December 2014 Briefing - Pharmacy

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for December 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

A/BPO + Doxycycline Effective Alternative for Severe Acne

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Oral doxycycline plus adapalene/benzoyl peroxide (D+A/BPO) gel is an effective alternative to oral isotretinoin (ISO) for the treatment of severe nodular acne, according to a study published in the December issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Gender Influences Opioid-Related Adverse Effects in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For children undergoing tonsillectomy, sex influences opioid-related adverse effects, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Pain Medicine.

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Docs Making Changes to Improve Blood Pressure Control

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have been discussing how minor, easy changes in the way they measure blood pressure have had a positive impact on hypertension control, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Dashboards, Pay Incentives Improve VTE Prophylaxis Rates

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Provider-level dashboard and pay-for-performance programs may increase compliance with venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention measures, according to research published online Dec. 26 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Ebola, ACA, VA Scandal Top U.S. Health News for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news features.

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Vaccination Hesitancy in Israel's 2013 Polio Outbreak Explored

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with understanding of vaccination and contextual factors can impact parents' willingness to vaccinate their children in cases of disease outbreak, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Risk Research.

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Vancomycin Linked to Kidney Damage in Children

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treating children who have drug-resistant bacterial infections with high doses of the antibiotic vancomycin may raise the risk of kidney damage, with greater risk at higher doses, according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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CDC: Influenza Has Hit Epidemic Status in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with 15 child mortalities so far this season, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

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Rebleeds Common Post-Capsule Endoscopy for Obscure GI Bleeds

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-third of patients who undergo capsule endoscopy (CE) for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) have rebleeding a year or more later, according to research published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

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Surgeon General Still Has Important Role to Play

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Surgeon General has an important role in educating and mobilizing the public and shaping policy on public health issues, according to an ideas and opinions piece published online Dec. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Adverse Outcomes With Unmet Material Needs in Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with diabetes mellitus, unmet material needs are associated with poor diabetes control and increased health care resource use, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Saxenda for Weight Management

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Saxenda (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment option for chronic weight management, along with a reduced-calorie diet and physical activity.

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Risk of Leukemia Tied to Breast Cancer Rx Higher Than Thought

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among early-stage breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, the risk for developing treatment-related leukemia, though low, is still double what experts had previously thought, a new analysis reveals. Reporting online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers said the findings should give pause to doctors and breast cancer patients who are considering post-surgical treatment options.

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Higher Risk of Parkinson's Seen With Methamphetamine Use

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who use methamphetamine have a greatly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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Antenatal Micronutrient Supplements Don't Reduce Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In Bangladesh, antenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation is not associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality to age 6 months compared with iron-folic acid supplementation, according to a study published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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ADA Issues New Standards of Medical Care for Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New standards of care have been issued by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and published as a supplement to the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2015

ACOG Issues Recs to Improve Access to Contraception

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- All women should have unhindered and affordable access to contraceptives, although there are many barriers to access, according to a Committee Opinion published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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BP-Lowering Therapy Reduces Stroke, Death in Grade 1 HTN

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with grade 1 hypertension, blood pressure-lowering therapy is associated with a reduction in blood pressure and a lower likelihood of stroke and death, according to research published online Dec. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Metformin Seems Safe for Some With Impaired Kidney Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with impaired kidney function, evidence suggests that metformin use is safe in those with mild or moderate disease, according to a review published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many Gout Patients Not Receiving Recommended Urate-Lowering Rx

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with incident gout, 44 percent fulfill indications for urate-lowering treatment at initial diagnosis, but many do not receive recommended treatment even years later, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Promising Results for Precursor of Ebola Vaccine in Small Study

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A precursor of the experimental Ebola vaccine that U.S. officials are preparing to test in West Africa has produced a safe and potent immune response in Africans. The findings have been published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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CDC: Use of Cholesterol Meds Continues to Rise in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of adults aged 40 and older taking cholesterol-lowering medications, including statins, rose from 20 to 28 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Small Changes in eGFR With TDF Preexposure Prophylaxis

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For HIV-1-uninfected members of serodiscordant couples, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) used as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is associated with a small decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), according to a study published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Combination Antibiotic Zerbaxa

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combination antibiotic Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections and complicated urinary tract infections.

