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Category: Pharmacy | Monthly Briefing

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February 2012 Briefing - Pharmacy

Last Updated: March 01, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for February 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.

Ruxolitinib Reduces Spleen Size in Myelofibrosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with myelofibrosis, treatment with a potent and selective Janus kinase 1 and 2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib, provides significant clinical benefit compared with the best available treatment or placebo, according to two studies published in the March 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Nicotine Patches Don't Help Pregnant Women Stop Smoking

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of nicotine-replacement therapy to behavioral cessation support does not increase the rate of smoking abstinence in pregnant women, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Despite Benefits of Selenium, Supplements May Be Harmful

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- While selenium is necessary for good health, levels that are too high can be harmful, and people whose serum selenium levels are already at least 122 µ/L should not take supplements, according to a review published online Feb. 29 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Statin Users Less Likely to Suffer From Depression

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with coronary heart disease, use of statins is associated with reduced risk of having or developing depression, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Sleeping Pill Use Linked to Greater Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Even relatively small doses of sleeping pills are associated with a more than three-fold higher risk of death, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in BMJ Open.

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FDA Approves Label Changes for Statins

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The recommendation to remove routine monitoring of liver enzymes is among safety label changes recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for statins, according to a Feb. 28 Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Vitamin D Linked to Reduced Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with cholecalciferol, which rapidly enhances 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D), is associated with decreased pain and reduced nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use for women with primary dysmenorrhea, according to a letter published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Poor Asthma Control Prevalent in the United States

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with asthma who do not use controller medications have persistent disease, and among those patients who do use controller medications, few have well-controlled disease, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Abstract
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TAK-875 Improves Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with type 2 diabetes who do not respond to diet or metformin treatment, selective pharmacological activation of the free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) by TAK-875 improves glycemic control, according to a phase 2 study published online Feb. 27 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Heartburn Controlled With Step Down to Once Daily Therapy

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients who take twice-daily proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy, are able to successfully step down to management of heartburn with a daily dose of dexlansoprazole modified release (MR), according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract
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Editorial

AAP Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys, Too

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends the routine vaccination of both males and females against human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a policy statement published online Feb. 27 in Pediatrics.

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Ten-Year CML Survival Estimate of 68 Percent With Imatinib

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic myeloid leukemia that fails to respond to interferon alpha therapy, treatment with imatinib is associated with long-term survival of 68 percent, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Cancer.

Abstract
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ASD Meds More Commonly Used by Teens With Comorbid ADHD

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to use psychotropic medication if they also have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Abstract
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Variable Mortality Risk for Antipsychotic Use in Elderly

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of mortality associated with antipsychotic drug use among elderly residents in nursing homes in the United States varies between drugs, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

UVB Preferred for Treatment of Moderate to Severe Psoriasis

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Ultraviolet B (UVB) is preferred by dermatologists for first-line treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis in both healthy male and female patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Model Predicts Death Due to Acetaminophen Overdose

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Model for Acetaminophen-induced Liver Damage (MALD), a mathematical model that utilizes commonly obtained laboratory values, including overdose amount and time elapsed since overdose, is effective for predicting outcomes in patients with acute liver failure due to acetaminophen overdose, according to research published online Feb. 13 in Hepatology.

Abstract
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Bisphosphonate Use Linked to Reduced Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to bisphosphonates (BPs) is associated with a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), a reduction that is significant only for risedronic acid, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Cancer.

Abstract
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Aspirin and Clopidogrel Improve Claudication Distance

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with stable intermittent claudication due to peripheral arterial disease, low-dose aspirin appears to work as well as clopidogrel when given in conjunction with walking rehabilitation to improve initial claudication distance (ICD) and absolute claudication distance (ACD), according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease.

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Review Looks at Comparative Effects of Antipsychotics in Youth

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- There is limited evidence for the comparative benefits and harms of antipsychotics in children and young adults, according to a review published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Pharmacist-Led Intervention Reduces Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For clinics with computerized medical records, a pharmacist-led intervention significantly reduces the risk of medical errors and is likely to be cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Korlym Approved for Cushing's Syndrome

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Korlym (mifepristone) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat endogenous Cushing's syndrome.

