Health care updates, Nov 19



Vaccine for Ear Infections
Ear infections are common among babies and little children and some of these infections are caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Scientists have developed a vaccine that is active against 7 pneumococcal bacterial strains. The PCV-7 vaccine has been tested in 177,000 kids where 20% reduction in the number of cases was observed. The vaccine has been approved in 2007 but it is only now that its real benefits come to light. Babies receive four doses of the vaccine at age two months, four months, six months and again at 12 months.    

FDA clears Cymbalta to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain
The US FDA has recently approved a new indication for Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride). It can now be prescribed for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, including pain from osteoarthritis and chronic lower back pain. Cymbalta was already approved for diabetic peripheral neuropathy in 2004; generalized anxiety disorder and maintenance treatment of major depression in 2007; and fibromyalgia in 2008.

FDA launches initiative to develop innovative external defibrillators
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can now be found in many public areas. They are to be used in cases of emergency in people suffering from cardiac arrest. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently launched a program aimed at “facilitating the development of safer, more effective external defibrillators used to treat abnormal heart rhythms through improved design and manufacturing practices.”
AEDs are designed that they can be used by a bystander who has no previous experience in first aid or use of the device. AEDs help save lives every year but there have also been reports of device failure. The initiative should increase the safety and usability of AEDs.

FDA Urges Consumers to be ‘Smart’ about Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics are often misused, with serious, long-lasting consequences- bacterial resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria mutate and this mutation reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs.

The US FDA is urging consumers to use antibiotics appropriately. Here are some of their recommendations:

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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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