Archive for January, 2010

The Depressing News About Antidepressants

Research has shown that antidepressants help about three quarters of people with depression who take them. But that evidence has come with a big asterisk. Yes, the drugs are effective, in that they lift depression in most patients. But that benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they take a dummy pill—a placebo. As more and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding, that suggests that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.

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Warning on Fake Alli

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned consumers about a counterfeit version of GlaxoSmithKline’s weight-loss drug Alli. Alli is sold over-the-counter in a variety of retail stores. The counterfeit version was purchased by consumers on the Internet, and GlaxoSmithKline started receiving complaints about the product last month. Glaxo said the product was purchased from online auction sites like eBay.

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Johnson & Johnson Widens Tylenol Recall to Other Brands

Johnson & Johnson on Friday said it was expanding its recall of lots of its pain reliever Tylenol to include such other popular over-the-counter brands such as Benadryl, Motrin, and Rolaids. The company said it was recalling specifics lots of the products because of reports that they smell musty. Some users of the suspect products have also reported developing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. No serious medical reactions have been reported. The latest recall covers certain lots and formulations of the following medications: Junior Strength Motrin IB, Children’s Tylenol Meltaways, Benadryl, Extra Strength Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release, Motrin IB, Regular Strength Tylenol, Rolaids, Simply Sleep, St. Joseph Aspirin, Tylenol Arthritis, and Tylenol PM.

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J&J Is Admonished About Tylenol Recall

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said a Johnson & Johnson unit should have acted sooner to recall Tylenol and other products after receiving consumer complaints about moldy or mildew-like smells. Agency officials said Friday the company first became aware of a problem in September 2008, but didn’t conduct a full investigation and report the problem to the agency until September 2009.

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FDA: JNJ Unit Failed To Test Tylenol For Contaminants

A Johnson & Johnson unit failed to test whether its pain reliever Tylenol was chemically contaminated despite receiving a heightened number of consumer complaints in 2008 that the pills smelled musty, according to a report by U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors. In 2008, J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare received more than 70 musty odor complaints for Tylenol Arthritis Caplets. However, the company didn’t conduct a formal investigation at the time even though more than eight of the complaints suggested the pills caused gastrointestinal problems in patients, the FDA report says.

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Contraceptive lawsuits going to trial

The federal courthouse in East St. Louis, Ill., will hold pretrial proceedings for as many as 25,000 lawsuits involving a popular contraceptive, officials say.  The suits against Bayer allege the drug, called Yaz and Yasmin, causes strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, thrombosis, cardiac arrhythmia, gallbladder disease, kidney failure and sudden death, the Belleville News-Democrat said.

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Study finds medication of little help to patients with mild, moderate depression

Antidepressant medications probably provide little or no benefit to people with mild or moderate depression, a new study has found. Rather, the mere act of seeing a doctor, discussing symptoms and learning about depression probably triggers the improvements many patients experience while on medication. Only people with very severe depression receive additional benefits from drugs, said the senior author of the study.

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