Cushing's

Nicotine Replacement Therapy Linked With Infantile Colic

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal smoking or use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of infantile colic in offspring, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Daily Finasteride Treatment Increases Hair Growth

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Over a two-year period, finasteride increased hair growth in all four areas of the scalp affected by male pattern baldness and reduced hair loss in two or more of these areas, depending on patient age, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Donepezil Improves Symptoms in Dementia With Lewy Bodies

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 5 and 10 mg/day doses of donepezil are associated with significant improvements in behavioral, cognitive, and global symptoms, according to a phase II study published online Feb. 8 in the Annals of Neurology.

Abstract
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Smoking Cessation Drug May Also Reduce Drinking

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The smoking cessation drug varenicline (VAR) may also reduce alcohol consumption in social drinkers by increasing alcohol's aversive effects, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Abstract
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Microchip-Based Drug Delivery of hPTH(1-34) Safe in Humans

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- An implantable microchip-based drug delivery device can safely be used to deliver human parathyroid hormone fragment (hPTH[1-34]), according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Science Translational Medicine to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held from Feb. 16 to 20 in Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract
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Overdose Prevention Programs Using Opioid Antagonist

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, is being used by at least 188 overdose prevention programs in the United States, but many states with high death rates due to heroin or other opioid overdose do not include naloxone distribution in their programs, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Smoking Bans Lead to Less, Not More, Smoking at Home

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free legislation leads to less smoking in smokers' homes, not more, according to research published online Feb. 13 in Tobacco Control.

Abstract
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Intramuscular Midazolam As Safe As Intravenous Lorazepam

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular midazolam is as safe and effective as intravenous lorazepam for treatment of patients with seizures by paramedics, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Semuloparin Prophylaxis Effective in Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Semuloparin, a hemisynthetic, ultra-low-molecular-weight heparin, reduces the incidence of thromboembolic events in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, with no increased risk of a major bleeding event, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Topical Corticosteroids Impair Restoration of Skin Barrier

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Topical corticosteroids offer a more potent anti-inflammatory effect for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), but they may impair the restoration of the skin barrier and can induce skin atrophy, making topical calcineurin inhibitors more suitable for long-term treatment of the disease, according to a study published in the March issue of Allergy.

Abstract
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Vitamin D Doesn't Improve Cardiac Measures in CKD Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease who are treated with the active vitamin D compound, paricalcitol, for 48 weeks do not show improvement in left ventricular mass or certain measures of diastolic dysfunction, compared with patients who received placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Hemoglobin A1c, Fasting Plasma Glucose Relationship Studied

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with moderate dysglycemia or early type 2 diabetes, hemoglobin A1c (A1C) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels are strongly related, and this relationship is impacted by oral therapies but not affected by geographic region or patient ethnicity, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Diabetes Care.

Abstract
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New Data Published on Safety of Leflunomide in Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- New data on birth outcomes provide some reassurance to women who are inadvertently exposed to leflunomide before or during pregnancy, according to research published online Feb. 3 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Procedure, Medication Both Cost-Effective in Glaucoma

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Generic topical prostaglandin analogs (PGAs) and treatment with laser trabeculoplasty (LTP) are both cost-effective for treatment of newly diagnosed mild open-angle glaucoma, with PGAs providing better quality of life relative to LTP, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Abstract
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Study Finds Antibiotic for Acute Rhinosinusitis Is Not Helpful

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of acute, uncomplicated rhinosinusitis with amoxicillin does not result in a significant difference in symptoms compared with the use of placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Supplements Don't Prevent Cancer in Cardiac Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Daily supplementation with B vitamins and/or omega-3 fatty acids is not associated with improved cancer outcomes for survivors of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Patient Satisfaction Linked to Varied Health Care Utilization

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Higher patient satisfaction is associated with less emergency department use, but with greater inpatient admissions, expenditures, and higher mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial

Zioptan Eyedrops Approved for Glaucoma, Ocular Hypertension

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Merck's Zioptan drops (tafluprost ophthalmic solution) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lower pressure within the eye among people with high blood pressure of the eye (ocular hypertension) or open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease.

glaucoma

Risk of Collision Doubles for Drivers Using Cannabis

FRIDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers under the influence of cannabis are twice as likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions, particularly fatal collisions, according to research published online Feb. 9 in BMJ.

Full Text
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Intracerebroventricular Opioid Infusion Feasible at Home

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of opioids is safe and effective for the treatment of nonresponsive pain in terminally-ill patients in home settings, according to a review published online Feb. 1 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Abstract
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Guidelines for VTE Prophylaxis in Nonsurgical Patients Issued

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- New evidence-based clinical practice guidelines have been issued for the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in nonsurgical patients; the guidelines have been published in a supplement to the February issue of CHEST.

