Lege Artis Medicinae

[Dangers of the use of performance enhancement drugs and food supplements]


FEBRUARY 20, 2010

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2010;20(02)

[The history of humankind is full of stories related to performance enhancement drug abuse. For the purpose of improving explosive power and long-term physical performance central nervous system stimulating drugs and supplements, such as: amphetamine and cocaine have been used. Androgenic anabolic steroids are used for increasing skeletal muscle mass. The abuse of performance enhancer drugs is seriously deteriorating the human health, and have several negative side effects. Number of food-supplements - available in the market, often contain traces of steroids. So called designer steroids are extremely dangerous. In the near future it will be possible to enhance physical performance through genetic interventions.]



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[Methods of liver support for the treatment of fulminant hepatic failure - therapeutic plasmapheresis, hepatocyte transplantation, methods of biological liver support and new therapeutic approaches: the MARSand the Prometheus treatments]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Halfway on a physician’s life course]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Cardiovascular safety of tiotropium in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Heart surgery among octogenerians - fiction or reality?]

SZÉKELY László, GYÖRGY Margit, JUHÁSZ Boglárka, SZABÓ J. Zoltán, SZUDI László, PAULOVICH Erzsébet, LONKAY Eszter, HORKAY Ferenc

[OBJECTIVE - Aging of the society results in important demographic changes in cardiac surgical practice. Controversy exists as to whether heart surgery in elderly patients improves their life expectancy and the severe functional restraint caused by their heart diseases. PATIENTS AND METHODS - We discuss a retrospective study of octogenarian patients who underwent cardiac surgical procedures in our institutions between 01.01.2000. and 30.06.2006. The mean age of the 105 participants was 81.5 years (80-87). 67% (70) of patients had coronary artery disease (CAD). 31% (33) of the patients had aortic valve stenosis (AVR), of whom 16 had isolated AVR and 17 had AVR combined with CAD. One patient had surgery because of mitral valve insufficiency (MVR) only, and one was treated for combined AVR and MVR. The average surgical euroscore was 9.7 (5-18) and the predictive mortalities were 18%. 9.5% of the procedures were acute, 42.9% were urgent and 47.6% were chronic surgeries. RESULTS - The average operating time was 149±23 min, duration of the aortic cross clamp was 65±11 min. OPCAB procedures were performed in 82.9% of patients treated for CAD. In the postoperative period, the occurrence of renal failure was 2.9%, blood transfusions were needed in 37.4% of patients, and neurological deficits occurred in 2.9% of patients. The incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction was 5.6%. The rate of early mortality was 4.8%, the rate of late (>30 days) mortality was 14.3%. At the last follow-up examination, 67 (79%) of the surviving 85 patients were free of cardiac symptoms, physically active and able to take care of themselves. 14 patients (17%) needed some help and only 4 patients (5%) were unable of taking care of themselves. CONCLUSIONS - The mortality of cardiac diseases can be reduced by cardiac surgeries in octagenerians. Improvement of cardiac symptoms improves the patients’ functional status and their quality of life can be similar to that of healthy people of the same age.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The importance of differences between diuretics in the treatment of hypertension - Metabolic neutrality in focus]


[Indapamide is a “second-generation” vasodilatatory thiazide diuretic. Its antihypertensive efficacy when used at a low dose is equivalent to those of the other first-line antihypertensive drugs. Unlike other thiazide diuretics, low-dose indapamide was not found to have any adverse glucose or lipid effects in previous studies, moreover, it decreased insulin resistance in patients with hypertension. The risks of hypokalemia and hyperuricemia were also substantially lower. In the large, randomized, placebo-controlled HYVET-study, low-dose, indapamide-based antihypertensive therapy significantly decreased the risks of cardiovascular diseases and mortality in elderly (age >80 years) patients with hypertension. According to new guidelines, indapamide is preferred to other thiazide diuretics for patients with hypertension associated with metabolic syndrome or diabetes mellitus.]

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Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Theoretical and practical considerations of rational polytherapy in epilepsy]


