Archive for October, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration is recommending new restrictions on prescription medicines containing hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the U.S.
In a major policy shift, the agency said in an online notice Thursday that hydrocodone-containing drugs should be subject to the same restrictions as other narcotic drugs like oxycodone and morphine.
The move comes more than a decade after the Drug Enforcement Administration first asked the FDA to reclassify hydrocodone so that it would be subject to the same restrictions as other addictive painkilling drugs. The FDA did not issue a formal announcement about its decision, which has long been sought by many patient advocates, doctors and state and federal lawmakers.
For decades, hydrocodone has been easier to prescribe, in part because it is only sold in combination pills and formulas with other non-addictive ingredients like aspirin and acetaminophen.
That ease of access has made it many health care professionals’ top choice for treating chronic pain, everything from back pain to arthritis to toothaches.
In 2011, U.S. doctors wrote more than 131 million prescriptions for hydrocodone, making it the most prescribed drug in the country, according to government figures. The ingredient is found in blockbusters drugs like Vicodin as well as dozens of other generic formulations.
It also consistently ranks as the first or second most-abused medicine in the U.S. each year, according to the DEA, alongside oxycodone. Both belong to a family of drugs known as opioids, which also includes heroin, codeine and methadone.
Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that prescription painkiller overdose deaths among women increased about fivefold between 1999 and 2010. Among men, such deaths rose about 3.5-fold. The rise in both death rates is closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers.
The FDA has long supported the more lax prescribing classification for hydrocodone, which is also backed by professional societies like the American Medical Association.
But the agency’s top drug regulator, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said in a statement Thursday: “The FDA has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States.”
The FDA says it will formally request in early December that hydrocodone be rescheduled as a Schedule II drug, limiting which kinds of medical professionals can write a prescription and how many times it can be refilled.
The Controlled Substances Act, passed in 1970, put hydrocodone drugs in the Schedule III class, which is subject to fewer controls. Under that classification, a prescription for Vicodin can be refilled five times before the patient has to see a physician again. If the drug is reclassified to Schedule II, patients will only be able to receive one 90-day prescription, similar to drugs like OxyContin. The drug could also not be prescribed by nurses and physician assistants.
The FDA’s request for reclassification must be approved by officials in other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.
News of the FDA decision was applauded by lawmakers from states that have been plagued by prescription drug abuse, many who have been prodding the agency to take action for months.
“Today was a tremendous step forward in fighting the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has ravaged West Virginia and our country,” said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, in a statement. “Rescheduling hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug will help prevent these highly addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands and devastating families and communities
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York noted that the FDA’s own expert panel recommended the reclassification more than nine months ago.
“Each day that passes means rising abuse, and even death, at the hands of hydrocodone-based drugs,” Schumer said in a statement.
Still, Thursday’s action immediately sparked criticism from some professional groups that said that the tighter restrictions could have unintended consequences, such as burdening health care workers and patients.
“The FDA’s reported decision will likely pose significant hardships for many patients and delay relief for vulnerable patients with legitimate chronic pain, especially those in nursing home and long-term care,” said Kevin Schweers, a spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association.
Human breast milk is sold for babies on several online sites for a few dollars an ounce, but a new study says buyer beware: Testing showed it can contain potentially dangerous bacteria including salmonella.
The warning comes from researchers who bought and tested 101 breast milk samples sold by women on one popular site. Three-fourths of the samples contained high amounts of bacteria that could potentially sicken babies, the researchers found. They did not identify the website.
The results are “pretty scary,” said Dr. Kenneth Boyer, pediatrics chief at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who was not involved in the study. “Just imagine if the donor happens to be a drug user. You don’t know.”
The research published in medical literature cites several cases of infants getting sick from strangers’ milk.
Breast milk is also provided through milk banks, whose clients include hospitals. They also charge fees but screen donors and pasteurize donated milk to kill any germs.
With Internet sites, “you have very few ways to know for sure what you are getting is really breast milk and that it’s safe to feed your baby,” said Sarah Keim, the lead author and a researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “Because the consequences can be serious, it is not a good idea to obtain breast milk in this way.”
The advice echoes a 2010 recommendation from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
“When human milk is obtained directly from individuals or through the Internet, the donor is unlikely to have been adequately screened for infectious disease or contamination risk,” the FDA says. “In addition, it is not likely that the human milk has been collected, processed, tested or stored in a way that reduces possible safety risks to the baby.”
The researchers believe theirs is the first study to test the safety of Internet-sold milk, although several others have documented bacteria in mothers’ own milk or in milk bank donations. Some bacteria may not be harmful, but salmonella is among germs that could pose a threat to infants, Boyer said.
