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Health News Results - 370

Many People With High Blood Pressure May Take a Drug That Worsens It: Study

MONDAY, Nov. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 1 in 5 people with hypertension may be unintentionally taking a drug for another condition that causes their blood pressure to climb even higher, a new study suggests.

Left untreated or undertreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems by damaging blood...

Gout Drug Colchicine Won't Help Fight COVID-19

THURSDAY, Nov. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Add an inexpensive gout drug to the growing list of medications touted as potential COVID-19 treatments -- only to offer no apparent benefit.

The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine doesn't lessen COVID severity, the risk of death or shorten hospital stays, a new study repo...

Abortion Remains Medically Safe for U.S. Women

Debate rages over access to abortion, but experts say the collected medical evidence makes one thing clear — it is a fundamentally safe procedure for women.

Abortion is safer than childbirth and it's also safer than a host of other common procedures — colonoscopy, tonsillectomy and plastic surgery, said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wa...

Years of Blood Thinners After Stenting Might Not Be Necessary

Folks who've had a clogged artery reopened probably can stop taking blood thinners sooner than previously thought, a new study argues.

Patients are regularly prescribed blood thinners for a year or more after angioplasty. This is to make sure that blood doesn't clot inside the metal stent that now holds their artery open. That could cause a heart attack or stroke.

But heart doctors ...

Addictive Opioid Painkillers Might Not Be Needed After Knee Surgery

TUESDAY, Nov 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Addictive opioid painkillers aren't the only option for patients seeking relief following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction, researchers say.

As the United States wrestles with skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the findings may come as good news.

After AC...

Drug Long Used for Alcoholism Might Fight Severe COVID-19

A widely available drug used to treat alcoholism has potential as a COVID-19 treatment, researchers say.

The investigators found that people taking disulfiram (Antabuse) for alcoholism had a lower risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were less likely to die from COVID-19 if infected than those not taking the drug.

  • Robert Preidt
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  • November 23, 2021
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  • People on Immune-Suppressing Meds Fare Equally Well With Severe COVID

    Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who take medications that suppress the immune system don't have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those with normal immune systems, a new study finds.

    Early in the pandemic, it was feared that people taking immunosuppressive drugs were at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to their weakened immune systems. The drugs are used to treat cancer and autoim...

    Neurologists' Group Issues New Treatment Guidelines for Early Parkinson's

    Guidelines for treating movement problems in people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease have been updated.

    The new treatment recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) focus on dopaminergic medications, which increase dopamine levels or mimic dopamine effects. Parkinson's is a movement disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain fail to produce enough dopam...

    Neurologists' Group Issues Guidance to Families on Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

    Neurologists must make sure Alzheimer's patients and their families understand that the controversial drug aducanumab does not restore mental function, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in new position statement that includes ethical guidelines.

    "Aducanumab is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, yet since it has been approved by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], patients...

    Pfizer Asks FDA for Emergency Approval of Its COVID Antiviral Pill

    Pfizer announced Tuesday that it has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the emergency use of its new antiviral pill in people at high risk for severe COVID-19.

    "With more than 5 million deaths and countless lives impacted by this devastating disease globally, there is an urgent need for life-saving treatment options. The overwhelming efficacy achieved in our recent cli...

    Study Suggests a Better Blood Thinner Could Be Near

    For decades, doctors have struggled with the fact that the benefit of any blood-thinning pill came with the added risk of excess bleeding.

    Now, an experimental anti-clotting pill called milvexian has been found to be effective in patients who had knee replacement surgery — without adding any excess risk for bleeding.

    The study focused on these patients because they're known to ...

    Certain Antidepressants Appear to Curb Severe COVID-19

    Certain commonly prescribed antidepressants appear to substantially lower the risk of dying among seriously ill COVID-19 patients, a large new study indicates.

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most widely prescribed drugs for the treatment of depression. They include drugs like Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

    "We saw...

    Pricey Alzheimer's Drug Drives Spike in Medicare B Premium: Officials

    A new and expensive Alzheimer's drug called Aduhelm is responsible for about half of the $21.60 increase in monthly premiums for Medicare's Part B outpatient program in 2022, Medicare officials report.

    The new premium will be $170.10 a month, and the $21.60 boost is the biggest increase ever in dollar amount, but not in percentage terms. As recently as August, a smaller increase of $10 fr...