[Author analyses the consideration of rational polytherapy for epilepsy. Among the theoretical aspects he points the different effect of seizure inhibitory drugs on the epilepsy models but didn’t find data enough for the basis of any successful combination. Combinations of compounds having different way of action are more promising. Rational polytherapy can serve also the epileptic patients’ tailored therapy in the daily routine. There have already been some proved synergisms concerning drug interactions. Based on detailed analysis of side effects a possibility occurs for neutralization of side effects when anticonvulsants with side effects of opposite nature are combined. Considering both the side effect profiles and the different (somatic and psychic) habits of the patients we can create a special list of favourable combinations. Co-morbid states and their treatments play a significant role in the application of rational polytherapy. Combination of anticonvulsants of lower potential but without drug-interactions can be the choice in these cases. The non-epileptic indications of the anticonvulsants can also be utilized in polymorbid patients. Based on the theoretical and practical considerations the author defines the ten-step-cognitive-preparation-process in planning the optimal (poly)therapy. On speculative basis he suggests eight beneficial versions of seizure inhibitory rational polytherapy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[Substance abuse is an immense problem in Hungary and around the world. Psychological effects of this condition are widely known for abusers and health care workers. Cardiovascular effects of illicit substances are much less well known and can develop as very severe diseases (myocardial infarction, extremely high blood pressure, intracerebral haemorrhage, sudden death etc.) and occur particularly in young people. The treatment of cardiovascular complications of substance abuse may differ from that accepted in non-abusers and some drugs (for example: β-blockers) may be contraindicated. In this review, the effects of substance abuse on the cardiovascular system are discussed, including effects of most commonly abused substances: cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, LSD, marijuana, inhalative substances. In this review the cardiovascular effects of sedato-hypnotics and most widely used substances (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine) are not adressed, since they are well known.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Antiepileptic drugs as mood stabilizers: what did we learn from the epileptology?]


[Author summarizes the practical aspects of psychiatric application of mood stabilizing antiepileptic drugs. He observes how to transfer experiences taken from the “epileptological” practice into the psychiatric care of bipolar patients. He shortly demonstrates the relevant information on the mechanisms of action, controversies and possible clinical effects influenced by the seizure inhibiting effect of the concerning molecules. By the opinion of the author the clinical importance of pharmacokinetic parameters are underestimated in the psychiatric practice. Therefore - as an original approach in the literature - he summarizes the detailed clinical indications of serum level measurements of antiepileptic drugs applied in psychiatry as mood stabilizers. The therapeutic experiences in epilepsy added a lot of practices for the most effective dosing, building, tapering and exchange of the mood stabilizer antiepileptics. Drug interactions (appear among the psychotropic drugs or with the commonly used medicines). As in any chronic therapies the main condition of patient's compliance is the lacking or very mild presence of the applied therapy. The paper discusses the most frequently occurring and drug-specific side effects in table forms. Using the term of “relative therapeutic potential” the need of balance between the efficacy (influenced by the choice and dosing) and the tolerance are pointed. Rules of application can change significantly in special populations like in pregnancy, obesity, chronic diseases or in chronic comorbide states and in case of polytherapy. As for the special therapeutic effects, the experiences are not completed even in group of antiepileptics: we have larger and more favorable knowledge on the traditional drugs (carbamazepine and valproates) and on lamotrigine (from the newer generation) but promising but not enough information exists on the newest antiepileptic molecules. Further targeted studies are needed for the identification and positioning of antiepileptic drugs in the palette of mood stabilizing pharmacotherapy and for the definition of evidence based, individually tailored and lifelong applied highly effective combinations of the mood stabilizing pharmacotherapy containing antiepileptic agents.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[The use of opioids to relieve strong, unbearable pain is a method that has been known for thousands of years and is still effective today. In contrast to the earlier view, opioids today are not only given to cancer patients. The application area of morphine derivatives is generally the relief of exceptionally strong pain regardless of the diagnosis, but opiates are undoubtedly most commonly used to treat cancer-related or strong acute pain. Strong pain reducers are used much more in developed countries for the treatment of non-cancer related severe pain refractory to other approaches. Today the use of opiates and their derivatives (fentanyl, oxycodon) for non-cancer related pain relief is recognized by the national health insurance in that it allows general practitioners to prescribe them, upon the recommendation of a neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, traumatologist or rheumatologist, with a significant 90% subsidy for six months to ensure easy access for patients in severe, refractory pain due to degenerative musculoskelatal diseases (ICD: M47, M48, M16.9, M17.9, M54.4, M51.0, M51.1). The indications of opioid use, however, are not limited to strong nociceptive pain since they are also effective in certain types of peripheral neuropathic pain. In brief, a basic principle of the use of major analgetics is that their indication is primarily based on the intensity of pain and not on the nature of the disease, even though the latter has a major influence on the clinician's strategy of pain relief.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


BODA Zoltán

[Coumarins have been widely used for the prevention of arterial and venous thromboembolism. The importance of oral anticoagulants has steadily increased in internal medicine and cardiology in the past 20 years. Coumarins are vitamin K antagonists by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors in liver cells. Since the average half-life of hydroxycoumarin is longer than that of aceno-coumarin, the INR of patients treated with hydroxy-coumarin is more stable, thus making it especially suitable for long-term anticoagulant treatment. The main indications of coumarin therapy include secondary prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism, and primary and secondary prevention of arterial thromboembolism, particularly embolic stoke, in patients with cardiovascular disorders. This review summarizes the most important clinical issues of long-term oral anticoagulant therapy including indications, contraindications, dosing, therapeutic range, and laboratory monitoring. Special emphasis is placed on the role of hydroxy-coumarin in longterm oral anticoagulant therapy.]