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Tue, 20 Feb 2018
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Pills

Antidepressants prove addictive to some

When Gina O'Brien decided she no longer needed drugs to quell her anxiety and panic attacks, she followed doctor's orders by slowly tapering her dose of the antidepressant Paxil. The gradual withdrawal was supposed to prevent unpleasant symptoms that can result from stopping antidepressants cold turkey. But it didn't work.

"I felt so sick that I couldn't get off my couch," O'Brien said. "I couldn't stop crying."

Overwhelmed by nausea and uncontrollable crying, she felt she had no choice but to start taking the pills again. More than a year later the Michigan woman still takes Paxil, and expects to be on it for the rest of her life.

Syringe

Scientists take step toward obesity vaccine

Washington - A vaccine that slows down a key hunger hormone kept rats from gaining weight, even when they over ate, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The team at The Scripps Research Institute in California cautioned that such a vaccine is a long way from being tested in human volunteers, and that it may not work in people.

But the study shed light on how hunger and weight gain work, they reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ambulance

No easy fix for emergency rooms, experts say

Washington- A lack of staff, space and equipment hobbles the U.S. emergency medical system and almost no steps have been taken to improve things despite numerous warnings, emergency room professionals told Congress on Wednesday.

But emergency room physicians and members of Congress alike were at a loss about what to do to fix a system that almost everyone agrees is at a breaking point.

"It isn't too clear and that is because what is required is so big," Dr. Rick Blum, an emergency room doctor from West Virginia who is president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in an interview.

"These are really problems of the healthcare system overall. Our health care delivery system is flawed." he added. "There is no band-aid for this. What is required is major surgery."

Ambulance

State to check on residents' health

Washington state health officials will soon start asking detailed questions about the health of some state residents - and even give them brief physical exams.

The door-to-door survey of 1,100 randomly selected households across the state will try to learn more about our health, and especially about our risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to better target preventive educational programs.

Attention

X-rays linked to breast cancer risk

Tens of thousands of women have a dramatically increased risk of breast cancer if they have a chest X-ray, according to research.

A study found that women genetically susceptible to breast cancer were 54 per cent more likely to get the disease if they had been given a chest X-ray. If they were younger than 20 when X-rayed, the risk of contracting the disease before the age of 40 increased two and a half times.

Comment: Yaaay modern medicine!


Eye 1

Drugs firm blocks cheap blindness cure

A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to launch a more expensive product on the market.

Ophthalmologists around the world, on their own initiative, are injecting tiny quantities of a colon cancer drug called Avastin into the eyes of patients with wet macular degeneration, a common condition of older age that can lead to severely impaired eyesight and blindness. They report remarkable success at very low cost because one phial can be split and used for dozens of patients.

Family

Educators promote weighing students

Little Rock - It's been two years since Arkansas schools started sending letters home to parents with their kids' report cards - letters telling them if their children were fat.

Plenty of parents weren't happy. But a lot of them did something about it.

Suddenly there were more visits to the pediatrician for talks about weight problems. Fitness class attendance is up. Diet pill use by high-schoolers is down.

And more states are following Arkansas' lead, including California, Florida and Pennsylvania, which have adopted similar programs.

Bomb

China's longest river "cancerous" with pollution

BEIJING - China's longest river is "cancerous" with pollution and rapidly dying, threatening drinking water supplies in 186 cities along its banks, state media said on Tuesday.

Chinese environmental experts fear worsening pollution could kill the Yangtze river within five years, Xinhua news agency said, calling for an urgent clean-up.

Wine

Artifically sweet cocktails speed alcohol absorption

Los Angeles -- Alcoholic drinks made with artificial sweeteners lead to a high rate of alcohol absorption, resulting in a greater blood alcohol peak and concentration than from drinks made with sugar-based mixers.

The reason, Australian investigators told attendees here at Digestive Disease Week 2006, is the accelerated emptying of the stomach caused by artificial sweetening agents.

Beer

Cancer-Causing Benzene Found in Drinks

Washington- A government analysis of more than 100 soft drinks and other beverages turned up five with levels of cancer-causing benzene that exceed federal drinking-water standards, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The companies that make the drinks have been alerted and either have reformulated their products or plan to do so, the FDA said. Government health officials maintain there is no safety concern, an opinion not shared by at least one environmental group.