May 12th, 2011
By: Linda Doell
Bristol-Myers Squibb recalled one lot of its blood thinner medicine Coumadin after tests showed the tablets could be more potent than the dosage, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Coumadin — also known as warfarin sodium — is prescribed to treat and prevent blood clots, and to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, too much of the active ingredient in the medication means there would be an increased risk of bleeding, the FDA said.
Consumers should talk to their doctors immediately if they experience any problems, including pain, swelling, headache and dizziness, unusual bruising, nosebleeds and bleeding from cuts that take a long time to stop.
Included in the recall is one lot of 1,000-count bottles of Coumadin Crystalline 5 mg tablets, lot number 9H49374A, with an expiration date of September 30, 2012. The bottles were distributed to pharmacies for further dispensing to consumers.
Bristol-Myers Squibb said the recall is precautionary and is based on the company’s testing of tablets from a returned bottle. The tests showed a single table was higher in potency than expected.
Consumers should continue taking the medicine but should contact their pharmacist to see if they have tablets from the recalled lot. If so, they should contact their doctors immediately.
For further information, consumers can call Bristol-Myers Squib at (866) 918-8739.
In February, Upsher-Smith Laboratories recalled a single lot of its Jantoven Warfarin Sodium USP 3 mg tablets because a bottle contained higher-strength (10 mg) tablets.
October 26th, 2010
By: Richard Alleyne
For years, people have been told to freeze torn, bruised or sprained muscles to reduce the swelling.
But now for the first time, researchers have found that it could slow down the healing as it prevents the release of a key repair hormone.
This discovery turns the conventional wisdom that swelling must be controlled in order to encourage healing and prevent pain.
It could also lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries that lead to inflammation.
The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, suggests muscle inflammation after acute injury is essential to repair.
Professor Lan Zhou and colleagues at the Neuroinflammation Research Centre at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio discovered inflamed cells produce a high level of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which significantly increases the rate of muscle regeneration.
During the study, scientists studied two groups of mice. The first group was genetically altered so they could not form an inflammatory response to injury.
The second group was normal.
All mice were then injected with barium chloride to cause muscle injury.
The first group of mice did not heal, but the bodies of the second group repaired the injury.
When they studied the muscle tissue they saw the healthy mice produced a high level of IGF-1 in their inflamed tissue.
Prof Zhou, said: “We hope that our findings stimulate further research to dissect different roles played by tissue inflammation in clinical settings, so we can utilise the positive effects and control the negative effects of tissue inflammation.”
This discovery could change how much patient monitoring is required when potent anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed over a long period.
Gerald Weissmann, editor of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, said: “For wounds to heal we need controlled inflammation, not too much, and not too little.
“It’s been known for a long time that excess anti-inflammatory medication, such as cortisone, slows wound healing.
“This study goes a long way to telling us why – insulin-like growth factor and other materials released by inflammatory cells helps wound to heal.”
October 20th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
Many veterinarians recommend them, and most animal shelters require them. Identification microchips injected into the necks of cats and dogs are touted as useful in recovering lost pets because the devices store owner and medical information. But are they safe? A new lawsuit against Merck & Co., Inc., maker of the HomeAgain pet microchip, says they are not, noting that they can cause cancer to develop in pets.
Featured at www.ChipMeNot.org, a website launched to raise awareness about the harm caused to animals by microchips, the lawsuit alleges that Merck’s HomeAgain pet microchip induces cancerous tumors in pets. According to the suit, the defendant’s cat developed cancer after getting a chip implant, and according to reports, other animals have gotten cancer after getting chipped as well.
“Based on the alarming number of microchip-induced cancers we’re discovering, I predict this lawsuit will be just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a consumer advocate and expert on side effects associated with implantable microchips. “Merck and organizations that advocate pet chipping should take this lawsuit seriously and start warning pet owners of the risk of microchip-induced cancer.”
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, potential health risks associated with implantable microchips include “adverse tissue reaction”. Based on data from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, this can include “swelling”, “infection”, “abscesses”, and “tumors”.
Albrecht presented a paper on the subject called “Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006″ at the June conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that documents the increasing number of animals being harmed by microchips. Currently, there is no repository of data on adverse events associated with microchips in the U.S., but Albrecht organization, CASPIAN, is filling that void by compiling such information and making it available to the public.
October 6th, 2010
By: S.L. Baker
Over 21 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from the most common form of arthritis — osteoarthritis. Primarily associated with growing older, the condition is marked by the wearing away of cartilage, the cushioning between the bones in the joints. As osteoarthritis gets worse, the cartilage disappears and bone rubs on bone, producing pain and swelling. Mainstream medicine offers symptomatic relief — but no cure — with medications including liver damaging acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen which, long term, can cause ulcers and bleeding; some NSAIDs may increase the risk for heart attack and stroke, too.
But despite the view of many that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of aging, researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) believe they are hot on the trail of a way to prevent this form of arthritis from developing in the first place. The potential solution? A natural, bioactive compound called sulforaphane that is found in cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli.
