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May 2010 Briefing - Pharmacy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for May 2010. 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.

Use of Statins After Stroke Increasing Slowly

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of stroke patients given prescriptions for evidence-based statin treatment at hospital discharge has increased over time, but nearly one in five still leaves the hospital without a prescription, according to research published online May 27 in Stroke.

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CRP, D-Dimer Levels Don't Affect Statin-Mortality Link

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- In peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients, statin use is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and all-cause mortality, though this association is not influenced by baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) or D-dimer levels, according to research published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Statins May Reduce Revision Risk After Hip Arthroplasty

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of revision after primary total hip arthroplasty is lower among those using statins than those not on statins, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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In Diabetes Patients at Low CVD Risk, Aspirin Not Recommended

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is reasonable for adults with diabetes who are at increased CVD risk but should not be routinely recommended for those at low CVD risk, according to a combined statement from the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology Foundation, published online May 27 in Circulation, Diabetes Care, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Exenatide, Rosiglitazone Combo Beneficial in Type 2 Diabetes

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of exenatide and rosiglitazone to metformin in type 2 diabetes is associated with glycemic control benefits, improvements in β-cell function and insulin sensitivity, and weight loss, according to research published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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Analysis Questions Quality of Direct-to-Consumer Ads

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) for urological medications lacks research data or references to substantiate the claims they make, pointing to room for improvement in the information offered by such advertisements, according to an analysis published in the May issue of Urology.

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Cancer Drug Coverage Based on Cost-Effectiveness Restrictive

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anticancer drug coverage decisions that take cost-effectiveness into consideration -- common in several European countries -- may result in restrictions and delays in time until coverage is provided, according to research published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA: Baxter Recalling Hyaluronidase Human Injection

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Baxter International Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of hyaluronidase human injection (Hylenex recombinant), as particulate matter was found in a limited number of vials during standard stability testing.

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Early Glycemic Control Vital in Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Intense glycemic control early on should be attempted for individuals with type 1 diabetes to reduce the risk of complications related to diabetes arising over time, according to research published in the May issue of Diabetes.

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Antiretroviral Therapy Greatly Cuts HIV Partner Transmission

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- In heterosexual HIV-1 patients, antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners by 92 percent, according to research published online May 27 in The Lancet.

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FDA Changes Label on Weight-Loss Drug Orlistat

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care providers and consumers regarding a label change to the weight-loss drug orlistat, marketed by prescription by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. as Xenical (orlistat 120 mg) and over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription by GSK Consumer Healthcare as Alli (orlistat 60 mg), due to the potential but rare risk of severe liver injury.

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New Tramadol Label Warns of Suicide, Overdose Risks

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen have alerted health care professionals of changes to the prescribing information warnings section for tramadol, a centrally acting synthetic opioid analgesic used to manage moderate to moderately severe chronic pain.

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Drug Switch Tied to Depression Remission at Six Months

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of adolescents with treatment-resistant depression may achieve remission within six months after simply switching their medication or undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy along with a medication switch, and those who show symptom benefits early after switching are more likely to have lasting benefits, according to a study published online May 17 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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FDA: Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted consumers and health care providers regarding the potential increased risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures associated with high doses or long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

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Early Antibiotics in COPD Hospitalizations Beneficial

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients hospitalized for exacerbations of their illness who receive antibiotic treatment within the first two days of their hospitalization fare better than those who do not, according to research published in the May 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pregnant Women Using Herbals Despite Lack of Safety Data

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Many women use herbal or natural products immediately prior to or during pregnancy, though little is known about these products' safety or efficacy, according to two articles published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Trial Finds Topical Gel Effective for Facial Acne in Preteens

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Preteens with mild-to-moderate facial acne respond well to treatment with tretinoin microsphere gel (TMG) without serious adverse effects, according to a small study published online May 24 in Pediatrics.

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Poor Antiplatelet Response Not Fully Explained by Gene

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- While antiplatelet drug response is clearly linked to the CYP2C19*2 polymorphism, the gene's presence does not explain most instances of poor antiplatelet response, even with other clinical factors taken into account, according to research published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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β-Blockers May Be Beneficial in Treating COPD

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients taking β-blockers may have a decreased risk of exacerbations, as well as a decreased mortality risk, according to research published in the May 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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On-Time Vaccinations in First Year Don't Hurt Development

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are vaccinated on schedule in their first year of life exhibit neuropsychological development at ages 7 to 10 that is as good as or better than children who receive delayed vaccination or do not get vaccinated, according to a study published online May 24 in Pediatrics.

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Misoprostol Does Not Decrease Postpartum Hemorrhage

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The prostaglandin analogue misoprostol, when added to standard uterotonic therapy, does not result in decreased postpartum blood loss, according to research published in the May 22 issue of The Lancet.

