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Repurposing Medications—Chicken Manure, Erectile Dysfunction, and Finding the Golden Needle in the Haystack of Absurdity

Title
Repurposing Medications—Chicken Manure, Erectile Dysfunction, and Finding the Golden Needle in the Haystack of Absurdity
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Human
Reported as
Opinion
Date
August 02, 2017
Authors
Erik J. Stratman
Institution
Marshfield Clinic
Link
Abstract

In this month’s JAMA Dermatology, Ibrahim et al and Albers et al each report a separate small series of patients with severe Hailey-Hailey disease recalcitrant to many conventional therapies who responded remarkably and quickly to low-dose, compounded oral naltrexone. This discovery seems to have its origins in patient word of mouth; specifically through online Hailey-Hailey disease support groups. Where once there was a water cooler or barber shop around which remedy anecdotes were swapped, today’s patient is online, connected to large volumes of information and to others with similar conditions. Chat rooms, blogs, vlogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook followings, podcasts, YouTube posts, and disease advocacy websites are all examples of the ways patients stay connected to the latest “hot topic” in disease management. We often then find patients bringing to our offices printed web pages describing the latest therapeutic claims and asking for thoughts, permissions, or prescriptions.