Otolaryngologist Sandra Lin uses under-the-tongue drops to treat patients with allergies at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Courtesy of Keith Weller/Johns Hopkins Medicine
March 27, 2013 Drops under the tongue to treat allergies sounds a lot nicer than allergy shots. A new review in JAMA says they're moderately effective, and relatively safe. But they're also not FDA-approved. Still, doctors, including an author of the study, are prescribing them off-label.
Heparin is an anticoagulant and the prescription version is made from pig, raising concerns for vegans.
March 15, 2013 Go looking for animal products, and you will find them everywhere, including pharmaceutical drugs. That's the word from a new guide to animal-derived products in everyday products written by two German "professional vegans."
Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
February 21, 2013 Emergency contraceptives like Plan B and ella are effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Claims that the pills are tantamount to abortion, however, aren't supported by science, say researchers. The only way the drugs work is by stopping a woman's body from ovulating.
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Hydrocodone pills, the generic version of Vicodin, shown at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
February 20, 2013 Pharmaceuticals were involved in more than half of the 38,329 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010. Opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone, were the most common prescription drugs involved. But drugs for mental health conditions were also implicated often.
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
February 14, 2013 Small amounts of the drugs that people take end up in wastewater and then in streams and rivers. It's usually not enough to harm the health of humans who swim in or drink the water. But there is growing evidence that pharmaceuticals in wastewater may affect wildlife.
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Shoppers buy smuggled counterfeit drugs at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 2007.
Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images
February 13, 2013 Contaminated and counterfeit drugs can be more profitable than illegal ones, and they're spreading. This problem is killing people around the world, including in the U.S., and hampering efforts to control diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS.
Thinking a cortisone shot would help? You might want to reconsider.
February 6, 2013 Cortisone shots offer quick relief for tendon problems. But they also carry a risk of side effects. A look at alternatives for treatment of tennis elbow finds that being patient may be the best approach to take.
Triaminic syrups and Theraflu Warming Relief syrups have been recalled by manufacturer Novartis.
Courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
February 1, 2013 Triaminic and Theraflu syrups and "warming liquids," the products implicated in the latest recall announcement, contain acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. But kids were able to open the childproof caps on the products, presenting a risk of poisoning.
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
February 1, 2013 Most medical schools have cut down on students' interactions with the pharmaceutical industry by instituting gift restriction policies. These policies can reduce the prescribing of newly marketed drugs in favor of cheaper options.
A CT scan showing an adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head.
January 23, 2013 A study of a new drug therapy for pancreatic cancer finds it works better than the standard approach. While the improvement is modest for the typical patient, some people who received the treatment lived a year or two longer than those receiving conventional therapy.
Students at the University of Washington used a protein-folding program initially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to come up with a treatment for celiac disease.
January 11, 2013 Anthrax spores and gluten are health problems on a very different scale. But researchers believe they both could be vulnerable to thoughtfully designed enzymes. Computerized tools funded by the Defense Department to develop countermeasures for chemical and biological attacks may help with a treatment for celiac disease.
Tredaptive, a booster of good cholesterol, is dead.
January 11, 2013 Tredaptive was never approved in the U.S., but it has been sold in many countries around the world. A large, international study found the drug did not reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, yet did trigger some serious side effects.
January 10, 2013 The active ingredient in many sleep aid medications like Ambien stays in the body longer than had been thought, which could leave people drowsy the next day. So the Food and Drug Administration is ordering pharmaceutical companies to change the labeling on drugs containing the ingredient zolpidem.
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Generic or brand?
January 7, 2013 Doctors' apparent willingness to prescribe brand-name drugs instead of generics in response to patients' requests is associated with their acceptance of free food from drugmakers, a study finds.
The number of new drug shortages each year in the U.S., from 2001 through Dec. 21, 2012.
University of Utah
December 26, 2012 The short supply of a key drug to treat lymphoma forced doctors to switch to another medicine. Now researchers have documented that the fallback drug wasn't as good a choice as many doctors thought.
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