Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease from Hepatitis C Virus infection

In The Media
Marijuana Use May Improve Cirrhosis Risk in Patients With Hepatitis C
Kenneth Bender, PharmD, MA
Publish Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
In an observation of a large pool of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), cannabis users had a lower prevalence of liver cirrhosis, more favorable health status at hospital discharge, and lower total health care costs than non-users.
Read the article...

In The Journal 
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2018, Article ID 9430953, 9 pages

Research Article
Reduced Incidence and Better Liver Disease Outcomes among Chronic HCV Infected Patients Who Consume Cannabis
Received 1 May 2018; Revised 13 August 2018; Accepted 29 August 2018; Published 23 September 2018

Background and Aim. The effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease (CLD) from Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection, the most common cause of CLD, has been controversial. Here, we investigated the impact of cannabis use on the prevalence of CLD among HCV infected individuals. Methods. We analyzed hospital discharge records of adults (age ≥ 18 years) with a positive HCV diagnosis. We evaluated records from 2007 to 2014 of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). We excluded records with other causes of chronic liver diseases (alcohol, hemochromatosis, NAFLD, PBC, HBV, etc.). Of the 188,333 records, we matched cannabis users to nonusers on 1:1 ratio (4,728:4,728), using a propensity-based matching system, with a stringent algorithm. We then used conditional regression models with generalized estimating equations to measure the adjusted prevalence rate ratio (aPRR) for having liver cirrhosis (and its complications), carcinoma, mortality, discharge disposition, and the adjusted mean ratio (aMR) of total hospital cost and length of stay (LOS) [SAS 9.4]. Results. Our study revealed that cannabis users (CUs) had decreased prevalence of liver cirrhosis (aPRR: 0.81[0.72-0.91]), unfavorable discharge disposition (0.87[0.78-0.96]), and lower total health care cost ($39,642[36,220-43,387] versus $45,566[$42,244-$49,150]), compared to noncannabis users (NCUs). However, there was no difference among CUs and NCUs on the incidence of liver carcinoma (0.79[0.55-1.13]), in-hospital mortality (0.84[0.60-1.17]), and LOS (5.58[5.10-6.09] versus 5.66[5.25-6.01]). Among CUs, dependent cannabis use was associated with lower prevalence of liver cirrhosis, compared to nondependent use (0.62[0.41-0.93]). Conclusions. Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis, but no change in mortality nor LOS among HCV patients. These novel observations warrant further molecular mechanistic studies.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Behind The Headlines - Cannabis has 'more lasting effect on teenage brains than alcohol'

Each day the NHS Choices team selects health stories that are making headlines. These, along with the scientific articles behind the stories, are sent to Bazian, a leading provider of evidence-based healthcare information. Bazian's clinicians and scientists analyse the research and produce impartial evidence-based assessments, which are edited and published by NHS Choices.

Cannabis has 'more lasting effect on teenage brains than alcohol'
Thursday October 4 2018
"Cannabis 'more harmful than alcohol' for teen brains," reports BBC News.

Canadian researchers investigated the links between alcohol and cannabis use and performance on various tests of brain function in 3,826 school pupils over 4 years, starting at age 12 to 13. They found teens who used cannabis performed less well, especially in tests of memory and impulse control.

The researchers said teenagers with worse memory and impulse control were more likely than other teens to use alcohol and cannabis. However, an increase in cannabis use in 1 year was associated with lower test scores that year and also in the following year, suggesting that cannabis could have a lasting effect on their brain function. The researchers did not find this result in teens using alcohol.

Cannabis also seemed to have greater effects in younger teens compared with older teens.

This study will add to the body of research assessing the potential cognitive and mental health effects of cannabis. As is often the case with such research, it's difficult to determine whether cannabis directly causes these effects or whether people at risk of cognitive or mental health problems may be more likely to use cannabis.

We do know that the brains of teenagers are still developing, so any drug or substance that can affect the brain, be it illegal or legal, could possibly have long-term effects.

There are also a number of health risks relating to cannabis use. Read more about how cannabis can lead to health problems.

Where did the story come from?
The researchers who carried out the study were from the University of Montreal, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine and Dalhousie University in Canada. It was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health and published in the peer-reviewed journal The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study was widely reported in the UK media. The media reports were broadly accurate but the headlines tended towards scaremongering. The Sun referred to cannabis as "brain rot" while the Mail Online implied the results lasted into adult life – which we do not know, as students were not followed up beyond age 16 to 17.

What kind of research was this?
The researchers carried out a cohort study using data from a previously-reported randomised controlled trial (RCT). The RCT aimed to assess the effect of a personality-targeted drugs and alcohol prevention programme. It assigned schools to deliver the programme to adolescents (average age 13) either immediately, or 3 years later (a delayed intervention condition).

Cohort studies are useful when investigating links between risk factors such as drug and alcohol use, and outcomes like poor brain functioning. However it remains a challenge to show that alcohol or drug use is a direct cause of poor brain function.

What did the research involve?
The trial recruited 3,826 school pupils in 7th grade (age 12 to 13). Pupils underwent computerised tests of brain function every year in school, and filled in a confidential online questionnaire about their cannabis and alcohol use. They continued in the study for 4 years.

The computerised brain function tests measured:
-working memory – the short-term memory that allows you to remember information sufficient to complete tasks
-perceptual reasoning – the ability to use information from our senses to understand the world around us
-delayed recall memory – the longer-term ability to remember something after a period of distraction
inhibitory control – the ability to control natural impulses, for example not to respond to a stimulus

For this study, the researchers compared the brain function scores to pupils' reported use of alcohol or cannabis. This showed whether pupils with poorer brain function in particular areas were more likely to use cannabis or alcohol, and vice versa. They then looked at how students performed year on year, and how that was linked to their reported alcohol or cannabis intake in that year, and in the previous year. This helped to show whether changes in pupils' substance use predicted changes in their test results.

Researchers took into account pupils' family income, gender, ethnicity and whether they lived with both biological parents.

What were the basic results?
The researchers reported results separately for cannabis and alcohol.

For cannabis, they said:
-pupils who used cannabis more frequently over 4 years had poorer results on working memory, -perceptual reasoning and inhibition control tests, compared to those who did not use cannabis
-pupils who increased how much cannabis they used had poorer results than expected in delayed memory tests in the same year
-pupils who increased their cannabis use had poorer results than expected in inhibition control the following year
-stronger links were observed in early adolescence compared with later adolescence

For alcohol:
-pupils who drank more alcohol more often over 4 years had poorer working memory, perceptual reasoning and inhibitory control
-pupils' changes in alcohol use over time did not seem to be related to their brain function tests

How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers said their results showed a "common vulnerability" to using cannabis and alcohol, among pupils with poorer working memory, perceptual reasoning and inhibition control.

