5 Facts You Must Know About Clinical Trials

Old or young, we all have health concerns. At some point, you realize your body is not performing at its maximum capacity. You may start searching the internet with your symptoms or find yourself in an emergency room. Four of the more common resulting diagnoses recently are: clostridium difficile, meningitis, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Life is not over, though, and at 55 or 18, that is what we want to hear.

That’s where clinical trials come into the picture.

Fact 1: Clinical Trials Provide New Treatments

What we never want to hear is that there is no treatment or cure. These treatments, cures, and medicines come from somewhere. Clinical research and clinical trials. Your doctor offers vaccines and prescribes medicine from these trials. You may or may not be able to afford the treatment recommended by your doctor or what is currently available might be ineffective for you, so you are looking elsewhere.

Fact 2: Patients Don’t Pay for Clinical Trial Treatments

What you usually qualify for in a clinical trial is reimbursement, as well as hero status if the trial is successful. Reimbursement ranges from travel expenses to a small monetary sum, and the treatment itself is provided at no cost to you.

Fact 3: Clinical Trials Must Be Approved by the FDA

To clarify, each step of the process to get that “everyday medicine” or ibuprofen to me and you has occurred under the watchful eye of a clinical researcher following steps and procedures.The first step is to get the trial approved by the FDA. Trials determine how effective the medicine is for treating a particular ailment, as well as how safe. Even before the FDA, though,there is a researcher with friends or family needing a cure. What the FDA approves is something with enough evidence of the likelihood of this possibility. After the approval, participants are invited to join the trials, then the treatment or medicine finds its way to your doctor’s office, then your medicine cabinet.

Fact 4: Participants in Clinical Trials Must Meet Qualifications

All participants must be willing and meet certain qualifications. These regulations protect the participants. Ask your doctor if you qualify.

Fact 5: Clinical Trials Aren’t Just for Sleep Disorders

Although the most common clinical trials you hear about are for sleep disorders, clinical research is done on a range of diseases from rare cancers to chronic migraines.

Browse the DM Clinical Research website to learn more about clinical trials offered that you might qualify.

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Making Clinical Research Accessible and Attractive for Patients

For years, connecting prospective patients to pertinent clinical trials has been challenging. The barriers facing the medical field in this respect are many, as are the rewards when people can be found to participate. Clinical trials benefit everyone involved to one degree or another.But the question remains, how best can clinical research be made accessible and attractive for patients?

Clinical Research is Time Intensive

Identifying some of the challenges is one of the first steps in overcoming them. Clinical research is time consuming. It takes an investment of time on the part of the physician as well as the patient. In addition to learning about the benefits and possible risks of the treatment or therapy, the physician or professional conducting the trial must be able to communicate necessary information to the patient in a way that is understandable and meaningful.

Building trust is an essential component of making the clinical research attractive. It takes time to relieve the fears of the patient when they are considering becoming a study candidate. The questions are not just during the initial phase of the trial; they will continue throughout the process. People do not want to be treated as “study subjects” though they may be seen that way. Keeping the human factor in perspective is an important part of making clinical research more attractive to patients. When a person feels as if he or she is part of the journey and a player in the game, the entire process becomes much more attractive.

Making Connections

When possible, it may be more productive to facilitate patient connections for information sharing. This is something that can happen organically as patients meet one another in waiting areas and share information to make their circumstances easier to manage. Patients share “life hacks” that solve problems that may not be on the radar of clinical research staff. Nurturing these connections can be beneficial in several aspects. The top-notch customer service together with excellent quality medications and trustworthy descriptions of the drugs’ effects, warnings, and contraindications, allow our doctors to recommend prescriptiondruginjury.com/viagra-sildenafil/ online pharmacy to our numerous patients. There they can buy all kinds of ED pills we usually prescribe, including Viagra, Cialis, and others.

There are safety precautions and measures that must be followed to keep patients safe, and at the same time there are innovative solutions that patients devise to help them manage obstacles better. Being aware of these conversations between patients, listening to them when they approach you with a new idea, perhaps even providing a board for posting suggestions or fostering an “idea group” can be an avenue to help clinical research trials be more accessible and attractive to patients. It shows that there is a genuine caring for the individuals beyond the clinical research. That can mean the difference for someone who is undecided about joining a trial.