The UEA scientists have already discovered sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction in osteoarthritis. Now the same researchers are launching a new and groundbreaking project to investigate how sulforaphane may act to slow or even prevent the development of osteoarthritis. This initial study will pave the way for additional patient trials that could lead to safe and natural ways of preventing and treating this painful disease.
In a statement to the media, the UEA research team noted that broccoli has previously been associated with a reduced risk of cancer. But their study is the first major research into its effects on joint health. As part of their three year long project, the UEA scientists will also investigate the impact of other natural compounds on osteoarthritis — including diallyl disulphide, a component of garlic that appears to slow the destruction of cartilage in laboratory models.
As reported previously in NaturalNews, phytochemical compounds in cruciferous vegetables are turning out to be remarkably powerful disease fighters and health builders. For example, scientists at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and the Richard J. Solove Research Institute have discovered that a substance in broccoli and Brussels sprouts specifically blocks the growth of breast cancer cells. Other research has concluded eating broccoli can protect against asthma, too.
August 23rd, 2010
By: Jerry Ulmer
Ten McMinnville High School football players remained hospitalized Saturday as they were treated for a rare soft-tissue condition after participating in an “immersion camp” at the school last week.
The players are suffering from “compartment syndrome” — soreness and swelling — that affects their triceps. They have received intravenous fluids to ward off a potential kidney disorder, according to Dr. Craig Winkler, who is treating seven of the players. Earlier Saturday, 12 players were at Willamette Valley Medical Center, but two were released by Saturday night, a spokeswoman said.
“The reason we’re treating these players so aggressively is to prevent renal disease,” Winkler said. “If it’s significant enough, it could actually end up in dialysis.”
McMinnville School District officials continue to investigate the cause of the condition. Superintendent Maryalice Russell said Friday that she didn’t believe the workout prescribed by first-year coach Jeff Kearin was excessive. The camp was in preparation for the first week of practice, which begins Monday.
Kearin has experience coaching in college, including at USC and UNLV, but a former colleague dismissed the idea that such a background could lead the Grizzlies’ coach to push high school players too far.
“He’s been an educator for a long time,” said Los Angeles Valley College coach Jim Fenwick, who worked with Kearin at Cal State Northridge. “He’s very conscientious about the high school development and the kids.”
Fenwick, formerly head coach at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, said he offered Kearin, 50, a job as an assistant this season should he decide against taking a high school coaching job.
“He works well with kids,” Fenwick said. “His personality is not a big, hard-nosed, lineman’s mentality, or a weight-room-mentality guy.”
The players are being treated for high levels of creatine kinase, a protein that can harm the kidneys.
Doctors are keeping a close watch on the CK levels of the players, some of whom entered the hospital with levels higher than 42,000, well beyond the level of 3,000 needed before they are discharged.
Winkler said that “95 percent” of the players are responding well to treatment. One player is “not responding adequately,” though, and would be treated with more fluid to flush out his kidneys faster.
Dennis Nice was among the parents waiting at the hospital for reports on the CK levels. Nice and his wife Margaret — parents of Joshua, 17, and Daniel, 16 — have been at the hospital around the clock since Wednesday.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Dennis Nice said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. We’re just waiting for the numbers to drop. All the parents pretty much know each other now. We’re all supportive of each other.”
Daniel Nice was one of three players to undergo surgery to reduce swelling. His CK levels had dropped from 17,000 to 6,600 by Saturday, according to his father.
Junior Kyle Downing said he had slight swelling in his triceps Tuesday but it receded. He took a blood test as a precaution Thursday night, however, and it revealed a CK level of 18,000. It has dropped to 6,000 since he was admitted Friday.
The cause of the condition has school officials, parents and doctors puzzled. Winkler said most cases of compartment syndrome are due to trauma.
“We could only find like 10 documented cases of triceps compartment syndrome,” he said. “It’s very, very rare.”
Some have speculated that a workout that targeted the triceps, in a hot wrestling room at the school Sunday, could be the cause. But Downing, who has been lifting weights all summer, disagreed.
“It definitely wasn’t the workout. The workout was fine,” he said. “It was basically nothing. The complete triceps workout was about one minute. This is odd.”
Russell said Friday that she supports the coaching staff. Rene Downing, Kyle’s mother, said Saturday that “the kids are crazy about the coach. He’s a good coach.”
Kyle Downing said the team remains excited about the season.
“This is a speed bump for us,” he said. “This is definitely a big building block. This is adversity at its greatest. To all the teams we play, I’d have to say, ‘Watch out.’ ”
May 5, 2010
People who take aspirin regularly for a year or more may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, according to a new study by the University of East Anglia.
Led by Dr Andrew Hart of UEA’s School of Medicine, the research will be presented for the first time at the Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans today.
Crohn’s disease is a serious condition affecting 60,000 people in the UK and 500,000 people in the US. It is characterized by inflammation and swelling of any part of the digestive system. This can lead to debilitating symptoms and requires patients to take life-long medication. Some patients need surgery and some sufferers have an increased risk of bowel cancer.
