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Tazlima
01-09-2015, 01:49 AM
I need a drug that fits the following criteria:

1) It's a staple modern medical product, preferably an antibiotic or anti-viral. Something that might be used as a best-guess treatment for an unknown contagious disease.

2) If this drug is administered to a healthy individual, it will noticeably and predictably alter at least one measurement on a standard blood panel.


The scenario is "we've been unable to determine the cause or nature of the disease but if we do nothing the outcome is horrible. Let's progressively throw all the drugs at it and hope one sticks."

In case it affects the choice of drugs, primary symptoms are change in hair color and progressive loss of higher cognitive function.

mirandashell
01-09-2015, 01:59 AM
Is the change in hair colour due to a loss of melanin?

Tazlima
01-09-2015, 02:08 AM
Is the change in hair colour due to a loss of melanin?

Most likely, but they're not certain. The hair slowly turns white regardless of its original color or the age of the infected.

The skin also loses pigment, but the result isn't the pink sort of coloration you'd expect to see. It's a "dense" (I can't think of a better word) whiteness, the color of a marble statue. It affects the entire body, including mucous membranes and the pink under the nails. You'd think the infected were anemic, but they're not. It also doesn't occur uniformly. The pigment change begins around the belly and torso and spreads outward from there, consuming the body in sync with the madness that consumes the mind.

Oh yeah, and the eyes, whites and all, turn completely black until they resemble those of the squirrel in my picture. However, their vision is unaffected.

skylark
01-09-2015, 02:13 AM
I'm not quite following the requirements of your story, but the vast majority of the drugs which are on sporting bodies' banned lists would fulfil the criteria. That's why athletes have to do a shedload of paperwork if they have a medical need for medication - the tests identify specific drugs very accurately, what shows up in your system has to exactly match what you have paperwork for.

(I just spent the evening checking my daughter's spelling of various complicated chemical substances on her forms...)

Tazlima
01-09-2015, 02:45 AM
I'm not quite following the requirements of your story,

Lol, understandable. It only makes sense within the confines of the story, which would take me three hours to detail here.


but the vast majority of the drugs which are on sporting bodies' banned lists would fulfil the criteria. That's why athletes have to do a shedload of paperwork if they have a medical need for medication - the tests identify specific drugs very accurately, what shows up in your system has to exactly match what you have paperwork for.


The main challenge in finding the drug I want is that I'm looking for something that would affect, say, a SMAC-CBC panel or some other test that would be administered repeatedly during a hospital stay. The doctor doing the testing is the same doctor that's administering the drugs. He wouldn't bother to check for the presence of something he put there.

I'm picturing this scenario:

"You know. I gave you a massive dose of X drug, and normally that causes your Y levels to skyrocket/drop precipitously. However, according to your most recent bloodwork, and your Y levels are still perfectly normal, which I would have thought was impossible. I had the lab check it three times before I believed it myself.

Mydnite
01-09-2015, 05:14 AM
Not sure if this will help. I know of someone that was taking vitamin supplements with calcium and minerals, just the over the counter standard tablets at a normal dose. When they had a blood test it showed elevated levels of calcium, which apparently were a potential sign of some rather nasty conditions. When doctor found out they were taking calcium supplements they had to stop for to weeks and repeat the blood test which was then clear.

Lauram6123
01-09-2015, 05:53 AM
Well, this isn't an antibiotic, but the diuretic Lasix makes your potassium go down. Maybe you could fit Lasix into your patient's treatment plan.

Monev
01-10-2015, 05:55 AM
Demeclocycline is a rarely used antibiotic that causes a dose-dependent increase in BUN and serum creatinine. It will also lower ADH levels, but that isn't a lab that is commonly done.

Pyekett
01-10-2015, 07:18 AM
Some antifungals cause liver enzyme elevation. Antifungal meds would not be a bad choice to throw at what you describe, if they are desperate.

Tazlima
01-10-2015, 06:11 PM
Oooh, these last two are perfect! Thanks so much everybody!

boron
01-10-2015, 08:36 PM
Demeclocycline is an antibiotic but it is rarely used as such; it is probably more known by its diuretic action and is used to treat certain cases of hyponatremia
http://www.ehealthstar.com/conditions/hyponatremia

...so, I think they would not likely reach for demeclocycline to treat a suspected unknown infection.

They could try with a similar antibiotic doxycycline, which is one of the official drugs to treat Lyme disease. Lyme disease can have atypical symptoms with no rash and infected people often do not get proper diagnosis.
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/330178-medication#2

Doxycycline commonly elevates liver enzymes, such as AST
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/doxycycline-side-effects.html

Another likely choice would be broad-spectrum antibiotics, like amoxicillin, which kills both gram positive and negative bacteria. It can cause elevation of liver enzymes, jaundice...
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/amoxicillin-side-effects.html

WeaselFire
01-10-2015, 08:38 PM
The scenario is "we've been unable to determine the cause or nature of the disease but if we do nothing the outcome is horrible. Let's progressively throw all the drugs at it and hope one sticks."
You've been visiting my doctor, haven't you? :)

Hemoglobin, Iron, Sodium and Blood Sugar are in many blood panels. Google will find you a number of drugs that will alter the readings of one or more. Simpler could be something that causes a vitamin deficiency, B and D are commonly tested for as well. Over the counter meds could do that.

If you really want to screw with your patient, go for the cancer drugs. Sisplatin, Carboplatin or the like mess up body chemistry something fierce.

Now, a change is only predictable if the doctor reviewing the results knows about the medications given. You can't have your doctors discover that the patient is anemic and automatically know that it's due to a prescription medication.

What do you really need for your story?

Jeff

Religion0
03-08-2015, 11:14 PM
The scenario is "we've been unable to determine the cause or nature of the disease but if we do nothing the outcome is horrible. Let's progressively throw all the drugs at it and hope one sticks."

First, I don't know a lot about medicines and drugs, so afraid I can't help with that, but I know a few things about diagnostic testing and medication in a clinical setting.

If it's not bacterial you wouldn't throw antibiotics at it (great way to get multi-resistant strains), and you would be able to determine to some degree what bacteria it is even if you can't specifically determine the species, so that you could make resistance testing and find an effective anti-biotic based on the characteristics.

Your blood contains a lot of parameters, and I'll bet a lot of medicine would alter the parameters, to the point that you have to be off-medication so your blood is free of effect, or you specifically have to be on it so the medical laboratory scientists (gosh, what a title, but I promised my teachers I'd spread the word) can see if it has any effect. Or, well, the doctor can see, but they can factor it in and determine whether some numbers have to be made a fuss over or not.

I don't know a lot about identifying or treatment of viral infections yet, but I'd be surprised if it was too radically different from bacterial.

Aldenata
03-08-2015, 11:26 PM
Not quite what you were looking for, but aren't steroids infamous for making diagnosis harder?

Cath
03-09-2015, 01:52 AM
Yet another resurrected thread, folks.

Please don't do this unless there's a reason to revive the question.