Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL. 13  ISSUE:  4  April  2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor,

Welcome to 'e-SQUARE'.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Aspirin & Cancer !", "Childhood Trauma Risk !", "Grateful Heart !", "Migraine Drug Alert",  "TV Alert !", "Placenta Test !".

In our regular feature, we have some new products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

We will appreciate your feedback !

Click on to reply mode.

Yours sincerely,


Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

 Aspirin & Cancer !

Aspirin May Help Ward Off Gastro Cancers, Study Finds

Taking aspirin regularly over several years may help prevent gastrointestinal cancers, a new study suggests. There was a 20 percent lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the colon and rectum, among people taking aspirin, lead researcher said. But lead researcher doesn't think people should start taking aspirin to prevent cancer until more research is done. "The results of ongoing research to develop more tailored treatment based upon a personalized assessment of risks and benefits is critical before recommending aspirin for preventing cancer," she said. Moreover, patients and their doctors need to consider the potential risks of taking aspirin, including stomach bleeding, she added. However, "if considered alongside the known benefits of aspirin in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes, our data suggest the possibility that long-term regular aspirin use may have a significant benefit in prevention of the two leading causes of sickness and death in the U.S. and much of the world," she said. For the study, lead researcher and her colleagues collected data on 82,600 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study in 1980 and 47,650 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in 1986. The researchers collected data on aspirin use, risk factors for cancer and diagnoses of cancer. After up to 32 years of follow-up, about 20,400 women and 7,570 men developed cancer, the investigators found. Among men, prostate cancer was excluded. Research team found that men and women who took a regular dose of aspirin (325 milligrams) two times a week or more had a lower risk of cancer overall than people who did not regularly take aspirin. The reduced risk was largely due to fewer cases of gastrointestinal cancers, including colon cancer, rectal cancer and esophageal cancer. Regular aspirin use was not associated with a reduced risk of other cancers. Specifically, no link was found between aspirin use and a lower risk of breast cancer, advanced prostate cancer or lung cancer, the researchers said. Moreover, the benefit of aspirin in reducing overall cancer risk appeared to depend on how much one took. So the more aspirin taken, the more the risk was reduced. Amounts ranged from less than one aspirin a week to 15 or more, the researchers said. Getting the biggest benefit from aspirin required taking it for at least 16 years. The benefit was no longer seen within four years of stopping it, the researchers found. And the study only showed an association between aspirin use and gastrointestinal cancer risk, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The association of aspirin with reduced cancer risk was the same for women and men regardless of race, history of diabetes, family history of cancer, weight, smoking, regular use of other painkillers or taking multivitamins, the study authors added.   

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2015

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 Childhood Trauma Risk !

Childhood Trauma May Raise Odds Of Asthma

Children who experience trauma such as divorce, death of a parent or domestic violence are more likely to develop asthma than other kids, new research suggests. "We know that young children are susceptible to numerous adverse factors that they may be exposed to in the home environment, including cigarette smoking, indoor triggers, and even, as this study shows, dysfunctional families and associated domestic violence," an expert said. "It is even more important that these high-risk children are identified and cared for by experts in the management of asthma," he said. Researchers surveyed parents of more than 92,000 children under the age of 18. They found that about one-third of the children had experienced at least one traumatic event, most commonly "living with a parent or guardian who got divorced or separated," study author said. "The data showed that the more adverse childhood experiences a child is exposed to, the greater the probability he or she will develop asthma," study author added. One in four kids exposed to five or more types of trauma had asthma, compared to 12 percent of those who hadn't experienced any of these traumas, the study found. It defined these traumas as domestic violence, divorce or separation of parents, living with someone who is mentally ill, living with someone who's been in jail or prison, and death of a parent or guardian. About two-thirds of those children in the study hadn't experienced any of the traumas, and 17 percent had experienced one, the researchers said. The rest experienced more. The study doesn't prove that a traumatic event causes asthma, merely that there is an association between the two. 

SOURCE:  HealthDay News, April 2015

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 Grateful Heart !

A Grateful Heart May Be a Healthy Heart

Being thankful for the good things in life may benefit heart failure patients, a new study suggests. The research included almost 200 heart failure patients who didn't yet have any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or fatigue. Halting the disease progression at this point -- known as stage B -- can prevent it from moving to stage C. In stage C, patients have a five times higher risk for death, according to the researchers. Patients completed standard psychological tests so researchers could assess the patients' levels of gratitude and spiritual well-being. Higher levels of gratitude were associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and less inflammation, a factor that can worsen heart failure, according to the study. However, it's important to note that this study was only able to find an association between feeling grateful and improved heart health markers; it wasn't designed to prove that feeling thankful actually caused the improvements. To get a better idea of how feeling thankful might help the heart, the researchers asked some of the patients to keep a gratitude journal for eight weeks. On most days, they were expected to write down three things for which they were most thankful. And, keeping a gratitude journal seemed to help heart health even more, the study showed. "We found that those patients who kept gratitude journals for those eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they wrote. Improved heart rate variability is considered a measure of reduced cardiac risk," study author said. "It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart, and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health," he concluded.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2015

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 Migraine Drug Alert !