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Erlotinib Significantly Improves Survival in Advanced NSCLC

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Maintenance therapy with erlotinib for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer given immediately after initial chemotherapy is well-tolerated and significantly prolongs progression-free survival, according to research published online May 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Metformin Associated With Decreased B-12

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients being treated with metformin to control their diabetes may have a higher risk of decreased levels of vitamin B-12 and increased homocysteine levels, according to research published in the May 20 online edition of the BMJ.

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Statins Have Wide Range of Unintended Adverse Effects

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Statins appear to have no significant association with a large number of diseases, but they may have a wide range of unintended adverse effects, according to data published in the May 20 online edition of the BMJ.

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NSAIDs Reduce Risks for Gastric Cancer in Ulcer Patients

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with peptic ulcer disease who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are at reduced risk for the future development of gastric cancer, especially if the ulcer is associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, according to a study published online May 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Vitamin D Insufficiency Common in Young Women

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many U.S. women of childbearing age have vitamin D insufficiency, and the current recommended dosage for prenatal vitamin D supplementation may need to be increased to reach recommended levels, according to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Botox Injections Resolve Chronic Cough

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Injection with botulinum toxin type A (BtxA) can resolve chronic cough caused by laryngeal hypertonicity and neuroplastic changes, according to research published in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Antibiotic Resistance May Persist Months After Treatment

WEDNESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- After a course of antibiotics for respiratory or urinary tract infection, an individual is likely to develop resistance to the antibiotic that may persist for up to 12 months, according to research published online May 18 in the BMJ.

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Steroids for Hemangiomas Affect Immune Function

WEDNESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Corticosteroids used for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas are associated with reductions in lymphocyte cell numbers and changes in immune function, according to a study published online May 17 in Archives of Dermatology.

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Sagent Announces Recall of Metronidazole Injection

WEDNESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced a nationwide voluntary recall of all lots of metronidazole injection, USP 500 mg/100 mL, distributed by the company and manufactured by Claris Lifesciences, due to non-sterility in two lots of the product, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Sildenafil of Mixed Value in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, treatment with sildenafil does not significantly increase walking distance compared to placebo but may be associated with some symptomatic improvements, according to a study published online May 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in New Orleans.

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Learning/Management Model Effective for Anxiety Treatment

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- A blended intervention approach to anxiety treatment is superior to usual care for patients treated in primary care clinics, according to research published May 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sprix Approved for Moderate-to-Severe Pain

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Roxro Pharma's Sprix (ketorolac tromethamine) nasal spray has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the short-term treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain, the manufacturer said Monday in a news release.

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Antibiotic Patterns for S. Aureus in Children Have Changed

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Since the emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections, antibiotic treatment for hospitalized children with S. aureus infections has changed dramatically, and clindamycin has become the primary antibiotic treatment for those infections, according to research published online May 17 in Pediatrics.

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Earliest Receipt of Alteplase Benefits Stroke Outcomes Most

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The thrombolytic drug alteplase should be given as soon as possible after a stroke, as the odds of a favorable outcome decrease as the time to treatment increases, according to a pooled analysis published online May 15 in The Lancet.

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Treatment Found to Reduce Depression in Psoriasis

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treating psoriasis patients with adalimumab is associated with reduced depression and improved quality of life compared to placebo, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Neuropathic Pain Increases Related Medical Costs

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Common types of neuropathic pain, such as that associated with herpes zoster or diabetes, can add substantially to health care costs related to those conditions, according to a study reported in the April issue of the Journal of Pain.

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FDA Warns of Safety Concern Related to Eltrombopag

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and GlaxoSmithKline have alerted health care professionals of a new safety concern in patients with thrombocytopenia resulting from chronic liver disease treated with eltrombopag (Promacta).

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Pramipexole Beneficial for Depression in Parkinson's

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The dopamine agonist pramipexole improves depression in patients with Parkinson's disease, suggesting that it could become an important antidepressant treatment for these patients, according to a study published online May 10 in the The Lancet Neurology.

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Sucrose or Glucose Before Shots Reduces Infants' Crying

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The administration of sucrose or glucose prior to immunization in infants aged 1 to 12 months reduces the incidence and duration of crying as well as pain scores, according to research published online May 12 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Excessive Antioxidants May Increase Genetic Abnormalities

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Taking excessive amounts of antioxidants, such as high-dose supplements of vitamin C and E, can increase genetic abnormalities in cells, which may raise the risk for developing cancer, according to a study published online May 4 in Stem Cells.

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FDA Warns Consumers Against Swallowing Topical Benadryl

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted consumers regarding potentially serious side effects associated with mistakenly swallowing Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel, an over-the-counter (OTC) product intended only for topical use.

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IOM Proposes Framework for Evaluating Health Claims

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should evaluate claims of foods' and nutritional supplements' health benefits with the same rigor it uses in evaluating approvals of medicines and medical technology, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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New FDA Program Targets Misleading Drug Advertising

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new program to educate health care providers regarding their role in making certain that advertisements and promotions for prescription drugs are truthful and not misleading.