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FDA Approves Opdivo for Advanced Melanoma

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Opdivo (nivolumab) has received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat unresectable or metastatic melanoma that no longer responds to other drugs, the agency said Monday.

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Hospitalization Risk Seen With Clarithromycin + Certain Statins

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Combining clarithromycin with certain statins increases the risk of adverse outcomes that can lead to hospitalization or even death, according to a new study published online Dec. 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Antiviral Combination for Hepatitis C

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Viekira Pak, a combination of four antiviral drugs (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, and dasabuvir), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection, including hepatitis C virus infection with cirrhosis of the liver.

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Certain Bisphosphonates Tied to Lower Risk of Endometrial CA

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphosphonates may lower the risk of endometrial cancer, new research suggests. The study appears online Dec. 22 in Cancer.

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Thiazide Prophylaxis for Kidney Stones Doesn't Increase DM Risk

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of diabetes mellitus is not increased with thiazide diuretic prophylaxis for kidney stones, according to research published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablet Safe in Asthma Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with asthma and allergic rhinitis with/without conjunctivitis (AR/C), treatment with a Timothy grass sublingual immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) seems safe, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Allergy.

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FDA Approves Lynparza for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lynparza (olaparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced ovarian cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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Cancer Treatment Costs Creating 'Financial Toxicity' for Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of cancer treatment can cause financial stress that threatens patients' well-being, according to a new study published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

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CDC: Not Too Late, or Too Futile, to Get Flu Vaccine

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu is starting to tighten its grip on much of the United States, particularly in the South and Midwest, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And more than half of the flu infections examined so far have been caused by influenza A H3N2, which appears to have mutated from the H3N2 strain included in this year's flu vaccine.

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Prostaglandin Analogue Drops Preserve Vision in Glaucoma

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prostaglandin analogue eye drops significantly reduce the risk of vision loss in patients with glaucoma, according to a new study published online Dec. 18 in The Lancet.

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Evidence Plays Limited Role in OTC Decision Making

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For pharmacy graduates and tutors, evidence seems to play a limited role in over-the-counter decision making, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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NSAIDs May Lower Risk of Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appear to reduce the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by 15 percent, according to a review published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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High-Dose Flu Vaccine Beats Standard Dose for Frail Elderly

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A high-dose influenza vaccine produces a stronger immune response than the standard vaccine in frail seniors under care in nursing homes, according to a new study published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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FDA Approves Xtoro for Acute Otitis Externa

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acute otitis externa.

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Evidence-Based Recs Issued for Systemic Care in Psoriasis

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy with minimized toxicity, according to research published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Medical Marijuana Helpful for Cancer-Linked Symptoms

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis and cannabinoid pharmaceuticals can be helpful for nausea and vomiting, pain, and weight loss associated with cancer, according to research published online Dec. 10 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Patient Reminders Needed on Inhaler, Epinephrine Use

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Few people know how to use epinephrine injectors and asthma inhalers as directed, according to a new study published in the January issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Drug Interaction Identified for Ondansetron, Tramadol

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

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Study Explores Effects of Metformin in Obese Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For obese hyperinsulinemic children, metformin seems to decrease perceived hunger and increase perceived fullness, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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Sedatives Still Prescribed for Elderly Despite Risks

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors continue to prescribe benzodiazepines for seniors despite the significant risks they pose, a new study contends. The research was published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Over 50 FDA-Approved Meds Can Help Battle Ebola Infection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A screening test has identified more than 50 U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications that could be helpful in treating people with Ebola, researchers report. The study was published online Dec. 17 in Emerging Microbes and Infections.

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Hospital Staff Say 'Crisis Mode' Obstructs Communication

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Staff members who perceive a work climate of crisis mode in their hospital units say that it leads to problems in exchanging patient information, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Hypoglycemia Ups Cardio Events, Mortality for Insulin-Treated

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For insulin-treated patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Diabetes Care.

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Entecavir Cuts Hep B Reactivation in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Entecavir is more efficacious than lamivudine for preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation among patients who are seropositive for the hepatitis B surface antigen with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma receiving rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) chemotherapy treatment. These findings have been published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Direct Oral Anticoagulants Have Distinct Bleeding Profiles

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have distinct bleeding profiles and require individualized management approaches, according to a state-of-the-art review published in the December issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Public Disclosure of Antibiotic Harms Cuts Prescription Rates

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Public disclosure of the potential harms of antibiotic use is associated with a reduction in antibiotic prescription rates for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), according to a research letter published online Dec. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Reminded of Ethical Obligations Regarding Torture

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the issuing of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians of their ethical obligations relating to torture and interrogation.