Migraine Drug May Up Risk Of Eating Disorders In Some Teens

A new report has linked a migraine medication to increased odds of eating disorders in some teens. The drug in question is called topiramate. It's an established migraine drug for adults that was just approved for use in teens in 2014. Appetite reduction and weight loss are common side effects of the drug, according to the report authors. "For most kids, it's a great medicine, but for a handful of kids the weight loss can trigger symptoms of an eating disorder," report author said. It's important to note that the report only showed an association between taking the drug and eating disorders; it did not prove the drug can actually cause an eating disorder. The report details the case histories of seven young women, aged 13 to 18. The teens developed an eating disorder or had an existing disorder worsen after starting the drug. Author emphasized that the report is not a study, but information on seven case histories. "This isn't a prevalence study," she said. "These are kids who presented to an eating disorders program." What the report suggests, she said, is that there are some teens who are especially vulnerable to eating disorders and the drug may increase that risk. Three of the patients didn't have eating disorder symptoms before starting the drug. Another three said they suspected the eating disorder began before they started the medication. The seventh had an eating disorder that was in remission, but it recurred after starting the drug, the researchers reported. Four of the teens were diagnosed with an unspecified eating disorder. One teen had bulimia nervosa, which involves binging on food then purging by throwing up or using laxatives. And, the final two were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa -- a disorder that causes people to excessively restrict food and leads to extreme, potentially dangerous weight loss. Author said she can't say how the drug may trigger the eating disorder, although "we know in any person the weight loss itself can be the trigger for an eating disorder," she said. "If there are some pervasive symptoms, like a lot of weight loss, don't dismiss it," she added. Another warning sign is a change in normal behavior, such as an outgoing teen suddenly isolating herself and not engaging in activities with friends, she said. The report authors also suggested that doctors screen teen migraine patients for eating disorders and risk factors for eating disorders before prescribing topiramate. In addition, weight should be monitored carefully when someone first starts taking the drug, they suggested.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2015

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 TV Alert !

More TV Time May Mean Higher Diabetes Risk, Study Finds

Every extra hour a person with prediabetes spends watching TV each day raises their risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes by 3.4 percent, according to research. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect. But the increased risk associated with being a couch potato occurred whether or not the study participants were taking diabetes drugs, or whether or not they were eating healthy diets and exercising, the researchers found. However, people who tried to prevent diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes did end up watching less television over time, the study found. The results are troubling, given the epidemic of obesity that continues to plague the United States, said senior study author said. "As time goes on and people are getting less active and more overweight, the number of people at risk for diabetes is increasing by leaps and bounds. It's not a rare group of people" who will be exposed to increased diabetes risk due to their sedentary habits, study author added. The new study relies on data from participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program, a federally funded study published in 2002. That study included slightly more than 3,200 overweight U.S. adults between 1996 and 1999. The study's goal was to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk patients, either with the diabetes drug metformin or via lifestyle changes. Eating right and engaging in physical activity proved the most successful route, resulting in a 58 percent decrease in the development of diabetes compared to doing nothing. By comparison, metformin caused only a 31 percent decrease in diabetes development, study author said. Since they'd proven that physical activity can forestall diabetes, researchers decided to take the opposite tack and explore whether sitting around for extended periods can raise diabetes risk, study author said. Prior research has indicated that long periods spent sitting motionless can have negative effects on metabolism, she explained. "If you think about it, we all recognize the fact that when we sleep our bodies are at rest, and everything sort of slows down," she said. "When we're sitting for long periods of time, our body also starts to slow down. It might not be in a sleeping state, but it goes into a more rested state and things start to slow down." Prior to the study, participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program all spent the same amount of time watching TV, an average of 140 minutes per day. But people engaging in lifestyle changes ended up reducing their TV time by 22 minutes a day over the course of the study. By comparison, people taking metformin reduced their TV watching by just 3 minutes a day, and those following no plan at all watched 8 minutes fewer per day. The researchers then investigated the impact of sedentary behavior over time on diabetes incidence. For participants in all three groups, the risk of developing diabetes increased approximately 3.4 percent for each hour spent watching TV, after the researchers adjusted for other variables. This increased risk from TV watching might not apply to healthy people who are not at high risk for diabetes, researchers added. They noted that the Diabetes Prevention Program specifically focused on people who were overweight and prediabetic. "Not everyone in the general population would be at high risk," the researchers said. "We would hypothesize that the risk increase from TV watching may be lower in those not at high risk for diabetes, but obviously could not test that in our study population." They said. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2015

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 Placenta Test !

Placenta Test Measures Babies' Exposure To Arsenic

A pregnant woman's placenta can reliably measure exposure to the toxic metal arsenic in both the mother and her unborn baby, new research finds. "Our findings show placental arsenic concentrations reflect both maternal and fetal biomarker concentrations," said the study's lead author said. Arsenic, a carcinogen, occurs naturally in soil, water and air. Previous research has shown that it crosses the placenta and may affect fetal development, according to background notes with the study. Contaminated well water is one source of arsenic exposure. For this study, researchers compared arsenic concentrations detected in placental samples of 652 women with urine samples taken during pregnancy and post-delivery toenail clippings from mother and child. They also analyzed the link between placental arsenic and the women's exposure to the metal from eating rice and drinking private well water. The study, published recently in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, revealed that placenta arsenic concentrations correlated with the arsenic levels detected in the women's urine as well as their toenails and the infants' toenail clippings. Also, greater placental transfer of arsenic from mother to fetus was observed at high placental arsenic concentrations, the researchers said. The findings "support placenta as a potentially useful biomarker of arsenic exposure, particularly in studies of placental function. They suggest greater maternal-fetal transfer when placental arsenic is high," lead author said. Scientists have previously used placenta to assess infants' early exposure to other toxic metals, including lead, mercury and cadmium, the researchers added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2015

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Ariprex
  Generic Name Aripiprazole
  Strength 10 mg, 15 mg 
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Antipsychotics
  Product Virux
Generic Name

Acyclovir Sodium


500 mg

Dosage form IV Injection
Therapeutic Category Antivirals Excluding Anti-HIV
  Product Cefotil Plus
  Generic Name Cefuroxime+Clavulanic Acid

500 mg+ 125 mg

  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Cephalosporins & Combinations 

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