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Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia linked to osteoporosis and bone loss

Researchers believe that the diabetes drug Avandia may cause bone loss and long-term use may speed up osteoporosis. The thinning of the bones is dangerous and could lead to fatal fractures. The study published in the December 2nd issue of Nature Medicine suggests that usage of rosiglitazone in the treatment of type II diabetes may cause osteoporosis. The maker of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), disputes the osteoporosis finding. The company said in a statement today that their ADOPT studies showed no increase in spine or hip fractures which are associated with osteoporosis. The company says they will be looking further ... Read More

Family files wrongful death lawsuit against California facility

Joanne Kessler believed she was doing the right thing when in 2006 she moved her mother, Luveda Fern Kessler, from another assisted living facility to Villa Valencia Health Care Center in Orange County, Calif., to be closer to her. The elder Kessler had had both hip- and knee-replacement surgeries and used a walker for mobility. She needed assistance getting out of bed and to the bathroom, a nurse noted. Joanne now doubts that decision. Last month, Luveda fell from her bed in the night and pressed her personal emergency call button. The fall caused a two-inch gash on her leg, ... Read More

Lawmaker questions FDA priorities, suggests industry ties

Tainted batches of heparin may have raised concerns with the general public, but a recent Reuters report suggests the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would rather focus on giving product promotion advice to companies and journal reprints to physicians than food and drug safety scares. The FDA also planned to change its regulations to protect device makers’ FDA-approved products from lawsuits with a so-called preemptive clause, according to Reuters. The news agency says that in a letter from California Rep. Henry Waxman, to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, Waxman raised concerns that the items outlined on the FDA’s 2007 priorities ... Read More

Labor Day weekend Rhino rollover

Two youngsters in Amador County, California, were injured over the Labor Day weekend when the Rhino in which they were traveling rolled over during a turn, according to the local Ledger Dispatch. Both the driver and passenger were 17 years old. Their names have not been released due to their being minors. The Ledger Dispatch reports the driver, who was from Livermore, received “major injuries” to his neck and face, and was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment. The passenger, a resident of Galt, endured injuries to her neck and right arm and also was airlifted for treatment, ... Read More

California nursing home settles lawsuit

Just another reminder to do your homework when checking out nursing homes: Sun-Mar, a company that runs 18 skilled nursing facilities in Southern California, had boasted in its brochures about the outstanding care it provides. Unfortunately, that was found not to be the case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Sun-Mar agreed to pay $2 million to former residents in a settlement stemming from a class-action lawsuit that alleged substandard care of its elderly patients. The Times quoted the attorney in the case as saying, “These facilities are giving out brochures about this wonderful, superlative care — one need only ... Read More

Trasylol Pulled From Worldwide Market

Bayer AG suspended worldwide sales of Trasylol, a clotting drug using during heart surgery to prevent bleeding, on Monday following a request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove the drug from the American market for safety reasons. The FDA cannot identify a patient population in which the use of Trasylol (aprotinin) outweighs the risk, Dr. John K. Jenkins, director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, said at an early morning news conference Monday. However, he added, “The suspension will include a slow phase-out of Trasylol from the marketplace, to decrease the possibility of shortages of the ... Read More

Prius presents potential dangers

A recent report by ConsumerAffairs.com, a web site that provides information including consumer news, recalls, and scam alerts, warns motorists of several dangerous problems associated with the popular Toyota Prius hybrid automobile that could result in serious injury. The most dangerous complaints submitted to the watchdog web site about the vehicle include unintended acceleration, poor or non-existent traction control, and unusual tire wear. A man in Colorado reported an incident of unintended acceleration when his wife was at the wheel of their new Prius, which resulted in a totaled car and injuries. He says his wife noticed that the car ... Read More

FEMA Trailers Toxic

On May 25, MSNBC reported that investigation continues in cases of illness resulting from FEMA trailers provided to evacuees from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Formaldehyde was detected in the travel trailers and mobile homes in unusually high levels, and about 17,000 people are claiming the homes caused illnesses for themselves or loved ones. This report was written by MSNBC’s Spencer S. Hsu. WASHINGTON – Within days of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in August 2005, frantic officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered nearly $2.7 billion worth of trailers and mobile homes to house the storm’s victims, many of them using a ... Read More

Charge dropped due to Chantix use

A man who disrupted a Thanksgiving Day flight and forced an emergency landing has been let off the hook for federal charges after a judge determined the man was emotionally disturbed as a result of taking the stop-smoking drug Chantix, according to an Associated Press report. The man, Andrew James Smith, 25, of California, was prescribed the drug a few weeks before the flight. Factoring into the decision was the fact that Smith did not have any prior record of criminal activity or psychiatric disorders, the AP report says. This incident is the latest in a crop of reports that ... Read More

Diabetes drug Avandia could weaken bones

Avandia, a drug used by millions of diabetes patients, may contribute to bone loss, according to a new study conducted in mice. Experts fear that, over the long term, Avandia (rosiglitazone) may speed osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones that can lead to dangerous and even fatal fractures. The findings appear in the Dec. 2 online issue of Nature Medicine. “Our study suggests that long-term rosiglitazone usage in the treatment of type II diabetes may cause osteoporosis due to both increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation,” said study senior author Ron Evans, a professor at the Salk Institute for ... Read More