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Weekly Drug News Round Up - March 13, 2013 Launches Mobile App to Foster Patient Engagement

Clean lines and an instinctive user interface frames a practical prescription management tool for consumers on-the-go Read More...

The “ Medication Guide” app is now available as a free download on the popular iOS and Android mobile platforms. Utilizing this tool, patients and caregivers can have instant access to their most recent personal medication records, saved drug interactions lists, and breaking FDA and health news tailored to their needs. Vital health information tools such as MedNotes, the Symptom Checker, and the Complete Drugs A to Z Index are included. Treatments can be browsed in 12 different categories, including by drug class, generic status, or condition. The Pill Identifier Wizard, phonetic search, and Q & A Support Groups reinforce this robust prescription management app.

FDA Drug Safety Communication: Azithromycin

The Precautions and Warnings sections of the azithromycin label have been updated to reflect new warnings Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a drug safety warning for azithromycin (Zithromax or Zmax), a macrolide antibiotic. Azithromycin may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm based on clinical studies reviewed by the FDA. Patients at risk for developing this condition include those with known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or use of certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. Alternative drugs in the macrolide class, or non-macrolides such as the fluoroquinolones, also have the potential for QT prolongation.

Niacin Plus Statin Offers No Advantage: Study

Large study confirms no added benefit of niacin when used with statins Read More...

Niacin has been used for years in patients at risk for heart disease and stroke to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) and raise HDL “good” cholesterol. In a new study, niacin was added to simvastatin (Zocor) treatment in roughly 26,000 patients, and no added benefit was seen in terms of reductions in heart-related death, non-fatal heart attack, stroke, or the need for angioplasty or bypass surgeries. The study also found a higher incidence of bleeding and/or infections in those taking niacin. Advicor and Simcor are niacin-statin combination brands currently on the U.S. market.

Modern Contraception Still Not Available for Millions Worldwide

Experts express the need to address community services, media opposition, and lack of support from religious and local leaders Read More...

According to data from the United Nations and the National University of Singapore, increased spending on family planning and birth control will be needed to provide modern contraception methods to 233 million in 2015 -- those who would otherwise not have access. As published in the Lancet, researchers looked at data from 1990 to 2010 and found that the total worldwide demand for contraception is projected to grow from 900 million in 2010 to 962 million in 2015. Use of contraception remains very low in many African countries.

Daily Aspirin Linked to Lower Risk of Deadly Skin Cancer in Women

Aspirin's anti-inflammatory properties might be responsible for lowering the risk of melanoma Read More...

A new population-based study published in Cancer has brought to light another possible life-saving use for aspirin: lowered melanoma risk in women. Investigators collected data on roughly 60,000 white women between the ages of 50 to 79 who were in the Women's Health Initiative, a long-term national study. Over 12 years of follow-up, the investigators found that women who took aspirin had a 21 percent lower risk of melanoma compared to women who did not. Some experts feel the benefits of a daily aspirin may outweigh the potential risk of stomach bleeding in women with a family history of melanoma, but others feel prospective studies are needed to prove the outcome.