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Acetaminophen Toxicity and a Promising Treatment for Melanoma, This Week on Sound Medicine


Acetaminophen toxicity. The Food and Drug Administration is urging drug makers to limit the amount of acetaminophen put in prescription drugs. Too much of this pain reliever, which is commonly found in both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, can cause liver damage. Sandra Kweder, M.D., deputy director in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will explain the problem to Sound Medicine host Barbara Lewis.

Melanoma drug trials. A new drug for melanoma is making its way through the approval process. The drug targets a mutation in melanoma tumors called B-RAF.  Oncologist Paul Chapman, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, is leading the clinical trial. Dr. Chapman will talk with Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D., about the B-RAF clinical trial and about the difficulties of treating melanoma, a disease known to metastasize readily.

National sperm registry. Currently there is no way to know how many different babies have been born from the same sperm donor; as a result, there’s no way to identify children who might inherit a genetic disease from one of those donors. Barbara Lewis will talk with Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., a medical journalist and author who writes on the subject of infertility, childbirth and sperm banks. Dr. Hutter Epstein will explain why it’s time to start a national registry for sperm donors that would allow children of donors to discover if they’re liable to inherit genetically linked diseases.   

The Country Doctor Revisited. Being a rural physician today is very different than it was a generation ago. As a family physician in rural Minnesota, Therese Zink, M.D., knows the territory well. Dr. Zink will join Barbara Lewis to discuss a new collection of essays, poetry, and fiction written by doctors and other healthcare professionals who practice rural medicine. The book is called The Country Doctor Revisited: A 21st Century Reader. Dr. Zink edited and contributed to the book.

Also, in this week’s Sound Medicine Checkup, Jeremy Shere will explain why sleeping with your pet makes for strange, and potentially unsafe, bedfellows.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health, Indiana University Health Physicians, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.


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