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deadly 116 articles

Accidental exposure to pain, nicotine, birth control patches can be deadly

Transdermal patches that administer medication through the skin can be dangerous and even deadly if children get their hands on them, according to government records. There are about 60 different kinds of drugs sold as patches in the United States, and they contain medications such as nicotine, painkillers and birth control hormones. Users simply apply the patches to the skin and then discard them after use. The patches work relatively well to deliver medication into the bloodstream without having to be swallowed or received intravenously. However, problems arise when those patches – used or new – get in contact with ... 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

Is it safe to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs without a prescription?

Cholesterol-lowering statins were the most prescribed medication in 2010, and drug maker Pfizer hopes to make its drug Lipitor even more widely available by making it available over-the-counter, without a prescription. Statin medications are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. High cholesterol levels have been linked to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. Side effects associated with statin medications are relatively rare, but can be deadly. ... Read More

Study finds HRT breast cancers are more likely to be advanced, deadly

The evidence weighing the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopausal and postmenopausal women continues to tip toward the same conclusion – that taking HRT is dangerous. HRT was once heralded as a cure-all for problematic symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, sleeping difficulties, mood swings and vaginal dryness. It was also given the added benefit of protecting women against heart disease and osteoporosis. However, opinion quickly changed in 2002, after a large study of postmenopausal women found that HRT that combined the hormones estrogen and progesterone increased a woman’s risk for breast cancer by about one extra ... Read More

Family of deceased 15-year-old girl files Yasmin lawsuit

The family of a 15-year-old North Carolina girl who was taking the birth control pill Yasmin to treat her acne and then died of a pulmonary embolism, are suing the drug’s maker Bayer, claiming the company did not adequately warn users of the potentially deadly health risks associated with its oral contraceptive. The girl was prescribed Yasmin, manufactured by Bayer,  when she was 13 by her dermatologist to help clear up her acne. Her prescription was later changed to the generic Ocella, also manufactured by Bayer but marketed by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Yasmin and Ocella are part of a family of ... Read More

Dr. Oz warns post-menopausal guest to stay away from HRT

How important is it for a post-menopausal woman to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? Audience member Rosemarie posed the question to Dr. Oz, the popular television doctor. Rosemarie says she became post-menopausal three years ago and she has never taken HRT. Hormone replacement therapy was designed to boost hormone levels in menopausal and post-menopausal women and help them deal with symptoms such as irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and sleeplessness. If you asked drug companies – especially 20 years ago when HRT was widely prescribed – they would rattle off a laundry list of extra benefits ranging from ... Read More

Scientists working on birth control device for men

For women, choosing a birth control method is complicated. For starters, birth control pills carry a frightening list of warnings on their safety labels. While the risks are considered remote, it’s hard to trust drug companies when they say their medication is safe. Just look at the thousands of lawsuits drug maker Bayer is facing over its top-selling oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin. The lawsuits claim the pharmaceutical company didn’t warn users that they were at even greater risk for deadly blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. It’s time women put the burden of contraception on the men. A team ... Read More

Public Citizen raised flags about Darvocet, now warns of Alli, Xenical

Consumer watchdog group Public Citizen was the first to raise concerns about the safety of propoxyphene, the active ingredient in the brand-name drugs Darvocet and Darvon. The group petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) twice since the prescription painkiller was introduced more than 50 years ago. Public Citizen claimed the drug had a sketchy track record for efficacy and that patients were needlessly dying from accidental overdoses while taking the drug. The FDA opted to keep propoxyphene-containing drugs on the market, but did agree to put stronger warnings on the product’s safety label. Still, Public Citizen urged, it was ... Read More

Prescription drug abuse deaths skyrocketing

Prescription drug abuse has escalated in recent years, and one place where it is most evident is in Ohio. According to the Department of Health, fatal overdoses in that state more than quadrupled in the last decade, and by 2007 had surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death. Of further concern is another report that showed nearly 10 percent of all babies born in Scioto County, Ohio, tested positive for drugs. Deaths caused by prescription drug abuse exceed those killed by crack cocaine in the 1980s and heroin in the 1970s, combined. This week, the Obama administration ... Read More

Chron’s, colitis drug linked to deadly cancer

A fast-growing and deadly type of cancer has been reported in patients – in particular, adolescents and young adults – who are taking a type of medication used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted doctors that a rare cancer of white blood cells known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL has been linked to medicines called tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine and/or mercaptopurine. TNF blockers include Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etancercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab). HSTCL is an aggressive cancer that is usually fatal. ... Read More