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Support for Electronic Health Information Varies With Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consent and purpose are important for public support of secondary uses of electronic health information, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Methylphenidate Use Tied to Fewer Injuries in Kids With ADHD

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Taking medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might reduce the risk of young patients accidentally injuring themselves, new research suggests. The findings, published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics, applied to both girls and boys.

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Potential Drug Interactions Common in Peds Hospitalizations

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among 498,956 children and teenagers who were hospitalized in 2011, 49 percent were given combinations of drugs that could have potential interactions, according to a new study published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Patchwork State Coverage for Pediatric Essential Health Benefit

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A state-by-state benchmark plan approach results in a patchwork of coverage for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) pediatric essential health benefit, according to research published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

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In Nursing Homes, Statins Often Continued in Advanced Dementia

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For nursing home (NH) residents with dementia taking statins, most continue statins with the progression to advanced dementia, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Pre-Op Opioid Use Tied to Higher Post-Op Dependence

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Greater preoperative opioid use predicts increased immediate postoperative opioid demand and decreased incidence of postoperative opioid independence among spine surgery patients, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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FDA: Cyramza Approval Now Includes Non-Small-Cell Lung CA

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the anti-cancer drug Cyramza (ramucirumab) has been expanded to include aggressive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the agency said Friday.

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FDA: Ziprasidone Can Cause Rare, Serious Adverse Drug Reaction

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antipsychotic medicine ziprasidone (Geodon) and generic versions of the drug can cause a rare, serious skin reaction that can progress to affect other parts of the body, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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Thyroidectomy, Statins May Cut Risk of Graves Ophthalmopathy

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Both thyroidectomy and statin use are associated with lower risk of developing thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO) in individuals with Graves disease (GD), according to research published online Dec. 11 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Multidose Eye Drop Approach Approved by Joint Commission

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A policy and procedural approach to the use of multidose eye drops has been approved by The Joint Commission and can reduce costs for patients and facilities, according to an article published in the December issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

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CDC: Many Patients Still Need to Get 2014-2015 Flu Vaccine

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of Americans have gotten a flu vaccine so far this flu season, which might be a bad sign for a season that could be potentially severe, according to a Dec. 11 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Nighttime Focus May Be More Effective in Gout Prevention

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Acute gout attacks occur two times more often during the night and early morning than during the day, according to study findings published online Dec. 11 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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IUD Gaining in Popularity for Contraception Choice in U.S.

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The pill remains one of the most popular methods of birth control for women, along with female sterilization and condoms, but intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants are gaining in popularity, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Progesterone Offers No Clinical Benefit in Severe, Acute TBI

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Progesterone offers no clinical benefit for patients with severe or acute traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to two studies published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guidelines Developed for Use of Adjunct Tx in Atopic Dermatitis

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atopic dermatitis, adjunctive and complementary therapies are available, although evidence is limited for many of these approaches, according to guidelines published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA Approves Gardasil for Additional Types of HPV

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Gardasil 9 vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat five additional types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the FDA said Wednesday.

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Exercise Eases Arthralgia Caused by Aromatase Inhibitors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise helps relieve aromatase inhibitor (AI)-induced pain in breast cancer survivors, according to research published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Six-Week Antibiotic Tx Effective for Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO), six weeks of antibiotic therapy seems as effective as 12 weeks of treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in Diabetes Care.

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Statins Not Tied to Male Gonadal, Sexual Dysfunction

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Statins do not appear to affect male gonadal and sexual function, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Anticoagulation Seen in About Half of Sub-Segmental PE Cases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sub-segmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) represents a substantial burden of total pulmonary embolisms (PEs), according to research published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Continued Metformin Beneficial for Diabetes With Cirrhosis

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Continuation of metformin therapy may improve survival in diabetes patients who are diagnosed with cirrhosis, according to research published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Tramadol Use May Up Risk of Hospitalization for Hypoglycemia

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Tramadol use is associated with an increased risk of hypoglycemia requiring hospitalization, especially in the first 30 days of use, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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U.S. Doctors Cutting Back on Opioid Prescriptions