The results also supported "a lasting, or neurotoxic, effect of cannabis" on inhibition control and working memory, meaning that the effects on the brain lasted beyond the period that the pupil was using cannabis.

This complex analysis suggests that cannabis use by teenagers may have an ongoing effect on their brain function, particularly in the areas of:
-working memory (important for completing tasks)
-perceptual reasoning (important for understanding the world)
-inhibition control (important for learning to resist harmful impulses)

The main difficulty is that we still don't know with certainty whether teens who used alcohol and cannabis had worse brain function because of substance use, or whether they were more likely to use alcohol and cannabis because of their poorer brain function.

Similarly we can't pull apart the influence of confounding health, lifestyle and environmental factors. We don't have a full picture of how other circumstances in their lives, such as peer groups or the home environment, might affect both drug and alcohol use and brain function and academic performance.

If cannabis is having a direct effect on brain function, we can't tell easily from this study is how big of an impact this might be. The differences in test results are not easily understood by non-experts. We don't know, for example, if the teenagers in the study who used cannabis were less likely to achieve educational or vocational qualifications, or to go on to academic or professional success.

An additional limitation to be aware of is that drug and alcohol use was self-reported. Although teenagers were told the questionnaire was confidential, some may have been reluctant to answer truthfully.

Overall the study adds to evidence that cannabis is not a risk-free drug, especially for teenagers and young people. So avoiding cannabis use during the teenage years – as with any time of life – seems to be a sensible precaution. This study gives teenagers another reason to think twice about using cannabis.

Analysis by Bazian
Edited by NHS Website 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Coffee and marijuana may sharply reduce the risk for early death from Hep C?

In the News
AUGUST 30, 2018

Coffee, Pot Linked to Lower Mortality From Hepatitis C
Increased consumption of coffee and marijuana may sharply reduce the risk for early death from hepatitis C infection, researchers have found.

The study of more than 1,200 patients with HCV and HIV found that those who drank the most coffee and used marijuana regularly or daily had more than a 60% lower risk for death from the infection over a five-year period.

How cannabis in particular might reduce mortality is unclear, but the researchers, led by Maria-Patrizia Carrieri, PhD, of the Université Aix Marseille, in France, noted that the substance has been previously associated with a reduced risk for insulin resistance and steatosis, two conditions that could increase mortality in patients with HCV.
Read the article:

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Pot Breathalyzer Is Here. Maybe

August 4, 2018 8:02 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
Eric Westervelt 
As legalization of recreational and medical marijuana continues to expand, police across the country are more concerned than ever about stoned drivers taking to the nation's roads and freeways, endangering lives.

With few accurate roadside tools to detect pot impairment, police today have to rely largely on field sobriety tests developed to fight drunk driving or old-fashioned observation, which can be foiled with Visine or breath mints.

That has left police, courts, public health advocates and recreational marijuana users themselves frustrated. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and 30 states and D.C. have legalized medical pot.

Read article, here..

Saturday, May 12, 2018

When Cancer Patients Ask About Weed, Many Doctors Say Go For It

In Case You Missed It

When Cancer Patients Ask About Weed, Many Doctors Say Go For It
Christine Herman
May 10, 20184:05 PM ET

Anecdotal reports suggest marijuana is helpful in managing symptoms of chemotherapy, like pain and nausea. But it's unlikely curious patients are getting clear guidance from their doctors on whether they should try marijuana, which form might work best and how much to take. A new survey of 237 oncologists from around the country finds that while roughly 80 percent talk with their patients about marijuana, fewer than 30 percent feel they have sufficient knowledge to advise them about its medicinal use.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Scientific guidelines for using cannabis to treat stress, anxiety and depression

Scientific guidelines for using cannabis to treat stress, anxiety and depression

Washington State University

PULLMAN, Wash.--In a first-of-a-kind study, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples' self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home.

Their work, published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

It marks one of the first attempts by U.S. scientists to assess how cannabis with varying concentrations of the chemical compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affect medicinal cannabis users' feelings of wellbeing when smoked outside of a laboratory.

"Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory," said Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study. "What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory."

For example, the WSU research team found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety, while 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.

"A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better," Cuttler said. "Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC."

The researchers also found that while both sexes reported decreases in all three symptoms after using cannabis, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use.

Data for the study were taken from the trademarked app Strainprint, which provides medical cannabis users a means of tracking how different doses and types of cannabis affect a wide variety of symptoms of wellbeing.

Strainprint users rate the symptoms they are experiencing before using cannabis on a scale of 1-10 and then input information about the type of cannabis they are using. Twenty minutes after smoking, they are prompted to report how many puffs they took and to rerate the severity of their symptoms.

Cuttler and WSU colleagues Alexander Spradlin and Ryan McLaughlin used a form of statistical analysis called multilevel modeling to analyze around 12,000 anonymous Strainprint entries for depression, anxiety and stress. The researchers did not receive any of the Strainprint users personally identifying information for their work.

"This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression," Cuttler said. "Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence."

The study is among several cannabis-related research projects currently underway at WSU, all of which are consistent with federal law and many of which are funded with Washington state cannabis taxes and liquor license fees.

Photo Credit

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Behind the Headlines: High-strength skunk 'now dominates' UK cannabis market

High-strength skunk 'now dominates' UK cannabis market

"Almost all cannabis seized by police now comprises high-strength varieties, with outdoor-grown herbal strains and hashish barely found," The Guardian reports. The news is based on researchers analysing samples of cannabis seized by 5 police forces in 2015 and 2016.

They found almost all the cannabis (93.6%) was sinsemilla, also known as skunk. This is a potent form of herbal cannabis often grown in the UK in indoor "cannabis farms" which has been specifically bred to have high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis responsible for many of the pleasurable effects people get when using the drug. THC has also been linked to an increased risk of developing mental health problems, such as psychosis (where a person is unable to tell the difference between reality and their imagination).

Analysis of samples of the drugs showed a wide variation in the levels of THC, with an average level of 14.2% in sinsemilla, compared to 6.3% in resin.

Cannabis resin, which dominated the UK market before 2000, only accounted for 5.8% of the cannabis seized by police. Resin THC levels were higher than those recorded in a similar study in 2005.

Cannabis resin usually contains cannabidiol (CBD), a substance thought to protect against some of the dangerous effects of THC. Sinsemilla does not usually contain CBD.

This matters, because doctors think people who use cannabis with high levels of THC, especially without CBD to counteract it, are more likely to become addicted and develop mental health problems.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from GW Pharmaceuticals, which produces a range of medical cannabinoid medicines, and from King’s College London. GW Pharmaceuticals could be seen to have a conflict of interest in highlighting the dangers of illegal cannabis, as it is currently researching a range of medical treatments based on cannabidiol (CBD).

One of the researchers was funded by the Medical Research Council. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Drug Test Analysis.

The study was widely covered in the UK media. Some of the headlines – such as the Mail Online's "Terrifying rise of super-strength 'skunk' cannabis" - ramp up the fear, but by and large the study was accurately reported.

