High numbers of youth report using prescription opioids in the past year

A new analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health finds a surprisingly high prevalence of prescription opioid use among youth. As recently as 2015-2016, 21 percent of adolescents and 32 percent of young adults said they had used these drugs in the past year. Nearly 4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, reported misusing opioids. Findings […]

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Equivalence seen between drug classes for hypertension monotherapy

(HealthDay)—Most estimates show no differences in effectiveness between classes of antihypertensive agents, according to a systematic, multinational, large-scale analysis published online Oct. 24 in The Lancet. Marc A. Suchard, M.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a systematic, multinational, large-scale study to estimate the relative risks of three primary (acute myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart […]

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Thirty-three percent of people on anticoagulants take OTC supplements with potentially serious interactions

Nearly 98% percent of people prescribed direct-acting oral anticoagulants such as apixaban used over-the-counter products. Of those, 33% took at least one such product that, in combination with the anticoagulants, could cause dangerous internal bleeding. People on these medications largely lacked knowledge of some potentially serious interactions. Direct-acting oral anticoagulants are the drug of choice for stroke prevention in patients […]

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FDA approves new drug for most common form of cystic fibrosis

(HealthDay)—A new drug to treat most cystic fibrosis patients has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Trikafta (elexacaftor/ivacaftor/tezacaftor) is the first triple combination therapy available to treat patients with the most common cystic fibrosis mutation. Its list price is $311,000 a year, same as one of the maker’s earlier treatments for the genetic disease. Trikafta is approved […]

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Advanced ovarian cancer treatment approved

A targeted treatment for advanced ovarian cancer has been approved for use on the NHS in England and will be paid for by the Cancer Drugs Fund. The drug, rucaparib (Rubraca), is designed to help maintain the effects of chemotherapy and will be available for women with ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer that has come back and responded to […]

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Kidney function may affect risks associated with prescription opioids

Receiving prescriptions of opioids was linked with higher risks of death and hospitalization compared with receiving other pain medications, and the risk of death was especially high in individuals with lower kidney function. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN. When individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are in need of pain medications, opioids are often prescribed due […]

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Antidepressant medications appear to be generally safe

Antidepressants are generally safe, according to a new study by an international team of researchers. By assessing evidence from 45 meta-analyses, which combined the results from many studies, the researchers did not find strong evidence of adverse health outcomes associated with antidepressant use. The findings have been published in JAMA Psychiatry. There has been a sharp growth of antidepressant use […]

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Statins could increase or decrease osteoporosis risk—the dosage makes the difference

A study by the Medical University of Vienna and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna shows for the first time a connection between the dosage of cholesterol-lowering drugs—statins—and the diagnosis of osteoporosis. At low doses, statins could protect against bone resorption. But the higher the dosage of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the greater the probability of osteoporosis, an analysis of millions of patient […]

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Researchers develop new drug that fights cancer with less renal toxicity

A team of pharmacists and chemists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a new anti-cancer drug that has less toxic effects to the kidneys. The new drug works like a “magic bullet” that is delivered directly to the mitochondria—the power generators of cells—of cancer cells. Once the drug reaches the tumor, two active molecules—an anti-cancer drug and […]

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