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nine out of 10 primary care doctors in the United States are concerned about prescription drug abuse in their communities, and nearly half of the physicians surveyed said they were less likely to prescribe opioids than they were a year ago, according to a research letter published online Dec. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Meta-Analysis: Oral Contraceptive Use Not Linked to RA Onset

MONDAY, Dec. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptive (OC) use does not appear to be associated with the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), although there is an inverse association between OC use and RA severity, according to a meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in Children's Hospitals Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Formalized antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) effectively reduce antibiotic prescribing in children's hospitals, according to research published online Dec. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Antifungal Prophylaxis Regimens in Liver Transplant Found Equal

MONDAY, Dec. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antifungal prophylaxis is associated with reductions in invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in liver transplant recipients, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Statin Use Linked With Higher Risk for Cataracts

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Statin use may raise the risk of developing cataracts, researchers report. The study was published in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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CDC: Flu Vaccine May Offer Less Protection This Winter

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The H3N2 strain of influenza appears to be circulating most widely this season, and in the past, death rates from H3N2 have been more than double that of other flu strains, according to officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, about half of the H3N2 viruses detected by CDC researchers so far appear to have mutated, and have genetically "drifted" away from the virus strain included in this year's flu vaccine.

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Low-Dose ASA Risks Outweigh Benefits in Younger Women

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For women younger than 65, taking low-dose aspirin for years lowers the risks of heart attack, stroke, and colorectal cancer by a small amount, but the benefit is countered by an increase in the risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Heart.

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CDC: California Infants Hit Hard by Pertussis Epidemic

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In what state health officials are calling the worst outbreak in 70 years, 9,935 cases of pertussis were diagnosed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 26. That translated into 26 cases per 100,000 people, according to research published in the Dec. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Approves Jakafi for Polycythemia Vera

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Jakafi (ruxolitinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat polycythemia vera.

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Antidepressant Effect Seen for Anti-Inflammatory Meds

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-inflammatory agents may decrease depression and depressive symptoms, according to research published in the December issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

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Vitamins May Boost Eye Health Post-Bariatric Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery patients who don't take prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements could put themselves at risk for vision problems, according to research published online Nov. 26 in the Obesity Surgery.

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FDA Approves Blincyto for Precursor B-Cell Leukemia

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Blincyto (blinatumomab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Activity Decreases Bleeding Risk From Anticoagulation Meds

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients on anticoagulant therapy, a high level of physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of major bleeding, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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FDA: New Rx Label Rules to Better Inform Pregnant Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new labeling system should give women and their doctors clearer information on the risks and benefits of prescription medicines when taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

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Too Few Prostate Cancer Patients Get Bisphosphonates

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many men on androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer aren't getting the bone-strengthening medications they may need, new Canadian research contends. The report was published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Recommendations for Managing Pain in Inflammatory Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for the management of pain in adults with optimally treated inflammatory arthritis, according to an article published in the September issue of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Preoperative Narcotic Use Doesn't Worsen Surgical Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing primary spinal deformity surgery, postoperative outcomes are improved for those taking narcotics preoperatively and for those not taking narcotics, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Antacids May Improve Head and Neck Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Using antacids to control acid reflux may improve head and neck cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study suggests. The study is published in the December issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Preliminary Trial

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine for breast cancer appears to be safe in a preliminary trial. The findings were published in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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CDC: Fatal Overdoses From Rx Opioids Have Tripled in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fatal overdoses involving opioid analgesics have tripled over the past decade, a new report shows. Deaths from heroin also nearly tripled between 1999 and 2012, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Statin Tx Not Found to Protect Bones Amidst Inflammation

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although research has suggested that statins used to treat cardiovascular disease may also reduce the risk of fracture, treatment with rosuvastatin does not reduce the risk of fracture among men and women with evidence of inflammation, according to a new study published online Dec. 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Safety of Epinephrine in Cardiac Arrest Questioned

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Four out of five people who receive epinephrine to restart their heart end up suffering significant damage to brain function, and the risk increases with the dose. These findings were published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Testosterone Tx Doesn't Up Prostate CA in Hypogonadal Men

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For hypogonadal men, long-term testosterone therapy seems not to be associated with increased incidence of prostate cancer, according to research published in The Journal of Urology.

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