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Category Archives: Drug Side Effects

A Path to Lower-Risk Painkillers

Posted: June 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

You are here: All Articles A Path to Lower-Risk Painkillers New findings provide a vital step towards exploring pain medications that may lower risks of prescription drug abuse and side effects of painkillers, according to a release from the University of Michigan Health System. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A release from the university notes that drugs such as hydrocodone, the main ingredient of Vicodin, and oxycodone (Oxycontin) are often the best options for the treatment of moderate to severe pain for patients facing medical conditions ranging from a wisdom tooth extraction to cancer. The release notes that these drugs bind to specific molecules called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to prevent the feeling of pain. Yet the body's tendency to develop tolerance to these medications can require patients to take higher doses, which increases risks of harmful side effects and dependency. Co-author John Traynor, Ph.D is quoted as saying, "We have for the first time discovered compounds that bind to an alternative site on the nerve opioid receptors and that have significant potential to enhance the drug's positive impact without increasing negative side effects. … Continue reading

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DrugRisk Update: FDA Meets to Discuss Study for Byetta Cancer Risk

Posted: at 10:45 am

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2013 The diabetes drug safety center at DrugRisk.com is announcing updated information for patients taking the medication Byetta. The FDA met with drug makers last week to decide additional safety studies of the drug after reports linking it to pancreatic cancer*. The goal of DrugRisk is to improve the safety of patients taking popular prescription drugs by providing the latest warnings, recalls, studies and legal news. Visitors can see if others are experiencing similar side effects and decide if they need legal advice. Byetta is a twice-daily injectable medication released in 2005 to help those with type-2 diabetes control blood sugar. Last year the drug had sales of over $300 million for manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb**. The resource center added a 2011 study from the University of California at Los Angeles, indicating Byetta could increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 290% and thyroid cancer by 473%***. The Journal for the American Medical Association also recently warned that drugs like Byetta can double the risk of pancreatitis, a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer****. Now, DrugRisk has learned that the FDA met last week with diabetes drug manufacturers to discuss how to approach new studies … Continue reading

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Drug to treat osteoporosis prevents growth of breast cancer cells

Posted: June 17, 2013 at 6:43 am

A drug approved in Europe to treat osteoporosis has now been shown to stop the growth of breast cancer cells, even in cancers that have become resistant to current targeted therapies. The findings by Duke Cancer Institute indicate that the drug bazedoxifene packs a powerful one-two punch that not only prevents estrogen from fueling breast cancer cell growth, but also flags the estrogen receptor for destruction. We found bazedoxifene binds to the estrogen receptor and interferes with its activity, but the surprising thing we then found was that it also degrades the receptor; it gets rid of it, senior author Donald McDonnell, PhD, chair of Dukes Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, said. In animal and cell culture studies, the drug inhibited growth both in estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells and in cells that had developed resistance to the anti-estrogen tamoxifen and/or to the aromatase inhibitors, two of the most widely used types of drugs to prevent and treat estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Currently, if breast cancer cells develop resistance to these therapies, patients are usually treated with toxic chemotherapy agents that have significant side effects. Because the drug is removing the estrogen receptor as a target by degradation, it is less … Continue reading

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Finasteride, medication for male pattern hair loss, may also decrease drinking

Posted: June 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

June 13, 2013 Finasteride is a synthetic drug for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (MPHL) and an enlarged prostate. The side effects of finasteride for treatment of these two conditions can include increased rates of sexual dysfunction, such as low libido and erectile dysfunction; in fact, some men who have discontinued the medication continue to experience persistent sexual side effects. Building on the discovery that finasteride has also been shown to reduce alcohol intake and suppress alcohol preference in mice, a new study has found that a majority of men with finasteride-related sexual side effects noticed a decrease in their alcohol consumption. Results will be published in the November 2013 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "Finasteride is a synthetic medication used to treat enlarged prostates in older men," explained Michael S. Irwig, assistant professor of medicine at The George Washington University and sole author of the study. "It is also used by younger men for male pattern baldness. In younger men with male pattern baldness, [less than] five percent have developed sexual side effects. Finasteride has not been used for alcohol reduction in humans; our study is among the … Continue reading

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DrugRisk Announces Latest Ruling By Judicial Panel on NuvaRing Lawsuits

Posted: June 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) June 14, 2013 The birth control safety advocates at DrugRisk.com are announcing new information on the site for women who have used the vaginal ring contraceptive NuvaRing. A federal panel recently ruled that five patients filing cases in California alleging blood clot injuries will have to join the multi-district litigation in Missouri*. DrugRisk was created to improve the safety of patients using popular prescription drugs and devices by providing the latest warnings, research, legal news and recalls. Visitors can find out if others are experiencing similar side effects and decide if they need legal advice. Health experts have linked contraceptives like NuvaRing to higher risks of blood clots than traditional birth control pills. Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study finding vaginal ring contraceptives could relate to a 2.5 to 3-fold increased risk of blood clots**. With over a thousand patients filing a NuvaRing lawsuit alleging blood clots, many cases were consolidated to a special federal court in Missouri. The formal case is known as In re: NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation, No. 08-md-1964, JPML, Eastern District Missouri. Recently, DrugRisk learned that five patients filed claims in Illinois*** and others attempted to have … Continue reading