What kind of research was this? 
This was a laboratory analysis of samples of drugs seized by police. The study gives a snapshot of the types of cannabis and range of potency of cannabis being sold illegally. However, we don't know how representative the samples are of the types of cannabis being used in the UK, as police may not target all potential cannabis users equally.

What did the research involve? 
Researchers contacted 5 police forces which had been involved in previous surveys of cannabis, in 2005 and 2008. The forces were asked to send all seized cannabis samples in their property stores for analysis.

The researchers sorted the cannabis by type, then selected a representative sample to analyse for levels of THC, CBD, and a degraded form of cannabinoid, CBN, which is less potent and is a result of THC breaking down.

Cannabis came from Kent and London Metropolitan districts (in 2015) and Derbyshire, Merseyside and Sussex (in 2016). It was sorted into 3 types:
natural herbal cannabis (a less-potent type of cannabis, often imported from Morocco)

Researchers analysed about half of the samples of sinsemilla, and all of the samples of resin and natural herbal cannabis, as there were fewer of them. They analysed 250mg from each sample, which they say is a typical amount of cannabis used in 1 joint.

To see whether the time the sample had been held by the police affected the strength, they measured 34 samples where the length of storage was known, and looked at whether CBN levels were linked to time stored.

What were the basic results? 

The vast majority of the 995 cannabis samples were sinsemilla:
929 (93.6%) of these were sinsemilla, compared to 708 (84.5%) in 2008 and 247 (50.6%) in 2005
58 (5.8%) were resin, compared to 104 (14.2)% in 2008 and 169 (42.7%) in 2005
6 (0.6%) were traditional herbal cannabis, compared to 14 (1.3%) in 2008 and 39 (6.7%) in 2005

The average THC content of sinsemilla samples was 14.2%, similar to the 13.9% found in 2005. However, the range varied from 1.9% to 22.5%, with most being around 10% to 20%.

Average THC content of resin was much lower, at 6.3%, although this varied from no discernible THC to 29% in 1 sample found in a prison. The average strength was much higher than in 2005, when average THC concentration was 3.7%.

Only 1 of the sinsemilla samples contained CBD, the protective agent. While most resin samples did contain CBD, researchers found the average level had dropped from 4.3% in 2005 to 2.3% in 2015/6.

The analysis found no indication that length of time in police storage affected the strength of cannabis.

How did the researchers interpret the results? 
The researchers said: "This trend presents an increased risk of harm to those susceptible to the development of psychotic disorders following cannabis use." They suggest the need for a nationwide survey.


Cannabis has often been dismissed as a relatively harmless street drug, compared to class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin. However, mounting evidence suggests it may have a harmful effect on mental health, particularly for teenagers and adolescents, increasing the chances of problems including panic attacks, anxiety and psychosis.

Although research is still taking place, it seems that stronger sinsemilla cannabis (aka skunk, which contains more THC and little CBD), raises the risk of mental health problems and addiction, compared to cannabis resin, which tends to have less THC and more CBD.

It's concerning that this study suggests sinsemilla is becoming much more common, and that where resin is on sale, it has more THC and less CBD than a decade ago. People who base their ideas about cannabis on the drug they smoked many years ago may not realise the strength and potential harm of the cannabis sold on the street today.

However, the study has some limitations:
It only looked at drugs seized by police. It's possible that police may prioritise arresting and confiscating drugs from people selling sinsemilla, because of its perceived harm. This might mean the proportion of cannabis resin in the study could be artificially low.

It only analysed a proportion of the samples of sinsemilla, and only 250mg from each sample. The overall sample strength might have varied, because the cannabis plant's concentration of THC varies in different parts.

Only 5 police forces were involved, so we don't know if the results would apply equally around the country.

Cannabis doesn't just affect mental health, smoking any form of cannabis can be bad for your health in other ways.

It can also:
damage your lungs
increase your risk of road accidents
damage your fertility and, if smoked when pregnant, damage the unborn baby

Find out more about the effects of cannabis.

Analysis by Bazian
Edited by NHS Choices

Links to the headlines 
Drug Testing and Analysis

Friday, February 9, 2018

People on liver transplant waitlist may be no worse off if they have used marijuana

People on liver transplant waitlist may be no worse off if they have used marijuana
Last Updated: 2018-02-08
By Lorraine L. Janeczko

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Candidates on the liver transplant (LT) waitlist who have used marijuana have no worse outcomes than their counterparts on the list who have not used it, a single-center study suggests.

"Unlike illicit drug use, marijuana use was not associated with worse outcomes on the LT waitlist. . . We found a high prevalence of historical marijuana use that did not have clear adverse effects on LT waitlist outcomes," lead author Prashant Kotwani of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and colleagues write in Transplantation, online January 10.

Continue reading:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blog Updates on Hepatitis - Inactivated Zoster Vaccine, Harvoni Cures Hep C patient & Opioids

Thanks for stopping by, here's your blog updates from around the web.

Harvoni Cures Hep C patient Brenda in Clinical Trial part 1
September 19, 2017
This week on Life Beyond Hep C we’re hearing Hep C patient Brenda’s courageous Hep C treatment fight and experience.
Continue reading....

All Swiss hepatitis C sufferers can access costly drugs like Harvoni
All patients suffering from hepatitis C can be treated with the drugs Harvoni and Epclusa from next month, after the Federal Office of Public Health lifted ...

Opioid overdoses shorten US life expectancy by 2½ months
Opioid drugs -- including both legally prescribed painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin or illicit fentanyl -- are not only killing Americans, they are shortening their overall life spans. Opioids take about 2½ months off our lives, according to a new analysis published in the medical journal JAMA.

States expand investigation of opioid makers, distributors
Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press - Houston Chronicle
Attorneys general from most states are broadening their investigation into the opioid industry as a nationwide overdose crisis continues to claim thousands of lives. They announced Tuesday that they had served subpoenas requesting information from five companies that make powerful prescription painkillers and demanded information from three distributors. Forty-one attorneys general are involved in various parts of the civil investigation.
Continue reading...

Addiction clinics need physician education, lifted restrictions to treat HCV
HCV Next - HEALIO - Meeting News
Opioid agonist therapy clinics represent an important conduit for people who inject drugs to receive information, screening and treatment for hepatitis C. Within these clinics, however, physicians and addiction specialists self-reported low competence regarding current HCV treatments. Additionally, policies that restrict treatment for current and recent drug users present an ongoing barrier.
Continue reading....

My 2 cents: College friend doing good work
Tom Blackwell - National Post 
Faced with a widow's legal challenge, Ontario will transplant livers into almost 100 alcoholic-liver-disease patients, as evidence suggests they do as well as others.

