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Columnist: 50th anniversary of The Pill nothing to celebrate

Holly Grigg-Spall, columnist for the UK’s The Independent, says the revolutionary birth control pill had nothing to do with turning her into a women’s health writer and activist. In fact, it gave her something to complain about. “I’d been popping a drug every morning for years knowing only what my doctor had said: the Pill ‘regulated’ my periods. I had always backed it up with condoms. I had taken it through my teens when I wasn’t having sex. It was an unthinking habit. It took one last switch to another brand, an eye-opening two-month break, then six months back on ... Read More

Anticonvulsants linked to risk of seizures, suicide, violent death

Popular anticonvulsant drugs are getting significant news coverage these days because of reports that the drugs are causing a return of seizures or risk of suicide in some users. Anticonvulsants are used to control seizures, such as in patients with epilepsy or who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. They are sometimes prescribed to patients to manage migraines and bipolar disorder. Generic brands of the anticonvulsant Keppra, known as Levetiracetam, first made headlines when reports began to surface that patients who had their seizures under control with the brand name Keppra began experiencing a return of their seizures and other problems ... Read More

SpunkyRachel: ‘I have finally begun to flourish’

It’s been almost a year since we last checked in on Rachel Corley-Gutierrez, better known by her YouTube moniker, SpunkyRachel. The young woman was diagnosed with the rare but life threatening allergic reaction to medication known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) just two weeks after taking ibuprofen for a headache. Her YouTube video diaries track her long and painful road to recovery. Her latest update is encouraging. “Seemed like a lifetime ago,” she comments on her video titled “Getting on, moving on.” Photos flash on the screen of a lovely woman with flowing dark hair. “A few days before Stevens ... Read More

BP seeks Houston judge and courtroom for oil spill lawsuits

With Texas Governor Rick Perry claiming that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have been “just an act of God” that nobody could have prevented, and with so many of our country’s biggest oil companies and former leaders firmly rooted in the Lone Star state, BP knows it has a friend or two in Texas. That’s why the oil giant has asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate nearly 100 lawsuits filed against it under U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of the Southern District of Texas in Houston. Lawsuits have been filed in every Gulf Coast state, ... Read More

Efforts to protect Mobile Bay from oil spill hampered by strong currents

Workers along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, particularly in Mobile Bay, are working to repair and reset oil protection barriers. Strong currents in the gulf have pushed some boom anchors out of position, leaving the Port of Mobile vulnerable as the spill seeps inland. So far, emergency preparedness plans have been helped by prevailing winds, which are keeping the oil slick in the Gulf and offshore. However, at least 4 million gallons have reportedly leaked into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20 and sank two days later. Oil has already come ashore in Louisiana, whose coast is ... Read More

Yaz victim says blood clots ‘could have been avoided’

The stories have become too familiar. Young women mysteriously stricken with life threatening blood clots, a direct result of their birth control pill. Leanne Letendre is one of the latest victims. Just last year the young mother became extremely fatigued while doing housework. “I couldn’t even make it up a flight of stairs. I had to go up three stairs, stop and then finish,” she told WBZ-TV. “I was so sick, I couldn’t even think.” Leanne was diagnosed with dozens of blood clots in her lungs that at any moment could have killed her. “They were just everywhere. It was ... Read More

Oil spill hearings open in Louisiana and DC

Hearings began today in Washington and Louisiana on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico created when the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded on April 20 and sank two days later. Executives representing BP, based in London with North American headquarters in Houston, will testify alongside partners Transocean Ltd., based in Geneva, Switzerland, and Halliburton Co. of Houston. According to testimony prepared for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, corporations involved in the Deepwater Horizon incident are expected to give conflicting accounts of responsibility on the causes of the explosion. ... Read More

Romaine lettuce recall expands amid E. coli fears

More romaine lettuce is being recalled today while federal investigators work to pinpoint the source of an E. coli 0145 outbreak that has sickened 19 people in Michigan, New York and Ohio. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Oklahoma-based Vaughn Foods announced it is recalling lettuce with "use by" dates of May 9 and May 10. ... Read More

ATV crash kills Minnesota woman, injures another

A 31-year-old Minnesota woman died Saturday when the all-terrain vehicle she was a passenger on crashed into a tree. According to the Bemidji Pioneer, Jessica Christopherson was riding on a 2004 Honda TRX 650R ATV driven by Chad Tabaka, also 30 years old, when the accident occurred. According to a press release from the Hubbard County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s office, Tabaka lost control of the vehicle, which caused it to leave the road and strike a tree. The accident was reported about 6 p.m. in Steamboat River Township. Emergency workers declared Christopherson, a resident of Benedict, Minn., dead at the scene ... Read More

Plan to cap oil leak fails; BP scrambles for other options

Oil industry experts and BP officials had hoped a 100-ton dome would contain the massive amounts of oil currently gushing into the Gulf of Mexico following the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Since the platform sank on April 22, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil per day have been leaking into the gulf. Over the weekend, BP lowered the containment dome over the primary leak site, almost a mile below the surface of the ocean. However, an icelike substance called methane hydrate clogged the box, which then had to be removed. Workers trying to find a ... Read More