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Category: Pharmacy | Monthly Briefing

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January 2012 Briefing - Pharmacy

Last Updated: February 01, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for January 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Diabetes Drugs Affect Pancreatic Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of the diabetes drug metformin is associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer only in women, while long-term use of sulfonylureas and insulin are associated with a significantly higher risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Fenofibrate Found Safe in Diabetes With Renal Impairment

TUESDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term daily use of fenofibrate is beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes and moderate renal impairment and is not associated with an increase in drug-related safety concerns compared with those with mild renal impairment, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Kalydeco Approved to Treat Rare Form of Cystic Fibrosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Kalydeco (ivacaftor) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the root cause of a rare form of the inherited disease cystic fibrosis (CF).

cystic fibrosis

Erivedge Approved to Treat Basal Cell Carinoma

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Erivedge (vismodegib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, the agency said Monday.

basal cell carcinoma

Antiretroviral Medications Linked to Cleft Deformities

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) --Antiretroviral drugs prescribed for HIV-infected pregnant women to reduce risk of mother-to-child disease transmission may be linked to cleft lip and palate disorders in newborns, according to a study published in the January issue of Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal.

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Meta-Analysis: Statin Therapy Equally Effective in Women, Men

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Statin therapy is equally effective for decreasing cardiovascular events in women and men, according to a meta-analysis published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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More Research Needed on Weaning of Addicted Infants

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- More research is necessary to identify the optimal treatment strategy for weaning infants with neonatal drug withdrawal, but updates for clinical identification and monitoring of opioid-exposed infants have been presented in a guidance statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online Jan. 30 in Pediatrics.

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Drug Approved for Advanced Kidney Cancer

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Inlyta (axitinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma in people who haven't responded to another drug. Six medications had been sanctioned previously for advanced kidney cancer, the agency said.

Medline Plus

Bydureon Approved for Type 2 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Bydureon (exenatide extended release), Amylin Pharmaceuticals' long-acting version of the diabetes drug Byetta, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

type 2 diabetes

Comparable Clinical Activity for Low-, High-Dose Clofarabine

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Low and high doses of clofarabine have comparable clinical activity for the treatment of patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of Cancer.

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No Complications From Using Stored Red Blood Cells

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant difference in early complications, including measures of pulmonary function, immunologic status, or coagulation status, after using fresh versus standard issue red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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ACE Inhibitors Not Linked to Improved Outcomes After ACS

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), prior chronic use of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor is not independently associated with improved in-hospital outcomes, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Positive Affirmation Improves Medication Adherence

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patient education (PE) enhanced with positive affirmation (PA) improves medication adherence over education alone in African-Americans with hypertension, but it does not lead to significant improvements in blood pressure (BP) reduction, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Survival Reduced for Patients With Cancer Who Have Diabetes

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cancer generally have reduced survival if they also have type 2 diabetes, although this depends on the type of cancer and diabetes treatment, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Diabetes Care.

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Bevacizumab Efficacious for HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer, the addition of bevacizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves the pathological complete response (pCR), according to two studies published in the Jan. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sildenafil Shows Potential for Lymphatic Malformations

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with sildenafil results in regression of lymphatic malformations in children, according to three cases presented in a letter published in the Jan. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Letter

Oxaliplatin Improves Survival for Colorectal Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of oxaliplatin to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) improves survival for stage III colon cancer patients in diverse practice settings, including among older and minority patients, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Unemployed Have Poorer Mental and Physical Health

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Unemployed adults are about half as likely to have health insurance as employed individuals; have poorer mental and physical health, regardless of their insurance status; and are less likely to receive needed medical care and prescriptions, according to a January data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics.

More Information

Lansoprazole Does Not Improve Asthma Control in Children

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- For children with asthma without overt gastroesophageal reflux (GER), treatment with the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) lansoprazole is not associated with improved asthma control, according to a study published in the Jan. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Dutasteride Delays Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Progression

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low-risk prostate cancer who undergo active surveillance, treatment with dutasteride delays the time to cancer progression, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in The Lancet.

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HealthGrades IDs Notable Hospitals for Clinical Excellence

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals has more than a 30 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality across 17 procedures and diagnoses, compared with other hospitals, according to the 10th annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study published online Jan. 24.

Report

Anastrozole Sequence Doesn't Significantly Improve Survival

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Sequencing two years of tamoxifen (TAM) and then three years of anastrozole (ANA) in the first five years of endocrine therapy leads to small, but nonsignificant improvements in breast cancer recurrence, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Statins May Reduce Risk for HCC in Hep B-Infected Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- For hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected patients, statin use is associated with a reduction in the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in a dose-dependent manner, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Mild-to-Moderate Asthma Frequently Non-Eosinophilic

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately half of all patients with mild-to-moderate asthma are persistently non-eosinophilic, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Dosing Errors Occur With IV Acetaminophen in Children

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a new intravenous formulation of acetaminophen is associated with dosing errors in neonates, infants, and small children, and evaluation and management of these dosing errors are similar to oral overdose, according to a report published online Jan. 23 in Pediatrics.

