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VOL.  13     ISSUE:  6  June  2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





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This issue features the articles including "Aerobic Exercise & Asthma !", "Appendicitis Alert !", "Chocolate & Heart !", "D & C Risk !", "Herpes & Angina !", "New Drug !".

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

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 Aerobic Exercise & Asthma !

Aerobic Exercise Can Help Curb Asthma; Study

Workouts that really get the heart pumping may help ease asthma in people with the respiratory condition, a new Brazilian study finds. Researchers looked at outcomes for 43 people, aged 20 to 59, with moderate to severe asthma. They were randomly selected to do 30-minute yoga breathing exercises twice a week, or the breathing exercises plus a 35-minute indoor treadmill session twice a week. After three months, those in the treadmill group showed greater reductions in asthma severity and more improvement in their quality of life, according to the study. For example, lead researcher tested the participants' "bronchial hyperresponsiveness" -- the speed at which the airway constricts in asthmatics -- and found improvements in people who engaged in aerobic exercise versus those who didn't. Levels of proteins tied to the inflammatory response that are key to asthma also fell for those involved in the more rigorous exercise, the research team found. Exercise is often recommended for asthma patients because it boosts physical fitness, enhances quality of life and reduces the need for inhalers, the study authors noted. However, it hasn't been clear whether the benefits of exercise outweigh potential harms. "These results suggest that adding exercise as an adjunct therapy to [drug] treatment could improve the main features of asthma," the researchers said. The findings are important, they added, because many people with asthma fail to exercise because they think it will trigger an asthma flare-up.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2015

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 Appendicitis Alert !

Appendicitis Can Often Be Treated With Antibiotics

Although surgical removal of the appendix has long been a standard treatment, a new study found that almost three-quarters of people treated with antibiotics could be spared the invasive procedure known as appendectomy. "For more than a century, appendectomy has been the standard treatment," the study's lead author said. But about 80 percent of patients with an inflamed appendix, commonly called appendicitis, don't need to have their appendix surgically removed, and those who ultimately do need the surgery aren't hurt by waiting, according to the lead author. She thinks that this and other studies will change how appendicitis is treated. "Now we know that only a small proportion of appendicitis patients need an emergency operation," she said. However, there are two types of appendicitis -- one that always requires surgery and a milder form that can be treated with antibiotics, she explained. "The majority of appendicitis is the milder form, making up almost 80 percent of the cases of appendicitis," she said. The more serious type of appendicitis can cause the appendix to rupture. Treating this type of appendicitis requires that the appendix be removed, she said. A CT scan can accurately detect which type of appendicitis someone has, she added. For the study, the lead author and her colleagues randomly assigned 530 patients with acute appendicitis to appendectomy or a 10-day course of antibiotics. The researchers found that appendectomies were 99.6 percent successful. Among patients treated with antibiotics and followed for a year, 73 percent did not need surgery. However, 27 percent of the patients treated with antibiotics had to have their appendix removed within a year after treatment. But there were no major complications associated with delaying surgery, the researchers said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2015

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 Chocolate & Heart !

More Research Hints At Chocolate's Heart Benefits

Eating milk chocolate or dark chocolate regularly may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests. Middle-aged or older folks who ate as much as 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day seemed to receive heart health benefits, British researchers report in the June 16 issue of the journal Heart. And most people in the study ate milk chocolate, generally considered less healthy than dark chocolate because it contains more sugar and fat, the researchers noted. "People who want to eat chocolate should not be worried too much about their cardiovascular health," study co-author said. "We did not find any harmful effects of chocolate, if they want to enjoy chocolate now and again. The key is moderation." While the study uncovered a link between chocolate and heart health, it didn't prove cause-and-effect. The research team mainly based its findings on almost 21,000 adults taking part in a study that is tracking the impact of diet on the long-term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, England. Participants were monitored for nearly 12 years, on average, during which time 14 percent of them fell ill with either heart disease or stroke. The researchers found that people who ate the most chocolate a day -- up to 3.5 ounces -- had a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 23 percent lower risk of stroke than those who ate no chocolate. The researchers then lumped the data in with nine other studies that measured chocolate consumption and heart disease. The combined pool involved nearly 158,000 people. This analysis produced even stronger results. People who ate the most chocolate had a 29 percent reduced risk of heart disease and a 21 percent reduced risk of stroke, compared with those who ate the least. They also were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease, heart attack or stroke. He warned that the studies only looked at middle-aged and older people, not young adults or children. "We don't know how this would affect children," he said. Chocolate contains large quantities of flavonoids -- organic compounds thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, co-author said. But other ingredients in chocolate bars may also be good for your health, including milk and nuts, he said. Most previous research has shown benefits only from dark chocolate, but this latest study included any type of chocolate. Most opted for milk chocolate, the researchers found. Study co-author cautioned that this observational study could not draw a direct cause-and-effect link, and said there might be other potential explanations for the benefits found. For example, the researchers saw that people who ate chocolate tended to be in better health. "These people who were high consumers of chocolate tend to be younger and physically more active, they tend to have less diabetes and be less obese," he said. "Although we control for these things, we can't be 100 percent sure whether we have adequately adjusted for them." The findings also relied on people's own reports of their eating habits, which can be inaccurate, he added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2015

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 D & C Risk !