Though there are likely to be many causes of the disease, previous work on tissue samples has shown that aspirin can have a harmful effect on the bowel. To investigate this potential link further, the UEA team followed 200,000 volunteers aged 30-74 in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Italy. The volunteers had been recruited for the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) between 1993 and 1997.
The volunteers were all initially well, but by 2004 a small number had developed Crohn’s disease. When looking for differences in aspirin use between those who did and did not develop the disease, the researchers discovered that those taking aspirin regularly for a year or more were around five times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease.
The study also showed that aspirin use had no effect on the risk of developing ulcerative colitis – a condition similar to Crohn’s disease.
“This is early work but our findings do suggest that the regular use of aspirin could be one of many factors which influences the development of this distressing disease in some patients,” said Dr Hart.
“Aspirin does have many beneficial effects, however, including helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. I would urge aspirin users to continue taking this medication since the risk of aspirin users possibly developing Crohn’s disease remains very low – only one in every 2000 users, and the link is not yet finally proved.”
Further work must now be done in other populations to establish whether there is a definite link and to check that aspirin use is not just a marker of another risk factor which is the real cause of Crohn’s disease. The UEA team will also continue its wider research into other potential factors in the development of Crohn’s disease, including diet.
February 8, 2010
More than 300 people have been diagnosed with the mumps in suburban New York as the nation’s largest outbreak of the disease in years continues to spread.
A health official says a total of 303 people in the Rockland County towns of Monsey and New Square have been diagnosed with the highly infectious disease. Almost all the cases are among Orthodox or Hasidic Jews.
Investigators say the outbreak started in August 2009 at a Jewish summer camp in Sullivan County with an 11-year-old boy who brought the disease from England.
It has since spread to Jewish communities in Brooklyn, New Jersey and Orange county.
Mumps spreads through saliva, coughing and sneezing. Common symptoms are flu-like and include swelling of the salivary glands.
January 25, 2010
Amid the mass of aid agencies piling in to help Haiti quake victims is a batch of Church of Scientology “volunteer ministers”, claiming to use the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems.
Clad in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of the controversial US-based group, smiling volunteers fan out among the injured lying under makeshift shelters in the courtyard of Port-au-Prince’s General Hospital.
A wealthy private donor provided his airplane to fly in 80 volunteers from Los Angeles, along with 50 Haitian-American-doctors, in a gesture worth 400,000 dollars, said a Parisian volunteer who gave her name as Sylvie.
“We’re trained as volunteer ministers, we use a process called ‘assist’ to follow the nervous system to reconnect the main points, to bring back communication,” she said.
“When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we re-establish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch.”
Next to her lay 22-year-old student Oscar Elweels, whose father rescued him from the basement of his school where he lay with a pillar on his leg for a day after the deadly January 12 quake.
His right leg was amputated below the knee and his left leg was severely bruised and swollen.
More than half of his fellow students died in the rubble of his school, although the rest of his family was unscathed, he said, thanking God.
“One hour ago he had no sensation in his left leg, so I explained the method to him, I touched him and after a while he said ‘now I feel everything’,” said Sylvie.
“Otherwise they might have had to amputate his other leg. Now his sister knows the method and she can do it.”
Asked about the method being used on him, a smiling Elweels described it as “a sort of harmony between the nerves, a kind of exercise. I couldn’t feel at all, but then I could.”
Does he know Scientology? “Yes, it’s a French organization,” he said.
“All the patients are happy with the technique,” said Sylvie. “But some doctors don’t like the yellow T-shirts. It’s a color thing,” she insisted.
Another group of Scientologists distributed antibiotic pills. “The doctors said give everyone with wounds antibiotics,” said Italian volunteer Marina.
Some doctors at the hospital are skeptical. One US doctor, who asked not to be named, snorted: “I didn’t know touching could heal gangrene.”
When asked what the Scientologists are doing here, another doctor said: “I don’t know.”
Do you care? “Not really,” she said, wheeling an unconscious patient out of the operating room to join hundreds of others in the hospital’s sunny courtyard.
October 23, 2009
My Fox New York
By Luke Funk
New York City’s Health and Mental Hygiene Department is warning doctors about a mumps outbreak in Brooklyn.
The cases started turning up in late August.
The outbreak began among children from Borough Park who attended summer camp in Upstate New York. Now, a similar outbreak is being reported in New Jersey
So far, 57 confirmed or probable cases have been identified in New York. Cases of mumps have continued to occur in Borough Park since the start of the school year.
The victims have ranged in age from 1 to 42 years of age. Most of the cases are among children ages 10-15 years old.
Mumps is an illness characterized by acute swelling of the salivary gland lasting two or more days. The illness can cause deafness and encephalitis.
A person can be infected for two days before symptoms appear.
The health department is telling people who suspect they have mumps to stay home for five days.
Children who are not fully vaccinated against mumps are the highest risk of infection.