Health Highlights: Sept. 27, 201309/27/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Warns That Antibiotic Tygacil Shows Raised Death Risk
The antibiotic Tygacil is linked to an increased chance of death
when used to treat serious infections, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration said Friday.
In issuing a black box warning, the agency asked that physicians
limit their use of the intravenous medication.
Labeling for the Pfizer drug will now state that the medicine
"should be reserved for use in situations when alternative
treatments aren't suitable."
The warning is based on a new analysis that showed 2.5 percent
of patients receiving Tygacil died, compared with 1.8 percent of
patients receiving other antibiotics.
Pfizer said in a statement it will update the labeling,
Dow Jonesreported. "Pfizer encourages health care
professionals to review all available information to find an
antibiotic therapy that works best for each patient's clinical
situation," the company said.
Approved for the treatment of a specific type of pneumonia and
certain skin and intra-abdominal infections, Tygacil is not
approved to treat diabetic foot infections or for hospital-acquired
or ventilator-associated pneumonia. In 2012, sales of the drug
surpassed $335 million,
The agency's concerns with Tygacil first surfaced in 2010, when
the FDA warned of an increased risk of death in clinical studies.
Since then, the agency has analyzed data from 10 trials to arrive
at the decision to issue a black box warning.
"In general, the deaths resulted from worsening infections, complications of infection or other underlying medical conditions," the agency said.
'Extremely Likely' That Humans are Main Cause of Climate Change: Report
It's "extremely likely" that human activity is the main cause of
global climate change that has occurred since the 1950s, according
to a new report by an international scientific group.
The words linking humans and climate change are the strongest
used to date by the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. In an assessment released in 2007, the panel said
it was "very likely" that global warming was man-made, the
The IPCC also addressed the apparent slowdown in global warming
in the past 15 years, something that climate change skeptics say
casts doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change.
Short-term climate records are sensitive to natural variability
and don't in general reflect long-term trends, according to the
"An old rule says that climate-relevant trends should not be calculated for periods less than around 30 years," said Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the group that wrote the document, the APreported.
Overall evidence of climate change has increased due to more and
better observations, improved understanding of the climate system,
and improved models to assess the impact of rising temperatures,
the IPCC noted.
"Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased," said Qin Dahe, co-chair of the working group that wrote the report.
A summary of the report's key findings was released Friday and
the full 2,000-page report will be released Monday. The IPCC
assessments provide the scientific basis of U.N. negotiations on a
new climate deal, the
The panel now predicts that sea levels will rise 10-32 inches by
the end of the century, compared with a rise of 7-23 inches
predicted in the previous report. The new report also predicts that
global average temperatures will rise by 0.5 to 8.6 degrees F by
the end of the century.
"This is yet another wakeup call: Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, the APreported.
"Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate," Kerry added.
The new report should convince governments to take action on
climate change, activists said.
"There are few surprises in this report but the increase in the confidence around many observations just validates what we are seeing happening around us," Samantha Smith, of the World Wildlife Fund, told the AP.
Colorado Cantaloupe Farmers Charged Over Listeria Outbreak
Two brothers who owned a Colorado cantaloupe farm linked to a
listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and sickened 147 others
pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to the nationwide
Eric and Ryan Jensen, ages 37 and 33, owned the now-bankrupt
Jensen Farms. They appeared in court Thursday and each was charged
with six midemenaor counts of introducing adulterated food into
interstate commerce. The brothers pleaded not guilty, the
They were released on a $100,000 unsecured bond and their trial
is scheduled for Dec. 2. If convicted of all six counts, they could
face up to six years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines.
The Jensens released a statement saying the outbreak was a
"terrible accident" that shocked and saddened them. They also noted
that the charges do not imply they knew about the contamination or
that they should have known about it, the
Artifical Pancreas System Approved by FDA
The first artificial pancreas system for people with diabetes
has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The MiniMed 530G with Enlite automatically stops insulin
delivery to diabetics when glucose levels reach a certain point,
The FDA approved the system for use by people with diabetes who
are at least 16 years old. The system is made by Medtronic Inc. of
The new system's improved accuracy and ability to turn itself
off for two hours is an advance over existing machines, which sound
an alarm when glucose levels reach a preset level,
First Reported Cases of Krokodil Drug in U.S.
The first calls in the United States about the use of a
dangerous drug called krokodil were received in the past week by a
poison control center in Phoenix, Ariz.
"As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened," Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner's Poison Control Center, told CBS News.
The real name for Krokodil, known for its use in Russia, is
desomorphine. It is an opioid derivative of morphine and, like
heroin and other opioids, it has a sedative and analgesic
The drug is fast-acting and eight to 10 times more potent than
morphine. It's easy to make a homemade version of the drug using
codeine, iodine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid,
lighter fluid and red phosphorus,
"They extract (the drug) and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage," LoVecchio said.
About 1 million people in Russia use krokodil and it has been
found in other European countries as well, according to the New
York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
Krokodil is Russian for crocodile and the nickname was given to
the drug because users can develop scale-like, green skin,
Kids' Sunscreens Recalled for Potential Contamination
Some Badger baby and children's sunscreen products are being
recalled in the United States and Canada due to microbial
All lots of the company's 4-ounce SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion
and one lot of its 4-ounce SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion are being
recalled after tests revealed contamination with
Acremonium fungi, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The affected lots include:
- SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz (UPC: 634084490091 &
634084490114) Lot #'s 3024A, 3057B, 3063A, 3063B, 3132A,
- SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion (UPC: 634084490145 &
634084490169) Lot # 3164A.
The sunscreen products were sold online and at major retailers,
pharmacies and independent food co-ops. Consumers with the products
should not use them and may return them to the point of purchase
for a full refund, the FDA said.
Consumers can also contact W.S. Badger Co. Inc. at
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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.