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Inadequate Hep B Vaccinations for High-Risk Adults

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately half of all adults at high risk of hepatitis B infection are vaccinated against hepatitis B, and more than half miss opportunities to be vaccinated, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in Infection.

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First Test Approved to Help Detect Risk of PML

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The first test to help determine the risk of a rare brain infection among users of the drug Tysabri has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Tysabri

Neuromodulators Reduce Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Neuromodulators are superior to placebo for reducing pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but treatment is associated with adverse events; whereas muscle relaxants show no benefit for improving pain in RA, according to two reviews published online Jan. 18 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Warfarin Patients With Head Trauma Need Second CT Scan

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients on warfarin with minor head trauma who have an initial negative computed tomography (CT) scan, 24-hour observation followed by an additional CT scan identifies the majority of cases of delayed bleeding, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Taking Two or More Medications Increases Fall Rate

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The use of two or more prescription medications is associated with an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries at home among young and middle-aged adults, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Injury Prevention.

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No Autoimmune Safety Signal for Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- For women vaccinated with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4), there is no evidence of an autoimmune safety signal, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Design Flaws Cast Doubt on Million Woman Study

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The largest study linking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to breast cancer, the Million Women Study (MWS), had flaws in its design and the findings do not satisfy the principles of causation, according to an evidence review published online Jan. 16 in the Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care.

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Contraceptives Eschewed by Half of Teenage Mothers

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Of the approximately 400,000 girls aged 15 to 19 who give birth each year in the United States, half of those with unintended pregnancies were using no birth control at the time they became pregnant, according to data published in the Jan. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Chronic Hepatitis C May Benefit From New Antivirals

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-acting antiviral agents may be effective for treating patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 who don't respond to peginterferon and ribavirin therapies, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Voraxaze Approved to Treat High Levels of Methotrexate

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Voraxaze (glucarpidase) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat high blood levels of methotrexate, a common chemotherapy drug.

methotrexate

BRAF + MEK Inhibitor May Help Avoid Cutaneous Carcinomas

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Combining the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib with an MEK inhibitor may help prevent squamous-cell carcinomas in melanoma treatment, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Peds Liver Transplant Patients Tolerate Drug Withdrawal

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For pediatric recipients of a living donor liver transplant, immunosuppression withdrawal is feasible, with most patients able to remain off therapy for at least one year with normal graft function, according to a pilot study published in the Jan. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Bevacizumab Combo Improves Colorectal Cancer Survival

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of bevacizumab to combination chemotherapy for the treatment of stage IV colorectal cancer increases overall survival, particularly for patients receiving irinotecan-based chemotherapy regimens, but is associated with increased rates of strokes and gastrointestinal (GI) perforations, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Meningitis B Vaccine Immunogenic in Adolescents

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Two doses of the four-component Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B (4CMenB) vaccine is highly immunogenic in adolescents, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in The Lancet.

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Circulating Tumor Cells Predict Small-Cell Lung CA Prognosis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and the change in CTC number after one cycle of chemotherapy predict prognosis in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Dual Inhibition of HER2 Beats Single Agent in Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer with two anti-HER2 agents (lapatinib and trastuzumab) is superior to treatment with single-agent therapy, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in The Lancet.

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Vitamin D Supplements Do Not Reduce COPD Exacerbations

MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not reduce the incidence of exacerbations, according to a study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Maternal Asthma Meds Not Linked to Most Birth Defects

MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Use of asthma medications in early pregnancy is not associated with most birth defects, but positive associations are present for a few specific defects, including isolated esophageal and anorectal atresia and omphalocele, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Pediatrics.

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Young Women Often Perceive Their Weight Gain Inaccurately

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For young women of reproductive age, self-perceptions of weight gain are often inaccurate, and are affected by race/ethnicity and contraceptive use, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the Journal of Women's Health.

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Additional Mutations Identified in Relapse-Specific AML

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Relapse of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with acquisition of new mutations and clonal evolution, according to a letter published online Jan. 11 in Nature.

Letter

U.S. Health Care Expenditure Still Unevenly Distributed

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Health care expenditure in the United States is still unevenly distributed, with 1 percent of the population accounting for approximately 20 percent of expenditure in 2008 and 2009, according to a January statistical brief published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Report

Thromboprophylaxis Rate Low for Knee Arthroplasty in Taiwan

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis for Taiwanese patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is very low, at 2.2 percent, which may correlate with the low incidence of post-surgery venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Maternal Antidepressants Up Infant Pulmonary Hypertension

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during pregnancy increases the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in BMJ.

