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COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much  - web md

COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much

In search of an answer, researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., studied the effects of temperature, precipitation and sunlight (UV index) on the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States during the spring.
web md - 10 hours ago
Metformin Recalled for Possible Cancerous Chemical  - web md

Metformin Recalled for Possible Cancerous Chemical

The recall for all lots of metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets 500 mg from Apotex comes after one lot tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had higher NDMA levels than allowed by the FDA.
web md - 1 day ago
COVID Rates Lower Than Thought for Pregnant Women  - web md

COVID Rates Lower Than Thought for Pregnant Women

The new study included 770 hospital patients who hadn't previously been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. Of those, 30 tested positive for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive, 22 had no symptoms -- meaning the rate of positive tests among asymptomatic women was 2.9%.
web md - 1 day ago
Postponed Surgeries Resume, Stretching Hospitals  - web md

Postponed Surgeries Resume, Stretching Hospitals

For months, the coronavirus pandemic forced hospitals to delay elective surgeries as doctors turned their attention to treating COVID-19 patients, but the spigots on non-urgent procedures are about to reopen.
web md - 1 day ago
Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge - positive sharing

Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge

Times are tough for for workplaces all over the world right now. I would like to share some of my tools in the hope that maybe it can help a little. So I’m making my two main books available as pdf downloads free of charge for anyone who wants them. There’s also no annoying email … Continue reading Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge →
5 winning ways for kids burn energy - harvard

5 winning ways for kids burn energy

After a couple of months of sheltering in place, and with warm weather upon us, your children probably have plenty of excess energy. Here are five suggestions for activities that will get them moving—and there's nothing stopping parents from joining in. The post 5 winning ways for kids burn energy appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 days ago
COVID-19 Virus Found in Stool May be Infectious  - web md

COVID-19 Virus Found in Stool May be Infectious

A new study has shown that COVID-19 virus isolated from the stool of a sick patient can infect cells in a petri dish -- a step toward proving that this might be a new route of transmission for the infection with the coronavirus.
web md - 6 days ago
Medicare Recipients May Get Insulin at $35 Per Month  - web md

Medicare Recipients May Get Insulin at $35 Per Month

Beginning next year, people on some Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plans who need insulin will be able to access the lifesaving medication for just $35 a month, according to a new plan announced by the White House.
web md - 6 days ago
Dirty City Air Might Raise MS Risk  - web md

Dirty City Air Might Raise MS Risk

places with low levels of tiny particles of air pollution called Particulate matter, the risk for MS was lower than in areas where those levels were high. In urban areas, the risk was 29% higher than in rural areas.
web md - 1 week ago
1 in 5 Hospitalized NYC COVID Patients Needed ICU  - web md

1 in 5 Hospitalized NYC COVID Patients Needed ICU

More than one-fifth of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City have critical illness, and nearly 80% of critically ill patients need ventilators to help them breathe, according to a new study.
web md - 1 week ago
Telephone vs Telemedicine: Code and Bill Correctly During COVID-19  - web md

Telephone vs Telemedicine: Code and Bill Correctly During COVID-19

CMS says it will reimburse for telephone-based consults the same as for office visits during COVID-19. Expert Betsy Nicoletti explains how to code and bill these services properly during the pandemic.
web md - 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 Severity in Pregnancy Appears Lower Than H1N1  - web md

COVID-19 Severity in Pregnancy Appears Lower Than H1N1

Single case reports describe harrowing births and outcomes for women with COVID-19, but preliminary data suggest that overall, pregnant women do as well as the general public when it comes to COVID-19.
web md - 2 weeks ago
The Fellows Behind the COVID-19 Literature Updates  - web md

The Fellows Behind the COVID-19 Literature Updates

Two HIV research fellows are about to do their fifth biweekly deep-dive presentation on the COVID-19 literature. We asked them how they choose what to include and what they find most intriguing about SARS-CoV2.
web md - 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 May Trigger Rare Complication In Children  - web md

COVID-19 May Trigger Rare Complication In Children

As COVID-19 continues to spread, there is growing evidence that children may be vulnerable to a rare but serious complication triggered by the infection that has features of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
web md - 2 weeks ago
New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know - harvard

