Archive for November, 2009

Video: Hormone replacement therapy linked to breast cancer

Many women who have used the hormone replacement therapy drugs Premarin and Prempro during menopause have developed breast cancer. A study released in 2002 by the Women’s Health Initiative found that the use of HRT drugs increased the risk of breast cancer.

The following video highlights the cases of two former HRT users who developed breast cancer and have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these drugs.

Click here to watch the video…

FDA Warns Heartburn Drugs Interfere With Plavix

Common heartburn pills Prilosec and Nexium cut the blood-thinning effect of Sanofi-Aventis SA’s and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s heart drug Plavix, U.S. officials warned on Tuesday. The stomach drugs inhibit a key enzyme and reduce by almost half the anti-clotting effect of Plavix, which is taken by millions of people to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The U.S. label for Plavix, known also as clopidogrel, is now being updated with new warnings on the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s Prilosec and other similar drugs, including Nexium, the agency said. Plavix is widely used with such so-called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to reduce stomach acid and avoid gastric problems.

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Zetia patients may face increased risk of heart attack and other side effects

A new study has found that patients taking Zetia may be five times more likely to suffer heart attacks or other serious side effects—including death caused by heart disease, hospitalization or the need to undergo surgery to clear their arteries—than those who are prescribed another cholesterol treatment. Researchers in the study also found that Zetia was much less effective at treating atherosclerosis—the buildup of plaque in the arteries—than another cholesterol drug, Niaspan.

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Study Raises New Questions About Merck Pill Zetia

A new study raises fresh concerns about Zetia and its cousin, Vytorin — drugs still taken by millions of Americans to lower cholesterol, despite questions raised last year about how well they work. In the study, Zetia failed to shrink buildups in artery walls while a rival drug, Niaspan, did so significantly. Zetia users also suffered more heart attacks and other problems although the numbers of these events were too small to draw firm conclusions.

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Wrongly prescribed dementia sedatives kill 1,800 per year

British patients with dementia too often get dangerous antipsychotic drugs, causing as many as 1,800 deaths and 1,620 strokes a year, a report commissioned by the U.K. Department of Health found. The government announced a plan today to curb overuse of the medicines, which include Eli Lilly & Co.’s Zyprexa, Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Abilify and AstraZeneca Plc’s Seroquel. The drugs, designed to treat schizophrenia, are often inappropriately used as a first-line therapy to quell behavioral problems in people with dementia, according to the report by Sube Banerjee, professor of mental health at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry.

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Hospira Recalls Propofol Products Containing Steel Particles

Hospira Inc. is recalling certain dietary supplements and anesthesia products because some may contain stainless steel particles that could restrict blood flow and lead to heart attacks or death. Hospira said it’s recalling 85 lots of its fat emulsion products Liposyn, used in infants and others who are unable to get fat in their diet, according to a press release the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted on its Web site. The press release is from Hospira, not the FDA. Hospira, based in Lake Forest, Ill., is also recalling certain lots of injectable propofol, which is used to sedate patients.

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Mom’s antidepressants tied to child health risks

Babies whose mothers used antidepressants during pregnancy visit the doctor more often and have higher risks of certain health problems than other children their age, a new study suggests.  It found that rates of congenital heart defects and physical therapy — a potential sign of movement-related problems — were elevated among babies whose mothers used antidepressants throughout pregnancy. These children also tended to have more doctor visits and higher rates of certain other health problems, like respiratory and digestive symptoms.

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