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Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

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Some Birth Control Pills May Up Breast Cancer Risk

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – Birth control pills containing high doses of estrogen, along with some other formulations, may increase the risk of breast cancer in women under 50, new preliminary research suggests. "There are numerous oral contraceptive formulations," explained lead researcher Elisabeth Beaber, a staff scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "Some of these formulations increase breast cancer risk while other formulations do not raise risk." Overall, birth control pill use within the past year was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of breast cancer risk compared with former use or no use of birth control pills, Beaber found. This study was designed to find a possible link between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk in younger women. But, it wasn't designed to prove that birth control pills definitively cause the increased risk. ... Read more

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Stroke Prevention for Women: Start Early

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 – Stroke typically affects women in their later years, but doctors are now beginning to focus on helping them cut their risk earlier in life. This increased attention to risk factors in early adult years was recommended by new guidelines that were released earlier this year by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Those guidelines are now being phased into practice by primary care doctors, experts say. For women, that translates to more screening for risk factors during office visits and more interventions to ensure a healthy lifestyle to reduce stroke risk, said Dr. Louise McCullough, director of the Stroke Center at the University of Connecticut in Farmington. McCullough is the co-author of a summary of the guidelines that was published June 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Stroke is a serious interruption or reduction of ... Read more

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Obesity, 'The Pill' May Raise MS Risk, Research Suggests

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – Obesity and birth control pills may play some role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), two new studies suggest. One team of researchers found that people who were obese at age 20 had double the risk of developing MS in their lifetime. The researchers suspect a hormone called leptin, which influences appetite, may be causing inflammation that somehow triggers MS. Meanwhile, a second group of scientists found that women who had taken birth control pills were 35 percent more likely to develop MS, and they suggest the hormones in the pills may have an influence in development of the disease. "These studies are pointing us to potential factors that might contribute to MS," said Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. However, he added that it's too soon to make any changes based on either of these studies. ... Read more

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Health Tip: When Food and Drugs Interact

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

-- When food and drinks interact with medication, the medication may not work sufficiently or the drug can become too powerful as the body has trouble handling it properly. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics mentions these common examples of food and drug interaction: Grapefruit juice interacts with several drugs and may affect the way the body metabolizes medication. Drugs that may interact with grapefruit juice include: some statins, antihistamines, thyroid medications, blood pressure medications, birth control pills, cough suppressants and medications that block stomach acids. Blood-thinning medications can interact with leafy green vegetables, affecting the blood's clotting ability. Natural black licorice may interact with certain blood pressure medications and blood-thinning medications. Salt substitutes can interact with ACE inhibitors and digoxin. Tyramine (found in foods ... Read more

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'The Pill' Tied to Raised Risk of Glaucoma

Posted 18 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 – Taking birth control pills for more than three years may increase a woman's risk of developing the eye disease glaucoma, a new study suggests. The findings are from an investigation involving more than 3,400 women aged 40 and older who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2008. "At this point, women who have taken oral contraceptives for three or more years should be screened for glaucoma and followed closely by an ophthalmologist, especially if they have any other existing risk factors," said lead researcher Dr. Shan Lin, professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco. Women who took birth control pills for longer than three years were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with glaucoma, according to the study. The findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Olympia Pharmacy Sterile Compounded Products: Recall - Concerns About Sterility Assurance

Posted 5 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

  [Posted 05/30/2013] ISSUE: Lowlite Investments d/b/a Olympia Pharmacy ("Lowlite") notified the public of a voluntary multi-state recall of all sterile drug products compounded by the pharmacy that have not reached the expiration date listed on the product. The recall is being initiated due to concerns associated with prior quality control procedures that impacted sterility assurance. In the event a sterile product is compromised patients are at risk for serious and possible life threatening infections. The recall includes all sterile products that Olympia Pharmacy supplied to patients and offices of licensed medical professionals with a use by date of 09/25/2013 or earlier. Olympia Pharmacy will be notifying customers by phone, fax, or mail to return the products to the pharmacy. BACKGROUND: To date, Lowlite has received no reports of injury or illness associated with the use of the a ... Read more

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U.S. Teen Birth Rate Plummets: Report

