proven efficacy.

An overview of muscle pain

Muscle pain, medically known as myalgia, can be described as pain that originates in any muscle of the body. The pain can be in one targeted area or across many muscles, usually occurring with overexertion or overuse of these muscles. “Pain, like love, is all consuming: when you have it, not much else matters, and there is nothing you can do about it. Unlike love, however, we are actually beginning to tease apart the mystery of pain.”

Acne and its management – an update

The role of the healthcare professional in the management of acne cannot be underestimated. The healthcare professional's role commences when a prescription is received and needs to be dispensed. It also results in the supplying of advice to the patient as to when the medication(s) need to be taken, how they need to be taken, which side effects can be expected and when a referral is needed. 

Misunderstood “menopausal” hormones: their controversy and complexity

Bringing harmony to a bunch of misinterpreted hormones and to the women that flower our world

The use of oestrogen therapy underwent a significant decline in the 1970s, as reports of a 4- to 14-fold increased risk of endometrial cancer was linked to its use. In a typical knee-jerk reaction, the FDA began requiring a warning on all oestrogen products that indicated the “risk” of developing both thrombi and emboli, as well as cancer. My knee-jerk rhetorical question is, “How would such a warning, in itself, reduce the incidence of the proven complications in those courageous (and misguided) souls that continued to accept their doctor’s oestrogen recommendation?” 

The rise of aesthetic medicine

The realm of aesthetic medicine is broad with no universally accepted definition. Typically, ‘aesthetic medicine’ is used interchangeably with ‘cosmetic surgery’ and ‘plastic surgery’; broadly speaking, aesthetic medicine can range from a simple ‘cosmetic dermatological’ or hair procedure, body enhancement with surgery, or medical devices with claims of reversal of the ageing process. Three parameters define aesthetic medicine: a) performed to reshape normal structures of the body; b) initiated by the patient and not on medical need; and c) excludes reconstructive surgery.

Diarrhoea in infants requires urgent attention

Diarrhoea remains one of the leading causes of death, ill health and disability among children under five years of age in developing countries, accounting for 19% of deaths of under-fives in South Africa and for 46% on the African continent. Globally, diarrhoea is the second leading infectious cause of death, accounting for 9.2% of deaths in under-fives.

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South African General Practitioner - 2022 Vol 3 No 5