Pharmaceuticals

1:34pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:40 pm

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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7:05am

Fri February 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Lesson Learned: A Curb On Drugmakers' Gifts To Medical Students

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 5:57 am

A package of microwave popcorn promoting Johnson & Johnson's antipsychotic drug Invega back in 2008 would have been a no-no at many medical schools.
Nurse Ratched's Place

It used to be common for drugmakers to ply medical students with meals and gifts as a way to curry favor with America's next generation of doctors.

But times are changing.

To curb the influence of drug companies, most U.S. medical schools have now instituted policies that restrict or ban gifts altogether. The policies appear to have a lasting effect.

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2:46pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Fight Addiction, FDA Advisers Endorse Limits On Vicodin

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:38 pm

An FDA advisory panel voted to increase controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, such as this generic version of Vicodin.
Sue Ogrocki Associated Press

A key federal panel Friday recommended placing new restrictions on Vicodin and similar prescription painkillers.

At the conclusion of an emotional two-day hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 19-10 to recommend the agency change how drugs that contain the opioid hydrocodone are classified as controlled substances.

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9:55am

Wed January 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Old Drug Extends Life For Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:55 pm

A CT scan showing an adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head.
Wikimedia Commons

A large study is providing a rare glimmer of hope for patients with pancreatic cancer, perhaps the deadliest of all malignancies.

By the time they're diagnosed, most patients with pancreatic cancer have advanced disease that's spread to the liver and lung. And the primary tumor may be inoperable because it's wrapped around vital blood vessels and nerves.

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1:29am

Wed January 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Painkiller Paradox: Feds Struggle To Control Drugs That Help And Harm

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:38 am

Carolyn Tuft and her daughter Kirsten (seen here in 2005) were the victims of a shooting at a Salt Lake City mall in 2007. Kirsten was one of five bystanders killed, and Carolyn was left in severe pain.
Courtesy of Carolyn Tuft

A few years ago, a doctor started prescribing Michael Israel painkillers for bad cramps in his gut. Israel had been struggling with Crohn's disease, a chronic digestive disorder, since he was a teenager.

"So he was prescribed, you know, Lortab, or Vicodin or whatever. You know, they would flip-flop it from one to another," says Avi Israel, Michael's father.

Then one day, Michael confessed that something was wrong.

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