I believe that physicists can help with the education process of both clinicians and research psychiatrists. However, I can only go on my experience of being treated by psychiatrists and the papers I have read within the psychiatric literature. I have very little knowledge of how psychiatrists are trained or of psychiatric research culture.
This blog post was adapted from notes I sent to one of the editors when constructing my Lancet Psychiatry article in the May 2023 edition –“Lithium Story: Eight Guidelines, Eight Recommendations“.
It was clear to me during my lithium treatment that clinicians would be using words to describe certain practices, without understanding the meaning behind those words. For example, using the phrase “morning trough level” to apply to a 12-hour level approximately halfway between peak and trough lithium concentrations in my bloodstream. I believe physicists can help clinicians to think about the meaning behind guidelines.
This is an update to a previous post titled: Nearly a year on, Bupropion is still not available
I was worried the previous post might cause confusion to those who came across it hoping for the return of bupropion. Below, I’ve tried to go into a little detail about the potential reasons for the announced return – but please bear in mind I might have easily misinterpreted certain details, and an announcement from a secondary source does not mean resupply is confirmed. I’ve also given an update on the current availability of bupropion in the UK.
Zyban might be back in stock already, GSK‘s medications out-of-stock page has removed Zyban, and the NCSCT has put a notice up on October 16th saying that Zyban is back in stock and being supplied – check with your local pharmacy to confirm if this is in fact true.
UPDATE #2: GSK‘s medications out-of-stock page now says that Zyban will return in late November 2023
So, a notice popped up about a week ago in the form of an exclusive article by David Lipanovic of the Pharmaceutical Journal. It announced that bupropion will once again be supplied to the UK starting around December 2023.
When I first started to take lithium, I wanted to calculate my peak serum concentration using my 12-hour sample value. I knew it was going to be a very rough estimation, but for me, doing the calculation made me feel less anxious about toxicity.
My plan was to use the exponential decay formula to find the peak concentration (assuming the peak occurred around five hours). I wanted to find out, given I knew my serum creatinine levels, what my approximate lithium half-life was. I went looking for data in the lithium pharmacokinetic literature to figure this out.
This blog post is in reference to my article in the May 2023 edition of the Lancet Psychiatry – Lithium Story: Eight Guidelines, Eight Recommendations. It is adapted from notes I sent to one of the editors when constructing the article
In a previous blog post, I looked at two examples of imprecise language in a Grandjean and Aubry paper about lithium pharmacokinetics (which I used in my May 2023 Lancet Psychiatry article). In this post, to show that the problem is not limited to a single paragraph in a single review paper, I have included a couple more examples of unclear messaging.
This blog post is in reference to my article in the May 2023 edition of the Lancet Psychiatry – Lithium Story: Eight Guidelines, Eight Recommendations. It is adapted from notes I sent to one of the editors when constructing the article.
It might seem strange to say from someone writing a blog post criticising clarity and precision of language, but I personally find it very difficult to write clear and precise language. Goodness, if you could see my first-year PhD report!
But, because I had to work very hard to clarify the muddled thoughts in my head, I recognised mistakes in lithium pharmacokinetic literature similar to those I used to make in my writing.
In the Lancet Psychiatry article, I focus on the paper “Lithium: updated human knowledge using an evidence-based approach” by Etienne Marc Grandjean and Jean-Michael Aubry. It is an extensive collation of knowledge on lithium treatment. However, producing a paper with such breadth of knowledge, can in turn, lead to unclear and imprecise language given how much the authors are required to understand.