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Baldness Drug Curbs Men's Interest in Alcohol, Study Suggests

Posted: at 3:45 pm

Some men who take the drug finasteride (Propecia) to slow a receding hair line may also find it reduces their interest in drinking alcohol, new research reveals. Almost two-thirds of the men in the study noticed they were drinking less alcohol than before taking Propecia, said study researcher Dr. Michael Irwig, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. But the decrease in drinking seen in the study may not be found in all men who use the popular hair-loss treatment. (A higher dose of finasteride is also prescribed to men for an enlarged prostate, and is sold as Proscar.) The study, which was aimed at better understanding the drug's sexual side effects, looked at only younger men, ages 46 and under, who had quit taking the medication for male-pattern hair loss for at least three months, yet continued to experience effects such as a reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction. Although the exact mechanism for reduced alcohol consumption is not known, Irwig said he suspects that Propecia interferes with the brain's ability to make certain hormones, known as neurosteroids, which are likely linked to drinking alcohol. The findings are the first to link … Continue reading

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Baldness Drug Propecia May Put Some Men Off Alcohol: Study

Posted: at 3:45 pm

Men with sexual side effects appear to drink less, even after they stop taking the drug WebMD News from HealthDay By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Some men who use finasteride (Propecia) to help battle baldness may also be drinking less alcohol, a new study suggests. Among the potential side effects of the hair-restoring drug are a reduced sex drive, depression and suicidal thoughts. And it's men who have sexual side effects who also appear to want to drink less, the researchers report. "In men experiencing persistent sexual side effects despite stopping finasteride, two-thirds have noticed drinking less alcohol than before taking finasteride," said study author Dr. Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Although it isn't clear why the medication might have this effect, Irwig thinks the drug may alter the brain's chemistry. "Finasteride interferes with the brain's ability to make certain hormones called neurosteroids, which are likely linked to drinking alcohol," he said. "For younger men contemplating the use of finasteride for male pattern hair loss, they should carefully balance the modest cosmetic benefits of less hair loss versus some … Continue reading

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Lilly stops mid-stage Alzheimer's drug study

Posted: at 3:45 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Eli Lilly and Co. said Thursday that it stopped a mid-stage clinical trial of an experimental Alzheimer's disease drug because of potential side effects on patients' livers. The company stopped testing LY2886721 because of abnormal results in liver biochemical tests. Lilly says the results were found as part of routine monitoring and it will continue to monitor all patients. The Indianapolis company will evaluate data from the trial before deciding on the next steps for the drug. Lilly says it may continue development of similar drugs. Lilly will take a charge related to stopping the trial, but it won't affect its full-year guidance. About 35 million people worldwide have dementia. Alzheimer's is the most common type and there are around 5 million patients in the U.S. Approved drugs like Aricept and Namenda temporarily ease symptoms, but there is no cure. The company is also running late-stage studies on the drug solanezumab as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Solanezumab targets beta-amyloid, the sticky plaque that gums up the brains of patients with the disease. In August 2010 Lilly ended a late-stage trial of the Alzheimer's drug semagacestat, which was more like LY2886721 than solanezumab. Both drugs target … Continue reading

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Wilmington on DVD: Side Effects, Free Radicals

Posted: June 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

Side Effects (B) U.S.: Steven Soderbergh, Open Road Films, 2013 The fictitious drug Ablixa in Side Effects -- an intelligent but unpleasant movie thriller by director-cinematographer-editor Steven Soderbergh -- is supposed to handle depression. But what it actually creates here (or reveals) is a kind of hell on earth, wrapped up in slick movie thriller trimmings. Our guy at the center, psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) lights up that hell by giving Ablixa to troubled patient Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara). Emily was married to hedge fund crook Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) and once was a psychiatric patient of icy-edged Dr. Victoria Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The other actors in the drama, all affected by Emily, include Emily's seemingly compassionate office boss (Polly Draper), hardball NYPD cop Beahan (Victor Cruz) and Banks' unhappy wife Deirdre (Vinessa Shaw). What Side Effects is trying to do -- courtesy of that intelligent and unpleasant script by Scott Z. Burns (the writer of other Soderberghs, like Contagion and The Informant!) -- is tell an old-fashioned cynical James M. Cain-style erotic crime thriller yarn, like Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice, about sex and murder and the dark side of the American dream. But they … Continue reading

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No recall planned for contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin, as gynecologists' group says drugs are safe

Posted: June 12, 2013 at 5:47 am

Two popular birth control pills linked in media reports to the deaths of 23 Canadian women will not be recalled, and a national gynecologists group says the contraceptives, Yaz and Yasmin, are safe. The deaths, first reported on Tuesday by the CBC, were uncovered in reports filed with Health Canada about more than 600 adverse drug side effects. The women ranged in age from 14 to 44, and typically died from complications of blood clots within a few months of being prescribed one of the drugs. Anyone can file an adverse-effect report, and it is impossible to determine from a report whether the reaction was the direct result of using the product. The reports do not attribute a death to a side effect. Health Canada provides a synopsis of reports in an online searchable database. Adverse events are very different from attributable events, and [the latter] is the number you need, said Jennifer Blake, a gynecologist and CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, who described being bombarded with calls from concerned women after the news reports. We are advising that there is no new data and that the pills are safe and effective. Responding to an … Continue reading

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