What parents should know about tattoos
Posted September 19, 2017,
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
These days, tattoos are increasingly common. According to a 2015 Harris poll, three in 10 American adults have a tattoo — up from two in 10 in 2012. They are particularly popular in young people; among Millennials, nearly half have a tattoo. To help parents make this tough decision, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a clinical report entitled “Adolescent and Young Adult Tattooing, Piercing, and Scarification.” Here are some highlights — and some points parents and teens really need to talk about.
Continue reading....

Fighting Hepatitis in Cambodia: Beginnings and Endings
Theresa Chan - Theresa is an MSF doctor, currently working at a hepatitis C clinic in Cambodia.
Beginnings and endings have been leaking into my to-do list as well. Right now I’m working on writing the MSF guidelines for treating hepatitis C, which will be the basis for the Cambodian national guidelines one day when our clinic is turned over to the Ministry of Health, so even as we are recovering from the busy beginning of this clinic, we are contemplating its end.
Continue reading....

Inactivated Zoster Vaccine Soon to Be Approved — Should Patients Wait for It?
Paul E. Sax, MD - Contributing Editor NEJM Journal Watch 
For the last year or so, conversations with patients about getting the zoster vaccine have gone something like this:
Patient: So should I get the shingles vaccine? I saw an ad for it on TV.
Me:  Well, yes … and no.
Patient (confused — he/she has never heard me say anything but an enthusiastic “Yes!” to vaccines):  What does that mean?
Me:  There’s a better shingles vaccine coming soon, likely within a year. So I’d wait.
Now it looks like that wait is almost over.
Continue reading.....

Can Restricting Fructose Intake Reduce Fatty Liver Disease in Children?
Kristine Novak - Dr. Kristine Novak is the science editor for Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Reducing dietary fructose for as little as 9 days decreases liver fat, visceral fat, and de novo lipogenesis and increases insulin sensitivity, secretion, and clearance in children with obesity and metabolic syndrome, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology. These findings support efforts to reduce sugar consumption.
Read more 

Only One-Quarter of Hepatitis C Patients Got Treatment Before Widespread DAA Use
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Gail Connor Roche - MD Magazine
Only one-quarter of patients worldwide with the chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) received antiviral treatment before the widespread use of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs, a review that considered almost 500,000 people has found.
Continue reading....

Adolescents With HCV Achieve 98% Cure Rate in Direct-Acting Antiviral Study
Gail Connor Roche - MD Magazine
Adolescents treated for hepatitis C achieved a 98% cure rate with a direct-acting antiviral drug (DAA) therapy, a study has found.
Continue reading....

HCV Drug Resistance: Infrequent, and Frequently Overcome
Kenneth Bender - MD Magazine
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) mutations that can resist drug treatment are infrequent, and are unlikely to withstand longer treatment durations or the addition of a synergistic drug, according to new analysis of resistance testing, treatment response and re-treatment interventions. Resistance testing does appear to Wyles and Luetkemeyer to be indicated, however, in patients with genotype 1a before treatment with elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier, Merck), and should be considered prior to treatment with ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni) for those with genotype 1a and cirrhosis or with prior NS5A treatment failure...
Continue reading....

Hepatitis A: frequently asked questions
Paul Sisson Contact Reporter The San Diego Union-Tribune
In an effort to combat a deadly hepatitis A outbreak, San Diego will begin washing streets in ...
Q: If I've had hepatitis B or hepatitis C am I immune to hepatitis A?
Continuer reading.....

Cannabis in Gastroenterology: Physicians Lack Answers as Patient Interest Peaks
Healio Gastroenterology, September 2017
Despite a lack of high quality evidence due to federal regulations on research, many state medical marijuana programs have designated GI conditions like severe nausea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and hepatitis C as qualifying conditions, and studies show that many patients are self-medicating with marijuana. Experts agreed physicians should equip themselves to explain the known risks and benefits to inquiring patients, and understand the legal frameworks of their state medical marijuana programs.
Continue reading...

On Twitter
Tweeted By Don Crocock, Follow here--->  @dcrocock   
Rationale for cannabis-based interventions in the opioid overdose crisis
Harm Reduction Journal
The growing body of research supporting the medical use of cannabis as an adjunct or substitute for opioids creates an evidence-based rationale for governments, health care providers, and academic researchers to consider the implementation and assessment of cannabis-based interventions in the opioid crisis.
Continue reading...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Would legalizing medical marijuana help curb the opioid epidemic?

Drug and Alcohol Dependence
April 1, 2017 Volume 173, Pages 144–150

Medical marijuana policies and hospitalizations related to marijuana and opioid pain reliever
Yuyan Shi

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Medical Marijuana And Liver Disease: What Science Says Is Possible

Medical Marijuana And Liver Disease: What Science Says Is Possible Your endocannabinoid system is key.
By: Brea Mosley Mar 12, 2017

Liver disease occurs when the liver experiences a high amount of tissue scarring. This is typically a direct result of constant inflammation and the death of vital cells. This disease inflicts more than 400,000 people each year and is ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.

However, for a disease with such an ugly outcome, a pretty solution may be in the near future.
Continue reading....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Researchers find possible link between marijuana, HCV

Researchers find possible link between marijuana, HCV

HONOLULU — Any use of marijuana was found to be associated with a positive hepatitis C antibody serum test, according to a poster presentation at ACG 2015.

Akeem O. Adebogun, MD, MPH, of Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, and colleagues extracted and analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 7,821 patients with HCV between 2011 and 2012. The goal was to determine any link or impact marijuana and further drug use had on a hepatitis C antibody test.

Continue Reading @ Healio

See more from Highlights from ACG 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Long-Term Safety Of Medical Cannabis In The Treatment Of Chronic Pain

Canadian multicentre study examines safety of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain 

Montreal — A Canadian research team led by Dr. Mark Ware from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montréal has completed a national multicentre study looking at the safety of medical cannabis use among patients suffering from chronic pain. They found that patients with chronic pain who used cannabis daily for one year, when carefully monitored, did not have an increase in serious adverse events compared to pain patients who did not use cannabis. The results, which have been published online in The Journal of Pain, will serve as a benchmark study on the side effects of cannabis when used in pain management.

“This is the first and largest study of the long term safety of medical cannabis use by patients suffering from chronic pain ever conducted,” says lead author, Dr. Ware, pain specialist at the Montreal General Hospital of the MUHC and associate professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University. “We found that medical cannabis, when used by patients who are experienced users, and as part of a monitored treatment program for chronic pain over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile.”

As part of the Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS), that started in 2004, the researchers followed 215 adult patients, with chronic non-cancer pain, who used medical cannabis, and compared them to a control group of 216 chronic pain sufferers who were not cannabis users. The study involved seven clinical centres with pain management expertise across Canada located in Fredericton, Halifax, London, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

The cannabis users were given access to herbal cannabis containing 12.5 per cent THC from a licensed cannabis producer. Cannabis was dispensed through the hospital pharmacy at each site, and patients collected their supply every month after completing the necessary visits and tests. Along with information on adverse effects, subjects underwent lung function and cognitive testing, and were asked about their pain, mood and quality of life over the one year of follow up. A number of the subjects underwent complete panels of blood tests for routine biochemistry, liver and kidney function, and selected hormone levels. The average amount of cannabis used overall was 2.5 grams per day whether smoked, vaporized or taken as edibles.