    Placebo Effect Plays Big Role in Antidepressant's Impact on Anxiety: Study

    Illustrating the power of the mind to heal itself, new research suggests that the placebo effect could help drive antidepressants' effects against anxiety disorders.

    The placebo effect refers to an increase in the success of a treatment when a patient expects a benefit.

    In the new study, patients with s...

    Supply Chain Issues Bring Shortages of Drugs, Devices to U.S. Hospitals

    The word went out late last month throughout Utah -- if you've got a spare set of aluminum crutches lying around, you should donate them to your local hospital.

    An international shortage of aluminum has caused delays in shipments of crutches and walkers, so Utah hospitals banded together for #LeanOnUtah -- a community drive to collect gently used durable medical supplies.

    No patient...

    Medicare Could Negotiate Drug Prices Under Democrat Proposal

    A measure designed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors has been added to President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate change bill that Democratic leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week.

    For the first time, the measure would enable the federal government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare, The New York Times reported.

    Under the proposal, ...

    Almost 1 in 3 U.S. Seniors Now Sees at Least 5 Doctors Per Year

    Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

    Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

    On average, beneficiaries saw a 34...

    Cheap Antidepressant Might Help Keep COVID Patients Out of Hospital

    A cheap and widely available antidepressant drug called fluvoxamine may reduce COVID-19 patients' risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization, according to a new study.

    The trial included almost 1,500 unvaccinated outpatients in Brazil. All of the patients tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were deemed to be at high risk for a severe case of illness.

    Fluvoxami...

    Antidepressants Plus Common Painkillers May Raise Bleeding Risk

    Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a mainstay of depression treatment, but a new study warns that taking common painkillers alongside SSRIs may raise the chances for intestinal bleeding.

    In a review of 10 published studies involving 6,000 patients, researchers found that those taking SSRIs (such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft) and pain medicati...

    Confusion, Seizures: People Hospitalized After Taking Veterinary Drug for COVID

    It's a drug that's been supported by some conservative media figures, but taking ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 might land you in the hospital, a new study warns.

    Interest in the drug surged last summer as the highly contagious Delta variant took over the United States. But instead of protecting against the virus, the use of a medicine typically reserved for horses and cattle has...

    Heartburn Meds Might Be Good for Your Gums

    While they're helping to ease reflux, some heartburn drugs may also be reducing the severity of gum disease, new research suggests.

    For the study, researchers assessed probing depth in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums) in more than 1,000 patients with gum disease who were or weren't using drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs widely prescribed to treat heart...

    Two Meds Better Than One for Many With High Blood Pressure: Study

    Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure and only 24% have it under control, but what's the best way to treat it -- one high-dose pill or two at a lower dose?

    A large new study suggests that two medications may be better than one for many older patients. Lowering elevated blood pressure to a sustainable level is important because it reduces a patient's risk of heart attack, strok...

    Powerful New Antivirals for COVID Are Coming

    People newly infected with COVID-19 might soon have access to what essentially is Tamiflu for the novel coronavirus, a breakthrough that experts say would drastically alter the course of the ongoing pandemic.

    At least three contenders are vying to become the first antiviral pill that specifically targets COVID-19, according to reports from drug manufacturers.

    Such a pill could be pr...

    New Hope for IBD Patients

    A drug previously approved for multiple sclerosis also can treat inflammatory bowel disease in some patients, a new clinical trial reports.

    The medication, ozanimod (Zeposia), proved effective in helping patients with ulcerative colitis, sending many into full remission, according to results being published Sept. 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Ulcerative colitis...

    Osteoporosis Drug May Keep Type 2 Diabetes at Bay

    A drug widely used to treat osteoporosis might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

    Taking the drug alendronate (Fosamax) for at least eight years could potentially reduce a person's risk of type 2 diabetes by more than half, compared to people never prescribed the drug, according to findings presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the S...

    Better Diet, More Exercise Equals Better Blood Pressure

    People with high blood pressure that doesn't respond to treatment may have more success by following the DASH diet and joining a supervised diet and exercise program, a new study suggests.

    DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — a regimen rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and limited salt.

    Duke University researchers found it can help people w...

