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Weekly Drug News Round Up - November 12, 2014

FDA Approves Olysio Plus Sofosbuvir Oral Combo for HCV

HCV often goes undiagnosed can cause significant liver damage  Read More...

New combination approvals for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are coming at a fast pace. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Olysio (simeprevir), a hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor, in combination with sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) as an all-oral, interferon- and ribavirin-free treatment option for genotype 1 chronic HCV. Sofosbuvir is an HCV nucleotide analog NS5B polymerase inhibitor. The recommended treatment duration of Olysio with sofosbuvir is 12 weeks for patients without cirrhosis or 24 weeks for patients with cirrhosis. Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) is another new oral HCV agent approved in October. Learn more about HCV treatment here.

EpiPens Stocked at School Can Save Lives: Study

The most common causes of food-related anaphylaxis were peanuts and fish Read More...

There’s probably nothing any of us wouldn’t do to save our child’s life. Well, a new study shows that schools equipped with EpiPens (epinephrine auto-injector) do just that. Epinephrine injections are given when someone suffers a possible fatal allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to food or an insect sting. In schools, the nurse often gives them. A study in Chicago Public Schools in 2012-2013 showed that stocked emergency epinephrine was used on 35 children and three adults who suffered anaphylaxis, over 50 percent of whom had a first-time anaphylactic reaction. Auvi-Q is another epinephrine auto-injector brand.

Think You Have a Penicillin Allergy? Consider Skin Testing

Many people may have had a one-time previous reaction, such as hives, swelling or rash Read More...

If you ticked the box on your medical record that you are allergic to penicillin in the past, you may be mistaken. One study showed that 94 percent of 384 people who believed they were allergic to penicillin tested negative for penicillin allergy. In another, 38 people who believed they were penicillin allergic all tested negative during skin testing. Skin testing is a cost-effective and reliable method to determine penicillin allergies, and can allow use of less toxic or less expensive medications. Beta-lactam antibiotics like the penicillins or cephalosporins are important classes of medications, especially pre- and post-surgically.

Regular Use of Marijuana Can Alter Your Brain Over Time: Study

Pro-marijuana advocates questioned the study Read More…

Just as Oregon, Alaska and the Nation’s capital are added to those states now in favor of legalized recreational marijuana, a new study comes out showing that this habit over the long-term might alter your brain structure. MRI scans in people who had used pot for years showed that a region of the frontal lobes involved with decision-making and determining rewards or punishments of an action had shrunk. Most disturbing was that the changes were more pronounced in people who started using pot at an early age. However, over time the brain appeared to ‘rewire’ itself to make up for lost connections.

10 Common Sleep Disorders: Treatments and Truths

Talk to your doctor if you feel tired all day long - you could have a treatable, but possibly dangerous, sleep disorder Read More…

Insomnia, nightmares, teeth grinding? These sleep disorders all occur at night and can keep you from getting the rest you need. Sleep wreckers can also range from vivid dreams to obstructive sleep apnea, and a large percentage of the population deal with these conditions each night. However, you don’t have live like a zombie. Treatments range from CPAP for sleep apnea, to dental guards, to certain medications. Even lifestyle changes like skipping the caffeine and putting away the electronics close to bedtime can help. Review our Drugs.com slideshow to learn more tips to get the rest you need.