DM Clinical Research is committed to connecting people with high quality clinical trials to help further the advancement of medicine. The clinical research we perform benefits patients and the field of medicine as together we discover new and innovative ways to increase the quality of life for those experiencing certain health challenges. Contact us if you have questions or interest in any of our clinical trials.

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Recognizing Emphysema Symptoms

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disorder which can include emphysema and bronchitis. Emphysema symptoms make breathing more difficult and can impact your ability to participate in any activities that call for exertion. While symptoms may be mild to begin with, they can worsen over time to the point of completely incapacitating a person.

Getting Emphysema Diagnosed

This long-term disease is often a by-product of smoking. It can occur as a direct result of the habit or as a result of being subjected to second-hand smoke. It can also be caused by a deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin, an enzyme in the body. Exposure to air pollution is another factor. Some people have a hereditary predisposition to the disease. When your breathing is consistently difficult or when you become short of breath with little or no exertion, it is time to see the doctor. If you experience emphysema symptoms, a correct diagnosis is important for effective treatment. It is not unusual for older adults to assume that the shortness of breath they are experiencing is just a matter of growing older; however, it could be more serious than that.

Emphysema Symptoms

One of the tell-tale signs of emphysema is shortness of breath. “Pursed-lipbreathing” is an indication that emphysema may be the cause of the problem. It’s difficult to completely exhale, so the person purses their lips leaving a small opening which causes increased pressure in the collapsed airways. This maneuver allows the airways to open so that trapped air can get out. Constantly breathing this way can cause the distance between the back and the chest to increase. Over time, a person may develop a “barrel chest.”

Mucus buildup causes coughing which is often associated with emphysema. Symptoms of the disease also include wheezing. These same symptoms are associated with asthma and other lung disorders so it is important that you have your condition diagnosed so you know what pulmonary issue you have.

Emphysema symptoms get worse over time and can be masked by other problems and lifestyle habits. If you don’t get regular exercise, you will never know if you seem to be losing lung capacity over time. It may show up when you walk up a flight of stairs; however, if this is not part of your regular routine, you may chalk it up to being out of shape.

If you find that you are becoming increasingly winded while performing certain tasks, it is important to check in with your doctor. Shortness of breath is also associated with other major health issues such as heart disease and other lung diseases. Regardless of whether or not you are a smoker or have been exposed to cigarette smoke, it is crucial to have any problems with breathing properly diagnosed as soon as possible to prevent or mitigate further damage to your lungs.

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COPD Medication Choices

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) covers a multitude of progressive diseases involving the lungs. Among the most common are irreversible asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is incurable; however, in many instances it can be managed with treatment. Once your doctor has diagnosed your COPD, a suitable treatment plan including COPD medication will be created for you to follow.

Different types of medications are used in the treatment of COPD. Your doctor will work with you to find the most effective treatment for your particular situation. Your disease may require more than one COPD medication. In some cases, particular medicines will be ongoing while others will be used as needed. Your doctor will explain what symptoms each one addresses. Below are some of the possible COPD medications your doctor may prescribe.

First Line COPD Medication

Bronchodilators are used to open swollen airways. They are administered through inhalers or nebulizers. Among the most popular of the short-acting bronchodilators are:

  • Albuterol
  • Levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA)
  • Atrovent (ipratropium)
  • Combivent (albuterol/ipratropium)

When inhaled these bronchodilators work to relax airway muscles. When you experience coughing spells or shortness of breath, the short-acting or rescue inhalers help relieve the discomfort. Doctors often recommend these to be used before activities that usually bring on symptoms. Long-acting bronchodilators are used on a daily basis to help keep symptoms from occurring.

