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side effects 620 articles

anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce breast cancer risk

Medications typically taken for pain relief may help reduce the risk of some breast cancers, according to a recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers analyzed data from 38 observational studies involving more than 2.7 million women to see whether taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, reduced risk of breast cancer. Inflammation may be a risk factor in cancer, the report says. Earlier studies on NSAIDS in reducing breast cancer risk have shown conflicting results. Reviewers hope that by combining results they may identify trends that individual studies may miss. NSAIDs work ... Read More

FDA finds link between Revlimid and skin diseases

The FDA’s post-market safety review has uncovered a link between lenalidomide (marketed as the drug Revlimid) and serious skin reactions, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). The FDA approved Celgene Corp.’s Revlimid in December 2005 to treat a bone marrow disorder. It was later approved for use in treatment of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. Earlier this month, Revlimid appeared on a list of approximately twenty drugs under investigation by the FDA for possible safety hazards. No details about the specific concerns were made available at that time. From the drug’s approved use in ... Read More

scientist cautions against dismissing Vytorin-cancer link

Does Vytorin increase the risk of cancer death? The question seems like it would be simple to answer, yet finding the answer requires navigating through a murky labyrinth of botched test results, apparent cover-ups, possible payoffs, and a whorl of conflicting interpretations that sometimes resemble self-interest, sometimes truth, depending on whom you ask. The University of Washington’s Thomas Fleming is one respected statistician and adviser to the FDA who cautions against dismissing Vytorin’s link to cancer as merely an anomaly. Leading researchers involved with the SEAS study, which uncovered a Vytorin-cancer link, maintain that the results were a fluke. In ... Read More

October is breast cancer month; time to evaluate breast health

October is breast cancer awareness month, which makes it a perfect time for women currently taking or considering taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), to assess their breast health. For years, HRT was considered the cure-all for menopausal symptoms that range from hot flashes and riding the emotional roller coaster to bone loss and osteoporosis. But a 2002 study by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and funded by the National Institutes of Health stopped women and their doctors in their tracks when the research revealed that the risks of HRT far outweighed and outnumbered the benefits. The WHI report stated that ... Read More

Chantix and driving: my experience

Yesterday I wrote about the non-psychiatric side effects of Chantix and how studies are beginning to reveal how those side effects can adversely affect one’s driving. Loss of consciousness, dizziness, confusion, aggression, and muscle spasms can all happen to a Chantix user who is behind the wheel. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but I have had enough first-hand experience with Chantix to know these newest warnings are worth emphasizing. Right after I read that Chantix was the culprit in several motor vehicle accidents, a couple of incidents that happened to me while I was taking Chantix and driving suddenly ... Read More

Chantix played role in traffic accidents

By now we know that Chantix is dangerous for some people who use the drug, but mounting evidence suggests that people who don’t use it may also be harmed. Since Chantix became available for smoking cessation in August of 2006, the FDA has received a steady influx of reports connecting the drug to traffic accidents. Moreover, while the medical community and the media are focused on the negative psychiatric effects that some Chantix users experience, researchers now believe that the non-psychiatric effects may be worse. Thomas J. Moore, an independent researcher who analyzed the safety of Chantix for the FDA, told ... Read More

FDA broadens investigation of drugs and suicide

Many medical researchers find little surprise that Chantix has been linked to higher than normal rates of depression and suicide. Varenicline (the chemical name of Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug) goes to work directly in the brain by targeting certain receptors and simulating that feeling of having already smoked – that “full” feeling smokers feel after they’ve lit up one or two. Other pharmaceuticals that go to work directly in the brain include antidepressants, some of which have also been linked to behavioral problems and suicide. Now the FDA is paying closer attention to the potential psychiatric effects of non-psychiatric drugs. ... Read More

Chantix ads back on television

Next week, Pfizer will once again be running Chantix ads on television. Pfizer stopped running Chantix ads last year amid increasing concern over the drug’s side effects. The familiar tortoise and the hare ads will resume on Sunday, September 14, with lengthened warnings about potential side effects. The extended warnings will occupy 41 seconds of the ad, which will run for 90 seconds – 30 seconds longer than the old ads. According to an article in Forbes magazine, Chantix is in line to become Pfizer’s vital cash cow as patent protection for some of the company’s successful older medications expires. ... Read More

SEAS study may link Vytorin, cancer

Today in Munich, Germany, researchers presented all of the data from the SEAS (Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis) study to the European Society of Cardiology. The SEAS study roused concern back in July when researchers revealed a possible link between cancer and the Zetia half of Vytorin. The study, which monitored the progress of 1,873 subjects, found that 37 of the subjects taking Vytorin died of cancer, compared to 20 subjects who died of cancer while receiving a placebo. The data is rightfully alarming, but the study’s leaders maintain that it is a fluke. To support their claim, they ... Read More

FMCSA stops short of Chantix ban

Following the release of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) public health advisory on Chantix in May, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration all but outright banned the use of Chantix for commercial drivers. In a statement issued May 23 by Administrator John H. Hill, he would not go so far as to specifically prohibit the use of Chantix for interstate truck and bus drivers, saying the FMCSA would not “name any medications, such as Chantix, in FMCSA regulations.” However, the FMCSA does prohibit the use of prescribed substances or drugs that adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely ... Read More