April News and notes 2023

    April Newsletter 1 2023

    April Newsletter 2 2023

    No Caffeine for Adults with ADHD

    It is true that the right amount of caffeine can improve concentration, but it can exacerbate hyperactivity and anxiety in those with ADHD.

    There’s no blanket rule for adults with ADHD consuming caffeine. If you have ADHD you don’t have to deprive yourself of your caffeine intake completely, but do practise moderation: 500 to 600 mg of caffeine consumption a day is considered too much. Increased heartbeat, shakes and tremors are some of the symptoms those with ADHD may experience with even a low caffeine intake.


    Also, bear in mind that if you are on ADHD medication and drink coffee or tea, for example, the stimulant effect will be more pronounced. If you have ADHD limit yourself to the smallest amount of caffeine in the morning – sometimes even one cup of coffee (100 to 200 mg) is too much. Avoid caffeine intake during the afternoon and evening and be aware of how caffeine affects you: Everyone metabolises caffeine differently, with some being more susceptible than others, so it’s really about monitoring yourself and being self-aware.


    Adverse birth outcomes after in utero exposure to corticosteroids for IBD

    This cohort study suggests that children of women with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) exposed to corticosteroids in utero had an almost 2.5-fold increased risk of preterm birth. Use of corticosteroids is closely related to disease activity. 

    New therapy: fight tumors with patients’ blood cells 

    Scientists have discovered it is possible to isolate a tumor’s attack cells non-invasively from blood, rather than from tumors. The finding opens the door for the promising immunotherapy tool, Adoptive Cell Therapy  (ACT), to treat harder-to-reach cancer types and makes it a more viable option for hospitals. ACT has the potential to bypass radiation therapies and harsh chemotherapy drugs.

    Another win for immunotherapy, is the significantly longer progression-free survival among patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer when used in combination with chemotherapy.

    News and notes heart

    Painkillers Linked to Heart Failure in Type 2 Diabetes

    In a report out of Denmark, among over 300 000 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), short-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with a relative 43% increased risk of a first-time heart failure hospitalisation in the subsequent 28 days! The most at-risk subgroups were patients ages 80 and older. Individual risk assessment is advised if prescribing NSAIDs for patients with T2D. Study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    Pholcodine-containing medicines withdrawn from SA Market

    Pholcodine is registered to treat non-productive (dry) cough and is available in a number of non-prescription medicines, either as a single active ingredient or in combination with other medicines.

    There is a link between the use of pholcodine-containing medicines and the risk of a sudden, severe, and life-threatening allergic (anaphylactic) reaction when neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) are administered during general anaesthesia.

    NMBAs are used as muscle relaxants during surgery. The use of pholcodine-containing medicines, up to 12 months prior to surgery, increases the risk of anaphylactic reaction in patients who receive NMBAs.

    Please contact your healthcare provider if you may have taken a pholcodine-containing medicine, particularly in the 12 months prior to surgery or general anaesthesia. Here are some names: PHOLTEX FORTE; PHOLTEX JUNIOR; PROCOF; FOLCOFEN; PHOLTEX PLUS; ADCO-PHOLCOLINT;, CONTRA-COFF; DOCSED and TIXYLIX.

    There are natural alternatives on the market such as Sinulex Forte Syrup, Tibb Kofcare, Flora Force Herbal Cough and Linctagon Cough Syrup.

    Dry cleaning agent linked to Parkinson’s disease

    Research suggested that trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent used in dry cleaning clothing and degreasing metal parts, was linked to Parkinson’s disease. (Journal of Parkinson's Disease).

    We have published an article on the dangers of dry cleaning and it is not limited to Parkinson's: Dry Cleaning – Risks & Safer Alternatives

    Dry Cleaning

    High salt intake linked to atherosclerosis (with normal BP)

    A large study from Sweden, published in European Heart Journal Open, concludes that a high salt intake is an important risk factor for atherosclerosis, even in the absence of hypertension. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls.

    The researchers may have debunked a controversy in the process regarding very low salt intake linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease. They could not find this in their study.

    High salt intake

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