Health Highlights: Oct. 1, 201310/01/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Waterborne Bacteria Infection Kills Fla. Man
A rare infection with a type of bacteria found in water is being
blamed for the death of a Florida man.
Henry Konietzky, 59, died last Monday less than 48 hours after
being infected with
Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria in the same family as
cholera that lives in warm saltwater bodes,
He had been crab fishing in the Halifax River near Ormond Beach,
Fla. the previous Saturday. He started feeling ill on Sunday and
went to the emergency room.
V. vulnificusinfections can occur when a person eats
contaminated seafood or when the bacteria enters the body through
an open wound. Infection can cause abdominal pain, vomiting and
diarrhea. The bacteria can also infect the blood stream and the
death rate is 50 percent in such cases.
V. vulnificusare rare, but may be underreported, according
to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It said
there were more than 900 reports of the bacteria in Gulf Coast
states between 1988 and 2006,
FDA Approves New Antidepressant
The drug Brintellix has been approved to treat depression, the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday.
"Major depressive disorder can be disabling and can keep a person from functioning normally," Dr. Mitchell Mathis, acting director of the division of psychiatry products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release. "Since medications affect everyone differently, it is important to have a variety of treatment options available for patients who suffer from depression."
The approval was based on the results of six clinical trials
where Brintellix (vortioxetine) was pitted against a placebo
medication, the agency said. FDA officials also looked at a seventh
study that found the medication lowered the chances of a recurrence
after patients were treated successfully for an initial bout of
Side effects seen during the trials included nausea,
constipation and vomiting. Like other antidepressants already on
the market, Brintellix will carry a "black box" warning that states
these medications can raise the risk of suicidal thoughts and
behavior in adolescents and young adults who take them, the FDA
The hallmarks of depression include loss of interest in daily
activities, weight changes, insomnia or the opposite, restlessness,
slowed thinking or impaired concentration and suicidal thoughts and
Marketed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Lundbeck, both based in
Deerfield, Ill., Brintellix will be sold in 5 milligram (mg), 10
mg, 15 mg and 20 mg tablets. Doctors should watch any patients
starting on antidepressants for a worsening of symptoms, according
to the FDA.
New Lung Cancer Drug Shows Promise: Study
A experimental drug shows promise in fighting lung cancer in
difficult-to-treat patients, according to a new study.
An early-stage clinical trial of 53 patients who took Roche's
MPDL3280A found that those whose tumors were reduced had a median
response of 48 weeks, and all but one are "still in response," said
Jean-Charles Soria, who led the research at the Gustave Roussy
Institute in Paris,
The drug -- which is given by infusion once every three weeks --
was most effective in patients with the highest levels of a protein
called PD-L1. The drug blocks PD-L1, which prevents the immune
system from attacking cancer cells.
The study findings were presented at the European Cancer
Congress. Roche has started late-stage trials of MPDL3280A in
combination with its own test for identifying which patients would
benefit most from the drug,
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