“Our data show that daily cannabis users had no greater risk than non-users (control group) to experience serious adverse events,’’ explains Dr. Aline Boulanger, director of the pain clinic at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. ‘’We found no evidence of harmful effects on cognitive function, or blood tests among cannabis consumers and we observed a significant improvement in their levels of pain, symptom distress, mood and quality of life compared to controls.

However, the researchers did report an increased risk of non-serious adverse events in medical cannabis consumers such as headache, nausea, dizziness, somnolence, and respiratory problems associated with smoking.

“It is important to note the limitations of the study,” adds Dr. Ware. “Patients were self-selected, not randomized, and most were experienced users. So what we are seeing is that it appears to be a relatively safe drug when used by people who have already determined that it helps them. We cannot draw conclusions about safety issues of new cannabis users”.

About the study
The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The article Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS) is available online.

The sites involved in this study were the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the Montreal General Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre and the Pain clinic at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – Hôtel-Dieu, (Montréal, QC); the QEII Health Sciences Centre (Halifax, NS), the Wasser Pain Management Centre of the Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON); the London Health Research Institute of St. Joseph’s Health Care (London, ON); the Stan Cassidy Center for Rehabilitation (Fredericton, NB); and the Arthritis Research Center of Canada (Vancouver, BC).

About The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and healthcare research centre. The Institute, which is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, is the research arm of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) - an academic health centre located in Montreal, Canada, that has a mandate to focus on complex care within its community. The RI-MUHC supports over 500 researchers, and over 1,200 students, devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental, clinical and health outcomes research at the Glen and the Montreal General Hospital sites of the MUHC. Our research facilities offer a dynamic multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration and leverages discovery aimed at improving the health of individual patients across their lifespan. Over 1,600 clinical research projects and trials are conducted within the organization annually. The RI-MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS).

Media contact:

Julie Robert
Public Affairs & Strategic planning
McGill University Health Centre
(514) 934-1934 ext. 71381

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Behind The Headlines: Cannabis use 'genetically linked' to schizophrenia

What is Behind the Headlines?
We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more... 

Cannabis use 'genetically linked' to schizophrenia

Study finds people predisposed to [schizophrenia] and drug users share common genes,” the Mail Online reports. A new study suggests that ‘schizophrenia’ genes are associated with cannabis use.

It has long been known that there is an association between cannabis use and schizophrenia – but the “direction of travel” has been hotly debated.

Does cannabis use trigger the onset of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals? Or are people with a genetic predisposition to develop schizophrenia more likely to use cannabis than the population at large (possibly as a coping mechanism)?

This latest study suggests that the latter may be the case; at least in some people. The study involved 2,082 healthy adults whose genetic make-up was examined for risk factors for schizophrenia.

People with more genetic risk factors (carrying more of the DNA variants that have been associated with schizophrenia) were more likely to have reported ever using cannabis.

However, it is important to note that none of the people in the study actually had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. In addition, as this is a cross-sectional study (see below), it cannot definitively answer the question of cause and effect.

A person’s risk for schizophrenia, or for cannabis use, are likely to be influenced by a complex mixture of genetic factors (including those not identified or examined here), lifestyle and environmental factors.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; Queensland Brain Institute and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia; the Department of Developmental Psychology and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam; the Washington University School of Medicine.

It was funded by the UK Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research; the Australian National Health, Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council; the Centre for Research Excellence on Suicide Prevention (CRESP – Australia); and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The Mail Online reported the story accurately and informatively.

What kind of research was this?

This was a cross-sectional study using data collected in a larger cohort study. It aimed to assess the association between cannabis use and the level of genetic predisposition for schizophrenia.

As it is a cross-sectional study it is only able to describe this association and cannot prove cause and effect. That is whether the genetic predisposition caused them to use cannabis or that conversely, cannabis would cause them to develop schizophrenia.

What did the research involve?

A group of 2,082 unrelated healthy adults were recruited from the large Australian Twin Registry studies.

The participants were asked questions over the telephone on their cannabis (marijuana) use, including:
Did you ever use marijuana?
How old were you the very first time you tried marijuana (not counting the times you took it as prescribed)?
How many times in your life have you used marijuana (do not count times when you used a drug prescribed for you and took the prescribed dose)?

The genotype (each person’s genetic make-up) was obtained. These were compared with samples from a large Swedish study which has identified a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), DNA sequence variations, that are believed to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

The presence of more than one of these SNPs gives a “polygenic” (multiple gene variants) risk factor, and some SNPs are associated with a particularly higher risk (having the most significant associations with schizophrenia).

These risk scores were analysed in comparison with the answers to the cannabis questions to look for any associations.

In the second part of the study, the researchers looked at the polygenic risk scores of 990 twins (just over a third were identical twins).

They took the mean polygenic risk score from each pair of twins and used this to predict whether neither, one or both twins used cannabis.

What were the basic results?

Out of the 2,082 adults included in the study, 1,011 (48.6%) had ever used cannabis. The mean age of starting cannabis was 20.1 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 19.7 to 20.5) and the mean number of times they’d used cannabis over their lifetime was 62.7 (95% CI 19.7 to 20.5).

The researchers found a significant association between a person’s extent of genetic predisposition for schizophrenia and their reported use of cannabis. People who had used cannabis had higher genetic risk scores for schizophrenia than those who had never used cannabis. The strongest associations were found between the higher risk SNPs and ever use of cannabis.

However, the results showed that the genetic risk factors they assessed only predicted a small amount of a person's risk of using cannabis. This meant that other factors have more of an influence on whether a person uses cannabis.

In the secondary analysis, twin pairs where both reported using cannabis had the greatest polygenic risk factors for schizophrenia.

Pairs where only one of them used cannabis had an intermediate level of risk factors, and the lowest burden was in those where neither used cannabis.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers say this study shows “that to some extent the association between cannabis and schizophrenia is due to a shared genetic aetiology [cause] across common variants. They suggest that individuals with an increased genetic predisposition to schizophrenia are both more likely to use cannabis and to use it in greater quantities.”


This study shows an association between genetic risk factors for schizophrenia and cannabis use. However, as it is a cross-sectional study, it cannot answer the often debated cause and effect question of whether cannabis use increases risk of schizophrenia, or whether there is a common genetic predisposition to both.

The study cannot prove that cannabis use is a risk factor for developing schizophrenia.

