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FDA Asks How Safe Is That Hand Sanitizer?

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 – Millions of Americans use hand sanitizers every day, believing they safely kill bacteria. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to find out if that's really true. The agency Wednesday requested makers of antibacterial hand sanitizers and related products to provide data showing the products' active ingredients actually reduce bacteria and are harmless over time. Of particular concern are the long-term effects of these sanitizers on pregnant women and children, the agency said. "These products provide a convenient alternative when hand washing with plain soap and water is unavailable, but it's our responsibility to determine whether these products are safe and effective so that consumers can be confident when using them on themselves and their families multiple times a day," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and ... Read more

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Higher Alcohol Taxes May Lead to Fewer Drunk-Driving Deaths: Study

Posted 6 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 6, 2015 – Higher alcohol taxes in Illinois are associated with a decrease in alcohol-related car crash deaths, a new study finds. "Similar alcohol tax increases implemented across the country could prevent thousands of deaths from car crashes each year," Alexander Wagenaar, a professor in the department of health outcomes and policy at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said in a university news release. "If policymakers are looking to address dangerous drivers on our roads and reduce the number of fatalities, they should reverse the trend of allowing inflation to erode alcohol taxes," he added. In Illinois, alcohol-related traffic deaths fell 26 percent after the state boosted alcohol taxes in 2009. The decrease was highest among young people, at 37 percent, the study found. Fatal crashes involving alcohol-impaired and extremely drunk drivers fell 22 percent and ... Read more

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Could a Drink a Day Lower Your Risk for Heart Failure?

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – Having a drink each day might help lower a middle-aged person's odds for heart failure, a new study reveals. The investigation suggests that men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who drink as much as seven comparably sized glasses of wine, beer and/or spirits per week will see their risk for heart failure drop by 20 percent. For women the associated drop in risk amounted to roughly 16 percent, according to the study published online Jan. 20 in the European Heart Journal. "These findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective," Dr. Scott Solomon, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a journal news release. While the study found an association between moderate drinking and a lower risk of heart failure, it wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect. And ... Read more

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TV Alcohol Ads Tied to Problem Drinking for Teens, Study Finds

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – A new study finds a link between the number of TV ads for alcohol a teen views, and their odds for problem drinking. Higher "familiarity" with booze ads "was associated with the subsequent onset of drinking across a range of outcomes of varying severity among adolescents and young adults," wrote a team led by Dr. Susanne Tanski of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Their work involved nearly 1,600 participants, aged 15 to 23, who were surveyed in 2011 and again in 2013. Alcohol ads on TV were seen by about 23 percent of those aged 15 to 17, nearly 23 percent of those aged 18 to 20, and nearly 26 percent of those aged 21 to 23, the study found. The study wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect. However, the more receptive the teens were to alcohol ads on TV, the more likely they were to start drinking, or to progress from drinking ... Read more

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FDA Seeks to Improve Safety of Antiseptic Swabs

Posted 14 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 – Manufacturers of antiseptic swabs and solutions are being asked to make voluntary labeling and packaging changes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The goal is to improve the products' safety when applied to the skin before surgery or injections. Reports of infections linked to the over-the-counter antiseptics are infrequent but continuing, the agency said in a statement explaining its request. When used properly, these antiseptic swabs and solutions safely reduce the number of bacteria on patients' skin before they undergo an operation or receive shots. But use of contaminated antiseptics has led to localized infections and even death, according to the FDA. "Most often, contamination of [antiseptic products] occurs when organisms are introduced into the product by users," the agency said in the news release. The FDA is asking for labeling changes ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Over-the-Counter Topical Antiseptic Products: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Requests Label Changes and Single-Use Packaging to Decrease Risk of Infection

Posted 13 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting label and packaging changes to enhance the safe use of certain over-the-counter (OTC) topical antiseptic products. This request is the result of our ongoing evaluation of infrequent but continuing reports of infections resulting from antiseptic products labeled for preoperative or preinjection skin preparation.  When used properly, topical antiseptics are safe and effective products to reduce the number of bacteria on patients’ skin prior to surgery or injections.  However, most often, contamination of topical antiseptics occurs when organisms are introduced into the product by users.  Therefore, health care professionals and patients should follow all label directions to decrease the chances of infection. Outbreaks associated with the use of contaminated topical antiseptics have been reported in the medical literature and ... Read more

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