Cover Feature

An understanding of 
substance use disorder


An understanding of 
substance use disorder


Effective treatment requires the recognition of addiction as a brain disease and an understanding of its underlying physiology and pathophysiology.

All that wheezes is not pediatric asthma

All that wheezes is not pediatric asthma

Many upper- and lower-airway problems can cause wheeze and cough, and some conditions coexist with asthma. Here's how to pin down a diagnosis.

What to look for with drug-induced urticaria

What to look for with drug-induced urticaria

An accurate diagnosis is crucial. It is necessary to know which related drugs need to be avoided, as well as alternative drugs to recommend for patients.

Irritable bowel syndrome made simple

Irritable bowel syndrome made simple

The authors place particular emphasis on the IBS's status as a true disease as opposed to a figment of the patient's imagination.

Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic

Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic

Four million people in the United States are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Many have had the virus for decades, without any symptoms, unknowingly passing it on to others.

Detecting Patients with Hidden GERD

Movement of gastric acid into the esophagus can cause irritation, inflammation, and ulceration—and, in some cases, may herald cancer.

Biologics revolutionize psoriasis management

Biologic agents, some of them already used for arthritis, are proving highly effective against this disfiguring disease. But there's a downside: high cost.

Understanding colon cancer screening tests

Understanding colon cancer screening tests

There are four established options and two new ones — DNA markers and virtual colonoscopies. Here are the pluses and minuses of each.

Restless legs syndrome is too often ignored

It's surprisingly common, yet both patients and clinicians tend to think there's little that can be done. That used to be true — but not anymore.

How to select the right drugs for UTIs

Increasing antimicrobial resistance among the causative pathogens has made it more difficult to effectively treat UTIs and prostatitis.

Controlling lipids: What the evidence shows

Combing through the best and latest trials, our experts synthesize the findings. Learn which patients need drugs and which drugs are best.

What you should know about the HPV vaccine

In a major public-health advance, a new vaccine has been approved to protect against four viral strains. Two experts tell the best way to use it.

Diet may displace drugs for controlling high BP

The American Heart Association guidelines are based on important dietary strategies that have emerged in the past decade.

Caring for the geriatric patient: The initial visit

Caring for the geriatric patient: The initial visit

Use the first visit to get as much information as possible about the patient's condition, functional status, and social situation.

Lowering CVD risk among pediatric patients

Lowering CVD risk among pediatric patients

In the future, more and more children with cardiac risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes, will be treated in the primary-care setting.

Laboratory evaluation of thyroid function

Laboratory evaluation of thyroid function

Blood tests can detect thyroid dysfunction, which can result in cardiac, GI, and menstrual disturbances as well as abnormalities in fetal neural development.

Factors influencing immunization rates

Factors influencing immunization rates

To reach the goal of providing herd immunity in communities, clinicians must use every patient encounter to determine vaccination status.

Choosing the best treatments for acne

Choosing the best treatments for acne

The disfiguring lesions of acne vulgaris can have a severe psychological impact. Fortunately, clinicians now have a broad range of therapeutic options.

Candidiasis: New agents for invasive infections

Candidiasis: New agents for invasive infections

Updated guidelines spell out therapy for superficial as well as life-threatening disease variants that are the product of modern medicine.

Managing patients infected with H. pylori

Managing patients infected with H. pylori

Effective treatment may ease the pain of peptic ulcer disease and gastritis, prevent progression of gastric malignancy, and ease iron deficiency anemia.

Assessing knee pain in the primary-care clinic

Assessing knee pain in the primary-care clinic

Not all knee complaints require orthopedic referral. This review of basic testing and exam techniques will help you arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

Impetigo: Taking on a common skin infection

Impetigo: Taking on a common skin infection

Seen frequently in children, this skin disease can affect patients of all ages. Knowing the proper therapy and how to prevent dissemination is crucial.

Osteoporosis: No gender gap for therapy

Osteoporosis: No gender gap for therapy

Although commonly considered a disease of women, men can be affected too. New guidelines recommend risk assessment for men and treatment for both sexes.

Chronic dysfunction of the eustachian tube

Chronic dysfunction of the eustachian tube

Presenting complaints include hearing loss, persistent pain, or "clicking" in the ear. Patients must allow time for treatment (if required) to take effect.

Epilepsy in the elderly

Epilepsy in the elderly

Seizures in the elderly often mimic other conditions, such as transient ischemic attack or dementia. Don't be fooled into a misdiagnosis.

The links between oral and systemic health

The links between oral and systemic health

While research into specific cause-and-effect relationships continues, there are still plenty of reasons to encourage patients to take care of their mouth.

Treatment options for respiratory infections

Treatment options for respiratory infections

Guidelines advise against the routine use of antibiotics, but patients demand them. Find out what alternatives are available and when to use them.

Early recognition of diabetes complications

Early recognition of diabetes complications

Too often patients focus on daily goals of diabetes management, but don't let them lose sight of the ultimate goal: preventing end-organ damage.

What you can learn from RBC analysis

What you can learn from RBC analysis

Most anemia is diagnosed from screening a complete blood count (CBC). A prediction rule using the CBC and serum ferritin can help identify the type.

Four nail disorders every clinician should know

Four nail disorders every clinician should know

While most nail disorders involve bacterial or fungal infection, there are other causes you should be aware of. Find out what to do about them.

Clinical management of dog-bite injuries

Clinical management of dog-bite injuries

Dogs provide love and companionship for millions, but accidents happen. Find out what you and your patients can do to prepare for them.

A comprehensive look at kidney stones

A comprehensive look at kidney stones

Some risk factors are unavoidable, but adjusting your patient's diet and addressing comorbidities can prevent excruciating episodes.

A short course in topical psoriasis agents

A short course in topical psoriasis agents

Unsightly skin can cause patients great anguish, raising their frustration with slow or ineffective therapies. This is the approach used by one expert.

Your role in managing Crohn's disease

Generally treated by a specialist, Crohn's patients follow up with their primary-care clinician. Here's what you should know about the condition.

Working up the patient with proteinuria

Urinalysis reveals the presence of calcium oxalate crystals and/or protein.

Cellulitis in the face of antibiotic resistance

Before prescribing empiric therapy, make sure you know the organisms most likely to be involved and the resistance patterns in your area.

Prophylactic aspirin: To take or not to take?

Which patients really benefit? And when does the risk outweigh the advantages? We examine the best studies to arrive at some conclusions.

Chronic kidney disease: A primary-care guide

Your concern isn't so much end-stage renal disease as it is cardiovascular problems. Here's how to prevent CKD progression and minimize CVD risk.

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