It also cannot prove that the genetic risk factors (SNPs – variations in the DNA sequence that have been associated with schizophrenia) also directly increase the risk of using cannabis. As the researchers’ results suggested, the genetic risk factors they assessed only predicted a small amount of a person's risk of using cannabis. There may be many other factors involved. A complex mixture of genetics (including DNA variations not examined here), lifestyle and environmental factors is likely to contribute to a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia, and to their risk of using cannabis.

It should also be noted that none of the participants in the study actually had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Though the SNPs thought to increase the genetic risk of developing schizophrenia were identified in a large Swedish cohort study, the authors do point out that they may not be accurate.

They say that in this Swedish sample from which these SNPs were identified, use of cannabis may have been more common among the people who had schizophrenia than in the controls without schizophrenia.

They say this could mean that the SNPs actually increase risk of cannabis use rather than risk of schizophrenia.

A further limitation of the study is that cannabis use was self-reported which may give rise to inaccuracies in the estimated level of use. Also people may not have been willing to disclose any use of an illegal substance during a telephone interview.

Cannabis may not be as dangerous as other drugs (including legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol) but it is certainly not safe. There are many negative effects of cannabis, including a risk of developing dependency, its tendency to reduce motivation and concentration, and the likelihood that it reduces male fertility.

Furthermore, the risks of the tobacco and nicotine which are usually consumed at the same time need to be taken seriously. Read more information about the health risks associated with cannabis.

Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter. Join the Healthy Evidence forum.

Links to the headlines
Are cannabis smokers genetically more likely to develop schizophrenia? Study finds people predisposed to the condition and drug users share common genes. Mail Online, June 24 2014

Links to the science
Power RA, Verweij KJH, Zuhair M, et al. Genetic predisposition to schizophrenia associated with increased use of cannabis. Molecule Psychiatry. Published online June 24 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Behind The Headlines -Could cannabis compound soothe arthritis pain?

Could cannabis compound soothe arthritis pain?

“Synthetic cannabis-like molecule developed in lab could help osteoarthritis sufferers,” reports The Daily Telegraph.

Anecdotal reports of cannabis’s ability to soothe chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis have been available for many years.

Aside from the obvious legal issues (cannabis is a Class B illegal drug), cannabis also carries the risk of side effects and complications such as psychosis and depression

So a compound containing the drug’s painkilling ability without its psychoactive effects could lead to useful new treatments. 

One candidate is “JWH133” a chemical that binds to and activates the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor. Receptors are proteins found on the surfaces of cells. When activated receptors cause a response inside cells. The CB2 receptor is also activated by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principle psychoactive constituent in cannabis. Activating the CB2 receptor is thought to relieve pain and inflammation. 

The new research found evidence that JWH133 relieves pain in a rat model of arthritis. Importantly, the JWH133 compound is selective for CB2 receptors and does not activate cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and are believed to be responsible for the psychological effects of cannabis.

So this suggests JWH133 may be a useful candidate for an osteoarthritis treatment. However, this is very early stage research only involving rats.

As Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis UK, says in the press coverage, this research does not support recreational cannabis use.

Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK in collaboration with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Commonwealth University in the US. It was funded by Arthritis Research UK and the National Institutes of Health. 

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One. PLOS One is an open-access journal, meaning that all the research it publishes can be accessed for free.

This study was reported on by the Daily Express and The Telegraph. The Telegraph made no mention of the fact that the current research was in rats. This was also unclear from the over-optimistic headline in the Express. However, the report in the Express was of a higher standard, as it explained that the research was in animals and that it would take a considerable amount of time before any pill could be available for patients.

What kind of research was this?
This was a laboratory experiment on animals.

The researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that activation of cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors would reduce osteoarthritis pain responses in an animal model of osteoarthritis.

What did the research involve?
To create the animal model of osteoarthritis, rats had an injection of a chemical (monosodium acetate) into one of their knees (on the left rear limb). This triggered the same kind of inflammation and functional damage to the limb that occurs in humans with osteoarthritis.

The rats were then either given a drug called JWH133 or a placebo (“dummy”) injection. JWH133 binds with and activates the CB2 receptor of cells, causing them to respond. Eight rats were injected with JWH133 and eight were injected with placebo.

Pain behaviour was determined by measuring the change in weight distribution between the limbs and by testing the rats' sensitivity to pinch and touch.

Further experiments were performed on the animal model of osteoarthritis and normal rats that had been given an injection of saline (salty water) into their knee to see how JWH133 could reduce pain.

What were the basic results?
Once the rats had the injection of monosodium acetate into the knee of their left rear limb to model osteoarthritis, they placed less weight on that limb and their paw was more sensitive to pinch and touch.

Repeated injections with JWH133 significantly reduced the development of pain behaviour in the osteoarthritis model rats compared to the placebo injection.

The researchers went on to perform a series of further experiments. They found that:

treatment with JWH133 reduced the changes in inflammation-controlling chemicals which are released by osteoarthritis model rats

treatment with JWH133 reduced the firing of nerve cells in the spine in response to pain in osteoarthritis model rats, but not normal rats

osteoarthritis model rats have higher levels of the CB2 receptor “message” (mRNA) and protein in nerve cells in the spine 

The researchers then looked at the levels of CB2 receptor “message” in human spines of people who had died who had had knee osteoarthritis. They found that the more severe the disease, the lower the level of CB2 receptor “message”. The researchers say that this might reflect “events associated with later stages of joint pathology [disease]”.

How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers conclude that “activation of CB2 receptors attenuated [reduced] the development and maintenance of osteoarthritis-induced pain behaviour”. They go on to state that their “clinical and pre-clinical data support the further investigation of the potential of CB2 receptor agonists [chemicals that bind to the receptor and activate it] for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis, in particular at earlier stages of the disease”.

This study found that a chemical called JWH133, which binds to and activates the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor, could reduce osteoarthritis-induced pain behaviour in rats injected with a chemical to mimic the effects of osteoarthritis.

This early stage research supports the further investigation of the potential of chemicals which bind to activate the CB2 receptor as treatments for osteoarthritis-induced pain. However, so far the treatment has only been tested in a small number of rats injected with a chemical to mimic symptoms of osteoarthritis. This study does not show what positive or negative effect chemicals that activate the CB2 receptor may have in humans suffering from osteoarthritis.

Until further trials involving humans, such as a phase I trial are carried out, it is impossible to predict whether JWH133 will be effective, and probably more importantly, safe in humans.

If you are having problems coping with your arthritis symptoms, the NHS offers specialist services for people with chronic pain conditions. 

Read more about NHS Services for people with chronic pain.

Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter.

Links to the headlines
Synthetic cannabis created for osteoarthritis. The Daily Telegraph, January 7 2014
‘Synthetic cannabis’ pill could end arthritis pain for millions. Daily Express, January 7 2014
Links to the science
Burston JJ, Sagar DR, Shao P, Bai M, King E, et al. Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors Regulate Central Sensitization and Pain Responses Associated with Osteoarthritis of the Knee Joint. PLoS ONE. Published online November 25 2013

What is Behind the Headlines?
We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Going Viral - Viral Hepatitis Newsletters

January 2014

Hepatitis Newsletters

Welcome to 2014 folks, where did the year go? Once again we have an array of informative newsletters put together by incredible people completely devoted to HCV awareness and education.

