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benefits 15 articles

Patients should discuss with doctors risks, benefits of type 2 diabetes drugs

Most people associate insulin injections with diabetics. But in reality, only some diabetics require the glucose-regulating hormone. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not produce insulin, as in the case with type 1 diabetics, or does not produce enough of the hormone, which is the case for type 2 diabetics. Only about 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 and most are diagnosed as children. The vast majority of diabetics – 90 to 95 percent –have type 2 diabetes. The condition used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, however more and more ... Read More

Pregnant women should be especially careful with over-the-counter, prescription medications

Pregnant women should be extra careful when taking medicines because they may be unsafe for the mother or the child, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions. The agency issued a reminder to consumers that the risks and benefits of medicines should be carefully weighed in general, but especially in women who are expecting. Pregnancy causes changes in the body, including how medicines are processed. In some cases, dosage may need to be adjusted. Even everyday medicines, including over-the-counter pain relievers, can be unhealthy for both mother and baby. Some medications, including antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been linked ... Read More

Takeda stands behind type 2 diabetes drug Actos despite reports of bladder cancer

Takeda Pharmaceuticals says it is confident in its type 2 diabetes medication Actos despite studies that show the drug puts users at risk for bladder cancer. The drug company issued a statement following a newly published study that backed up bladder cancer risks brought to light in an earlier study. The new study involved data from more than 115,000 people who were treated with diabetes drugs from 1988 to 2009. Overall, 470 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer during about 4 ½ years of follow up. Diabetics treated with Actos had an 83 percent increased risk of bladder cancer than ... Read More

Gardasil distribution stalled in France pending government-ordered study

The distribution of Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil has been halted in France, where a government-appointed group of immunologists and other researchers has been formed to determine if the benefits of the vaccine are worth the risks. As in the United States, Gardasil has become a “thorny subject” in France, with many parents suspicious of the vaccine’s benefits and fearful of its risks, according to France’s Le Point. Data pulled from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows that from the time Gardasil was introduced in 2006 until September 15, 2011, 20,096 adverse events following the vaccine ... Read More

Less frequent pap testing won’t increase cervical cancer death rate, authorities say

New guidelines established by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force call for an end to annual Pap smear tests, recommending instead that women be tested once every three to five years. But as opponents of the Gardasil human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have pointed out, Pap tests are the best protection against cervical cancer resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. So why would trusted medical authorities call for less Pap screening? Dr. Michael LeFevre, co-vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, told the Associated Press that studies demonstrate the cervical cancer death rate is ... Read More

Gardasil risks, public outcry cause Gardasil mandates to lose steam

In 2007, Virginia became the first state in the nation to mandate the Gardasil vaccine for girls entering the sixth grade. It was a reckless move by the state legislature – a $1-million effort financed by taxpayer money and fueled by the pharmaceutical lobby that did nothing but turn the 11-year old girls of that state into guinea pigs. Fortunately, Virginia’s House of Delegates voted 62-34 to rescind the law earlier this month, and other would-be Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine mandates are losing traction in areas such as Washington D.C., Florida, and Texas, where they had become hotly contested political ... Read More

FDA rejects type 2 diabetes drug based on bladder, breast cancer risks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected the experimental type 2 diabetes drug Dapagliflozin because it poses a risk for bladder and breast cancers. Drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca must provide more data on the drug’s risks and benefits before the FDA would be willing to consider approving the drug for use in the United States. Dapagliflozin works by increasing renal glucose elimination, thereby allowing more sugar to be excreted in the urine. An FDA advisory panel voted in July to recommend the approval for the drug, but raised concerns over the cancer risks that rose out of ... Read More

Watchdog group urges FDA to ban transvaginal mesh products

The watchdog group Public Citizen is taking aim at a type of surgical mesh used to repair pelvic floor conditions, arguing that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should ban the devices because they offer no significant benefits and that they expose patients to serious risks and the potential for permanent life-altering harm. Public Citizen is a national nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that is most recently known for petitioning the FDA to remove the painkillers Darvon and Darvocet based on data that showed the drugs were dangerous to consumers. The drugs were subsequently banned from the U.S. market earlier this ... Read More

Are birth control pills for acne treatment a good idea?

The benefits of using birth control pills outweigh the risks, according to a Style Bistro story, which supports the use of oral contraceptives for the treatment of acne. There are three birth control pills that are FDA-approved for such use – Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, and Yaz. The latter of these is one of the nation’s most prescribed birth control pills. It is also under a new safety review by the FDA based on data that links use of the pills to serious and life threatening health risks. The story lauded contraceptives for their preventative benefits: “Women on birth control see ... Read More

Army now awards Purple Heart for all combat-related concussions

The Army now considers combat-related concussions injuries worthy of the Purple Heart medal, underscoring the gravity of a wound that has been overlooked or dismissed as harmless for decades. The Army’s move to recognize all concussions as serious combat wounds comes at a time when the medical community is making strides in its understanding of concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The sheer number of American soldiers receiving some degree of head trauma has made TBI the “signature wound” of the wars in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Up until now, the Army left it up to ... Read More