Sources for bacteria found in the study aren’t known but could include donors’ skin, breast pumps used to extract milk, or contamination from improper shipping methods, Keim said.
The study was published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
There are many milk-sharing sites online, including several that provide milk for free. Sellers or donors tend to be new mothers who produce more milk than their own babies can consume. Users include mothers who have difficulty breast-feeding and don’t want to use formula and people with adopted infants.
Breanna Clemons of Dickinson, N.D., is a donor who found a local woman who needed breast milk through one of the online sites where milk is offered free.
“A lot of people are like, ‘It’s weird,’ but they haven’t been in a situation where they didn’t want their child to have formula,” or couldn’t produce enough milk, Clemons said. She said she shared her medical history with the recipient.
Clemons is breast-feeding her 7-month-old and stores excess milk in her freezer. Every few weeks, she meets up with the recipient and gives her about 20 6-ounce bags. Clemons said the woman has a healthy 9-month-old who “loves my milk.”
Keim said it’s unclear if milk from sites offering donated milk would have the same risks because donors might be different from those seeking money for their milk. And in a comparison, the researchers found more bacteria in breast milk purchased online than in 20 unpasteurized samples donated to a milk bank.
Bekki Hill is a co-founder of Modern Milksharing, an online support group that offers advice on milk donation. She said there’s a difference between milk sellers and donors; milk donors “don’t stand to gain anything from donating so they have no reason to lie about their health.”
Hill, of Red Hook, N.Y., used a donor’s milk for her first two children and plans to do so for her third, due in February, because she doesn’t produce enough of her own.
“Breast milk is obviously the preferred food” for babies, she said.
Strokes are increasingly hitting younger people and the incidence of the crippling condition worldwide could double by 2030, warns the first global analysis of the problem.
Though the chances of a stroke jump dramatically with age, the growing number of younger people with worrying risk factors such as bulging waistlines, diabetes and high blood pressure means they are becoming increasingly susceptible.
Worldwide, stroke is the second-leading cause of death after heart disease and is also a big contributor to disability.
Most strokes occur when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. Patients often experience symptoms including a droopy face, the inability to lift their arms and garbled speech. If not treated quickly, patients can be left with long-term side effects, including speech and memory problems, paralysis and the loss of some vision.
Scientists combed through more than 100 studies from 1990 to 2010 studying stroke patients across the world and also used modeling techniques when there wasn’t enough data. They found the incidence of stroke has jumped by a quarter in people aged 20 to 64 and that those patients make up almost one-third of the total number of strokes.
Researchers said most strokes still occur in the elderly and that the numbers of people suffering strokes are still increasing as the world’s population ages.
“Some of the increase we will see in strokes is unavoidable because it has to do with people aging, but that doesn’t mean we should give up,” said Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, one of the study’s authors. Ezzati said countries should focus on reducing smoking rates further, aggressively controlling blood pressure and improving eating habits.
Ezzati said developing countries such as Iran and South Africa that have set up national systems to monitor maternal and child health are a good model for similar initiatives that could help keep stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, in check.
Ezzati and colleagues found the death rate from strokes dropped 37 percent in developed countries and 20 percent in developing countries, largely because of better diagnosis and treatment.
Stroke prevalence was highest in East Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. It was lowest in Africa and the Middle East -though researchers said people in those regions may be dying of other ailments before they get old enough to have a stroke.
In the U.S., doctors have already noted an alarming increase in strokes among young and middle-aged Americans, while the number has been dropping in older people.
The research was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published online Thursday in the journal Lancet.
“Young people think stroke is only a problem of the elderly, but we need to educate them,” said Dr. Yannick Bejot of the University Hospital of Dijon in France, who co-wrote an accompanying commentary. He added that using illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine also boosts the chance of a stroke.
“If young people understood how debilitating a stroke is, maybe they would change their behavior,” he said.
The NIH is donating millions of dollars to fund research that will investigate whether or not vitamin D supplements can effectively prevent type 2 diabetes, Medical Daily reported. The Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes study – also known as D2d – will involve more than 20 health centers across the United States. Each health center has pledged to take up the task of analyzing vitamin D’s potential benefits.
The researchers cited the recent increase in the use of vitamin D supplements as a motivating factor for their study.
“Vitamin D use has risen sharply in the U.S. in the last 15 years, since it has been suggested as a remedy for a variety of conditions, including prevention of type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Myrlene Staten, the project officer for D2d at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “But we need rigorous testing to determine if vitamin D will help prevent diabetes. That’s what D2d will do.”
The study will follow more than 2,500 volunteers, over the age of 30, who have been diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition characterized by glucose levels that are higher than normal. According to Medical Daily, half of the participants will receive 4,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D and the other half will receive a placebo.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million Americans (8.3 percent of the population) suffer from diabetes, and 18.8 million Americans remain undiagnosed. Characterized by the body’s inability to properly metabolize sugar, type 2 diabetes can lead to a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney failure and many more.
