Author

Amanda Burbank

329 posts

Amanda J. Burbank is a poet, writer and editor. She's had a number of pieces published in a variety of places, from local papers and magazines to online blogs to literary magazines. She's worked on the other side of the profession as well, from beta reading for multiple aspiring novelists to assisting a literary agent to working as an editor herself. She's also worked as a teacher, homeschooling her three children for three years, learning with them as they were continually, joyously discovering. She graduated from Huntingdon College with a bachelor of arts majoring in English and Psychology. She and her husband and children live in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Do acid-reducing PPIs cause kidney damage?

PPI, kidney, chart - Shutterstock

Kaiser Health News reports on the growing body of research that has linked acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to kidney damage. Some popular brand names include Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec. Particularly concerning were two very large studies published last year including data from hundreds of thousands of patients taking prescription PPIs. Kaiser Health News noted that these types of observational studies, as opposed to clinical trials, suggest associations, but were not designed to prove cause and effect. Both of these studies compared PPI users to those taking another type of heartburn medication, H2 blockers, which include Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac. ... Read More

Pfizer seeks to expand Viagra sales to over-the-counter

Viagra single pack

According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, Pfizer, the manufacturer of erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra (sildenafil) has set its sights on having the drug, which has been prescribed for more than 64 million men worldwide, available over-the-counter as well. Ten years ago Pfizer applied to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for non-prescription status of Viagra, but the agency had concerns that in bypassing the need for a prescription from a general practitioner (GP), men whose symptoms would have led to diagnosis of cardiovascular disease might self-diagnose and treat ED symptoms over-the-counter, missing the underlying more serious disease. The agency also expressed ... Read More

Next St. Louis talc-ovarian cancer trial to start in June

talc ovarian cancer

It’s been just over two weeks since the conclusion of the last trial in St. Louis against Johnson and Johnson over the ovarian cancer risk connected to its talc-containing products. In that trial the Missouri jury found the company and its talc provider, Imerys, to be responsible for the development of plaintiff Lois Slemp’s ovarian tumors. She had used Johnson and Johnson products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for four decades prior to being diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Slemp’s was the fifth bellwether trial to be held in the state, where thousands ... Read More

Studies suggest cranberries could help women with ovarian cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the most deadly cancer of the female reproductive system and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women. According to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance the survival rate is much lower than that of other cancers affecting women; the relative five-year survival rate is 46.246 percent. This deadly cancer has been in the news recently with high-profile lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson accusing the health-care company of knowingly marketing products that increase ovarian cancer risk. Johnson and Johnson has lost four of the five lawsuits that have gone before St. Louis juries in the last ... Read More

Magnetic sphincter augmentation: option for GERD patients

PPI proton pump inhibitor

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects about 20 percent of the U.S. population according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. GERD is a serious form of heartburn, indigestion or reflux, where the stomach’s contents flow back up into the esophagus more than twice a week for an extended period of time. Without treatment it can lead to serious, even deadly, complications. GERD is commonly treated with drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, which are available both by prescription and over the counter. Some well-known name brands of these types of drugs include Prevacid, Nexium ... Read More

Are wigs the best solution for women who have permanent hair loss?

bald woman, Taxotere - Pixabay image

Many women who suffer from hair loss feel like they need to hide their bald heads with wigs to either feel beautiful or just to fit in and avoid stares and even questions from strangers. However wigs are hot and uncomfortable and present many challenges for those who deal with permanent hair loss. Michelle, who suffers from chemotherapy-induced permanent alopecia, says of wigs in the blog A Head of Our Time, “You can’t ride a roller coaster or go to a water park with your kids in a wig. You can’t exercise vigorously or ride a bike on a trail. ... Read More

Researchers say PPIs are being prescribed off-label to infants

baby with bottle - FDA image

New Zealand researchers are very concerned to find that although proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are not approved to treat children younger than 1 year old, clinical trials have not found them to be more effective than placebos in infants, and the drugs carry risks of side-effects, their off-label prescription to this age group is common in the country. Previously the University of Otago researchers studied PPI use and showed that the popular acid reducing drugs increase the risk of developing interstitial nephritis, a kidney disease usually caused by an allergic reaction to drugs that can cause permanent kidney damage. PPIs ... Read More

FDA warns of vision loss risk with erectile dysfunction drugs

cialis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a drug safety labeling change for erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs containing Tadalafil, including Cialis and Adcirca. “Physicians should advise patients to stop use of all phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, including CIALIS, and seek medical attention in the event of a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes,” the FDA states. This adverse event might be linked to a rare condition called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) which has been reported in association with all PDE5 inhibitors and has been linked to increased risk of NAION by at ... Read More

Should women stop using Baby Powder because of cancer risk?

talc-truth

In light of a fourth St. Louis jury verdict finding Johnson and Johnson’s talc products to blame for the development of a woman’s ovarian cancer, Tech Times asks if women should stop using baby powder. The website acknowledges the juries’ recent decisions in favor of the plaintiffs who claimed that their decades of using talc products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower caused their ovarian cancer. In fact these juries not only validated these women’s claims, they also chose to impugn heavy penalties on Johnson and Johnson and talc provider Imerys Talc America, with verdicts totaling $307 ... Read More

Did You Know Certain Types of Hair Loss May Be Avoided?

alopecia, woman, hair loss, Taxotere - Shutterstock

Hair loss, especially for women, can be emotionally devastating, as hair greatly affects appearance, which is often tied to self esteem. Even more so when the hair loss could have been avoided. Nearly a thousand cancer patients who took the chemotherapy drug Taxotere are suing drug-maker Sanofi-Aventis, saying the drug company did not give them the information they needed about the drug’s side effects to make an informed decision about which chemotherapy drug to use for treatment. “I have no doubt that, had I been told that Taxotere had a chance of permanent baldness, I would have selected Taxol. I ... Read More