20 posts from January, 2011

Probiotic Users: Have You Experienced AccuFlora Side Effects?

Posted January 15th, 2011 by

At PatientsLikeMe, where more than 115,000 patients are sharing their experiences with prescription drugs, supplements and more, 20 patients report taking the probiotic AccuFlora while zero patients report experiencing AccuFlora side effects.  In addition, zero patients report discontinuing the supplement as a result of AccuFlora side effects.  The seven patients who have stopped taking AccuFlora list reasons such as expense or “it didn’t seem to work.”  (See the AccuFlora treatment report for more details.)

What exactly is a probiotic?  Falling within the realm of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), a probiotic is an over-the-counter dietary supplement containing a form of “friendly bacteria” that may aid digestion, inhibit potentially harmful bacteria and support the intestinal tract.  In the case of AccuFlora, the live microorganism or “good bacteria” used is acidophilus, one of several bacteria used in the production of yogurt. 124 patients report taking some type or brand of acidophilus at PatientsLikeMe, and the only reported side effect amongst all of them is acid reflux (1 patient).

Now that we’ve addressed AccuFlora side effects, what else do patients have to say about this brand of probiotic?  Among other reasons, patients report taking AccuFlora for general health, bowel problems, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  The most commonly reported dosage is “daily,” the most commonly reported duration is “2 years or more,” and the most commonly reported cost is “under $25.”  From the four patient evaluations submitted for AccuFlora, we can also see that all four patients ranked the supplement as “moderate” or “major” in its effectiveness.

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Comparing Our Transplants Community to the UNOS/OPTN Databases

Posted January 13th, 2011 by

Last November (2010), PatientsLikeMe was fortunate to have the opportunity to showcase our research at the world’s largest gathering of kidney and kidney transplant professionals.  The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) annual meeting is the premiere event platform for debuting revolutionary treatments, cutting-edge technological breakthroughs and top research findings.

PatientsLikeMe presented a poster about our Transplants Community to more than 12,000 physicians, scientists and other healthcare professionals from all 50 states and around the world.  The poster was very well received, and it allowed us to introduce our relatively young Transplants Community to a wide array of industry professionals, many of whom will pass the word on to their patients.

screen-shot-2011-01-13-at-35839-pmThe poster we presented was elegant yet simple in its design.  Essentially, we compared the profile of our Transplants Community – now with more than 3,100 patient members – to published data from the United Network for Organ Sharing/ Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (UNOS/OPTN) databases.  What did we find?

  • About half of our kidney transplant patients knew the exact degree of tissue matching they had with their donor (referred to as HLA matching)
  • The fewest HLA mismatches in kidneys came from deceased rather than living donors
  • Within the living donors, the closest matches came from siblings, followed by parents and children

These preliminary findings set the stage for more advanced research.  Our goal is to answer a number of questions that are important to patients like you.  For example, who is able to keep their transplanted organs the longest, and why?  Which pre- and post-transplant medication regimens are the easiest on you?  And what is the best outcome you can hope to achieve – and how can you get there?

Thanks to all of our transplants members for contributing to this exciting research.  With your help, we look forward to presenting the answers to these questions and more at future ASN conferences.

PatientsLikeMe member cbrownstein