Feed aggregator

FDA urges parents not to use belladonna-containing teething tablets

US News - Sat, 01/28/2017 - 05:45

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday advised parents not use Hyland’s homeopathic teething tablets that contain a toxic substance called belladonna.

Belladonna, which commonly known as deadly nightshade, is a potentially dangerous toxic substance that can affect the health of infants.

Los Angeles-based Standard Homeopathic Co., the producer of Hyland’s, has already discontinued the belladonna-containing products.

Discontinuing the products on Oct. 7, the company said, “We discontinued it because we are committed to our moms and our dads who choose to trust us to put medicines in their young infants' mouths, and we didn't want to put them in a place between the FDA warning and us saying the product was safe.”

Homeopathic teething tablets containing belladonna, which provide temporary relief to infants growing their first teeth, have been around in the United States since the early 1900s.

The FDA originally warned against the tablets in 2010 after a study showed that they contained belladonna in inconsistent amounts. Since then, the federal agency has received hundreds of reports of adverse events, such as seizures and some infant deaths, linked to teething products.

General: HealthCompanies: FDA

Medieval skeleton offers clues to history of leprosy

US News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 08:15

An analysis of a skeleton unearthed from a burial site in the U.K. has revealed clues to the history of infectious disease of leprosy, researchers reported.

The skeleton was unearthed during an excavation of the medieval site of Winchester, England-based St. Mary Magdalen hospital cemetery and chapel. Radiocarbon dating of the skeleton revealed that it was buried sometime during the late 11th or early 12th Century.

Scientific detective work suggested that the remained belonged to a male religious pilgrim who might have caught leprosy during his travels. The analysis also allowed researchers to genotype the disease.

The study also revealed that leprosy-causing bacteria have slightly changed over hundreds of years, probably explaining the decline in the devastating disease after it peaked in medieval Europe and humans gradually developed resistance to it.

However, the 2F strain lineage that was genotyped by the researchers is still linked with some cases in regions like south-central and western Asia. Though the disease continues to occur, it was removed as a public health issue in 2000, which means that it affects less than one case per 10,000 individuals.

Leprosy, which primarily affects the patient’s skin, eyes and nerves, is now totally curable with multidrug therapy, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has been distributing for free since 1995.

Companies: WHOGeneral: HealthRegion: United Kingdom

Cervical cancer even deadlier to U.S. women than doctors previously thought

US News - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 08:19

The disease of cervical cancer is even deadlier to American women than health experts previously thought, with African-American women being at particularly higher risk, according to a new study.

According to the study, most women get cervical cancer from HPV (human papillomavirus) infection, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. As per an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), more than 11,000 women in the nation are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually.

Laura Kilpatrick, a cervical cancer survivor, said she was 29 years old and was flying back to her home in Greensboro from her honeymoon when she first realized something went wrong.

Sharing her unpleasant experience, Kilpatrick said, "I was soaked in blood, and a week later, a doctor diagnosed me with cervical caner . I don't think that you can put into words that feeling of what that news is like."

However, there are some ways to avoid the potentially deadly disease, and the Gardasil vaccine is one of them. Doctors recommend boys and girls receive their first three Gardasil shots at age of 11 or 12 years. But, one can receive vaccinate up to age of 26 years.

The alarming findings of the new study were published earlier this week, as January is being observed as the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

General: HealthResearch

FDA grants priority review for Genentech’s Actemra to treat GCA

US News - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 08:50

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly accepted Genentech’s supplemental biologics license application and has granted priority review for Actemra for the treatment of patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA).
GCA is a chronic and potentially life-threatening autoimmune condition, for which there has been no new treatment in more than five decades.

Dr. Sandra Horning, chief medical officer and head of the global product development division at Genentech, said that the positive outcome demonstrated the company’s commitment to helping needy patients.

Announcing the FDA’s decision, Horning said, “This positive outcome in [giant cell arteritis] GCA, a condition for which there have been no new treatments in more than 50 years, demonstrates Genentech’s commitment to helping patients with unmet needs.

