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New products, studies could make intrauterine birth control devices more popular

Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are considered a highly effective contraceptive device and more convenient than a once-a-day birth control pill. New products and studies currently underway may make them even more popular in the years to come, according to RH Reality Check, a “Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice News, Analysis & Commentary” website. Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cost of an IUD could ring in at as much as $1,000 if it was not covered by a person’s health insurance. Now, all plans are required to cover contraceptive methods and related services without ... Read More

Consumer Reports group pushes for warranties on artificial hips

Nearly a half-million Americans each year undergo hip replacement surgery, an invasive operation that requires weeks of rehabilitation. Typical hip implants can last 20 years or more before being replaced, but some have been shown to fail at a faster than expected rate. Thus, the Safe Patient Project, organized by Consumer Reports, is pushing for all hip implants to come with warranties. “One, it tells people how long this implant’s going to last,” said Lisa McGiffert of the Safe Patient Project. “It gives them realistic expectations. And two, it gives them a clear process to follow if their implant should ... Read More

Risperdal makers marketed bipolar drug to children despite alarming side effects

In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antipsychotic medication Risperdal (risperidone) to treat manic or mixed delusional episodes in adult patients with schizophrenia. Fourteen years later that the FDA expanded the indication to include children and adolescents, but only for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Yet, between 1993 and 2008, Risperdal was being administered “off label” to thousands of children, many of whom suffered complications from the drug, including death. In fact, the FDA ordered Johnson & Johnson in 2001 to change the drug’s label stating that the safety and efficacy of Risperdal in children ... Read More

Researchers credit increase in IUD use for a decrease in abortions

An increase in the number of women using intrauterine devices, or IUDs, for birth control may be credited for a drop in the number of abortions, a new study reports. The rate of abortions has dropped steadily in the past 20 years from about 19.4 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 1991 to a rate of 16.9 percent per 1,000 women, and there was a 13 percent drop since 2008. Lawmakers may boast state laws restrict abortion but researchers with Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization, say there is “no evidence” to support that assumption. After all, most ... Read More

5 health products that are dangerous to women

Medical devices, prescription drugs, and even consumer products offer unique benefits to women. But sometimes they can cause unexpected harm. Here are some products that women should use with caution: 1. Talcum powder – It might sound far-fetched, but women who apply baby powder or body powder regularly to their genitals are a third more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who do not use the product. Talcum powder, derived from talc, contains various elements, including asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Researchers say the powder when applied to the genitals can travel up the vagina through the uterus ... Read More

3 medical devices that can harm you

Medical devices are vitally important to the industry. They vary in complexity and application, from tongue depressors and disposable gloves to implants and prostheses. Because they are used to diagnose, prevent or treat disease or other conditions, these items are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their safety and efficacy. However, this does not guarantee the devices don’t have hidden design flaws that can cause serious health risks. Here are three commonly used medical devices that were designed to help people, but ultimately caused more harm that good: 1. Transvaginal mesh – Also known as vaginal ... Read More

IUD, most effective birth control method, carries risks

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than birth control pills, the patch or vaginal rings, because the device virtually eliminates the risk of human error, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, women should be aware of the risks before deciding on a method of birth control. IUDs are devices that are implanted in the cervix during a doctor’s office visit. They are small T-shaped devices that use either copper or hormones to prevent fertilization. There are three devices approved for use in the United States, including the ... Read More

Hospira recalls more vials of anesthetic Lidocaine due to contamination

Hospira has had its share of recalls during 2013 due to quality control issues with its injectable drugs. Once again, with just a week left in the calendar year, the pharmaceutical company has ordered another recall. The latest action involves one lot of Lidocaine HCl Injection, USP, 2%, 5mL Single-Dose Vials, due to a “reddish orange particulate on the inner surface and floating in the solution.” Lidocaine is a common local anesthetic and antiarrhythmic drug. The medication is given before and during surgery, childbirth, or dental work. It also treats emergency heart rhythm problems. It is available in different formulations, ... Read More

Device designed to make IUD implantation easier

Intrauterine devices, such as the Mirena IUD by Bayer Healthcare, are one of the most effective forms of birth control, but having them implanted can be painful. The process generally takes several minutes, during which a sharp, prong-like tool … is used to pierce the tissue of the cervix and clamp it and pull on it,” explains Ben Cappiello, chief scientific officer with Bioceptive. “It takes a lot of expertise to do it perfectly every time, and in a lot of places the IUD isn’t offered because people don’t know how to insert it,” he told WSJ. Inexperienced practitioners also ... Read More

Experimental vaccine shows promise against most aggressive brain tumors

More than 90 percent of patients with a highly reoccurring type of brain cancer treated with an experimental vaccine were alive six months after undergoing surgery, a far better prognosis than patients who followed standard treatment, according to a study published in the journal Neuro-Oncology and accompanied by an editorial highlighting the importance of the trial.  “The grim prognosis is exactly why new research is important,” says Orin Bloch, MD, a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and lead author of the study. The tumor, known as glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, is the same type of tumor that took the life ... Read More