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Genetic Tweaks in Mosquitoes Might Curb Malaria Transmission

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – Two new methods of genetic modification may reduce the risk of mosquitoes spreading the infectious disease malaria to people, researchers report. Malaria kills more than 400,000 people worldwide each year. It's a disease that's transmitted by mosquitoes to people. The majority of those who die from the disease are children aged 5 and under in sub-Saharan Africa. The first of the two new approaches came from a study team led by Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena. He's a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The researchers used a strain of bacteria that can spread rapidly in mosquitoes. The bacteria can also remain long-term in malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A genetically modified version of the bacteria inhibits development of the malaria parasite. That means the chances that the mosquitoes can transmit these parasites to people are ... Read more

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Some Medicines Boost Sensitivity to Sun

Posted 17 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – It's well-known that too much time in the sun puts your skin at risk. But it's extra important to limit sun exposure when you're taking certain prescription medications, a pharmaceutical expert warns. Drug-induced photosensitivity is similar to intense sunburns. It causes severe pain, skin peeling and blistering. People taking certain antibiotics and antidepressants are most at risk, said Cesar Munoz, clinical pharmacy manager in ambulatory care services at Harris Health System in the Houston area. Even some over-the-counter medications can cause photosensitivity, so be sure to read the label of any medication you take. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that pain-relievers – such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) – can cause photosensitivity. The degree of skin reaction depends on several factors, such as drug strength and amount of sun ... Read more

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Recurring Intestinal Infections on the Rise in U.S.: Study

Posted 7 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017 – Recurring Clostridium difficile intestinal infections are rising sharply in the United States, researchers warn. These infections sicken about 500,000 people a year, cause tens of thousands of deaths, and cost the U.S. health care system about $5 billion, according to investigators at the University of Pennsylvania. C. difficile causes diarrhea, severe gut inflammation and can lead to deadly blood infections, especially in the elderly. A review of nationwide health insurance data found a nearly 200 percent increase in the annual incidence of multiple recurring C. difficile infections between 2001 and 2012. For ordinary C. difficile, incidence rose by about 40 percent. Patients with multiple recurring C. difficile infections tended to be older (average age 56 versus 49), female, and were more likely to have used antibiotics, corticosteroids or acid-reducing drugs, ... Read more

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U.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: Study

Posted 15 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – About 20 percent of U.S. hospital patients who receive antibiotics experience side effects from the drugs, researchers report. The new study included nearly 1,500 hospitalized adults who were prescribed antibiotics. The findings revealed that one-fifth of those who experienced antibiotic-related side effects didn't require the drugs in the first place. The results add to growing evidence that antibiotics are overused, according to the Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers. "Too often, clinicians prescribe antibiotics even if they have a low suspicion for a bacterial infection, thinking that even if antibiotics may not be necessary, they are probably not harmful. But that is not always the case," said Dr. Pranita Tamma. She is director of the hospital's Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. Antibiotics can cause real harm and doctors should always consider ... Read more

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Some Antibiotics Linked to Miscarriage Risk

Posted 1 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 1, 2017 – Taking certain types of antibiotics during pregnancy may boost the risk of miscarriage, a large study suggests. Macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole were associated with an increased risk of "spontaneous abortion," meaning loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. The study doesn't prove cause and effect. But, it does tie use of certain medicines to a higher risk of miscarriage – up to double the risk for some classes of antibiotics, the researchers said. "Some seem to be safer when it comes to the risk of spontaneous abortion, and some aren't," said study author Anick Bérard, a professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Pharmacy. However, the new evidence does not suggest that pregnant women should stop taking antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. "It [miscarriage] is still a rare outcome," Bérard added. ... Read more

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Government Funding Could Save Canadians $4 Billion on Medicines

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – A new report suggests that Canada would reap savings of more than $4 billion a year if the government funded nearly 120 types of "essential" medications. "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," said Steven Morgan, in a news release from the Canadian Medical Association. "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year," Morgan said. He's a professor at the University of British Columbia. The report authors listed 117 drugs as essential medications. This list included antibiotics, insulin, birth control and antidepressants. These drugs made up 44 percent of all prescriptions filled at Canadian retail pharmacies in 2015. When "therapeutically similar" drugs were included in the list, that figure was as high ... Read more

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Many Americans Unaware of 'Superbug' Threat: Poll

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are a major public health threat, but most Americans are clueless about the dangers, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults know "little" or "nothing" about so-called superbugs – bacterial infections that are resistant to many or all antibiotics. And around half believe, incorrectly, that antibiotics work against viruses. That's a concern because improper antibiotic use is considered the major driver of the superbug problem – a problem with deadly consequences. "This poll shows that public ignorance is a huge part of the problem," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman emeritus of The Harris Poll. "Millions of patients continue to believe that antibiotics will help them recover from colds, flu and other viral infections," Taylor said, "and they can be upset with their doctors if they will not prescribe ... Read more

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Kids Can Beat 'Complex' Pneumonia Without IV Antibiotics: Study