Posted 23 May 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 23 – Teen birth rates in the United States are dropping sharply, especially among Hispanic teens, according to a new government report. Overall, the rate of birth among teens aged 15 to 19 dropped by nearly one half from 1991 to 2011 – from about 62 births for every 1,000 teens to 31 births for every 1,000. From 2007 to 2011, the most recent time period studied, rates fell 25 percent, from 41.5 to about 31. During that time, rates fell at least 30 percent in seven states, and Arizona and Utah each saw a 35 percent drop, said Brady Hamilton, a statistician at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and a co-author of the report, which was released Thursday. All but two states – North Dakota and West Virginia – reported drops of at least 15 percent, the researchers found. They tracked live births, not pregnancies. "It's good news," Hamilton said. "But it shows ... Read more

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Health Tip: Possible Causes of Dry Eye

Posted 21 May 2013 by Drugs.com

-- You produce tears to help keep your eyes moist and protected from irritants. But dry eye can make your eyes vulnerable and uncomfortable. The National Eye Institute says possible causes of dry eye include: Certain medications, including birth control pills, antidepressants, antihistamines and blood pressure drugs. Diseases of the eye or nearby skin. Damage to the eye, such as from chemical exposure. Health conditions, such as thyroid problems, allergies or immune disorders. Irritation caused by use of contact lenses, or after LASIK surgery. Pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy or some homeopathic remedies. Not blinking frequently enough during use of a computer screen. Read more

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Low-Dose 'Pill' Linked to Pain During Orgasm, Study Finds

Posted 3 May 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 3 – Women taking birth control pills with lower amounts of estrogen – a commonly prescribed contraceptive – may be at higher risk for chronic pelvic pain and pain during orgasm, according to new research. A study of nearly 1,000 women found that women on the lower-dose oral contraceptives were more likely than those on the standard dose (with higher estrogen levels), or those not on the pill, to report pelvic pain. "In our practice, we have seen a lot of this anecdotally," said Dr. Nirit Rosenblum, assistant professor of urology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, a specialist in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. To investigate the potential link further, she compared pain symptoms of women on low-dose birth control pills with those not on pills and those on standard doses. She is scheduled to present the findings Tuesday at the American ... Read more

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Millions Still Lack Access to Modern Contraception, Study Says

Posted 11 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 11 – The number of women worldwide using modern contraceptive methods such as birth control pills is increasing, but an estimated 233 million women with partners may not have access to these methods in 2015, a new study suggests. That means these women would have to rely on traditional contraceptive methods, such as not having sex or withdrawal of the penis before ejaculation. Researchers analyzed data from 1990 to 2010 about women of reproductive age (15 to 49) in 194 countries and found that the use of contraception by married women increased from 55 percent to 63 percent during that time, while the unmet need for contraception fell from 15 percent to 12 percent. (Women with unmet need are those who want to delay or stop childbearing but aren't using any method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.) However, because of population growth and other factors, total ... Read more

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Teen Pregnancy-Prevention Program Works, Study Says

Posted 25 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 25 – Teenage girls at high risk for pregnancy were more likely to use condoms and birth control pills after taking part in a prevention program specifically designed for them, a new study says. The Prime Time program is provided at primary care clinics and is meant to change girls' sexual risk behaviors using measures such as personal case management and youth leadership opportunities, according to Renee Sieving of the University of Minnesota, and colleagues. "Findings suggest that health services grounded in a youth development framework can lead to long-term reductions in sexual risk among vulnerable youth," the study authors wrote. Their study, published online Feb. 25 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, included 253 sexually active girls, aged 13 to 17. About half were assigned to the Prime Time program while the others were assigned to a control group that received no ... Read more

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Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

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Obama Administration Revises Controversial Contraception Mandate

Posted 4 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 – Religious organizations that object to providing birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act would be allowed to hand that responsibility off to a third party under new rules proposed Friday by the Obama administration. The so-called "contraception mandate" has already been challenged in court by numerous groups on the grounds that it violates their religious beliefs. Federal health officials said Friday that the new rules are an attempt to address some of those concerns. "The [Obama] administration is committed to working with all employers to give them the flexibility and resources they need to implement the health care law in a way that both protects women's health and also makes common-sense accommodations for religious beliefs," Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, deputy director for policy and regulation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center ... Read more

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Migraine With Aura May Raise Risk of Heart Trouble

Posted 15 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 – Women who suffer from migraines with visual effects called aura may face an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, new studies find. Only high blood pressure was a more powerful predictor of cardiovascular trouble, the researchers said. There are things women with this type of migraine can do to reduce that risk, they added: lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid smoking, eat healthfully and exercise. "Other studies have found that this form of migraine has been associated with the risk of stroke, and may be associated with any cardiovascular disease," said lead author Dr. Tobias Kurth, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "We find migraine with aura is a quite strong contributor to major cardiovascular disease. It is one of the top two risk factors." ... Read more

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