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Health News Results - 398

Two years into the pandemic, coronavirus treatments like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills have been approved to treat COVID-19, but it's hard to keep track of which ones still work, experts say.

For example, the monoclonal ant...

U.S. insurers are paying millions of dollars a year to cover the cost of ivermectin for COVID-19 patients despite a lack of proof the anti-parasitic drug is effective against the virus, a new study finds.

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization say ivermectin pills — typically used to treat parasitic infections like worms — should not be used for ...

Arthritis can keep a cat from doing many of the things that kitties love to do. But now there's hope: The first treatment to ease arthritis pain in cats has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Solensia (frunevetmab injection) is the first monoclonal antibody drug approved by the FDA for use in any animal species. A monoclonal antibody is a type of protein.

The ac...

The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

It could be your grandparent.

Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age — and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows.

"You can still use recre...

People on bone-protecting drugs often take breaks from them for a few years. Now a new study finds that a "holiday" from the medication risedronate (Actonel) may come with a slightly increased risk of hip fracture.

Researchers found that compared with a drug holiday from alendronate (Fosamax), taking a few years off from risedronate came with an 18% higher risk of hip fracture.

The ...

It's a move that could severely limit the number of people taking the controversial new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm: Medicare on Tuesday proposed to only cover the cost of the pricey medication for people enrolled in approved clinical trials.

A final decision on coverage is expected later this year.

The drug costs $28,200 per year, but that cost will only be covered for participan...

Medicare has been told to reassess a significant premium increase it had announced that largely stemmed from the expensive new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra's directive, which was annou...

For people newly diagnosed with advanced melanoma, a combination of two immunotherapy drugs can double the amount of time their cancer remains progression-free, a clinical trial has found.

The treatment combines two drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. One, called nivolumab (Opdivo), is already standard for advanced melanoma; the other, relatlimab, is not yet approved.

But b...

Following a months-long and unprecedented review, Medicare officials expect to announce within the next couple of weeks whether the program will cover the controversial Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm. The drug's benefits are in question and its annual price tag tops $28,000.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tend to cover with little fanfare most drugs approved by its s...

New antiviral pills for COVID-19 recently authorized for emergency use in high-risk people by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should give doctors an easier means of keeping people out of the hospital.

But the initial hype is giving way to reality, as doctors and public health officials grapple with the challenges of getting the Pfizer and Merck antiviral pills into the hands of thos...

Ketamine, once most famous as a "club" drug, can rapidly improve hard-to-treat depression and curb suicidal thoughts, a new review confirms.

In recent years, ketamine has emerged as something of a wonder drug for some people who do not get better with standa...

Many Americans now have two oral antiviral pills that can be taken at home to treat a fresh case of COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the emergency use of Merck's molnupiravir pi...

People who struggle with severe asthma now have a new treatment to get some relief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an injectable drug called Tezspire (tezepelumab-ekko), which would be administered every four weeks by a health care profession...

A new program to boost the supply of cancer medicines for children in low- and middle-income countries has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The hospital is making a six-year, $200 million investment to launch the Global Platform for Access to Childhood C...

The maker of the pricey new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm (aducanumab) said Monday it will slash the cost of its medication in half, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

The move follows widespread criticism of the drug's original $56,000-a-year price tag.

The reduction in the wholesale acquisition cost announced by Biogen means that the annual cost for a patient of average weight will be $28,200, th...

Recovery from heart surgery can bring some pain. But a new study suggests patients don't need potentially addictive prescription opioids to control that post-op discomfort.

"This study shows that discharge without opioid pain medicine after cardiac surgery is extremely well tolerated...

Many people turn to marijuana or cannabidiol to ease their achy joints and help them sleep, but a new study suggests that could wreak havoc with any other medications they're taking.

Why? Because the body uses the same set of enzymes to process them all, scientists report.

The chemicals in mari...

An experimental drug, added to chemotherapy, may benefit women with an aggressive form of breast cancer, suggests an early study offering much-needed good news.

The study involved women with "triple-negative" breast cancer, which accounts for about 15% to 20% of breast cancers among U.S. women. It is so called because the cancers lack receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone, ...

For certain leukemia patients, some welcome findings: New research confirms long remissions after treatment with the drug ibrutinib and chemotherapy.