**Updated Jan 11 to included Transplant Recipients International Organization
**Updated Jan 10 - NYC Hep C Task Force
**Updated Jan 7 - NIH News in Health
**Updated Jan 4 -  Hepatitis Foundation International.

TRIO is an independent, not-for-profit, international organization committed to improving the quality of life of transplant candidates, recipients, their families and the families of organ and tissue donors.
Through the TRIO Headquarters and a network of chapters, TRIO serves its members in the areas of: Awareness, Support, Education, and Advocacy. This TRIO web site is filled with information about these areas and our many programs, including local chapter contact information, so wander around these pages to learn more about TRIO or contact your local TRIO chapter. If you still don't find answers to what you are looking for, please email us at or call 1-800-TRIO-386. 


Full 3-part series: Too Risky to Transplant (3 prior articles in one place)

This Months Newsletter

January Newsletter
Rose parade float - so how many TRIO members are in or help with that DLA float?
What do you think - of the redesigned TRIO web site . . .

In just a short time since the launch we have had thousands of visitors from all around the world visit the new web site.  How about you?  If you haven't already bookmarked the site, do it now at

Newsletter Archives

 Check Us Out On Twitter and Facebook


NYC Hep C Task Force
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force is a city-wide network of service providers and advocates concerned with hepatitis C and related issues. The groups come together to learn, share information and resources, network, and identify hepatitis C related needs in the community. Committees form to work on projects in order to meet needs identified by the community.

NYC Viral Hepatitis Monthly E-Newsletter
January 2014 NYC Hep ABC Newsletter

In This Issue

NY Hep C ‘Baby Boomer’ Testing Law

NYS Hepatitis C Testing Law. 2171 requires healthcare providers to offer hep C test to baby boomers.

Requires full diagnostic testing for those who screen anti-body positive and either follow-up health care or referral to a health care provider who can provide follow-up health care.

Takes effect January 1, 2014

Read the ‘Hep C Testing Law Dear Colleague Letter‘ from Governor Cuomo.

NYS HCV testing law FAQ_12-9-2013 (PDF). Hep C Testing Law: Frequently Asked Questions from the NYS Department of Health. 

Webinar | Hepatic Encephalopathy: The Patient Perspective. American Liver Foundation. January 23rd (7 PM - 9:30 PM ET).

Beyond the Hype: What Sofosbuvir Means—and Doesn’t—for Global Hepatitis C Treatment.
Open Society Foundations.

And more.......
Click here to start reading....

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Join Us

January Features

Avoiding Anemia Boost Your Red Blood Cells

Anemia is a common blood disorder that can leave you feeling exhausted and sluggish. Many types of anemia are mild and short term. But the condition can become serious if left untreated
for a long time.

Read more about anemia

Dealing with Dementia
When Thinking and Behavior Decline

Feeling forgetful and confused may be a normal part of life. But if thinking problems or unusual behavior start to interfere with everyday activities, these could be signs of a brain condition known as dementia.

Read more about dementia.

Find Us On Facebook

Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI)

The Hepatitis Foundation International is dedicated to liver health and the prevention of liver related diseases. We inform and educate by making available reliable and up-to-date facts. We want you to make well-informed decisions for yourself and your loved ones' health and well-being. We are proud to present this website as your personal Internet gateway to hepatitis information and liver care.

Health-e Bytes™

Hepatitis Alert / Partners In Liver Wellness Newsletters

Click Here To Download Newsletter


— Obesity’s Impact on Kidneys
— Tighter Regulations Make for Safer Drugs
— Plain Soap and Water Still the Best

Grand Rounds...

— Understanding the Clinical Trial Process
— Reducing Viral Load — Saves Lives

In the Pipeline...

— Hepatitis C Phase III Drugs Treatment Pipeline

Helping Hands... Holiday Giving

Advocacy Alert: Legislation expanding hepatitis B and C education, testing and linkage to care services

T.I.PS. — Qualifying for SSI Disability with HCV; Free Consumer Action Handbook

Stay Updated

HCV Advocate

The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education

January 2014 HCV Advocate

In This Issue:

HCV Advocate's Top News of 2013
It is usually difficult to come up with the number 1 item and this year was no exception; so we decided that two different news items topped our list.....
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

HEALTHWISE: New Hepatitis C Drugs: Disappointment or Hope?
Lucinda K. Porter, RN

Lucinda K. Porter, RN

HCV Advocate Eblast

Stay informed on the latest here to register for email alerts


HBV Journal Review

by Christine Kukka
HCV Advocate News & Pipeline Blog!

Be sure to check out the latest clinical trial postings at the HCV Advocate News & Pipeline Blog. Just click on the links to the Drug Companies below the banner to see which drugs are in trials right now, where the trials are, and how to register for one.

Connect With HCV Advocate


Perth, Australia

HepatitisWA (Inc) is a non-profit community-based organisation providing free services to the community. HepatitisWA aims to assist in obtaining the best possible care and support for people affected by hepatitis, reducing discrimination and stigma directed at people living with viral hepatitis and raising community awareness in relation to hepatitis.

The HepatitisWA Newsletter is a quarterly publication.

With each edition we endeavour to capture new developments in hep C treatment, management and other relevant topics.

This issue we cover the following:
• Ed's Story - Personal Perspective
• Going Viral - Viral Hepatitis News
• Hepatitis B Mapping Project - Feature
• Rising deaths from hep C spur New York city action - Community News
• Closer than you thINK - Feature
• Staying on track when eating out - Health & Lifestyle
• Sleep management and hepatitis C - Health & Lifestyle

HepCBC Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Society


January Newsletter (PDF)

The hepc.bull, has been “Canada’s hepatitis C journal” since the late 1990′s and has been published nonstop since 2001. The monthly newsletter contains the latest research results, government policy changes, activities and campaigns you can get involved in, articles by patients and caregivers, and a list of support groups plus other useful links.

In This Issue

With approval of protease inhibitors, so many people want to start treatment, that waiting lists have developed. A limited number of people can be started on treatment each week. At the recent meeting in Boston, the AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) discussed who should be treated first.

Editor: Michael is a long-time member of HepCBC. The CanHepC list and the HepCan list. He and I have been emailing frequently since 2004. He has volunteered for HepCBC and has provided caring support and information to many fellow Hep C sufferers in our community, both by email and in person. Perhaps you have spoken to him on the phone.

Six years later, I knew I had to go back. He welcomed me and said, “I told you I’d see you later.” So I went on the meds, and experienced ALL the negative symptoms of the meds and wound up in the hospital for a week.