    Diabetes Drug Might Help Women With Preeclampsia Prolong Their Pregnancy

    Metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug, may help stave off preterm birth among women who develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure.

    Preeclampsia is marked by a sudden spike in blood pressure, protein in urine, or other problems during pregnancy. Preterm preeclampsia occurs between 26 and 32 weeks of pregnancy and often leads to early delivery, putting babies at risk. Preemies ...

    18 Million Americans Can't Pay for Needed Meds

    As many as 18 million Americans can't afford their prescribed medications, a new nationwide poll finds.

    That's 7% of the adult population in the United States. But when it comes to households making less than $24,000 per year, the percentage jumps to 19%, the West Health/Gallup poll revealed.

    Here are the key findings:

    • The inability to pay for a prescription is twice as h...

    New Drug Combo Boosts Survival Against Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

    New research offers good news for women with an aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer.

    A targeted therapy, trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd), sold as Enhertu, triples the length of time that the cancer remains in check when compared with the current gold standard, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1).

    Both of these drugs are second-line treatment options for HER2-positive breast cancer that...

    Most Alzheimer's Patients Wouldn't Have Qualified for Controversial Drug's Trial: Study

    U.S. approval of the Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm is already mired in controversy. Now a new study finds that most Alzheimer's patients could not have taken part in clinical trials that led to the green light.

    In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave accelerated approval to Aduhelm (aducanumab) for treating patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia from Alzheimer's d...

    Kids' Accidental Poisonings Are on the Rise: Protect Your Child

    As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on and stress on families mounts, more kids are falling victim to accidental poisoning.

    Experts attribute the surge to disrupted sleep patterns, work schedules and parenting routines.

    "I think what's happening is, parents are challenged with a couple of things," said Helen Arbogast, manager of the Injury Prevention Program at Children's Hospital Los ...

    Stop Use of Ivermectin for COVID-19: AMA, Pharmacist Groups

    The prescribing, dispensing and use of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of clinical trials must end immediately, the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists say.

    The drug has U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to treat people with infections caused by internal and external parasites, but is not...

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Might Help Save Hospitalized COVID Patients

    As doctors around the world come up against severe cases of COVID-19, some positive news has emerged: New research shows the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib may help reduce hospitalized COVID patients' risk of death.

    Current standard-of-care medications aren't enough, said study co-author Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville...

    4-in-1 Blood Pressure Pill Could Improve Outcomes

    A four-in-one pill containing "ultra-low doses" of different medications can provide better blood pressure control than standard drug treatment, a new clinical trial from Australia shows.

    About 80% of people given the "quadpill" achieved a healthy blood pressure of 140/90 within three months and continuing out to a year, compared to 60% of people who started on a single medication and add...

    How Your Medicines Make Their Way Into Rivers, Lakes and Bays

    Leaky sewer pipes are to blame for large amounts of human medicines getting into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water, a new study reveals.

    Researchers found that tens of thousands of doses of drugs get into Chesapeake Bay in Maryland every year due to seeping sewer pipes.

    "Pharmaceuticals enter freshwaters through multiple pathways, including effluent from wastewater treatment a...

    Ketamine Appears Safe as Therapy for Tough-to-Treat Depression

    The anesthesia drug ketamine and a related medicine called esketamine appear to be safe for tough-to-treat depression, researchers report.

    A number of studies have suggested that low doses of ketamine, which is also abused as a club drug under monikers that include "K" and "Special K," provide rapid antidepressant effects, typically improving mood within 24 hours to seven days.

    Simi...

    New CDC Guidelines May Have Made Opioid Prescribing Safer

    Five years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention retooled a guideline for prescribing opioid painkillers, research suggests the change is paying off.

    With the United States in the grip of an opioid overdose epidemic, the CDC released an evidence-based guideline in 2016 to help doctors treat patients' pain while balancing the risks and benefits of prescription opioids....

    Bimonthly, Injected PrEP Beats Daily Pill in Warding Off HIV: Study

    When the antiretroviral regimen known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, was launched nearly a decade ago, patients were suddenly able to achieve near-complete protection against contracting HIV by taking just one pill a day.

    But there's a big hitch: Not everyone is equally diligent about sticking to that once-a-day daily pill regimen, and when doses are missed PrEP's protective shield...