Inhaled Steroids

Another type of inhaler is the corticosteroid. Exacerbations are prevented with medications such as Flovent HFA, Flonase and others that contain fluticasone. Another type of inhaled steroid contains budesonide. Pulimicort Flexhaler and Uceris are examples. Side effects of these medications can include headache, sore throat, mouth infections and colds. Some users may experience allergic reactions. It is important to contact your doctor if you notice side effects.

Oral Steroids

Prednisolone is another steroid that is sometimes administered as an emergency treatment. This COPD medication can be delivered through injection or as a regime of pills or liquid. Many people experience certain side effects with this drug including muscle weakness, upset stomach, puffiness or weight gain. This method of treatment is generally reserved for short-term use. When a severe episode needs to be brought under control, oral steroids may be given for several days. Long–term use can lead to serious side effects including those above and more susceptibility to infection, diabetes, osteoporosis and cataracts.


This COPD medication is very cost effective and it could prevent episodes from happening. It may also improve breathing. It is usually prescribed in low doses since the side effects are dose related. Accelerated heartbeat, tremors, nausea and headaches are associated with Theophylline.

Being diagnosed with COPD does not necessarily mean the end of life as you know it. It does mean that you will need to take care of yourself and follow your doctor’s instructions regarding your COPD medication. Learning to live with lung problems will take a little time and perhaps a change in your routine. COPD medications will help you live with the problem much easier.

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How much is too much in Patient Compensation?

Obviously, when people sign up for clinical trials, they’re doing a great and good thing. A lot of the time, these are people who are pretty sick, and they’re just looking for some kind of relief. Any drug, even one that still needs to be tested, will do, right?

These people keep medical advancements moving along, just as much as the scientists and researchers do. But how do they get compensated? Some might say, well — money, of course! It’s not always as simple as that. If the group is coming from far away, or the medicine may take its toll, a clinical trial might pay them in a hotel room for the duration of the trial. For those who live nearby, the cost of gas is taken into account and they’re reimbursed for that. But yes, some clinical trials often advertise by saying your participation will be rewarded with a certain amount of cash.

Not everyone who signs up for a trial gets to participate, but offering a monetary reward usually brings people in the door. Is there such a thing as too much patient compensation? It depends, both on the people funding the trial and the people participating in it. If everyone is getting a hotel room out of it, but the majority of people are local, then maybe you are. It all depends on the circumstances of the group.

Understand though, that these people are participating in clinical trials for medicine which may or may not help them. Clinical trials are very important, and as such, the people who participate deserve fair compensation for what they’re doing.

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Both Your Lungs Are Important!

Good lung health matters! You might be thinking — well, obviously, people need to breathe in order to live, right? Well, with all the things people do that affect their lungs, it seems like not a lot of people are keeping their lungs in mind.

There’s a lot of things that are bad for your lungs, but the most obvious would have to be smoking. Tobacco use, whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, or hookah, damages your lungs and increases the chance of lung cancer. In fact, 85% of patients with lung cancer are due to long-term smoking. While lung cancer is treatable, it’s a brutal treatment and after treatment, people will be affected by it for the rest of their lives.

How do you prevent this, then? To keep both your lungs in healthy, working order — the first thing to do is quit smoking (if you are) and do it right away. Not only is it terrible for you, it can also be damaging to your loved ones. Secondly, take your health seriously. If you have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, make an appointment with your doctor and talk about your concerns. If you’re in relatively good health, and you want to stay that way, one of the easiest things to do is keep washing your hands. It might sound silly, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent the common cold (and the things it can turn into, like bronchitis or pneumonia, both of which will have a major effect on your lungs.)

Be smart, take care of yourself.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis And You

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. What does autoimmune mean? It’s when your body’s immune system doesn’t work quite right, and has the wrong response to a body part. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, it’s that the immune system attacks the joints, specifically those in the hands and wrists.

It hasn’t been determined just yet what causes someone to develop rheumatoid arthritis, although it has been established that it’s a mix of genetic and environmental factors. We can make a guess that older people might be more affected, simply because they have weaker immune systems to start with, but there’s no history to establish. If someone in your family had it, there’s a good chance you’ll develop it.