The study involved 85 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). All were 65 or younger, and 46 had more aggressive, unmutated IGHV subtype of the d...

Older adults have a higher risk of delirium after hip and knee surgery if they're taking anxiety, depression or insomnia drugs, researchers say.

"Our findings show that different classes of medicine are riskier than others when it comes to causing delirium after surgery, and the older the patients are, the greater the risk," said lead study author Gizat Kassie. He is a postdoctoral resear...

Children with hard-to-control asthma may get relief from adding an injectable antibody drug to their standard treatment, a clinical trial has found.

The drug, called dupilumab (Dupixent), has been available for several years to treat stubborn asthma in adults and teenagers. Based on the new findings, the

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 9, 2021
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  • For people suffering from clots in their legs, a new study finds that one of two commonly used blood thinners is safer and more effective than the other.

    Venous thromboembolism (VTE) can cause clots to form in the deep veins in the legs, and if one breaks loose it can travel to the lungs and cause breathing problems and even death. In this study, researchers looked at the risks and benefi...

    President Joe Biden promised cheaper prescription drugs for all Americans on Monday as his social agenda legislation winds its way through Congress.

    Biden tried to shift Americans' focus to pocketbook provisions overlooked in his $2 trillion legislation, which deals with everything from climate to family life and taxes. The legislation has passed the House and is pending before the Senate...

    Viagra, a drug long used to treat erectile dysfunction, may double as a potential weapon against Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

    Looking at data on more than 7 million Americans, researchers found that those taking the drug were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer's, when compared to non-users.

    Then, in lab experiments, the investigators showed that the medication seeme...

    Nearly 13 million U.S. adults a year skip or delay filling needed prescriptions due to high price tags, new research shows.

    This figure includes more than 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries and 3.8 million privately insured working-age adults who didn't get needed medications each year in 2018 and 2019 because of cost, according to a nationally representative survey of U.S. households.

    Asthma is a tough disease for kids and their parents to manage well, but not keeping it under control may make these children up to six times more likely to wind up in the hospital with severe COVID-19, new research shows.

    With the cold and flu season about to kick in and COVID-19 rates climbing again in some areas, kids with asthma should make sure their disease is under tight control, s...

    People who are prescribed opioid painkillers after receiving a heart pacemaker or defibrillator may be at risk for opioid abuse -- and the higher the initial dose, the greater the risk, according to a new study.

    “The significance of this study is to make other electrophysiologists aware that even a low-risk procedure like a pacemaker or a defibrillator can lead to chronic opioid use and...

    Nearly 1 in 5 people with hypertension may be unintentionally taking a drug for another condition that causes their blood pressure to climb even higher, a new study suggests.

    Left untreated or undertreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems by damaging blood vessels. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, restricting ...

    Add an inexpensive gout drug to the growing list of medications touted as potential COVID-19 treatments -- only to offer no apparent benefit.

    The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine doesn't lessen COVID severity, the risk of death or shorten hospital stays, a new study reports. Nor does it lower the need for admission...

    Debate rages over access to abortion, but experts say the collected medical evidence makes one thing clear — it is a fundamentally safe procedure for women.

    Abortion is safer than childbirth and it's also safer than a host of other common procedures — colonoscopy, tonsillectomy and plastic surgery, said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wa...

    Folks who've had a clogged artery reopened probably can stop taking blood thinners sooner than previously thought, a new study argues.

    Patients are regularly prescribed blood thinners for a year or more after angioplasty. This is to make sure that blood doesn't clot inside the metal stent that now holds their artery open. That could cause a heart attack or stroke.

    But heart doctors ...

    Addictive opioid painkillers aren't the only option for patients seeking relief following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction, researchers say.

    As the United States wrestles with skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the findings may come as good news.

    After ACL surgery, Advil and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminop...

    A widely available drug used to treat alcoholism has potential as a COVID-19 treatment, researchers say.

    The investigators found that people taking disulfiram (Antabuse) for alcoholism had a lower risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were less likely to die from COVID-19 if infected than those not taking the drug.

  • Robert Preidt
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  • November 23, 2021
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  • Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who take medications that suppress the immune system don't have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those with normal immune systems, a new study finds.