The positive outcome is based on the results of the phase 3 GiACTA research of 251 patients that showed Actemra combined with glucocorticoid led to sustained remission of GCA as compared with a steroid taper regimen alone.

Horning stressed that they would continue to work closely with the federal agency to bring the investigational medicine to individuals with GCA at the earliest possible.

General: HealthCompanies: FDA

Burnt toast, roasted potatoes can cause cancer: FSA

US News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 06:06

The U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a campaign to warn people about increased risk of cancer linked to eating burnt toast, over-roasted potatoes or other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures.

The campaign, launched on Monday, is based on longstanding evidence from various animal studies conducted in the past. Though it is yet to be proved in human studies, many health experts have warned that overcooked starchy foods, such as over-roasted potatoes, can increase risk of cancer due to high levels of a compound called acrylamide.

The acrylamide compound makes foods like bread and potatoes turn golden in color when the foods is baked, fried toasted or roasted. Formed from simple sugars like glucose, acrylamide reacts with an amino acid called asparagine, when starchy foods are cooked at temperatures higher than 120 degrees Celsius. It may be noted here that amino acid asparagine is found naturally in such starchy foods.

If you cook a starchy cooked for too long at high temperatures, these foods simply turn from golden to brown and finally black in color. In the process, they produce higher-than-accepted levels of acrylamide, which increases the risk of cancer.

Steve Wearne, the director of policy at the FSA, said in a statement, “Our research indicates that the majority of people are not aware that acrylamide exists, or that they might be able to reduce their personal intake.”

The Food Standards Agency’s newly launched “Go for Gold” campaign urges people to cook their foods only until gold, and not to let food to turn darker in color. The main aim of the campaign is to raise awareness among the public.

Companies: FSAGeneral: HealthRegion: United Kingdom

Trump injects further uncertainty into unsettled insurance landscape

US News - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 09:06

U. S. President Donald Trump's executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which he signed just hours after being sworn into office, injected further uncertainty into the nation's already fragile health insurance market.

Through his first executive order, Trump instructed federal agencies to grant relief to ACA-affected constituencies. It was a clear signal that Trump's administration wants to move swiftly to unwind the maximum possible elements of ACA on its own even before the Republican-led Congress acts to repeal the 2010 health insurance law.

Robert Laszewski, the president of a consulting firm called Health Policy & Strategy Associates, called Trump's executive order a "bomb" on the nation's already frail insurance market.

Speaking on the topic, Laszewski said, "Instead of sending a signal that there's going to be an orderly transition, they've sent a signal that it's going to be a disorderly transition. How does the Trump administration think this is not going to make the situation worse?"

Over the past many years, ACA has changed how 20 million people in the nation get health coverage and what type of benefits health insurers must offer to their customers. But, Trumps has been a vocal opponent of the law. During his election campaign last year, he repeatedly vowed to repeal the law if he would be elected to power.

Experts say Trump's executive order, coupled with his recent comments about moving quickly to repeal and replace the ACA, will pressurize Republican lawmakers to act faster than they might have originally planned.

General: HealthPeople: Donald Trump

Fla. bill aims to make it easier for doctors to order marijuana treatment for patients

US News - Sun, 01/22/2017 - 05:29

A Florida senator recently released the state legislature’s first attempt to conduct a constitutional amendment that legalized sale and use of medical marijuana.
Sen. Rob Bradley’s proposal (SB 406) calls for an increasing number of marijuana licenses to make it easier for physicians to order the marijuana treatment for patients in need.

The measure surfaced days after state health officials published proposed regulations to implement the constitutional amendment that enjoyed more than 71 per cent endorsement from state voters in November last year.

Under Bradley’s proposal, Florida could get another twenty marijuana operators or dispensing organizations once the number of registered patients hits 500,000. Currently, the state has only 7 licensed marijuana dispensing organizations.

Ben Pollara, who managed the campaign of the political committee that supported Amendment 2 in November, welcomed the proposal, calling it a “good start” towards implementing the approved constitutional amendment.