Larry Hagman
Larry Hagman, perhaps best known for his role as J.R. Ewing of the TV series “Dallas”, died November 23 at age 81. His death was caused by complications from throat cancer, although he suffered from Hep C and liver cancer, too.

HCV Support Groups in Canada


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Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C

The Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program (CAP-Hepatitis C) is a national non-profit organization devoted exclusively to meeting the needs of the hepatitis C community.

The Caring Ambassadors Program mission is to help improve the lives of those affected by long-term diseases through advocacy, information, and support.

CAP News

In The News

CAP Hepatitis C Literature Review

December Monthly Pubmed Review of the most relevant research on hepatitis C.

Abstract Index



GI & Hepatology News

GI & Hepatology News is the official newspaper of the AGA Institute and provides the gastroenterologist with timely and relevant news and commentary about clinical developments and about the impact of health-care policy. The newspaper is led by an internationally renowned board of editors.

January Issue - Please Check Back

Stay connected

American Liver Foundation

Liver Lowdown is the monthly general interest e-newsletter of the American Liver Foundation.

In accordance with the Foundation’s mission, the e-newsletter is disseminated to provide information about the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease, as well as the organization’s research and advocacy endeavors.

Content includes updates about the Foundation’s educational and signature programs; an in-depth focus on specific types of liver disease, and profiles of liver patients’ and caregivers’ personal experiences

Recently Diagnosed with HCV?

If you or a loved one thinks you may be at risk or has been recently diagnosed with Hep C, we encourage you to go through this site to find information on risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and support.

January Newsletter - Check back

December Newsletter


The website builds online health and wellness communities for patients and caregivers, in partnership with national patient advocacy organizations. In fact, has more than 80 exclusive national patient organization partnerships and over 300,000 members.

As we recognize the value of patient engagement, we have partnered with to create a global resource community focused on liver disease.

Take action now: Log on to to become a member of the American Liver Foundation group, complete your profile, and join the specific liver disease discussions that interest you. The American Liver Foundation Inspire groups can also be accessed by clicking on the Inspire logo on our website’s home page:

ALF Website

The Hepatitis C: Diagnosis, Treatment, Support website

1-800-GOLIVER (1-800-465-4837)

In addition, questions sent on e-mail to will be promptly answered.

Join Our Mail List

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Check Us Out On Twitter and Facebook

Hepatitis C news, is an online community for those living with hepatitis C. Join us for news, views and features about hep C, read the real-life experiences of our guest bloggers, and learn about living well with the condition.

New In January

The effects of medical marijuana in treating hepatitis C
January 10th, 2014 Earlier this week New York became the 21st state to legalise marijuana for medical purposes. 

Five tips for a healthy 2014

As we reach the New Year, it’s a good time to think about some simple steps that can be taken for a happier and healthier you


Talking to friends and family about hep C

Finding out that you have hepatitis C can be a shock. You may experience a range of emotions, from disbelief to anger, sadness or fear.

While it might be tempting right now to pull away from friends and family, research has shown that the support of friends and family is vital when living with a medical condition. Don’t underestimate the value of simply having someone to talk to.

Read more..

Check out
Hepatitis C News YouTube Channel

Stay connected

The Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group (HCMSG)

The Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group (HCMSG) was founded to address the lack of awareness, support, and services for people living with Hepatitis C (including patients co-infected with other conditions such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B), and patients in need of or living with liver transplants. To address these needs, we provide resources and services to foster the development and operation of successful support groups for Hepatitis C and co-infected patients. These services are provided to prospective and current support group facilitators FREE OF CHARGE. In the future, we will also provide one-on-one mentoring services to Hepatitis C and liver transplant patients.

Assistance Programs for Patients

A partial list of programs to help people who do not have insurance coverage or financial resources to pay for testing, medical care, and medications to treat and cure Hepatitis C.


News and Updates

We welcome your suggestions on what you would like to see in upcoming issues and any stories you want to share.

We can be reached at

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Canadian Liver Foundation

News Updates

Canadian Liver Foundation’s Newsroom
Liver in the News

Livewell is our e-newsletter exclusively for friends and donors of the Canadian Liver Foundation. Each issue highlights liver health issues, exciting research projects, upcoming events and includes profiles of our outstanding volunteers and donors.

The Livewell newsletter is distributed 4x per year. Please click here to fill in the form and we will be happy to add you to our subscriber list!

CLF updates you and interacts with you on all things liver

Stay Updated

Hep C Connections - Website

Our mission is to educate the general public about hepatitis C and to provide resources and support for those affected by the virus. Hep C Connection offers a helpline to answer your questions regarding hepatitis C (HCV). You can expect respect, patience & understanding, in clear, jargon-free language from our staff & volunteers. Call 1-800-522-HEPC (4372) today!


December 2013 -- Check back for - January Newsletter

The Flu and Hepatitis C: High Risk of Complications

As we enter the months when we see an increase in the number of flu cases, you should ask your doctor about the flu vaccination because it has been shown to reduce a patient's risk for hospitalization from complications associated with the flu such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. Patients with chronic hepatitis C, particularly patients with cirrhosis, that fall ill with the flu may be at an increased risk for serious complications compared to the general population.

Full Article

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ACP Internist provides news and information for internists about the practice of medicine and reports on the policies, products and activities of ACP

Current Issue - January 2014


Long-term view for chronic pancreatitis
By Terri D’Arrigo

Unlike acute cases of pancreatitis, chronic cases present with varying degrees and types of pain, and without other clinical indicators such as calcification or damage to pancreatic ducts. It’s best to refer to a gastroenterologist early to clarify the diagnosis, so the internist can better manage the patient.

Washington Perspective

Health reform’s winners and losers: by the numbers
By Robert B. Doherty

Breaking down the numbers offers insight into who stands to gain the most from the reforms provided by the Affordable Care Act. But the broader coverage offered under the law means that the country as a whole is better off.

ACP Blog

Reflections on a near-death experience

Now that it has been nearly two months since my cardiac arrest and resuscitation, I have finally found the leisure and the motivation to put fingers to the keyboard to gather some thoughts and feelings about it. Of course these include at least in part the sort of changes in attitude and philosophy people are commonly supposed to experience, but for the most part, my own experience seems different.

Follow ACP On Twitter

Bloggers Corner

Of interest this month;
Hepatitis C: Resolve to Make Small Steps for Big Gains

By Lucinda Porter, RN |Published January 1, 2014

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” ~Peter Marshall The healthier you are, the easier it is to live with hepatitis C. We all know that we are supposed to exercise, eat better, and maintain a normal...

15 Steps to Recovery from Hepatitis C Treatment

Be on guard NOT to jump right back into your normal routine or take on more than your ready for right after you finish treatment. Just because treatment is finished does not mean your body is recovered yet. Pace yourself and give your body time to rebuild

Stay warm, see you all soon.
Check back for updates

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