Articles Posted in Dangerous Drugs

Previous research has shown that higher levels of testosterone can reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, a new study shows that testosterone can worsen certain symptoms once someone has Alzheimer’s. According to the University of North Texas Health Science Center, testosterone is directly linked with aggression, behavioral issues, and hallucinations for men with the disease. Agitation and delusions occur in at least 70 percent of Alzheimer’s patients.

This new study raises a number of concerns regarding testosterone-replacement therapy. It is becoming very common for older men to take testosterone-replacement drugs. If they develop Alzheimer’s while still taking testosterone pills, it could have a number of negative and unintended consequences. Therefore, this study could have a direct impact on when older men are put on testosterone-replacement drugs and when the drugs should be avoided.
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Florida Drug DefectsThe first-ever Actos bladder cancer risk trial in the nation took two months to complete and ended with a jury awarding the plaintiff $6.5 million in damages.

It took the blink of an eye for the presiding judge to reject the jury’s decision.

In a post-trial ruling in Los Angeles, the California state judge threw out the award, saying a key expert witness’s diagnosis of the patient had been based on “speculation, conjecture and leaps of logic.”

Takeda Pharmaceutical, the manufacturer of the controversial diabetes drug, had asked the judge several times to throw out the expert’s testimony. Attorneys for the company claimed that other factors, such as smoking and age, contributed more to the plaintiff’s bladder cancer and not the use of Actos. They also stated there has been no solid proof that Actos even causes cancer, despite an FDA-mandated warning that the drug may raise the risk of contracting bladder cancer after a year of use.

The judge apparently agreed with Takeda’s contentions, saying that the studies the expert witness had relied upon were “unreliable” and did not prove that Actos was the causation of the plaintiff’s bladder cancer. He ruled that the testimony was therefore inadmissible.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the antibiotic azithromycin (sold as Zithromax) can alter the electrical activity of the heart and could lead to a potentially deadly irregular heart rhythm in patients taking the drug.

In making its assessment, the agency pointed to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, which showed that patients who took Zithromax, as compared to other antibiotics, had a higher risk of developing a fatal heart rhythm condition, also known as QT prolongation.

The FDA urged caution when prescribing the drug, especially to at-risk patients who take drugs for abnormal heart rhythms; those who have low levels of magnesium or potassium in their systems; patients with slower-than-normal heart rates; or individuals who suffer from torsades de pointes – a rare condition that affects normal heart rhythms.
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Four sisters, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, are suing pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, alleging that a pregnancy drug their mother took while pregnant with them is responsible for their cancer.

Eli Lilly was one of many pharmaceutical companies that manufactured or marketed DES, or diethylstilbestrol, from the 1930’s to the early 1970’s. The synthetic estrogen was prescribed to millions of women to prevent premature birth, miscarriages, and other pregnancy-related problems.

The drug was pulled from the market in the early 70’s after a study showed that there was an increased risk of a rare vaginal cancer in the daughters of women who had taken DES during pregnancy. Thousands of pharmaceutical lawsuits were filed in connection with cervical cancer and fertility problems allegedly linked with the drug.
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FL Defective Drug DeathIn the wake of multiple reported deaths associated with the hepatitis C drug telaprevir (brand-name Incivek), the medication will now carry a black box label warning about potentially fatal skin reactions.

The drug is taken in conjunction with two other drugs, and the new warning stresses that the treatment should be stopped immediately if a patient exhibits serious skin reactions, such as a progressive severe rash.

A new statement issued by the manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, said, “Fatal cases of serious skin reactions have been reported in patients with progressive rash and systemic symptoms who continued to receive Incivek combination treatment after a serious skin reaction was identified.”
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Recent studies have shown that the use of a popular, yet increasingly over-prescribed, class of antibiotics may be leading to serious side effects like liver damage and blindness.

Fluoroquinolones is the class of powerful antibiotics in question and includes widely prescribed drugs like Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox. According to The New York Times, Levaquin was the best-selling antibiotic in the U.S. in 2010.

While these antibiotics can certainly cure illnesses and save lives, Dr. Mahyar Etminam, a researcher from the University of British Columbia, charges that these potent drugs have been increasingly – and improperly – prescribed “by lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.”
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Florida Actos Bladder Cancer RateA study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has determined that the long-term use of the type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

The study, which was published in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of National Cancer Institute, looked at patients who take thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs, such as Avandia or Actos, and concluded that those who take these drugs for an extended period – five or more years – are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than patients who take sulfonylurea-based diabetes medications.
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Florida Actos LawsuitAlthough the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved generic versions of the type-2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), Consumer Reports is saying that the generics are one “bargain” you should skip altogether. In fact, the publication suggests that avoiding both the name brand and the generics is probably your best bet.

Some studies have linked Actos to serious side affects that include an increased risk of heart failure, bladder cancer, and bone fractures. Consumer Reports suggests that using other medications to treat diabetes is a desirable alternative to using Actos or its generics.
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The consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, has called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw a diabetes drug because of concerns of heightened pancreatitis, kidney failure, and thyroid cancer risks.

Public Citizen says that in a crowded field of similar diabetes drugs, the drug Victoza, which is manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk, has risks that far outweigh its benefits.

To back up its claim, the advocacy group cited that reports of pancreatitis were 3.7-times higher in patients who had used Victoza as opposed to other similar diabetes drugs. Public Citizen also claims that medical reviewers for the FDA noted that the drug had caused thyroid tumors in rats and mice. Because lab outcomes with rodents cannot conclusively prove reciprocal outcomes in humans, the FDA warning label for the drug currently states it is “unknown whether Victoza will cause” thyroid cancer in humans.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating how fake vials of the widely used cancer drug Avastin found their way to 19 doctors and clinics in the United States – raising alarms that the large, and growing, multi-billion worldwide drug-counterfeiting trade is making further inroads into America.

Reuters reported that the trail of the fake Avastin led back to an Egyptian company called SAWA. Hadicon, the Swiss-based import/export company that purchased the fake drug from SAWA, provided an address for the company that was located in Giza, a suburb of Cairo. However, reporters who went to the location revealed that no such company existed and locals had never heard of it. Egyptian authorities say the company is not registered with the Egyptian Health Ministry either.

Hadicon, which claims it was unaware that it was exporting a phony drug, sold to a British company, which in turn exported it to a Tennessee-based wholesaler called Volunteer Distribution.
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