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Novel Anticancer Agents ID'd From NIH Drug Collection

THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) of a large pharmaceutical collection can identify novel agents with anticancer activity, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Rx Provides Fast Relief of Pain, Urgency of Interstitial Cystitis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Alkalinized lidocaine plus heparin provides significant and immediate relief from the pain and urgency symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC) for 12 hours after treatment, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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GLP-1R Agonists Found Effective for Weight Loss

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists for at least 20 weeks leads to weight loss in obese or overweight patients with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in BMJ.

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Single Oral Azithromycin Dose Effective for Yaws

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A single oral-dose of azithromycin is non-inferior compared with the standard recommended therapy of benzathine benzylpenicillin for the treatment of yaws, an endemic treponematosis, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in The Lancet.

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Occasional Marijuana Use Not Tied to Adverse Lung Function

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use does not adversely affect lung function, according to a study published in the Jan. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Memantine Has No Impact on Cognition in Down's Syndrome

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Memantine does not prevent a decline in cognition or function in adults with Down's syndrome, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in The Lancet.

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Long-Term Prognostic Value of Dobutamine Stress Echo Limited

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) has limited long-term predictive value for patients with diabetes who are unable to perform an exercise stress test, particularly during the first seven years after initial testing, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Diabetes Care.

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Benefit of Aspirin in Primary Prevention Questioned

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals without prior cardiovascular disease (CVD), aspirin prophylaxis does not reduce cardiovascular death or cancer mortality, although it is associated with reductions in nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), according to a meta-analysis published online Jan. 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy Doesn't Avert Smoking Relapse

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals who have quit smoking, use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may not impact relapse rates, according to a meta-analysis published online Jan. 10 in Tobacco Control.

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No Rise in Intussusception After Rotavirus Shot Revival

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The reintroduction of the rotavirus vaccination in the United States has not resulted in an increase in the rate of infant hospital discharges for intussusception, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Losartan Halts Smoke-Related Lung Damage in Mice

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Losartan, an angiotensin receptor type 1 blocker used to antagonize transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, can prevent cigarette smoke (CS)-induced lung damage in a mouse model, according to a study published in the Jan. 3 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Transdermal Nicotine May Benefit Cognitive Impairment

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For nonsmokers with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), use of a transdermal nicotine patch for six months is associated with improved cognitive test performance, but not clinical global impression of change, according to a pilot study published in the Jan. 10 issue of Neurology.

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Acupuncture May Have Minor Effect in Migraine Prevention

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with migraine, acupuncture may have a minor clinical prophylactic effect, compared with sham acupuncture, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Statins Increase Diabetes Risk for Postmenopausal Women

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking statin medications have an increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus (DM), according to an analysis published online Jan. 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Rilonacept Reduces Gout Flares During Acute Urate Lowering Rx

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of rilonacept significantly reduces gout flare-ups in the first few months following initiation of urate-lowering therapy (ULT), according to research published online Jan. 4 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Hypoglycemia in Intensive Diabetes Control May Up Survival

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with type 2 diabetes, recognized and unrecognized hypoglycemia is more common in those with intensive blood sugar control, and is associated with a small but significant reduction in the risk of mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Diabetes Care.

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Frequent Aspirin Use Linked to Aging Macula Disorder

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent use of aspirin in patients aged 65 years and older is associated with early aging macula disorder (AMD) and wet late AMD, according to a study published in the January issue of Ophthalmology.

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HCV Antivirals Cost-Effective for Injecting Drug Users

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Antivirals are cost-effective for injecting drug users (IDUs) where the chronic prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is less than 60 percent, according to a study published in the January issue of Hepatology.

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Shedding Persists in Herpes Even With High-Dose Antivirals

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Short episodes of subclinical shedding or reactivation persist in herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, even in patients on high doses of antiviral therapy, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in The Lancet.

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Epilepsy, HIV Drug Combination Therapies Require Caution

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) should be used with caution in individuals with HIV/AIDS, due to potential interactions between AEDs and antiretroviral agents (ARVs), according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology, published online Jan. 4 in Neurology.

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Novel Hepatitis C Vaccine Induces T Cell Responses

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Adenovirus-based vaccines can generate strong, broad, long-lasting, and functional T cell responses against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in healthy people, according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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HPV Vaccine Doesn't Lull Girls Into Complacency About Sex

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Few teenage girls receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine perceive a reduced need for safer sexual behavior following their first inoculation, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Montelukast Doesn't Cut Upper Respiratory Infection Incidence

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For young children, 12-week prophylactic treatment with montelukast does not reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URIs), according to a study published online Jan. 4 in Pediatrics.

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Pneumonia Vaccine Approved for Older People

TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The Prevnar 13 bacterial pneumonia vaccine has been approved for people aged 50 and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

pneumococcal disease

Cannabis Impacts Brain During Attentional Salience

TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The psychotic effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol are mediated through distinct modulation of prefrontal, striatal, and hippocampal function during attentional salience processing, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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