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A few days ago, I was watching my favorite network, “The Food Network” and I saw an amazing commercial that was both educational and frightening. What I observed was a commercial for a drug called Xarelto. The drug is purported to be a suitable pharmaceutical treatment  used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem. My concern is the commercial sounded more like an infomercial, designed to entice those patients that are currently taking Warfarin. The reality is that there is a limited amount of information on how Xarelto compares to warfarin in reducing the risk of stroke. Xarelto is also used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It has been found helpful in the prevention of future occurrences of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. An additional indication for its use is a reduction of  the risk of clot formation in the legs and lungs of patients that have recently had hip or knee replacement surgery.

After having seen the commercial a few times, I realized that commercial advertisement of this drug is designed for two purposes: the first is to educate consumers that are currently taking Warfarin that a suitable replacement may be suitable for them. A second purpose is begin the grass-roots level of education that must occur as a new drug is being introduced and prescribed.

My concern is that as dental providers we must remain abreast of introduction of new medications that may affect our dental treatment. It remains our responsibility to be knowledgable in the uses, indications and contra-indications of this drug. It should also be understood that new drugs are continuously introduced that will affect our dental treatment.

Please take a look at the prescribing information for Xarelto. To stay abreast of constantly changing medications, consider the addition of an app like Micro-Medix or Medscape. They are both free and can be downloaded to your smart phone, iPad, tablet and P.C. I consider both of these as wonderful resources, each has benefits and disadvantages, but they are wonderful adjuncts.


Things that make you go “hmmmm”

I find at this time of year many of us look for that extra “edge” to help us sustain our energy level for Christmas shopping and parties!  Our patients are no different. Two of the most common supplements that provide an extra boost are products containing ginkgo biloba and Ginseng. For the average lay person, […]


When your patient says “Yes” to Asthma..

When your patient states on their medical history that they have asthma,some logical questions should include: at what age was your asthma diagnosed? do you know what type of asthma you have? what causes your asthma attacks? have you been hospitalized due to your asthma? when was your last asthma attack? do you carry a […]


Have you thought about your end of the year spending?

When we think about the holidays, most often we are deciding about gifts for our family and friends. Then, the difficult decisions arise concerning our staff. Do we have a party, provide them a bonus or a gift. Whichever suits your style, this year give your practice a gift. We all know what our tax […]


Do you know the difference between diagnosis and treatment?

For the last two weeks I’ve been assisting a colleague who experienced a stroke. I pray his recovery will continue to steadily improve and he will regain health in body, mind and spirit. Following after another Doctor always brings to mind the fundamentals of chart review for me, which I’d like to share with you […]


When your patient says “Yes to Asthma”

When your patient states on their medical history that they have asthma,some logical questions should include: at what age was your asthma diagnosed? do you know what type of asthma you have? what causes your asthma attacks? have you been hospitalized due to your asthma? when was your last asthma attack? do you carry a […]


What is your role in preventing prescription drug abuse?

As Dentists, we are often the most accessible health care provider that can provide controlled substances to drug-seeking patients. I realize this sounds cold, crass and somewhat insensitive, but it is true. How many of us dread Friday afternoon emergency calls wondering whether the patient actually desires dental treatment or is trying to “con” us […]


The management of Asthma in your dental practice

Most dental providers have broad sweeping questions concerning asthma on their health history. In the next few articles we will address the significant factors that must be addressed to properly manage an asthmatic patient. These include the presence of comprehensive questions regarding the state of your patient’s asthma, an assessment of the effect your dental […]