drug safety

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FDA: Ameridose Is Rife With Contamination Issues

Bugs, leaks found inside drug firm linked to outbreak

(Newser) - The FDA's monthlong inspection of Ameridose, a firm with the same founders as the pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak, has produced a long and troubling list of contamination issues, the AP reports. Inside the company's drug-making facility, federal inspectors found leaky, cracked walls and ceilings, insects... More »

Study: Most Herbal Supplements Contaminated

Crackdown unlikely to make it into food safety bill

(Newser) - Herbal supplements are often contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, and sellers are prone to making illegal claims about their health benefits, a congressional study has found. Almost all 40 dietary supplements tested had trace amounts of contaminants like lead and mercury, and 16 of the samples contained pesticide residues... More »

FDA: Get Off Smell-Killing Zicam Nasal Spray, Now

Agency received over 130 reports of loss of smell sense

(Newser) - The Food and Drug Administration is calling on consumers to stop using Zicam nasal treatments because they can permanently kill the sense of smell, the Wall Street Journal reports. Zicam is an over-the-counter cold and allergy medication sold in several forms; customers should reject internasal products that contain zinc. The... More »

Mothers' Epilepsy Drug May Lower IQs of Kids

Study urges caution for popular valproate

(Newser) - Children born to women taking the popular epilepsy drug valproate have notably lower IQs than other kids, a new study shows. The anti-seizure drug, sold generically and under the brand name Depakote, also is prescribed for migraines, pain, and psychiatric disorders, the New York Times reports. Doctors involved with the... More »

Tiny Particles in Cosmetics Are Creating 'Nanophobes'

Tiny particles in skin-care products could damage organs: scientists

(Newser) - Though nanotechnology—relying on microscopic components—is common in many industries, scientists and consumers are worrying about the effects of nanoparticles in cosmetics, the New York Times reports. The fear is that the particles—50,000 times thinner than hair—can penetrate the skin and create havoc in our organs.... More »

Scientists Still Question Popular Drugs Zetia, Vytorin

Much-prescribed cholesterol medicines may not reduce risk of heart disease, death

(Newser) - Some cholesterol medicines have shown no indication they actually work—but that hasn’t stopped doctors from heavily prescribing them, the New York Times reports. Short trials of Zetia and Vytorin, known generically as ezetimibe, showed no evidence they reduced risk of heart attack or cardiovascular disease, while tests raised... More »

Quit-Smoking Drug Linked to Heart Trouble, Dizziness

FAA bans pilots and air controllers from using Chantix after report

(Newser) - Pfizer smoking-cessation drug Chantix has been linked to nearly a thousand serious incidents in the last quarter of 2007, the Wall Street Journal reports. A report from a drug safety group found that some users of the drug—already linked to depression and suicide—suffered heart trouble, diabetes, or accidents... More »

Heparin Victims Testify on Hill

Man outraged that drug was approved for sale

(Newser) - Relatives of some of the 81 Americans whose deaths have been linked to tainted heparin told a Congressional subcommittee about their experiences today, Reuters reports. An Ohio man wept as he told lawmakers his wife and son, who had a genetic kidney disease, died within a month after being given... More »

8 Worrying Drug Side Effects

FDA-approved medications pass clinical trials, but the real world uncovers more

(Newser) - Despite rigorous testing, some drugs have side effects that only rear their ugly heads when introduced to the general population. Forbes catalogs some of the weirdest:
  1. Anti-smoking drug Chantix can cause insomnia and nightmares.
  2. Diet drug Alli can have unforeseen gastrointestinal side-effects; these can be counteracted by eating a low-fat
... More »

Beefed-Up R&D Slows Drug Approval

Just 19 new meds cleared FDA in 2007

(Newser) - The FDA approved only 19 new drugs in 2007, the lowest total in 24 years. Bloomberg takes a look at the reasons. Some drug companies accuse the FDA of setting the bar higher for drug approvals, a charge the agency denies. Many, however, say the issue lies with big pharma... More »

Merck to Settle Suits for $4.85B

Deal will be official once 85% of plaintiffs agree

(Newser) - Merck has agreed to shell out $4.85 billion to settle 27,000 Vioxx lawsuits brought by plaintiffs who argued that the pain medication damaged health and caused deaths. The agreement, one of the largest in history, must still be approved by 85% of the plaintiffs, but it's likely to... More »

FDA Flags Chinese Seafood

Officials put the brakes on imports of species tainted with unapproved drugs

(Newser) - Add farmed seafood to the list of unsafe goods imported from China. The FDA will detain three varieties of fish as well as shrimp and eel, the agency said today, after tests revealed the presence of antibiotics and antifungals that aren't approved in the US for use in aquaculture. The... More »

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