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INTRODUCTION Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common chronic allergic disease in children. While the precise incidence is unknown, more than 40% of children may be diagnosed with AR by the age of six. Intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) are the most effective drugs for the treatment of AR.1 Compared to older children and adults, supportive data are limited in preschool-aged children. This article will review the safety and efficacy of the INCS in younger children for the treatment of AR. Only those products available in Canada will be discussed.



For post-menopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer (BC), vasomotor symptoms may be worsened by chemotherapy and/or tamoxifen or the discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at the time of diagnosis. Given that HRT is not recommended in this population, these women may seek alternative therapies in the form of natural health products (NHPs). Many of the NHPs thought to be effective in the control of menopausal symptoms contain phytoestrogens. While some epidemiological data suggest that soy phytoestrogens may have a protective effect and actually prevent BC, other studies indicate a potential effect in promoting tumor growth.1 This review will discuss the concerns surrounding the use of natural estrogens in women with BC, explore the evidence for using these products to treat menopausal symptoms, and present clinical trials examining the role of phytoestrogens in BC patients.

A Change of Heart: Updated Guidelines for the Prevention of Infective Endocarditis


Updated guidelines for the prevention of infective endocarditis were released by the American Heart Association in April 2007.1 These guidelines were developed by experts in infectious disease and cardiology as well as members representing the American Dental Association, and were endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. They are based on the literature published from 1950 to 2006, and replace the previous guidelines developed in 1997.2 The new guidelines are available on the internet at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.183095.



“Pediculus humanus var capitis” or head lice are insects that feed on human blood.1 Although a nuisance, lice do not transmit diseases.2 School-aged children and their mothers are most commonly affected, and there is a higher incidence of infestations in the winter.1 Lice is found among all socioeconomic backgrounds. 1 Girls are more commonly affected due to their closer social behavior, rather than the length of their hair.3 Each year, it is estimated that one to 10 percent of school-aged children and their families suffer lice infestations.3 A loss of time from school and work often results and lice can be an emotional nightmare for the whole family.3 This article will review the life cycle of the head louse, as well as the prevalence, signs, symptoms and currently available treatments for head lice infestations. Supporting evidence for treatment resistant lice will also be presented, as well as the possible alternatives for these resistant cases.

Glucose Disorders Associated With Non-Diabetes Drugs


Numerous hormones in the body are involved in maintaining strict control of blood glucose levels.1 An upset in this balance can lead to hyper- or hypoglycemia, each of which can have serious repercussions. Hyperglycemia can interfere with the body’s immune function, impede wound healing, and increase the risk of macrovascular complications (e.g., myocardial infarction and stroke).2 Hypoglycemia is associated with many negative outcomes including weakness, confusion, seizures and unconsciousness.1 Many drugs can influence glucose homeostasis through a variety of mechanisms. This article presents a few of the more common and noteworthy examples of non-diabetes drugs that cause hypo- and/or hyperglycemia. The mechanisms of glucose disturbance and its management are also presented where possible.


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