New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know

A rare syndrome in some children that affects the heart and other organs may be a reaction to a current or past COVID-19 infection, but test results for the coronavirus are sometimes negative. The post New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings  - web md

Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings

A beauty industry group in California and others filed a law suit Tuesday against California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his decision to keep nail salons and beauty shops closed while allowing other businesses to open.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Hospital Volumes Slashed by More Than Half During Pandemic  - web md

Hospital Volumes Slashed by More Than Half During Pandemic

A new report shows the number of patients who sought care at hospitals dropped 54% in late March and early April compared with the prior-year period, suggesting a wave of demand as surgical bans lift.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Obesity Can Shift Severe COVID-19 to Younger Age Groups  - web md

Obesity Can Shift Severe COVID-19 to Younger Age Groups

A new analysis is the first to specifically examine the link between age, obesity, and treatment in ICU. The findings add to evidence indicating threshold for testing should be lowered in this 'susceptible population.'
web md - 3 weeks ago
Do adults really need tetanus booster shots? - harvard

Do adults really need tetanus booster shots?

Can childhood tetanus vaccinations offer sufficient protection during adulthood without regular booster shots? Although a new study posits this, the CDC continues to recommend booster shots every 10 years. The post Do adults really need tetanus booster shots? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
COVID-19 in ICE Facilities Could Overwhelm Local ICUs  - web md

COVID-19 in ICE Facilities Could Overwhelm Local ICUs

Results from a new modeling study, along with news of the first reported death of an ICE detainee, increase concerns among experts who fear local hospitals may be unable to care for those who need it.
web md - 3 weeks ago
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Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

harvard - 2 months ago

Update: On April 1, 2020, the FDA requested manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs (Zantac, others) from the market immediately, due to the presence of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Although the FDA did not observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples they tested, they have determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures. As a result of this recall, ranitidine products will no longer be available for prescription or OTC use in the US.

The FDA is also advising consumers taking OTC ranitidine to stop taking this medication, including any unused ranitidine medication they may still have at home. Other FDA-approved OTC medications are available to treat heartburn. Patients taking prescription ranitidine should speak with their doctor about other treatment options before stopping the medicine.


As anticipated, recall of the popular heartburn medicine ranitidine (Zantac) has expanded. But we still have more questions than answers.

As I mentioned in my original blog post on this topic, the online pharmacy Valisure, which originally alerted the FDA to the issue, found what they called extremely high levels of the probable cancer-causing substance N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine products.

The FDA has indicated that its own preliminary testing has detected low levels of NDMA in ranitidine.

Testing methods may have influenced NMDA results

The FDA has clarified that the testing method that found the extremely high levels of NDMA applied high heat, at a level much higher than normal body temperature. In other words, the testing did not reflect typical conditions under which the medication would be stored or taken.

The FDA is asking all companies that manufacture ranitidine, as well as other similar medications (both H2 blockers, the class of drugs to which ranitidine belongs, and proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs, a different class of drugs used for similar conditions), to test their products using lower heat closer to normal body temperature. So far, there is no indication that these other products are affected; the FDA is likely asking for these tests only as a precaution.

As of now, the FDA has allowed ranitidine to remain on the market. Still, some manufacturers have issued voluntary recalls and some pharmacies have pulled it off the shelves.

FDA estimates ranitidine NMDA risk with other medications

The FDA has not yet released the results of its own tests of ranitidine. But they previously estimated the likely impact of NDMA found in another class of medications, called angiotensin receptor blockers, on the risk of cancer. That estimate provides some context for the current circumstances.

Angiotensin receptor blockers, including the drug valsartan (Diovan), are used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions. They were recalled beginning last year due to the presence of NDMA and other related impurities. The FDA estimated that, if 8,000 people took the highest dose of valsartan containing NDMA every day for four years, there would be one additional case of cancer over the lifetimes of these 8,000 people.

Currently, we do not know how the amount of NDMA found in ranitidine compares to the amount found in valsartan.

Until we know more, the best course of action if you are taking ranitidine is to talk to your doctor about whether treatment is still needed. For some conditions, the benefits likely outweigh the risks. Although some ranitidine products remain available, consider alternative medications such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or famotidine (Pepcid) if you need long-term treatment.

Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaJGagne

The post Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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