Posted 17 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – Antibiotics taken orally are as effective – and doubtless much more welcome – than intravenous antibiotics for children recovering at home from complex pneumonia, a new study finds. Youngsters with complex pneumonia typically have to take antibiotics for one to three weeks after they leave the hospital, the researchers noted. To see if one medication method outperformed the other, the investigators looked at more than 2,100 children treated for complex pneumonia at 36 U.S. hospitals. Not only were oral antibiotics as effective as IV ones, they also avoided the risk of infection and other complications related to so-called peripherally inserted central venous catheters ("PICC lines"), which are used to administer intravenous antibiotics, the researchers said. "PICC line complications can be serious, resulting in hospital readmission, additional procedures and ... Read more

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Health Tip: Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Antibiotic resistance applies when bacteria are no longer eliminated by a medicine that's supposed to kill them. Experts blame the problem on improper use of antibiotic medications. Here's what you can do to help, according to the World Health Organization: Only take antibiotics when prescribed by a health professional. Always finish the entire supply of antibiotics. Stopping too soon may allow the bacteria to continue living. Never save antibiotics for later use or use leftover antibiotics, and never share antibiotics with someone else. To help reduce the risk of infection in the first place, wash your hands often, get vaccinations and limit your contact with sick people. Read more

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CDC: Too Many Antibiotics Still Being Prescribed in U.S.

Posted 19 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2016 – Despite growing concerns about creating drug-resistant bacteria, overprescribing of antibiotics in U.S. hospitals didn't drop between 2006 and 2012, according to a new federal report. Over that time period, 55 percent of patients received at least one dose of antibiotics during their hospital stay, whether it was needed or not, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "Antibiotic use remains common, and use of the most powerful antibiotics is rising," said lead researcher James Baggs, a CDC epidemiologist. Although the use of antibiotics remained about the same during the study period, a significant increase was seen in the use of newer antibiotics, Baggs said. "Because inappropriate antibiotic use increases the risk of antibiotic resistance and other side effects, continued monitoring of antibiotic use is critical to future ... Read more

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Too Many People Still Take Unneeded Antibiotics: Study

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – Nearly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States aren't appropriate for the conditions being treated, a new federal government study shows. "We were able to conclude that at least 30 percent of the antibiotics that are given in doctors' offices, emergency departments and hospital-based clinics are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotics were needed at all," said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra. Such misuse has helped fuel the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which infect 2 million Americans and kill 23,000 every year, said Fleming-Dutra, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotics are most misused in the treatment of short-term respiratory conditions, such as colds, bronchitis, sore throats, and sinus and ear infections, the researchers reported. "About half of ... Read more

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Double Up on Acne Treatments, New Guidelines Say

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 – Combining treatments is the best way to combat acne, new guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology state. "There are a variety of effective treatments available for acne, and dermatologists have found that combining two or more treatments is the best option for the majority of patients," Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, co-chair of the guidelines committee, said in an academy news release. "Recommended treatments include topical [skin] therapy, antibiotics, isotretinoin [Accutane is one brand] and oral contraceptives," she added. Acne affects up to 50 million Americans a year, according to the academy. When using antibiotics to treat moderate to severe acne, prescription skin medications should be used at the same time. After patients complete a course of antibiotics, they should continue using topical, or skin, therapy to manage their acne, according to the ... Read more

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Drug Makers, Governments Sign Deal to Fight Drug-Resistant Infections

Posted 21 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

A groundbreaking agreement between the drug industry and governments to work together to fight drug-resistant "superbugs" is expected to be announced Thursday. Under the deal, 74 drug makers, 11 diagnostic test makers, and nine industry groups pledge to work with each other and 16 countries to prevent and improve treatment of drug-resistant infections, the Associated Press reported. These infections are a serious threat to millions of people worldwide and a number of factors contribute to the problem, including overuse of antibiotics, declining drug industry research, and few new medicines to combat bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. The new deal – scheduled to be announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – is the first to outline how the drug industry and governments should team up to prevent more drugs from becoming ineffective, to spur development of new ... Read more

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Patients Can Self-Administer IV Antibiotics at Home: Study

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 24, 2015 – Patients can be taught to safely self-administer long-term intravenous antibiotics at home, without the help of a health care worker, a new study suggests. The finding could have a significant impact on uninsured patients who might otherwise spend weeks in a hospital receiving IV care, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "This really taps into human potential, giving a voice to the uninsured at the same time that it offers an opportunity for enormous cost savings to hospitals," study first author Dr. Kavita Bhavan, assistant professor of internal medicine, said in a medical center news release. Some infections require treatment with IV antibiotics for six weeks or more. Patients with insurance typically go home or to a nursing home and have their antibiotics administered by a home health care worker or ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Cephalexin, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Keflex, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Trimethoprim, Nitrofurantoin, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Minocycline, Macrobid

Health Tip: Understanding Antibiotics

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- By taking an antibiotic as prescribed, you can get well faster and help prevent germs from becoming resistant to your medication. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these antibiotic guidelines: Never skip a dose of antibiotic. Always take it on schedule, as directed. Never stop taking an antibiotic early. Always take the entire prescription, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Never save any antibiotic medication for a future illness. Never take an antibiotic that was prescribed for another person. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Flagyl, Levaquin, Keflex, Zithromax, Valtrex, Sulfamethoxazole, Trimethoprim, Acyclovir

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