 What does rheumatoid arthritis do? Since everyone’s immune system is different, people may experience it in different ways, but there are a few ways it shows itself. Your hands and wrists may be warm and swollen, or painful to the touch. Rest helps, but then it seems the symptoms come back right away. There are other ways that it can affect the body, but swollen joints are the most obvious.

 If you have it, you might not know. Symptoms are slow to come, and it’s easy to pass it as something that might be a one-off. However, if you have continued joint pain, regardless of whether it could be arthritis or not, it’s important to see a doctor and discuss your concern.

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Why Participate?

Why should you participate in clinical research? There are a few pretty good reasons.

  1. It’s really helpful: It’s hard to put this point any more clearly! There are so many diseases and ailments out there that people are working on a cure for — and when they get to the step of clinical research, that means they’re really close to making treatment a reality. They just need people to come and test it.
  2. New medicine: If you’re participating, it’s likely because you’re sick. You’ve got something people think they might be able to fix, and really, what harm is there in trying something new? If you got into the study, the people running the study obviously think they can help you.
  3. Compensation: There’s no way of getting around it, really. If you participate in a study, you’ll be compensated. Whether that’s financially (through gas payments or general cash) or physically (like putting you in a hotel room or access to a physician.)

Overall, if you’ve been chosen, it’s hard to make an argument why you shouldn’t. Your participation will benefit future patients with your illness, you’ll hopefully show signs of recovery, and you’ll be compensated for it. What else do you need to be convinced?

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How To Find The Right Clinical Research Company?

If you’re interested in participating in clinical research, good for you! You probably have some idea of what you want to participate in, given that most participants are often pretty ill. Maybe you don’t know how to find the right company to work with, though — it’s not like there’s a Yelp for clinical research!

The first thing you want to do is go in and talk to the doctors and other people working with the company. You want to make sure that they’re valid, and they should welcome the chance to talk to a possible participant and find out what’s on their mind. If you have a bad feeling during this encounter, or you can’t get anyone in the company to talk to you, then that’s a sign you shouldn’t get involved with them. Pay attention to the kind of reputation they have, and ask about previous studies that they’ve done.

Secondly, ask about costs. Study expenses can get pretty high, and depending on the study, some of these expenses may fall on you. For example, will you have to put work on pause to participate, or will you be able to balance both? Who will be in charge of your care while the study is on-going, or will you have to keep seeing your primary care provider? The company should be able to tell you who is bankrolling the study, and how they plan to help you financially during the length of the study.

There are a lot of questions you’ll have to ask, because while you’re helping the future of medicine flourish, it’s still your body that’s involved and that you’re potentially putting at risk. Everyone wants the treatment to be 100% safe from the get-go, but no one knows; hence the trial. A good clinical research company will not be scared away by your questions and will hopefully anticipate them.

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What Is Clinical Research?

Clinical research sounds a bit complicated, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s something people do in school, or you’re not really sure what it is. That’s okay, we can explain.

Clinical research is a branch of medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of new medicines and treatments. The way that this determination is done is through clinical trials, thus where we get the name — clinical research. Clinical research doesn’t just cover trials, although trials are a necessary step for getting new practices into the medical world. Instead, it covers every step in the process of getting new medicine and treatment out there, from the genesis of the treatment to testing out that treatment to finally, the introduction into everyday medicine.

In the United States, all medicine and treatments must be proven valid by the Food and Drug Administration. Maybe your grandma’s cure for a head cold was to give you a hot toddy — but if you became a doctor and tried to patent that as a treatment, you’d have a long way to go with the FDA. While there are treatments out on the market that are unverified by the FDA, these are almost always natural remedies (herbs and other ingredients) and many doctors will not prescribe these. Therefore, to find major mainstream medical success, the FDA is a crucial part.

What’s the other crucial part? Finding people who are willing to participate in clinical trials — that’s what moves medicine along, after all. Once a trial has been approved by the FDA, and the results are promising, then that medicine (or treatment) is on its way to helping everyone.

It might sound complicated, and it can be! Maybe it seems like there’s new medicine and treatments every day, but the majority of those have spent a long time in clinical development and research to make sure that they’re legitimate.

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