Abstract
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Fen-Phen Derivative Likely Caused >1,000 Deaths in France

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Benfluorex (Mediator), a fenfluramine-derivative drug used in France for the treatment of high cholesterol in overweight patients with diabetes, is likely to have been responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and deaths over a 30-year period, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety.

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Testosterone Patches Improve Low Sexual Desire Disorder

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that transdermal testosterone patches may relieve symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in postmenopausal women, according to a review published online Feb. 3 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Abstract
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Prescription Shampoo Approved to Treat Head Lice

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Sklice Lotion, a prescription-strength shampoo to treat head lice, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people 6 months and older, the French product maker Sanofi said.

head lice

Cefpodoxime Not Recommended for Acute, Uncomplicated Cystitis

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cefpodoxime should not be used as a first-line fluoroquinolone-sparing antimicrobial for acute uncomplicated cystitis, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Breast Cancer Prevention Drug Linked to Bone Loss

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women receiving the aromatase inhibitor exemestane to prevent breast cancer are more likely to have bone loss, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Three 'Targeted' Cancer Drugs Up Risk of Fatal Adverse Events

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The use of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) to treat cancer is associated with an increased risk of fatal adverse events (FAEs) but there is no difference in rates of FAEs between the different VEGFR TKIs or tumor types, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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New Guidelines Recommend Metformin in Type 2 Diabetes

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar cannot be controlled by lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, metformin monotherapy should be prescribed initially, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine Tied to Drop in Adult Suicide Behaviors

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the antidepressants fluoxetine hydrochloride and venlafaxine hydrochloride is associated with a reduction in suicidal thoughts and behavior in adult and geriatric patients and has no impact on such thoughts or behavior in youths, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Abstract
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RA Drug Trial Funding Source Not Linked to Outcome

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug therapy randomized controlled trials (RCTs) funded by industry are not more likely to result in a positive outcome, according to research published online Jan. 24 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Noroviruses Are Leading Cause of Hospital Infections

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Norovirus outbreaks are the leading cause of infection outbreaks in hospitals, particularly in the non-acute care setting, and often lead to unit closure, according to an article published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Abstract
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Mechanism for Metabolic Effects of Resveratrol Elucidated

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- By inhibiting phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 in skeletal muscle, resveratrol triggers a series of intracellular events, including indirect activation of sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), according to an experimental study published in the Feb. 3 issue of Cell.

Abstract
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Direct to Consumer Statin Web Sites of Poor Quality

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most Web sites advertising statins directly to consumers contain poor levels of information relevant to safe use of the medicine and side effects, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

Abstract
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Ghrelin Stimulates Food Intake During Cisplatin-Based Chemo

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Administration of synthetic ghrelin during chemotherapy improves food intake and appetite in patients with esophageal cancer, while minimizing gastrointestinal disorders, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Occasional Hard Drug Use in Mid-Life Hikes Mortality Risks

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The occasional use of hard drugs in middle age is linked to significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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No Improvement in C-Peptide Levels With GAD-Alum

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Treating children with type 1 diabetes with the 65-kD isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) formulated with alum (GAD-alum) does not significantly change levels of stimulated serum C-peptide during 15 months of follow-up, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Gleevec Approval Widened to Include Rare Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Novartis drug Gleevec has been expanded to include adults who have had surgical removal of CD117-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), the agency said in a news release.

GIST

Oral Ulipristal Acetate Controls Uterine Fibroid Bleeding

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- For women with symptomatic fibroids, a daily dose of 5 or 10 mg oral ulipristal acetate is efficacious for controlling uterine bleeding before surgery, compared with placebo or leuprolide acetate, according to two studies published in the Feb. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Full Text 1 (subscription or payment may be required)
Full Text 2 (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

AAP: Childhood Vaccination Schedules Approved for 2012

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The 2012 recommended childhood and adolescent vaccination schedules have been approved, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Policy Statement

Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Ups Hip Fracture Risk for Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women are at a 35 percent increased risk of hip fractures if they regularly use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and that risk increases to more than 50 percent among women with a history of smoking, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in BMJ.

Full Text

Pfizer Recalling 28 Lots of Oral Contraceptives

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Pfizer Inc. announced yesterday that it is voluntarily recalling specific lots of oral contraceptives upon learning of a packaging error that may put women at risk for unintended pregnancy, according to a safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

More Information

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