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Bacterium may increase risk for type 2 diabetes

A type of ulcer-causing bacterium may be linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese adults, and may offer clues on how to prevent the development of diabetes in these individuals in the future, according to a NYU Langone Medical Center study. The bacterium, known as Helicobacter pylori, is an organism that can affect both children and adults, yet in entirely different ways. In children, it has been found to protect against asthma and allergy. Infections beginning in childhood have also been linked decades later to stomach and small intestine ulcers, as well as an increased ... Read More

FDA considers selling Rx meds for chronic diseases available OTC

Prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes may soon be available over the counter if a new proposal by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approved. The federal agency hopes making drugs for common chronic diseases readily available to the public will ensure that people take them as needed. The FDA says people who are not willing to take certain medications as prescribed for many chronic illnesses put themselves at risk for more serious health problems and ultimately put a strain on the country’s health care system. For example, untreated high blood pressure puts people at ... Read More

Concussion symptoms linger for months in many children, new study finds

Many children who suffer a concussion continue to experience physical and cognitive problems up to a year after their injury, a new study conducted by a group of pediatric physicians has found. The study, published Monday in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, involved 186 children ages 8 to 15 who went to the emergency rooms of two hospitals with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). One of the study’s authors, Dr. Keith Yeates of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, told Reuters that the vast majority of children recover very well after suffering a mild TBI. However, “the not-so-good news ... Read More

Judge OKs sale of generic Paxil despite risk for birth defects

A U.S. judge has ruled that GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) can sell a generic copy of its Paxil CR antidepressant to Apotex Inc., denying a bid from generic drug company Mylan to block the sale. Mylan signed a two-year agreement in 2008 to market a copy of Paxil. It claimed GSK was breaching its contract by selling a copy of Paxil to another drug company. Since Paxil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992, it has become one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world. Paxil is in a class of medications known as selective ... Read More

Injection therapy for incontinence may be safer than transvaginal mesh

A new procedure for treating urinary incontinence in women has been approved for use in the United Kingdom. The innovative new injection therapy offers another alternative to women who are seeking treatment for this common condition. Urinary incontinence is a bladder weakness that can be caused by age, childbirth, or weight gain. Special exercises are the least invasive option, but one of the more common procedures is the vaginal insertion of surgical mesh, also known as a bladder sling. The product is far from flawless. In some women, the mesh has eroded into the vaginal wall, causing excruciating pain and ... Read More

FDA warns of mercury poisoning with some cosmetic creams, soaps

Consumers are being warned not to use certain types of skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps or lotions because they contain mercury. Exposure to mercury can cause serious health consequences including damage to the kidneys and nervous system. The products in question are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. Adolescents also may use these products as acne treatments. Products with this toxic metal have been found in at least seven states. The products are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States – often in shops in Latino, Asian, African, ... Read More

Serious bleeding events associated with blood thinner Pradaxa

Just a year after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pradaxa (dabigatran) to prevent blood clots in patients with a life threatening type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, the agency announced it was looking into reports of serious bleeding events associated with the drug. The review was prompted by a European Medicines Agency (EMA) safety update that noted “a worldwide total of 256 spontaneous case reports of serious bleeding resulting in death.” But serious bleeding was not the only concern the EMA expressed about Pradaxa. A meta-analysis of seven randomized clinical trials published online in the January ... Read More

Feds probe sudden unintended acceleration in Ford and Mercury vehicles

Federal regulators investigating the potential for sudden unintended acceleration in Ford and Mercury cars expanded their probe this week to encompass nearly 2 million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched its investigation on Sunday in response to a number of complaints it received of Ford Taurus cars suddenly accelerating on their own. The investigation started with 360,000 2005-2006 Taurus Sedans, but on Monday grew to include another 1.56 million vehicles, including Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans made in the 2001 through 2005 model years. Reminiscent of the sudden unintended acceleration recalls that sent millions of Toyota and Lexus ... Read More

Defibrillator recall reinforces need for tougher quality standards

A nationwide recall is underway for a type of automated external defibrillator (AED) manufactured by Cardiac Science. The device, designed to resuscitate patients who are in cardiac arrest, has a defect that may cause it not to deliver adequate defibrillator therapy, which could lead to serious injury or death. This recall is listed as a Class 1, which is the most serious type of recall and involves situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of these products may cause serious adverse health consequences or death. AEDs by various manufacturers have been plagued by defects over the years, ... Read More

Pregnant women who use SSRIs are less likely to breast feed

Women who take a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) during pregnancy are far less likely to breast-feed their babies than women who did not take the medication while pregnant, according to a new study. Researchers with Connecticut Pregnancy Exposure Information Service, a state-funded service that provides women with information about exposures during pregnancy and breast-feeding, pored through data from 466 pregnant women who contacted the CPEIS’ California affiliate over 10 years with questions about a variety of exposures. The results showed that women who took an SSRI at any time during their pregnancy were about ... Read More