China Pharmaceutical University (CPU),is the earliest institution authorized by the Ministry of Education to admit full-time pharmacy students and visiting scholars from overseas. CPU is also the host institute of Chinese scholarship students and it started to recruit international students as early as 1950s. Now, there are 22,400 students, among whom 12,627 are fulltime students.
CPU consists of 6 schools (School of Pharmacy, School of Traditional Chinese Pharmacy, School of life science and Technology, School of International Pharmaceutical Business, School of Continuing Education, and School of Higher Vocational Education), 4 independent departments (Dept. of Basic Sciences, Dept. of Foreign Languages, Dept. of Social Sciences, and Dept. of Physical Education), and 23 key labs and centers at state or provincial levels.
CPU offers 20 bachelor’s degree programs, 29 master’s programs, 24 doctoral program, 23 post-doctoral programs and 6 short-term training programs. There are three national key disciplines: Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutics and one provincial key discipline — Modern Traditional Chinese Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy.
The university is equipped with fine and complete facilities for teaching, research and sports. Among the 730 faculty members, more than 40% have advanced academic titles. So far, the university has undertaken more than 70 research projects financed by the State Key Programs Foundation, and more than 300 research projects financed by the State Natural Sciences Foundation and the State New Drug Research Foundation.
The university is also active in international academic exchanges. It has made academic exchange agreements with higher education institutions in more than 30 countries and regions of the world, including Japan, the United States, UK, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong. In addition, it maintains academic relationships with research institutions and universities in more than 40 countries and regions
|Pharmacy||Bachelor’s Degree||September||English||4 Years||25000 RMB / Year||Apply|
For years, people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease have shied away from genetic testing, which could reveal that they carry the ApoE4 protein – a genetic risk factor associated with a 10-fold higher chance of developing the incurable neurodegenerative condition.
However, new research has highlighted a potential pathway for early intervention methods that could help those at a high risk for Alzheimer’s, making genetic screening for the disease as important as cholesterol tests are to preventing heart disease.
Researchers from The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, an independent research association based in Novato, Calif., have long been interested in discovering why ApoE4 is associated with such a high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
“Why is this the dominant risk factor?” study author Dr. Dale Bredesen, founding CEO of the Buck Institute, told FoxNews.com. “Though people have known this for 20 years, it’s never been clear what it is that ApoE4 does to confer such risk.”
Prior research had focused on the discovery that ApoE4 appears to affect the clearance of amyloid-beta (A-beta), a plaque that builds up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. However, Bredesen and his colleagues weren’t convinced that this finding told the whole story of why ApoE4 causes Alzheimer’s.
“Treating that hasn’t worked very well,” Bredesen said. “There’s an emerging feeling, which we believe, that this is more than just about A-beta.”
In a study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bredesen and his colleagues analyzed ApoE4 cell cultures and discovered that ApoE4 was also associated with a dramatic reduction in SirT1 – a protein associated with anti-inflammation, anti-aging and longevity.
Bredesen said that as SirT1 decreases, it affects a certain protein crucial to the storage or loss of memories – the amyloid precursor protein (APP).
“You have a molecule called the APP, present in neurons and most cells in your body, and at all times this APP is getting cleaved,” Bredesen said. “It turns out there are two alternative patterns. So it is a little bit like how the government can go on shutdown or active. APP can go in the direction of memory or forgetting.”
In Alzheimer’s, Bredesen says people are on the ‘wrong side’ of this process – causing them to forget rather than retain memories.
However, by maintaining SirT1 levels, researchers believe they may be able to prevent these proteins from going awry. As a result of their discovery, Bredesen and his colleagues attempted to identify drugs that might be able to maintain levels of SirT1 in ApoE4 cell cultures. So far, they have successfully identified four drugs that seem to be effective – though they have yet to test their findings in humans.
“It gives us a leg up on saying, ‘Okay, we can begin to look at how to treat people with ApoE4 even when they’re young to make sure they never get Alzheimer’s, by affecting that link between ApoE4and Alzheimer’s,’” Bredesen said.
Furthermore, Bredesen and his colleagues also performed experiments in which they successfully reinserted SirT1 proteins back into cells already affected by ApoE4. By doing this, they were able to correct the abnormalities present in the cell and return it to a healthy state. This led Bredesen and his colleagues to speculate that treatment might be possible even for those already entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
“Most people today don’t want to know if they have ApoE4 because what can they do about it? This could change the landscape where we say everyone should know, just like with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, because you can do something about it,” Bredesen said.