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Multiple IV Immunoglobulin Doses Benefit CIDP Patients

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) may need two doses of immune globulin intravenous, 10 percent caprylate/chromatography purified (IGIV-C), every three weeks for initial improvement, and additional therapy may be needed to reach and maintain a maximal response, according to research published online May 10 in the Archives of Neurology.

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High-Dose Vitamin D Linked to Falls, Fractures in Women

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Older women receiving an annual large dose of vitamin D may have an increased risk of falls and fractures, according to research published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fibrates Found to Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Events

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Fibrates can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, mostly by preventing coronary events, and might have a role in individuals at high risk of these events and in individuals who have combined dyslipidemia, according to research published online May 11 in The Lancet.

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D-Dimer May Be Marker for Adverse Events in A-Fib Patients

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- During anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation, D-dimer values may be useful in prediction of thromboembolic and cardiovascular events, according to a study in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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N-Acetylcysteine Does Not Improve Angioplasty Outcomes

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- N-acetylcysteine reduces oxidative stress but adds no other clinical benefit in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing angioplasty, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Dizziness in the Elderly Often Due to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- In over half of elderly patients seen in primary care with a complaint of dizziness, cardiovascular disease is a contributing factor, and an adverse drug effect is a contributing factor in about one-fourth of patients, according to research published in the May 10 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Impulse Control Disorders Common in Parkinson's Disease

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are fairly common in people with Parkinson's disease and are associated with several clinical and demographic variables -- particularly dopamine-replacement therapies, according to research published in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Benefits Found Lacking for High-Dose Proton Pump Inhibitors

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with high doses of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is not associated with reduced rates of rebleeding, surgical intervention, or death in patients with bleeding peptic ulcers compared to non-high-dose PPI treatment, according to a meta-analysis published in the May 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine alongside several other studies that explore the side effects associated with PPIs.

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Opioid Misuse Risk Factors Differ for Men and Women

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Men at risk for the misuse of prescription opioids taken for pain are more likely to have legal and behavioral problems, while women who misuse are more likely to have emotional or psychological issues, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Pain.

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CDC Finds Rotavirus Vaccine Coverage Is Increasing

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Since routine rotavirus vaccination of infants began in February 2006, coverage has steadily increased but still lags behind coverage for other infant vaccines, according to a report published in the May 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hormonal Contraceptives Tied to Female Sexual Dysfunction

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Risk for female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is higher among women taking hormonal contraceptives, according to research published online May 4 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Vaccine May Have Role in Dravet Onset; Does Not Cause Disease

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Pertussis vaccination may cause an earlier onset of Dravet syndrome in children who are destined to develop the disease because of a mutation, but the vaccine does not appear to affect outcomes and there is no reason to withhold it, according to research published online May 5 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Beneficial in Parkinson's

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease who undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) in addition to the best medical therapy report better quality of life than patients who receive only best medical therapy, though they are at increased risk of serious adverse events, according to a study published online April 29 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Bar-Code Technology Reduces Medication Errors in Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Use of bar-code verification technology can substantially decrease both transcription errors and medication administration errors in hospitals, according to research published in the May 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Orders Recall of Colleague Volumetric Infusion Pumps

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified Baxter Healthcare Corp. that the company must recall and destroy all Colleague Volumetric Infusion Pumps currently being used in the United States, which may number 200,000.

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Concomitant Vaccination Feasible in Adolescents

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents, co-administration of the Gardasil, Menactra, and Adacel vaccines is not associated with decreased safety, tolerability or immunogenicity of the individual vaccines, according to a study published online May 3 in Pediatrics.

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Vitamin A May Not Prevent Pregnancy-Related Deaths

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Weekly vitamin A supplements given to women of reproductive age may not reduce pregnancy-related deaths or all-cause mortality, according to research published online May 4 in The Lancet.

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Cost Barriers Hamper Herpes Zoster Vaccination of Seniors

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Though most physicians recommend the use of herpes zoster vaccine in older adults, they are hampered by its financial barriers, according to survey results published in the May 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. A study in the same issue found that the vaccine is well tolerated in older adults.

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Kidney Disease Therapy May Increase Cardiovascular Risks

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), therapy with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) that target higher levels of hemoglobin increases the risk of stroke, hypertension and thrombosis, according to a meta-analysis published online May 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Growth Hormone Enhances Body Composition in Athletes

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Giving growth hormone to recreational athletes -- alone in women and alone or with testosterone in men -- results in increased sprint capacity and changes in body composition, according to a study in the May 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Impact Child Behavior

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressant use during pregnancy and twin birth weight differences may affect later behavior in children, while nicotine use during pregnancy may lead to sleep disturbances in children, according to three studies published in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Children's and Infants' Liquid Medicines Recalled

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- McNeil Consumer Healthcare and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have alerted health care professionals of the voluntary recall of various over-the-counter liquid products for children and infants, including Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl products, as some of them may not meet quality standards.

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