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Weekly News Round Up - March 21, 2012

Daily Aspirin May Offer Benefits For Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Low-dose aspirin shown to lessen risk for cancer formation and its spread Read More...

When Bayer Pharmaceuticals dubbed aspirin the “wonder drug”, they may not have been kidding. We have all heard of the benefits of aspirin use for the heart, but new studies in both The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology highlight that daily aspirin use may reduce the risk of developing new cancers, or of having a cancer spread. Oxford researchers found that daily low-dose aspirin reduced the overall risk of cancer death by 15 percent compared to not taking aspirin. After three years of daily aspirin use, cancer death risk was reduced by roughly 25 percent in both men and women, and after 5 years the risk was lessened by 37 percent. In other studies, the same researchers found that the spread of cancer was reduced by 36 percent, and was even higher in specific cancers such as colon, lung, and prostate cancer. But experts still warn the risks of long-term aspirin use, including elevated stomach bleeding, may override the benefits and patients should consult with their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.

Binosto Approved For Osteoporosis: Effervescent Form Easier to Swallow

Bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs can lead to esophageal damage if not fully swallowed; Binosto offers new option Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Binosto (alendronate), a buffered effervescent dosage form of the bisphosphonate drug alendronate sodium. Binosto is administered once weekly for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and in men. Binosto comes as a 70-mg, strawberry-flavored tablet that is dissolved in four ounces of water prior to drinking, making administration easier for patients who have trouble swallowing tablets. Alendronate is currently available in the U.S as an oral tablet or solution (Fosamax) or as the generic alendronate tablet. Binosto should be available in U.S. retail markets in the third quarter of 2012.

FDA Medwatch: Skin Lighteners, Anti-Aging Treatments May Contain Mercury

Illegal skin products found in at least seven states contain the toxic metal mercury Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to healthcare professionals and consumers not to use certain skin creams, soaps or lotions promoted as skin lighteners and anti-aging products as they may contain the toxic metal mercury. Adolescents may also be using the products for acne treatment. The products are manufactured outside the U.S. and sold illegally within the U.S. borders. Products may often be found online or in Latin, Asian, African or Middle Eastern neighborhood markets. If products do not have an ingredient label, or if “mercurous chloride”, “calomel”, “mercuric”, “mercurio”, or “mercury” are listed on the label, consumers should stop using the product immediately. Anyone who may have come into contact with mercury should wash their hands and parts of the body that may be affected and contact a health care provider or poison control center for further information.

First-Time Generic Boniva Tablets FDA-Approved

Once-a-month osteoporosis treatment Boniva (ibandronate) generic formulation approved in 150-mg tablets Read More...

U.S. consumers who take oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis prevention or treatment now have another generic alternative - ibandronate (Boniva). Ibandronate joins alendronate as the second generic oral bisphosphonate formulation available for osteoporosis. It is important that patients review the medication guide given at the pharmacy that details proper administration and side effects of once-monthly ibandronate. Patients should take ibandronate with water 60 minutes before the first food, drink or medication in the morning, and should be able to remain upright for at least 60 minutes to help avoid esophageal irritation or damage. Apotex Corp., Orchid Healthcare and Mylan Pharmaceuticals have been granted approval to manufacture ibandronate.

Brilliant Blue G Ophthalmic Solution Recalled

Cases of fungal eye infections prompt recall of unapproved solution used in eye surgeries Read More...

A Medwatch alert has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to warn ophthalmologists that four lots (lot #'s 08232011@80, 10132011@6, 10112011@82, 10192011@125) of Brilliant Blue G (BBG) have been associated with reports of fungal endophthalmitis (eye infections) in patients having eye surgery. Infections were reported from several states. The BBG was supplied directly to ophthalmologists by Franck’s Compounding Lab in Ocala, Florida. Practitioners should immediately quarantine and return any remaining BBG product, including all lots of BBG received from Franck’s Pharmacy. FDA requests that physicians report to Medwatch any cases of suspected fungal endophthalmitis that have occurred within the last six months and associated with eye surgery using BBG.

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