Monday, August 6, 2012

Papers indicate firm knew possible Prozac suicide risk

By Tom Watkins

(CNN) -- An internal document purportedly from Eli Lilly and Co. made public Monday appears to show that the drug maker had data more than 15 years ago showing that patients on its antidepressant Prozac were far more likely to attempt suicide and show hostility than were patients on other antidepressants and that the company attempted to minimize public awareness of the side effects.

The document was provided to CNN by the office of Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-New York, who has called for tightening FDA regulations on drug safety.

"The case demonstrates the need for Congress to mandate the complete disclosure of all clinical studies for FDA-approved drugs so that patients and their doctors, not the drug companies, decide whether the benefits of taking a certain medicine outweigh the risks," he said.

The 1988 document indicated that 3.7 percent of patients attempted suicide while on the blockbuster drug, a rate more than 12 times that cited for any of four other commonly used antidepressants.

The document, which cited clinical trials of 14,198 patients on fluoxetine -- the generic name for Prozac -- also stated that 2.3 percent of users suffered psychotic depression while on the drug, more than double the next-highest rate of patients using another antidepressant. Read more…

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sex Talk Taking Place After the Fact

(HealthDay News) -- When it comes to talking about sex, parents are a few paces behind their kids.
Too often, the birds-and-the-bees conversation occurs after, and not before, kids start experimenting sexually, possibly in risky ways, reports a study in the January issue of Pediatrics.
This revelation comes despite American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that health-care providers and parents talk to their kids about sex and sexuality early in life.
"Parents are a little behind the 8 ball. They underestimate their children's sexual knowledge and interest and behaviors," said Dr. Lawrence Friedman, director of adolescent medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Read more…

Monday, June 25, 2012

Herbal Medicines for Arthritis Not Backed by Evidence

(HealthDay News) -- There is little evidence to support the widespread use of herbal medicines to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, according to a review of these products.

Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that involves damage to cartilage and other structures in and around the joints, particularly the fingers, knees and hips. It differs from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an immune-based disorder.

Devil's claw, cat's claw, ginger, nettle, rosehip, turmeric, willow bark, Indian frankincense and vegetable extracts of avocado or soybean oils are all among the herbal medicines traditionally used to treat osteoarthritis.

"Unfortunately, a large number of people suffer from osteoarthritis pain," said one expert, Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Read more…

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Heavy Smoking Tied to Advanced Kidney Cancer

(HealthDay News) -- Smoking increases the risk of advanced kidney cancer, researchers report.

In a new study, a team from Duke University Medical Center reviewed the cases of 845 patients who had had surgery for kidney cancer -- or renal cell carcinoma -- between 2000 and 2009. They found that current and former smokers were 1.5 to 1.6 times more likely to have advanced cancer than nonsmokers.

Heavy smoking (smoking for a longer period of time and smoking more) was associated with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Kicking the habit reduced the risk of advanced disease by 9 percent for every 10 years that a former smoker was smoke-free, the investigators found.

The findings were slated for presentation Sunday at a special press conference at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Another study scheduled for presentation at the same briefing found that rates of bladder cancer did not fall along with lower rates of smoking in the United States. Read more…

Cardiofy Heart Care Supplement

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another Blood Fat Fuels Heart Attack Risk

(HealthDay News) -- Yet another type of blood fat may be linked to higher cardiac risk, a new study suggests.

A Danish study finds an increased risk of heart attacks in people whose genes give them high blood levels of a cholesterol-related blood fat, lipoprotein(a), but the researchers say more work is needed to justify treatment to reduce those levels.

"We show that those with the 10 percent highest lipoprotein(a) have a two- to threefold increased risk of myocardial infarction [heart attack], similar to that for the highest LDL cholesterol levels," said Dr. Borge G. Nordestgaard, a professor of clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University, and lead author of a report in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

However, a large-scale trial is needed to tell whether drugs aimed at reducing lipoprotein(a) (LPA) levels would lower the risk, Nordestgaard said. One compound, niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is known to reduce LPA levels, he said. Read more…

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bipolar Disorder Might Be Overdiagnosed

(HealthDay News) -- Bipolar disorder may be overdiagnosed, say researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University.

They found that fewer than half of patients previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder were assessed using a comprehensive psychiatric diagnostic interview -- the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID).

Recent reports suggest that under-diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be an issue, while this study indicates that there's an equal or greater problem with overdiagnosis, the study authors said.

They looked at 700 psychiatric patients who were interviewed using the SCID and completed a self-administered questionnaire between May 2001 and March 2005. The questionnaire asked patients if they'd been previously diagnosed with bipolar or manic-depressive disorder by a health-care professional. Read more…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Enriched Skim Milk Good for Gout, Study Suggests

(HealthDay News) -- If you have gout, drinking enriched skim milk may help reduce the frequency of painful flare-ups, new research suggests.

The new study included 120 patients who had experienced at least two flare-ups in the previous four months. They were divided into three treatment groups that consumed either lactose powder, skim milk powder or skim milk powder enriched with glycomacropeptide (GMP) and G600 milk fat extract (G600).

Gout, a common form of arthritis, is caused by uric acid buildup in blood. Often, the big toe is the first place where gout strikes. Previous research has shown a higher risk for gout among people who consume fewer dairy products, and earlier work suggested that GMP and G600 tone down the inflammatory response to gout crystals.

The powders were mixed in roughly 8 ounces of water as a vanilla-flavored shake and consumed once a day. The patients recorded their flare-ups and went to a rheumatology clinic once a month. Read more…


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