    Two PrEP Meds Work Equally Well; One Is Much Cheaper

    The two HIV prevention drugs available in the United States are equally safe and effective, and the biggest difference between them is price, a new study contends.

    However, a sizable minority of patients have switched from the older and cheaper "preexposure prophylaxis" (PrEP) formulation to the newer and much pricier one. In many cases that switch might not have been warranted, the resea...

    Time to Rethink Suicide Warnings on Labels for Anti-Seizure Meds?

    Since 2008, anti-seizure drugs have carried a warning that they may increase users' suicide risk. But a new analysis finds no evidence of such a risk with newer medications.

    Researchers found that five medications approved since 2008 showed no link to suicide risk among patients who participated in clinical trials of the drugs.

    The findings, they said, argue against the "blanket" wa...

    An ALS Drug Shows Early Promise Against Alzheimer's

    Could a drug used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) help people with mild Alzheimer's disease?

    The results of a small new study suggest the strategy could work.

    Riluzole has been used for more than 20 years to slow the progression of ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. This phase 2 study found that the drug slowed brain metabolic decline and had a positive effect o...

    FDA Panel Advisor Who Panned New Alzheimer's Drug Speaks Out

    An outside advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's review of the controversial Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm is now speaking out, arguing that the approval was based on dodgy science and involved questionable collaboration between regulators and the drug's maker.

    "I'm not surprised at the controversy because I think it's a horrible decision. I think the FDA got it wrong," said Dr. G...

    High Blood Pressure: Which Drug Works Best for You?

    Two long used types of blood pressure drugs are equally effective, but the less popular one seems to have fewer side effects, according to a large "real-world" study.

    The two classes of medication are both recommended as "first-line" treatments for high blood pressure: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

    ACE inhibitors have been a...

    Kids Still Dying From Accidental Exposure to Fentanyl Pain Patches

    Accidental exposure to fentanyl pain patches is putting children's lives at risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

    Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain reliever; so powerful that fentanyl patches are typically only prescribed to patients who require round-the-clock, long-term pain relief, such as cancer patients. They're generally replaced every three days.

    Kids can overdo...

    Doctors Divided Over Use of Controversial New Alzheimer's Drug

    The controversial new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm is creating something of a civil war in medicine, as health networks, hospitals, insurers and individual doctors weigh impending discussions with patients about whether they should take the medication.

    Many doctors believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "moved the goalposts" to approve Aduhelm (aducanumab) in early June, and they aren'...

    Drug Shows Promise in Easing Dementia-Linked Psychosis

    A drug that eases hallucinations in people with Parkinson's disease may be able to do the same for those with dementia, a new clinical trial finds.

    The medication, called Nuplazid (pimavanserin), is already approved in the United States for treating hallucinations and delusions related to Parkinson's.

    The new study, published July 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, ...

    Prescriptions for U.S. Kids Declined During Pandemic

    Prescriptions for U.S. children fell by about one-quarter during the COVID-19 pandemic, with prescriptions for antibiotics alone plunging by more than 50%, a new study finds.

    The findings are a "national picture of prescription drug dispensing to children before and during the pandemic. It will be important to monitor whether the reductions we demonstrate are temporary or sustained," said...

    No Evidence Muscle Relaxants Can Ease Low Back Pain

    Although tens of millions of Americans turn to muscle relaxants for lower back pain relief, a new Australian review finds little evidence that such drugs actually work.

    That's the conclusion of a deep-dive into 31 prior investigations, which collectively enlisted more than 6,500 lower back pain patients. Enrolled patients had been treating lower back pain with a wide range of 18 different...

    New Prescribing Instructions Tighten Use of Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued new prescribing rules for the controversial Alzheimer's medication Aduhelm that will likely limit its use.

    When first approved a month ago, the FDA said Biogen's monthly IV drug was for all Alzheimer's patients. The agency now says the drug is appropriate for patients with early or mild Alzheimer's but that it has not been studied i...

    Is Medicare Overspending? Costco Prices Much Less for Generic Drugs

    Can Costco beat Medicare Part D when it comes to prescription drug prices?

    Apparently so, claims a new study that found that roughly half of generic medications were cheaper when purchased from the discount retailer than from the government program.

    The researchers compared the prices paid by Medicare Part D plans (including patient out-of-pocket payments) for 184 generic prescripti...