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Drug company to seek FDA approval for first ‘female Viagra’

Sprout Pharmaceuticals says it will resubmit an application for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its “female Viagra” pill by the end of the year in hopes of having the first marketed pill to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD, in women. HSDD is the most commonly reported female complaint and is characterized by a decreased libido that causes personal distress or personal difficulties. An estimated 1 in 10 women are affected by the disorder. Filbanserin is a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and 5-HT2A receptor antagonist that was initially investigated as an antidepressant. Preclinical studies suggest that fibanserin targets ... Read More

Nationwide fruit recall expanded over concerns of Listeria Monocytogenes contamination

A nationwide recall on nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots potentially contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria has been expanded to include additional retailers and store items made with the affected fruit. Cutler, Calif.-based Wawona Packing Co. voluntarily recalled the fruit on July 19 after an Australian importer’s test detected slight levels of the Listeria bacteria on three peaches. Wawona said in a statement that the Listeria it found fell “within tolerance levels” set by the Australian government. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has a zero-tolerance rule for listeria monocytogenes, prompting Wawona to retain a private laboratory to ... Read More

California fruit company issues nationwide recall after finding Listeria contamination

CUTLER, Calif. — A California fruit distributer has recalled several lots of nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots sent out to retailers nationwide over fears that it could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Wawona Packing Co. President Brent Smittercamp said that the company was recalling the products after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Internal testing at Wawona’s Tulare County packing facility in central California found some of the fruit to be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious illness and may be fatal to young children the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals ... Read More

Chia seeds recalled after the health food was linked to salmonella poisonings

At least 21 people have been infected with salmonella bacteria after eating chia seed powder, prompting a product recall and a multistate health investigation. Chia seeds are a health food product commonly blended into smoothies or into snacks to enhance diets with added nutrients and curb appetite for weight loss. The seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico, and are the same seeds used to sprout grass-like “fur” on clay figurines called Chia Pets. These illnesses are the first to link the food borne illness salmonella to chia seed powder. The salmonella bacteria is most often found ... Read More

Bayer files motion to dismiss some of its Mirena IUD lawsuits

Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is hoping to ditch some of the 450 lawsuits it faces over inadequate warnings for possible complications with its Mirena intrauterine device on the grounds that the cases have exceeded the statute of limitations. The Mirena IUD is a flexible, T-shaped device that is inserted into the cervix to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel asked attorneys on both sides of the issue to select a dozen cases to serve as an initial disposition pool with a goal of going to trial. The lawsuits allege that the Mirena IUD can migrate from ... Read More

Benicar lawsuits claim blood pressure drug caused intestinal problems, severe diarrhea

Several lawsuits have been filed over the blood pressure-lowering drug Benicar, representing what some legal experts say is just the “tip of the iceberg.” The lawsuits claim the drug caused patients to develop intestinal problems resulting in chronic diarrhea and dramatic weight loss. Benicar is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo and marketed in the United States by Forest Laboratories. It contains the drug ingredient olmesartan medoxomil, which is also found in the blood pressure drugs Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, as well as generics. Olmesartan medoxomil is known as a angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB. It is either used alone ... Read More

FDA, CDC investigating possible link between illnesses and Uncle Ben’s rice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating illnesses of children and teachers in three states to determine if they may have been caused by Uncle Ben’s infused rice served in schools and day cares. The illnesses affected children in Texas, Illinois, and North Dakota. One of the worst outbreaks was in Katy, Texas, where 34 students and four teachers at three different schools reported skin reactions, burning, headaches, and nausea after eating Uncle Ben’s “Mexican flavor” infused rice. The symptoms persisted for 30 to 90 minutes. The reactions prompted the ... Read More

Mayflower residents say Exxon pipeline spill sickened them, devastated their town

Nearly a year after Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, many residents continue to cope with displacement, chronic health problems, rejected claims and unanswered questions. “They have devastated Mayflower,” Genieve Long, one town resident, told msnbc. Ms. Long lives in an area just outside of the neighborhood that was flooded with thousands of barrels of toxic bitumen shale oil that Exxon was moving from Canada to a refinery in Texas. Twenty-two homes were evacuated in the March 2013 disaster, but most residents whose property wasn’t physically touched by the oil leak have found nowhere to turn. ... Read More

Study looks at safety of Reglan as treatment for morning sickness

The acid reflux drug metoclopramide may be a safe and effective morning sickness treatment for pregnant women, a new study suggest. Metoclopramide, also known by the brand name Reglan, is used to treat esophageal reflux disease (GERD), nausea, vomiting and diabetic gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach digests food too slowly. Researchers looked at data from more than 40,000 women who were given metoclopramide while pregnant and found they were no more likely to have a miscarriage or have a baby with birth defects than women who did not take the drug. About half of all pregnant women experience nausea ... Read More

USDA allows poultry plants linked to salmonella outbreak to stay open

Foster Farms, the poultry farm identified as the source of a multi-state outbreak of salmonella poisonings, was forced to explain to federal authorities how it plans to stop the rash of illnesses or else three of its slaughterhouses would be shut down. The warning letter highlighted unsanitary conditions at the plants and cited a dozen instances this year in which feces was found on carcasses. The company was able to show the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) satisfactory plans to improve conditions, thus the plants will remain operational for now. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service also did not ... Read More