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MEDICINE AND RX

‘It feels like we’ve been lobotomised’: the possible sexual consequences of SSRIs

"My clitoris feels like my elbow now, and there’s nothing I can do to reverse it.”

Antidepressant prescribing for youths surged during COVID

AXOIS – Antidepressant prescribing to youths rose 63.5% during the pandemic, with adolescent girls accounting for some of the sharpest increases, according to new research in Pediatrics. It's further evidence of a youth mental health crisis characterized by depression and anxiety brought on by social isolation, concern about the future and financial and other stressors. But a shortage of mental health workers and the shift toward telehealth and remote prescribing may have contributed to a prioritization...

Big Pharma spends billions more on executives and stockholders than on R&D

ARS TECHNICA – When big pharmaceutical companies are confronted over their exorbitant pricing of prescription drugs in the US, they often retreat to two well-worn arguments: One, that the high drug prices cover costs of researching and developing new drugs, a risky and expensive endeavor, and two, that middle managers—pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), to be specific—are actually the ones price gouging Americans. Both of these arguments faced substantial blows in a hearing Thursday held by the...

Newsom signs bill making HIV prevention meds available without prescription

THE HILL – California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill Tuesday that makes medication preventing HIV available to residents without a prescription. The bill, S.B. 339, authorizes pharmacists to furnish preexposure prophylaxis, commonly called PrEP, a drug that helps prevent HIV infection prior to exposure, as well as postexposure prophylaxis, a drug used for patients exposed to HIV, if specified conditions are met. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) and will allow pharmacists...

Men on Viagra may reduce their Alzheimer’s risk – study

BBC – Men who take drugs for erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra, may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests. In research on more than 260,000 men, those taking the drugs were 18% less likely to develop the dementia-causing condition. But more research is needed to prove that the drugs are causing the effect. Two new Alzheimer's drugs have shown huge promise at slowing the pace of the disease in its earliest stages. By attacking ...

Alzheimer’s Accidentally Spread to Several Humans via Corpse Transplants

NEWSWEEK – Five people may have "caught" Alzheimer's after receiving growth hormone from human cadavers during childhood. Between 1959 and 1985, over 1,800 patients in the U.K. were treated with human growth hormone extracted from the pituitary glands of dead bodies. The hormone, which is synthetically produced today, was mostly administered to children to treat severe short stature, often caused by a deficiency of this hormone. In 1985, one of these patients died from a rare brain...

New antibiotic kills deadly, drug-resistant bacteria in ‘scientific breakthrough’

In animal studies, zosurabalpin was shown effective against a harmful bacteria that primarily affects hospital patients

Mayo Clinic Minute: Weight-loss medications alone are not a quick fix

Mayo Clinic News Network One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight. Many may be wondering if weight-loss medications can help them reach their goal. Medications called semaglutides — better known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy — have been shown to help people lose about 15% of their body weight. But as Dr. Andres Acosta explains in this Mayo Clinic Minute, these medications alone are not a quick solution. Watch: The...

Canada vows to defend its drug supply against Florida importation plan

ARS TECHNICA – Canada issued a warning Monday that it stands ready to defend its prescription drug supply from US importation plans—and also said the plans wouldn't work for the US, anyway. "Bulk importation will not provide an effective solution to the problem of high drug prices in the US," Health Canada said in a statement. The defensive stance comes just days after the US Food and Drug Administration granted Florida authorization to directly import cheaper...

China’s cancer drug finally approved in the US – but it will cost 30 times more to buy

A new Chinese cancer drug has been approved by the FDA, but there's one big financial catch.

Cutting a teaspoon of salt is comparable to taking blood pressure medication

NPR – A new study published Monday in the journal JAMA found that cutting one teaspoon of salt a day results in a decline in blood pressure comparable to taking blood pressure medication. In this latest study, participants who cut out their daily salt intake by one teaspoon had lower blood pressure in just one week. This was even true for people already on blood pressure medication. But how much sodium is in one teaspoon of...

Tornado damage to Pfizer plant will probably create long-term shortages of some drugs hospitals need

AP – The fallout from a Pfizer factory being damaged by a tornado could put even more pressure on already-strained drug supplies at U.S. hospitals, experts say. Wednesday's tornado touched down near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and ripped up the roof of a Pfizer factory that makes nearly 25% of Pfizer's sterile injectable medicines used in U.S. hospitals, according to the drugmaker. Pfizer said all employees were safely evacuated and accounted for, and no serious injuries...

Abortion Bans Are Driving Off Doctors

KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION HEALTH NEWS – The rush in conservative states to ban abortion after the overturn of Roe v. Wade is resulting in a startling consequence that abortion opponents may not have considered: fewer medical services available for all women living in those states. Doctors are showing — through their words and actions — that they are reluctant to practice in places where making the best decision for a patient could result in huge...

He Returned to the US for His Daughter’s Wedding. He Left With a $42,000 Hospital Bill.

KFF Health News – Last June, Jay Comfort flew to the United States from his home in Switzerland to attend his only daughter’s wedding. But the week before the ceremony — on a Friday evening — Comfort said he found himself in “excruciating pain.” “I tried to gut it out for three hours because of the insurance situation,” said Comfort, a retired teacher and American citizen who has Swiss insurance. When the pain became unbearable, Comfort...
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