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hospitalizations 45 articles

Number of people and states affected by stomach bug parasite increases

Health officers are still not sure of the source of a parasite that has sickened at least 285 people in 11 states. The parasite, known as cyclospora, is a microscopic protozoa that is commonly linked to fresh produce. The prime suspects are fresh raspberries, basil, snow peas and lettuce, though no specific foods have been identified. People infected with cyclosporasis experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss that can last weeks. The illness is easily treated with antibiotics. At least 10 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. Cyclosporasis is usually spread through contaminated water. ... Read More

Woman files $5 million lawsuit against makers of transvaginal mesh

A Canadian woman is suing the makers and distributors of her transvaginal mesh device, alleging that rather than treat her urinary incontinence, the device has caused her chronic pain, recurrent infections, and completely ruined her sex life. She is asking for $5 million to cover her pain and suffering, among other damages. Virginia Corkum filed the lawsuit this week in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. Named in the lawsuit are Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Inc., and Gynecare Worldwide. According to the complaint, Corkum was implanted with the Gynecare Tension Free Vaginal Tape-Obturator sling mesh, also known as a bladder ... Read More

Studies raise red flags about safety of type 2 diabetes drugs Januvia, Byetta

Manufacturers of a class of type 2 diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics may be covering up data that suggests the medication may cause pancreatic cancer, a British Medical Journal/Channel 4 investigation reveals. This year alone three different studies have questioned the safety of the drugs. First, in February, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that patients taking the incretin mimetics Januvia (sitagliptin) and Byetta (exenatide), also known as GLP-1 drugs, were twice as likely to be hospitalized for acute pancreatitis than patients who took other classes of medication. In April, an analysis of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data ... Read More

Woman’s bone disease linked to Mirena IUD

A 33-year-old woman who used the Mirena Intrauterine Device (IUD) for birth control for about six months developed a serious bone disease that left her disabled. The Mirena IUD was considered the primary source of her condition, according to researchers with AdverseEvents. According to the case study filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting Program, the woman developed avascular necrosis in her hips and right shoulder shortly after being implanted with the IUD. After the device was removed, the necrosis did not spread to her right shoulder. (Avascular necrosis tends to affect parallel joints.) The woman had ... Read More

2009 swine flu vaccine linked to paralyzing disease

The H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine given in the United States in 2009 was associated with a slight increased risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare paralyzing disease, a new study shows. However the authors say the benefits of the flu shot outweigh the risks. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. It usually begins with weakness and tingling in the hands or feet that can quickly spread and paralyze the entire body. People with the most severe form of the disorder require medical attention and hospitalization. Most people recover from the disorder though some ... Read More

Study questions effectiveness of Tamiflu in reducing hospitalizations, complications

Both Hoffman-LaRoche, manufacturer of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging people to ask their doctors for Tamiflu at the first sign of illness that could be flu. And, their paid advertisements and public service announcements appear to be reaching their target. People are flooding doctor’s offices and emergency rooms asking for the drug by name. Doctors are obliging, likely because they’ve seen the Tamiflu ads that claim the anti-viral medication can cut hospital admissions by 61 percent and reduce complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis by 67 percent. In ... Read More

Salmonella outbreak tied to ground beef sickens at least 16

An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium that has sickened at least 16 people in five states has been linked to ground beef sold by two retail stores in Michigan, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday. An ongoing investigation by the CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and a number of state health officials has identified the source of the contaminated beef as Jouni Meats Inc. of Sterling Heights, Mich. and Gab Halal Foods in Troy, Mich. Seven of the 16 people (six Michigan residents and one Arizonan) known to have been ... Read More

Roche agrees to compromise with BMJ over Tamiflu safety, efficacy data

Pharmaceutical company Roche says it has agreed to talk to external groups about full access to data on its anti-flu medication Tamiflu (oseltamivir), a move prompted by criticism that the drug company had refused to release data on the safety and efficacy the antiviral medication. In October, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) called on European governments to sue Roche claiming there was no evidence that the drug is effective in stopping the influenza virus. Governments around the world paid billions to stockpile the drug in 2009 during the swine flu pandemic. It is also used to treat seasonal flu and ... Read More

FDA warns consumers to keep eye drops, nasal sprays out of reach of children

Small bottles that deliver drops of medicine to take redness out of eyes or nasal sprays to relieve congestion can be attractive nuisances for young children who are apt to put them in their mouths. However, doing so could cause serious health problems, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eye drops and nose sprays, including those sold over the counter, contain the active ingredients tetahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline – known as imidazoline derivatives. These include the brand names Visine, Dristan and Mucinex, as well as generic and store brands. One teaspoonful of eye drops or nasal sprays containing imidazoline ... Read More

Energy drinks linked to high blood pressure, heart disturbances

Energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster Energy, have become a popular alternative to sodas with their promise to give consumers a caffeinated boost of energy. But a new study shows that the drinks may deliver more than consumers bargain for, including potentially serious health risks such as  increased blood pressure, heart palpitations and arrhythmias, anxiety, and insomnia. Polish researchers asked 18 healthy individuals ages 20-35 to consume one of two energy drinks. One drink contained 120 milligrams of caffeine, and the other contained 360 milligrams of caffeine. For comparison, an 8-ounce of brewed coffee has between 100 and 200 ... Read More