ADHD Drug to Get Suicide Risk Warning Label

Drugmaker Eli Lilly intends to add a "black box" warning label to a drug used to treat attention disorders, also known as ADHD. Clinical trials show some children and teens who take the drug, Strattera, have suicidal thoughts.

During the trials, there were no suicides among children, teens or adults taking the medicine. But some adolescents enrolled in the study did report suicidal thoughts. Of the roughly 1,300 youths taking Strattera, five said they experienced such thoughts. A company release from Eli Lilly said that while suicidal thinking was uncommon in patients, it's important for parents to be aware it can occur.

Eli Lilly is working with the Food and Drug Administration to develop the wording for the black box warning. The FDA is advising physicians and caregivers to monitor children and adolescents being treated with the drug. — Allison Aubrey

Fruit, Veg Offer Protection Against Lung Cancer

Sept. 29, 2005 — Research in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association suggests two ways cigarette smokers might protect themselves against the risk of lung cancer.

For years, people have been told to "quit smoking." It's an "all or nothing message," according to researchers who now say there are benefits to just cutting down. Patients in a Danish study who cut their smoking in half also cut their risk of lung cancer by 27 percent.

In a separate study, patients who ate diets rich in phytoestrogens saw their risk of lung cancer drop as well. Phytoestrogens are chemical compounds found in berries, soy products such as tofu, and in vegetables such as carrots, spinach, lettuce and broccoli. Doctors say the best option is to quit smoking. But now, at least there are some alternatives that are better than nothing. — Patricia Neighmond

Statins May Prevent Bone Fractures

Sept. 26, 2005 — There's more evidence that statins, which lower cholesterol, have other health benefits. A study in this week's Archives of Internal Medicine shows men who take the medication have fewer bone fractures.

Previous research had shown that statins help lower the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in older women. It wasn't clear if this was also the case for men. Researchers from the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center analyzed medical records of more than 91,000 older male veterans over a three-year period. They found that men who took statins reduced their risk of bone fractures by 36 percent.

Researchers speculate statins help strengthen bones by reducing inflammation in blood vessels, which helps the vessels function better, and thus promote new bone growth. — Patricia Neighmond



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