TEC: Evidence Based Therapeutics
Therapeutics Education Collaboration
Medication Mythbusters – Home of the Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcast

The BS Medicine Podcast episodes are presented by James McCormack and Michael Allan. We try to promote healthy skepticism and critical thinking and most of the podcasts are presented in a case-based approach. We also try to inject some humour into the whole process to make the learning more interesting. Occasionally we have great guests like Mike Kolber, Tina Korownyk and Bruce Arroll help us out.

Most podcast episodes are available for free until they become archived after about 1-2 months. Every 4th episode or so is a “New Studies You Need to Know About” podcast and these will only be available to our Premium Podcast members. Premium members will also be able to listen to all archived episodes since episode #1.

Episode 480: Reducing risk rather than reducing surrogates

In episode 480, James and Mike talk about two recent meta-analyses that have done a solid job of looking at the impact of lowering blood pressure and using SGLT-2s and GLP-1s to reduce risk. Both publications lend credence to the concept of focusing much more on risk reduction goals than blood pressure or glucose thresholds.

Show notes

1) Pharmacological blood pressure lowering for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease across different levels of blood pressure: an individual participant-level data meta-analysis

Lancet. 2021 May 1;397(10285):1625-1636.  

2) Decisions about antihypertensive treatment should focus on reducing cardiovascular risk

Lancet. 2021 May 1;397(10285):1598-1599

3) Sodium-glucose cotransporter protein-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists for type 2 diabetes: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

BMJ. 2021 Jan 13;372:m4573.  doi: 10.1136/bmj.m4573.

Episode 479: Cannabinoids – an update (not much) for chronic pain

In episode 479, Mike and James update the latest information around cannabinoids for chronic pain. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of new information but we talk about what there is and then try and put all the evidence into context and then how to think about the information we have.

Show notes

1) Allan GM, Finley CR, Ton J, Perry D, Ramji J, Crawford K, et al. Systematic review of systematic reviews for medical cannabinoids: Pain, nausea and vomiting, spasticity, and harms.

Can Fam Physician. 2018;64(2):e78-e94.

2) Mücke M, Phillips T, Radbruch L, Petzke F, Häuser W. Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Mar 7;3(3):CD012182.

3) Wong SSC, Chan WS, Cheung CW.  Analgesic Effects of Cannabinoids for Chronic Non-cancer Pain: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis with Meta-Regression.

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2020 Dec;15(4):801-829

4) Johal H, Devji T, Chang Y, Simone J, Vannabouathong C, Bhandari M.  Cannabinoids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Feb 19;13:1179544120906461.

5) Fitzcharles MA, Baerwald C, Ablin J, Häuser W. Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoids in chronic pain associated with rheumatic diseases (fibromyalgia syndrome, back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis): a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Schmerz. 2016;30(1):47–61.

Episode 477: Vaccine hesitancy in the office: What can I do?

In episode 477, James and Mike invite Jen Potter to the podcast for the first time to talk about the important topic of what to do around vaccine hesitancy. We find out the evidence suggests discussion should focus on the disease-prevention benefits for the individual rather than talking about misinformation around the harm or the benefits to society.

Show notes

Tools for Practice

Vaccine hesitancy in the office: What can I do?

Episode 476: PREMIUM – New evidence around antibiotics in primary care

In episode 476, James and Mike talk about a few new systematic reviews from the Cochrane library that look at 4 different common antibiotic questions in primary care – antibiotics for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, molar tooth extraction, Strep throat, and COPD exacerbation prevention. The PREMIUIM answers are no, yes, yes and yes – but you need to know the details, so have a listen.

Show notes

COCHRANE REVIEWS

Antibiotics for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease

Antibiotics to prevent complications following tooth extractions

Different antibiotic treatments for group A streptococcal pharyngitis

Prophylactic antibiotics for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a network meta‐analysis

Episode 475: A good sleep would be dop(aminergic) doc! Pramipexole in restless legs syndrome

In episode 475, Mike and James invite Tina to talk about treatments for restless legs syndrome. in particular pramipexole. We find that pramipexole improves symptoms in ~20% of people over and above placebo and that low doses are just as good as higher doses. Who knew? In addition, you need to know that over a long period of time (> 1 year) that pramipexole can worsen restless syndrome so reassessment on a regular basis is key.

Show notes

1) Tools for Practice

A good sleep would be dop(aminergic) doc! Pramipexole in restless legs syndrome

2) CFPCLearn – Interactive e-learning. Reporting Simplified anytime, anywhere

Episode 474: Iron dosing frequency: Is less more or just less?

In episode 474, Mike and James discuss the evidence around intermittent iron dosing for people with anemia. We find that once daily dosing of iron yields similar or slightly better hemoglobin versus twice weekly or alternate day over ~3 months but low dose is still the place to start. We also discuss the amount of iron in supplements and in food and try to put all that into context.

Show notes

1) Tools for Practice

Iron dosing frequency: Is less more or just less?

2) CFPCLearn – Interactive e-learning. Reporting Simplified anytime, anywhere

Episode 473: All the numbers for bisphosphonates and denosumab in osteoporosis

In episode 473, Mike and James invite Samantha Moe yet again to talk about a recent Tools for Practice that looked at treatments for osteoporosis. Sam helps us put all the evidence into perspective for bisphosphonates and denosumab when it comes to fractures. We discuss the numbers and help explain why secondary prevention in osteoporosis is not really secondary prevention.

Show notes

Tools for Practice

Osteoporosis treatment for post-menopausal women

Episode 472: Glucosamine & Chondroitin: Natural remedies for osteoarthritis?

In episode 472, Mike and James invite Samantha Moe in to talk about a recent Tools for Practice that looks at the evidence for glucosamine and chondroitin in osteoarthritis. Sam does a great job of showing why you have to look at publicly funded trials and responder analyses to really get the whole picture of the evidence around these products.

Show notes

1) Tools for practice

Glucosamine & Chondroitin: Natural remedies for osteoarthritis? 

2) PEER simplified decision aid: osteoarthritis treatment options in primary care

3) Pain calculator

Episode 471: PREMIUM – Vitamin C, iron and diabetes – new evidence and good answers

In episode 471, Mike and James get back to being PREMIUM and discuss 2 studies that should impact what you do today in your practice. Is Vitamin C needed when you take iron? What does the evidence really show about the SGLT-2 and the GLP-1s for diabetes and is one better than the other?

Show notes

1) The Efficacy and Safety of Vitamin C for Iron Supplementation in Adult Patients With Iron Deficiency Anemia

JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(11):e2023644. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23644

2) Sodium-glucose cotransporter protein-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists for type 2 diabetes: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials 

BMJ 2021;372:m4573 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4573

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