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Health News



Health Highlights: Feb. 13, 2012

Health Highlights: Feb. 13, 2012

02/13/12

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Female Sexual Enhancement Supplement Recalled

A female sexual enhancement supplement called RegenArouse is being recalled after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration analysis of the product confirmed the presence of tadalafil, a drug (brand name Cialis) used to treat male erectile dysfunction.

The presence of tadalafil makes RegenArouse an unapproved drug that may pose a threat to consumers because it may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, the FDA said.

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.

The nationwide recall is for RegenArouse, lot number 130100, a pink capsule sold individually in foil packets, expiration date 12/5/2013, UPC code 816860010079. The product was sold over the Internet to consumers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between Nov. 29, 2011 and Feb. 10, 2012.

Consumers with the recalled product should return any unused product to Regeneca Inc. for an exchange or full refund, the FDA said.

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Cancer Drug Shortage Threatens Children's Lives

A shortage of the childhood leukemia drug methotrexate in the United States means that hospitals across the country may run out of the medicine within the next two weeks.

If that happens, cancer doctors and federal officials say that hundreds and perhaps thousands of children will be at risk of dying from a largely curable disease, The New York Times reported.

Methotrexate is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which is most common in children ages 2-5. One of nation's largest suppliers of injectable preservative-free methotrexate was Ben Venue Laboratories. But in November, the company suspended operations at its plant in Bedford, Ohio due to what it called "significant manufacturing and quality concerns."

"This is a crisis that I hope the FDA's hard work can help to avert," Dr. Michael P. Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, told The Times. "We have worked very hard to take what was an incurable disease and make it curable for 90 percent of the cases. But if we can't get this drug anymore, that sets us back decades."

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Rare Brain Disease Strikes Two People in California

Two cases of a rare and fatal brain disease are being investigated by the Marin County Department of Public Health in California.

One woman is dead and another sick after developing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The two cases are thought to be unrelated, ABC News reported.

"We have no evidence that suggests a causal linkage between the suspect cases nor is there any evidence to suggest a risk in [the] food supply," the health department said in a statement.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease occurs in about one in a million people each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cause in most cases is unknown, but a small number of cases are inherited, ABC News reported.

Some cases -- called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- are linked to mad cow disease. That's been ruled out in one of the Marin County cases and officials suspect the second case is also unrelated to mad cow disease.

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Immune Cells Use Unique Method to Fight HIV: Study

Some types of immune cells resist HIV by denying the AIDS-causing virus the building blocks of life, according to a new study.

Because viruses cannot replicate on their own, they have to take over other cells and use them to produce new viruses, BBC News reported.

The international team of researchers found that some immune system cells destroy their own raw materials in order to stop HIV. The study appears in the journal Nature Immunology.

Experts said it's not clear whether this type of defense could be harnessed for HIV therapy, BBC News reported.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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