Source : http://studychinaabroad.blogspot.in/
We all know that our health depends on what we eat. Our diet consists of different varieties of food items which are prepared and processed using different methods. During the preparation, storage and processing various changes occur to the naturally obtaining foods and some of these changes are damaging to our body cells. There are many food items which are considered as carcinogenic or which act as cancer causing agents and hence are to be avoided completely, if you want to enjoy a healthy life for a long time. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the modern age and diet plays an important role in causing cancer, apart from other factors such as genetics, exposure to chemicals and life style. To avoid cancer risk one should have basic knowledge about the food items that are harmful to our body. Most of the mouth watering foodstuffs available in the market are actually carcinogenic and hence a careful selection of food is necessary to protect ourselves and our family members from the risk of developing cancer. The top ten foods which are cancer causing are discussed here.
1. Processed Meat
There are different methods used for processing and preserving meat.
Smoking, salting, curing, pickling and chemical preservatives are the common methods used to preserve meat.
Processed meat items like bacon, hot dogs, sausages, packaged ham, pepperoni etc contain preservatives which make them appear as fresh.
Sodium nitrite and nitrate are the preservatives which are commonly used and these preservatives are found to be carcinogenic. These preservatives increase the chances of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.
According to World Cancer Research Fund, the consumers should avoid eating processed meats to protect themselves from cancer.
2. Smoked And Burned Food Items
One of the major food items liked by people is the barbequed foods.
Smoking and barbecuing produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These chemicals increase the risk of cancer.
Studies have shown that eating burned or charred food items increases the chance of pancreatic cancer by about 60%.
Cooking the food items at high temperature causes the production of chemicals such as hetero cyclic amines which increases the chances of bowel or gullet cancer.
3. GMO Foods
The development of biotechnology has led to the increased production of genetically modified organisms for food purpose.
There are genetically modified vegetables, fish and poultry which are produced using chemicals which promote rapid growth of tumors in humans.
The genetically modified corn, tomatoes, potatoes, soybeans, canola, salmons poses threat to our health and hence should not be considered as cancer –free diet.
It is necessary to execute caution while purchasing food items. Select food items which are certified as non-GMO foods or organic foods which are produced using natural methods.
4. Sweetened Beverages
Sweetened and carbonated beverages like soda and other drinks sold commercially have high levels of refined sugar, added color and preservatives.
Scientific studies have proved that people who consume more than two servings of soda per week have 87% more chance of developing cancer of the digestive system.
The excess sugar present in these beverages provides the best medium for the cancer cells to grow as they provide all the nourishment for the tumor cells.
Chemicals present in soda such as caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have been considered as cancer causing.
5. Foods With Artificial Sweeteners
In the modern day, people are more aware about the need for maintaining healthy weight and in order to achieve this they depend on various diet foods and beverages which claim to be sugar free.
These foods and beverages which contain artificial sweeteners are more dangerous than the refined sugar.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Saccharain and Sucralose causes different health related problems including cancer.
6. Contaminated Produce
Most of the conventionally produced fruits and vegetables are contaminated by the use of pesticides.
The most contaminated food produce includes apples, grapes strawberries, oranges and potatoes. More than 90 % of the samples tested found to have pesticide residue.
Pesticides, as such, are toxic to humans and the chemicals in the pesticides increase the risk of cancer and lowered IQ in children.
You should buy fruits and vegetables which are organic or with pesticide-free label.
7. Fried Food Items
Fried items like chips and crisps contain chemical called Acrylamide which may cause cancer in humans.
French fries are cooked using oils containing trans-fats which are unhealthy for the heart.
Frying food items in re -heated oil releases toxic aldehydes which causes cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Most of the fast food outlets use re-heated oil to fry potatoes and other items.
8. Microwave Popcorn
This is another food to be avoided to prevent cancer.
The lining of the microwave popcorn bag contain perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) which belongs to a class of compounds that is linked to liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers.
When the bag is microwaved, the chemicals vaporize and get absorbed by the popcorn, which will ultimately reach your body.
9. Canned Food Items
Most of the canned food items contain preservatives which may react with the can material.
The lining of the cans contains bisphenol-A which is proven to disrupt the normal hormonal activity of the body. This chemical is suspected to cause various problems including cancer.
10. Hydrogenated Oil
Hydrogenated oils are used for preparing the food which needs a longer shelf life.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils can change the structure of the cell membrane and make them more susceptible to diseases like cancer.
These trans-fats are still used by commercial food manufacturing units. Check the food labels to make sure that they are free of hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Do you want to prevent the risk of cancer? Are you looking for the foods to be avoided to lead a cancer free life? Try avoiding the above mentioned food items and select only organic and pest free food items. Avoid artificially colored and sweetened food items. This will help to avoid the fear of developing cancer and lead a relaxed and quality life for many years.