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New Combination Pill for Hypertension
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Valturna, an antihypertensive combination of aliskiren (a direct renin inhibitor) and valsartan (an angiotensin II receptor blocker). Valturna is indicated for patients with hypertension that's inadequately controlled by either of these medications alone or as initial therapy for patients who will require multiple drugs to achieve their blood pressure goals....READ MORE »
Vision Loss Concerns with New Anti-Seizure Medication
Sabril (vigabatrin) oral solution was recently approved by the FDA in liquid form for the treatment of infantile spasms in children ages 1 month to 2 years. It is the first drug in the U.S. approved to treat this severe, often debilitating disorder characterized by frequent difficult-to-control daily seizures. Spasms tend to occur upon awakening or after feeding, and often occur in clusters of up to 100 spasms....READ MORE »
Cocaine Vaccine Studied
Immunization with an anti-cocaine vaccine results in a significant reduction in cocaine use, according to a clinical trial reported in the October 2009 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry . The vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that attach themselves to cocaine molecules in the blood and prevent them from passing through the blood-brain barrier, thereby inhibiting or blocking...READ MORE »
Statins May Worsen Symptoms in DHF Patients
A new study presented at CHEST 2009, the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, found that statins have beneficial effects on patients with systolic heart failure, but those with diastolic heart failure experienced the opposite effect, including increased dyspnea, fatigue, and decreased exercise tolerance. "Systolic heart failure is most often due to coronary...READ MORE »
Nocturnal Teeth Grinding Linked to Sleep Apnea
There is a high prevalence of nocturnal teeth grinding, or bruxism, in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, particularly in Caucasians, according to a new study. Research presented at CHEST 2009, the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, found that nearly one-quarter of patients with OSA suffer from nighttime teeth grinding; this seems to be more prevalent in...READ MORE »
Vision Loss Concerns with new Anti-Seizure Medication
Sabril (vigabatrin) oral solution was recently approved by the FDA in liquid form for the treatment of infantile spasms in children ages 1 month to 2 years. It is the first drug in the U.S. approved to treat this severe, often debilitating disorder characterized by frequent difficult-to-control daily seizures. Spasms tend to occur upon awakening or after feeding, and often occur in clusters of up to 100 spasms....READ MORE »
New Combination Pill for Hypertension
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Valturna, an antihypertensive combination of aliskiren (a direct renin inhibitor) and valsartan (an angiotensin II receptor blocker). Valturna is indicated for patients with hypertension that's inadequately controlled by either of these medications alone or as initial therapy for patients who will require multiple drugs to achieve their blood pressure goals....READ MORE »
Breast Cancer Prevention Drugs Come With Risks
Three drugs, including tamoxifen, reduce a woman's chance of getting breast cancer, but each drug carries distinct potential harms of its own, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The comparative effectiveness review found that all three drugs - tamoxifen, raloxifene, and tibolone - significantly reduce invasive breast cancer in...READ MORE »
VCU Medical Center Tests Hand Hygiene Monitor
A new hand hygiene device that can detect whether healthcare workers have sufficiently washed their hands before entering a patient's room is being tested at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. The BioVigil wireless, credit-card sized sensor is worn like a name badge and programmed to detect ethyl alcohol, the most common ingredient in hospital hand-cleansing solutions. When a nurse or...READ MORE »
Point-of-Care Syphilis Test Developed
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with Chembio Diagnostic Systems Inc., has developed a point-of-care test for syphilis that is expected to receive FDA clearance and CLIA waiver by summer of 2010. The test, called the DPP Syphilis Screen & Confirm, uses as small as a 5 ml sample of whole blood from a finger stick and can be read on a handheld reader within 15 minutes....READ MORE »
Sedative and Hypnotic Use Linked to Suicide Risk in the Elderly
Use of sedative and hypnotic medications among seniors is associated with increased suicide risk, according to a case-control study published in the BMC Geriatrics journal. Swedish researchers examined psychotropic drug use in 85 people aged 65 or older who had committed suicide and roughly 150 age- and sex-matched controls from the underlying population. In fully adjusted analyses, current prescriptions for...READ MORE »
Study Shows Bariatric Surgery Increases Broken Bone Risk
After weight loss surgery, people have nearly twice the expected risk of breaking a bone and an even higher risk of a foot or hand fracture, according to a study presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This goes against the established opinion is that obesity protects against osteoporosis and, therefore, fractures, said study co-author Jackie Clowes, MD, PhD, assistant professor...READ MORE »
Study Shows Appetite Hormone May Prevent Frailty
Frail, elderly women with unexplained weight loss migt benefit from supplementation with the body's appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, according to a new study funded partially by the National Institutes of Health and presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Unexplained weight loss in older adults can lead to the development of frailty, a debilitating syndrome of declines...READ MORE »
Antidepressant Shown to Damage Sperm
The antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat) has been shown in a study to damage sperm. In the study, 35 healthy male volunteers 18-65 years old received paroxetine for five weeks, during which mean sperm DNA fragmentation was found to be significantly higher for men while on paroxetine (30.3%) versus baseline (13.8%). Up to 35% of men noted significant changes in erectile function, and up to 47% of men reported...READ MORE »
FDA Warns Zicam Can Permanently Damage Smell
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised consumers to stop using three products marketed over-the-counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia). Anosmia may be long-lasting or permanent. The products are: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel; Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs; and Kids Size Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs (a discontinued product). The FDA has received more than 130...READ MORE »