Commenting on the proposal, Pollara said, “It’s a good start toward implementing both the letter and the spirit of the constitutional amendment. I appreciate the fact that Sen. Bradley's bill actually respects that we're implementing a constitutional amendment here.”

Many states, including Michigan Maine, Florida and California, have legalized medical marijuana. In California, where medical marijuana revolution started in 1996, more than 720,000 individuals out of 39 million have been issued medical marijuana cards.

General: HealthRegion: Florida

California reports first child death from flu

US News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 08:00

California public health officials on Friday reported the first death of a child in this year’s flu season, and warned that it could be a much more relentless flu season than that of last year’s.

Dr. Karen Smith, the chief of the California Public Health Department (CPHD), said in a statement that this year’s flu season has already claimed a total of 14 lives of people under the age of 65. The figure is notably larger than three deaths recorded by the same time in 2015.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Dr. Michael Neely warned that the number of flu-related illnesses and deaths could continue to soar for the next few weeks.

Referring to the child’s death, CPHD said, “This is a tragic reminder that the flu is a serious illness for people of all ages and kills thousands of Americans each year … If it keeps going up at this rate and stays up then we will see a lot more cases this year.”

The rate of hospitalization for flu-related illnesses in the state is at its highest level in more than a decade, excluding 2009’s H1N1 epidemic that caused awfully widespread illnesses. The Golden State has thus far seen 83 flu-related outbreaks, nearly twice as many as in a typical year.

Flu is a common viral infection but it can be deadly in high-risk groups, such as children and the elderly. Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, headache and fatigue.

General: HealthRegion: California

Many beauty companies use harmful ingredients & then support cancer research: Paltrow

US News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 08:59

A number of American manufacturers of beauty products use harmful ingredients and then set up charities to support research in the field of breast, cervical and ovarian cancers, actress Gwyneth Paltrow alleged in her new wellness book.

In her “Goop Clean Beauty,” Paltrow claims to have offered the ultimate guide to gain and maintain beauty. It is totally different from ridiculous beauty procedures (vaginal steaming etc) that the actress suggested in the past.

Appearing genuinely passionate about transforming the massive cosmetics industry for the better, Paltrow claimed that she and her Goop team introduced the new book to help people to look and feel beautiful.

In the foreword, Paltrow said, “We find it ironic that many of the U.S.'s biggest beauty companies use ingredients that are known to be harmful and then set up foundations and charities to support breast, cervical and ovarian cancer research.”

Goop’s editors suggest that the best way to jump-start the journey to optimal health s to detox, and it is possible by significantly easing the load by consuming the right food. Any food items that can cause inflammation should be removed form diet.

The new wellness book teaches a tough lesson. It stresses that it is almost impossible to escape toxins, but one can learn to spot it and get rid of it using the right approach.

General: HealthPeople: Gwyneth Paltrow

Zoo Miami’s matriarch gorilla Josephine dies

US News - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:12

Zoo Miami's matriarch gorilla named Josephine was euthanized Wednesday morning as she was suffering for several untreatable health issues, zoo authorities have confirmed.

Announcing the nearly 50-year-old great ape's death, zoo authorities write on social media that they decided to euthanize Josephine as her several health issues had slowly incapacitated her and couldn't be treated with positive results because of her advanced age.

In a fresh post on Twitter, the zoo wrote, "With very heavy hearts we announce the loss of our matriarch gorilla, Josephine."

Josephine, who was grandmother to the internet-sensation Harambe, took birth in the wild in March 1967 and had been brought to Zoo Miami in March 1983.

At the zoo, she gave birth to her first offspring, a male gorilla named Moja, in the year of 1984. Moja was the first gorilla to born at the zoo.

Moja was later moved to Texas-based Gladys Porter Zoo, where he fathered a number of gorillas. Of his sons, Harambe, gained worldwide attention in 2016 when a zookeeper at the Cincinnati Zoo shot him to protect a child that had fallen in his enclosure.

General: HealthRegion: Miami


Popular Stories