Heart(y) news, July 16



Wii Games summer 2010
The American Heart Association (AHA) is participating in Wii Games 2010. Earlier this year, AHA announced its collaboration with Nintendo in order to promote active play. The Wii Games is a US-wide tournament that everybody – adults and kids alike – can participate in.

American Heart Association site gets a new look
Have you noticed that the American Heart Association (AHA) site has changed? I can’t tell you exactly when it happened but it looks cool. Check it out at www.heart.org.

Diabetics Urged to Confer With Their Doctor About Avandia Use
The recommendations of the FDA advisory panel Avandia (rosiglitazone) are out. The anti-diabetic drug Avandia may stay on the market – but with additional restrictions, the panel says. Some critics think the panel gives a “mixed message” and a “muddled answer” to the FDA and to the medical community, according to heartwire. The panel assessed the safety of Avandia in terms of increasing risk for heart disease.

Despite being able to stay on the market, experts are predicting that many healthcare providers will advise their patients to change to safer medications.

According to Dr. Jacob Warman, chief of endocrinology at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City:

“Why give a drug with restrictions when a similar drug which has studies that did not show the bad outcomes of Avandia could be used instead.. I don’t see anybody willing to take Avandia when they could take Actos.”

Conflicted FDA committee votes against recommending approval of weight-loss drug Qnexa
Another drug reviewed was a new anti-obesity drug which  a combination of phentermine and controlled-release topiramate . Unlike Avandia, this new drug Qnexa has less luck. The committee did not recommend its approval. In particular, the committee was concerned about the drug’s safety because of a long list of side effects that include “depression; anxiety; sleep disorders; attention, memory, language, and other cognitive disorders; metabolic acidosis; increased heart rate; and teratogenicity.”

FDA to look into possible cancer risk with ARBs
After the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) announced its intention to investigate the cancer risk associated with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), the US FDA followed suit. According to an FDA safety alert, it has “not concluded that ARBs increase the risk of cancer. The agency is reviewing information related to this safety concern and will update the public when additional information is available. FDA believes the benefits of ARBs continue to outweigh their potential risks.”

The most commonly used ARBs on the market are Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Cozaar, Diovan, Micardis, and Teveten.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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Health care updates, July 16

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