                                                              D & C Procedures May Raise Risk Of Preterm Birth; Study

A widely used gynecological procedure may increase the risk of preterm delivery in future pregnancies, a new study suggests. Dilation and curettage (D&C) is one of the most common minor surgeries in obstetrics and gynecology. It is used in cases of miscarriage and abortion, among other reasons. While generally considered safe, previous research has found that D&C is associated with some rare but serious side effects, including tears or punctures in the cervix or uterus, infection and bleeding. In this new study, researchers reviewed 21 studies that included nearly 2 million women. It found that D&C performed in cases of miscarriage or abortion was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of preterm birth (less than 37 weeks) in a later pregnancy, and a 69 percent increased risk of very preterm birth (less than 32 weeks) in a later pregnancy. Although this study found an association between D&C and preterm birth, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Typical risk for preterm delivery is about 6 percent, while having an earlier D&C appears to increase the risk to almost 8 percent, according to the researchers. That nearly 2 percent higher risk translates to about 16 extra preterm births per 1,000 women who have undergone D&C, the review found. The results suggest the need for caution in the use of D&C in cases of miscarriage and abortion. The results also lend further support for the use of less invasive procedures in such cases, according to study author.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2015

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 Herpes & Angina !

Herpes Virus Tied To Angina Risk; Study  

There seems to be a higher risk of angina in the small number of people who have a type of herpes virus lurking in their genes, a new study suggests. Researchers found that people with this inherited condition face three times the risk of angina as others. About 1 percent of people in the world appear to have this increased risk. There's no way to get rid of the genetic condition, because it is in a person's DNA, study co-author said. However, "as a preventive measure, subjects could be monitored more closely for the development of cardiovascular diseases," he said. "Considering that testing is simple, we propose that testing could be added to the list of genetic tests being performed on every newborn," he added. The condition can develop before conception, when an egg or sperm cell becomes infected with a strain of herpes virus that causes the common childhood disease known as roseola he said. When that happens, he said, "subjects are born with a copy of the virus in every cell of their body." To figure out whether the condition had any impact on health, "we opted to conduct a large population study on 20,000 healthy and diseased individuals aged between 40 to 69 years old, the ages where chronic diseases are most often observed," he said. The researchers hit pay dirt when they checked their statistics for higher rates of angina. The risk of angina for those with the genetic condition rose from 3 percent to 10 percent, although the findings don't prove that the chromosome quirk is the cause of the chest pain. What might be going on? Study co-author said one theory is that the virus destroys cells lining the arteries and contributes to clogs in the pipes of the circulatory systems. What's next? He said researchers want to better understand how the virus affects the body, and figure out if it affects less common conditions.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 2015

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 New Drug !

New Drug Shows Promise Against Psoriasis

Many patients with the skin disease psoriasis showed significant improvement when taking an experimental drug called ixekizumab, according to a late-stage, phase 3 clinical trial. "The visible effects of psoriasis can have a major and life-ruining impact on people's confidence and self-esteem," study leader said. "What we saw in this trial was not just the physical aspects of the disease clearing up, but people on the new drug also reporting a marked improvement in their quality of life as they felt more confident and suffered less from itching -- far more than in the other two groups," he said. The trial was included 2,500 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Half took ixekizumab, while the other half took an inactive placebo or the widely used psoriasis drug etanercept. After 12 weeks of treatment, 40 percent of those who took the new drug were free of all psoriasis, and more than 90 percent showed improvement, the research team reported recently in The Lancet. About half of the patients showed improvement as early as week four, research team said. Overall, the patients taking ixekizumab had better results than those taking etanercept or the placebo, the research showed. As the researchers explained, the new drug works by neutralizing the inflammatory effects of a protein believed to be one of the causes of psoriasis. "The objective for treating psoriasis has been to reduce the visible symptoms. But new drugs are fast showing us that a realistic goal for all patients should be attaining clear skin and this trial very much sets us on that path," he said in the news release.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, June 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 Antipsychotic
  Product Solo IV Infusion
Generic Name

Sodium Chloride



Dosage form IV Infusion
Therapeutic Category Electrolyte
  Product Lactoring IV Infusion
  Generic Name Hartmann's Solution
  Dosage form IV Infusion
  Therapeutic Category Electrolyte  

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