    Early in the pandemic, it was feared that people taking immunosuppressive drugs were at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to their weakened immune systems. The drugs are used to treat cancer and autoim...

    Guidelines for treating movement problems in people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease have been updated.

    The new treatment recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) focus on dopaminergic medications, which increase dopamine levels or mimic dopamine effects. Parkinson's is a movement disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain fail to produce enough dopam...

    Neurologists must make sure Alzheimer's patients and their families understand that the controversial drug aducanumab does not restore mental function, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in new position statement that includes ethical guidelines.

    "Aducanumab is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, yet since it has been approved by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], patients...

    Pfizer announced Tuesday that it has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the emergency use of its new antiviral pill in people at high risk for severe COVID-19.

    "With more than 5 million deaths and countless lives impacted by this devastating disease globally, there is an urgent need for life-saving treatment options. The overwhelming efficacy achieved in our recent cli...

    For decades, doctors have struggled with the fact that the benefit of any blood-thinning pill came with the added risk of excess bleeding.

    Now, an experimental anti-clotting pill called milvexian has been found to be effective in patients who had knee replacement surgery — without adding any excess risk for bleeding.

    The study focused on these patients because they're known to be ...

    Certain commonly prescribed antidepressants appear to substantially lower the risk of dying among seriously ill COVID-19 patients, a large new study indicates.

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most widely prescribed drugs for the treatment of depression. They include drugs like Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

    "We saw t...

    A new and expensive Alzheimer's drug called Aduhelm is responsible for about half of the $21.60 increase in monthly premiums for Medicare's Part B outpatient program in 2022, Medicare officials report.

    The new premium will be $170.10 a month, and the $21.60 boost is the biggest increase ever in dollar amount, but not in percentage terms. As recently as August, a smaller increase of $10 fr...

    Illustrating the power of the mind to heal itself, new research suggests that the placebo effect could help drive antidepressants' effects against anxiety disorders.

    The placebo effect refers to an increase in the success of a treatment when a patient expects a benefit.

    In the new study, patients with s...

    The word went out late last month throughout Utah -- if you've got a spare set of aluminum crutches lying around, you should donate them to your local hospital.

    An international shortage of aluminum has caused delays in shipments of crutches and walkers, so Utah hospitals banded together for #LeanOnUtah -- a community drive to collect gently used durable medical supplies.

    No patient...

    A measure designed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors has been added to President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate change bill that Democratic leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week.

    For the first time, the measure would enable the federal government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare, The New York Times reported.

    Under the proposal, ...

    Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

    Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

    On average, beneficiaries saw a 34...

    A cheap and widely available antidepressant drug called fluvoxamine may reduce COVID-19 patients' risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization, according to a new study.

    The trial included almost 1,500 unvaccinated outpatients in Brazil. All of the patients tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were deemed to be at high risk for a severe case of illness.

    Fluvoxamine...

    Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a mainstay of depression treatment, but a new study warns that taking common painkillers alongside SSRIs may raise the chances for intestinal bleeding.

    In a review of 10 published studies involving 6,000 patients, researchers found that those taking SSRIs (such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft) and pain medicati...

    It's a drug that's been supported by some conservative media figures, but taking ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 might land you in the hospital, a new study warns.

    Interest in the drug surged last summer as the highly contagious Delta variant took over the United States. But instead of protecting against the virus, the use of a medicine typically reserved for horses and cattle has...

    While they're helping to ease reflux, some heartburn drugs may also be reducing the severity of gum disease, new research suggests.

    For the study, researchers assessed probing depth in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums) in more than 1,000 patients with gum disease who were or weren't using drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs widely prescribed to treat heart...

    Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure and only 24% have it under control, but what's the best way to treat it -- one high-dose pill or two at a lower dose?

    A large new study suggests that two medications may be better than one for many older patients. Lowering elevated blood pressure to a sustainable level is important because it reduces a patient's risk of heart attack, strok...

    People newly infected with COVID-19 might soon have access to what essentially is Tamiflu for the novel coronavirus, a breakthrough that experts say would drastically alter the course of the ongoing pandemic.

    At least three contenders are vying to become the first antiviral pill that specifically targets COVID-19, according to reports from drug manufacturers.

    Such a pill could be pr...