Archive for October, 2009

Antipsychotics Cause Weight Gain in Kids

Antipsychotic drugs widely used in children caused youths to gain as much as 19 pounds on average after just 11 weeks on the medications, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings about the drugs, known as atypical antipsychotics, bolster concerns about giving the medicines to patients under 18 years of age. The drugs examined were four top-selling atypical antipsychotics: Abilify, sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.; Risperdal from Johnson & Johnson; Seroquel from AstraZeneca PLC; and Zyprexa from Eli Lilly & Co.

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Study finds rapid weight gain among children taking Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel

Children and adolescents who are prescribed a type of psychiatric drug known as atypical antipsychotics face an increased risk of rapid weight gain and other metabolic changes, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the authors of the study, these changes could increase the children’s risk of diabetes, hypertension or other related conditions.

The JAMA study examined the effects of four atypical antipsychotic drugs on children—Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel and Abilify. Atypical antipsychotics are prescribed to treat a number of conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Of the four drugs, only Risperdal and Abilify have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating children.

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Industry Years Behind on Testing Approved Drugs

Federal drug officials have long been criticized for failing to force drug makers to complete studies proving that their drugs work as hoped, and Congressional investigators on Monday released yet another report pointing out that some of these studies remain undone many years after being promised. The result is that doctors and patients remain unsure whether some critical medicines used to treat illnesses like cancer and heart disease are actually beneficial.

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No patch for deepest cut

Did a birth control patch kill a healthy 18-year-old freshman at Trinity College? That’s what her mother, who struggled to raise Adrianna Duffy alone and got her into a private high school, is asking.

On the morning of Sept. 28, Leslie Niedner got a call from the dean of students. I’m so sorry, he kept saying. Her daughter Adrianna had collapsed in her dorm room. The 17-year-old died of a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in her lung.

Leslie can’t remember who first asked whether Adrianna had been using a contraceptive patch. A few minutes online revealed dozens of similar horror stories. She’s now convinced that Ortho Evra, the target of thousands of lawsuits across the country, had taken her daughter.

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For women on HRT, tenderness may be warning sign

Women whose breasts became tender after taking hormone replacement therapy had nearly twice the risk of developing breast cancer than women whose breasts did not become tender on the drugs, U.S. researchers said on Monday. They said breast tenderness may be a way to identify women who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer while taking hormone replacement therapy to treat menopause.

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Pharma Drops Search Advertising After FDA Warning

Pharmaceutical companies, fearful of running afoul of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s marketing guidelines, have virtually abandoned search ad marketing in the wake of the FDA’s online ad crackdown earlier this year. According to a study from web metrics measurement firm ComScore, paid search ads by pharmaceutical companies dropped a whopping 84% between March 26 of this year and the end of June.

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