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Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  11     ISSUE:  5   May 2013 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Features

EDITORIAL TEAM

OMAR AKRAMUR RAB

MBBS, FCGP, FIAGP,

P G Dip. Business Management

MAHFUZUR RAHMAN

MBBS, MBA

 

EDITORIAL

Dear Doctor,

We hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Antidepressants Alert !", "Brain Predict Alcoholism !", "Fluid or Fiber !", "Gene Linked Migraines !",  "Sleep Alert !", "Statins & Ca Kidney !".

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.

 Antidepressants Alert !

Some Antidepressants May Raise Risk For Gastro Infection

People who take certain types of antidepressants may be at higher risk for potentially deadly Clostridium difficile infection, a new study suggests. This type of infection is one of the most common caught by hospital patients and causes more than 7,000 deaths each year in the United States. Several medications are thought to increase the risk for this infection, including antidepressants. In this study, researchers examined C. difficile infection in people with and without depression, and found that those with major depression had a 36 percent higher risk than those without depression. Older, widowed people were 54 percent more likely to catch C. difficile than older married people. People who lived alone had a 25 percent higher risk than those who lived with others. The researchers then investigated if there was a link between antidepressants and C. difficile infection. They found that only two -- mirtazapine and fluoxetine -- increased the risk, and that each drug doubled the risk. The findings, published in the journal, should improve identification and early treatment of C. difficile infection in people taking these antidepressants, the researchers said. The reason for the increased risk of infection in people taking the antidepressants is unknown, and people who have been prescribed the drugs need to keep taking them unless their doctor tells them otherwise, the researchers said. The research showed an association between antidepressant use and increased risk of contracting the infection, but it did not prove a cause-and-effect link. "Depression is common worldwide," study leader said. "We have long known that depression is associated with changes in the gastrointestinal system." "The interaction between the brain and the gut, called the 'brain-gut axis,' is fascinating and deserves more study," the lead author said. "Our finding of a link between depression and Clostridium difficile should help us better identify those at risk of infection and perhaps encourage exploration of the underlying brain-gut mechanisms involved." 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2013

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 Brain Predict Alcoholism !

 Brain Patterns May Help Predict Relapse Risk For Alcoholism

Distinct patterns of brain activity are linked to greater rates of relapse among alcohol dependent patients in early recovery, a study has found. The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, may give clues about which people in recovery from alcoholism are most likely to return to drinking. Using brain scans, researchers found that people in recovery from alcoholism who showed hyperactivity in areas of the prefrontal cortex during a relaxing scenario were eight times as likely to relapse as those showing normal brain patterns or healthy controls. The prefrontal brain plays a role in regulating emotion, the ability to suppress urges, and decision-making. Chronic drinking may damage regions involved in self-control, affecting the ability to regulate cravings and resist relapse. Relapse is common among those trying to overcome alcohol dependence and is often triggered by stress and exposure to events or places that the individual associates with alcohol. Studies suggest that most people in recovery from alcoholism relapse at least once before they successfully quit drinking. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, a technique that allows researchers to measure localized changes in brain activation, scientists at Yale University compared the brain activity patterns of 45 patients who were about to successfully complete an inpatient treatment program for alcoholism to those of 30 people with no history of alcoholism. While undergoing brain scans, participants were asked to imagine relaxing situations such as sunning on a beach, as well as recent stressful situations. The patients in recovery were then followed for 90 days after leaving treatment to determine how many had returned to drinking. The investigators found that individuals in recovery who showed patterns of heightened activity in the prefrontal region during the relaxing situation were much more likely to experience cravings for alcohol and subsequent relapse. These patterns of craving-related activity increased the likelihood of early relapse by 8.5 times and relapse to heavy drinking by 8.7 times. Abnormally low activity during the stressful scenario was also linked to greater number of days drinking after relapse. Among the alcohol-dependent patients in this study, 30 percent had relapsed two weeks after leaving treatment, 46 percent had relapsed at the end of one month, and 71 percent had returned to drinking at the final three-month follow-up. "The patterns of brain activity we observed may one day serve as a neural marker that could help clinicians identify alcohol-dependent patients in recovery who are most at risk of relapse," said the study's senior author, who is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neurobiology at Yale University. "Our findings may also have implications for the use of medications and behavioral treatments that restore prefrontal function, as they could potentially benefit people at high risk of relapse," senior author said.

SOURCE: National Institutes of Health, May 2013

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 Fluid or Fiber !

Fluids May Prevent Constipation Better Than Fiber

Everyone knows that getting enough fiber is a secret to staying "regular," but a large new study finds that people who got plenty of fluids were the least likely to suffer constipation. The results highlight the importance of hydration, but shouldn't discount fiber or other lifestyle factors, according to lead author. "I still think that diet, fiber, exercise and increased fluid should remain the recommendations," she told. Estimates of how many people regularly experience constipation are as high as 14 percent worldwide, but they range widely. How researchers define the problem and ask people about it are partly to blame for inconsistent responses, research team writes in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Often, constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week, the researchers point out. But some studies have found that asking about stool consistency provides a more accurate measure of slow "transit times" of stool through the intestine, which is the source of uncomfortable blockages. To determine how many people have "hard or lumpy stool consistency" - the type associated with slow transit - and what lifestyle factors might influence that, the lead author and her colleagues analyzed responses from more than 8,000 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 2006 and 2008. Based on survey responses about stool consistency, exercise habits and what participants ate, the researchers found that seven percent of the respondents fit the definition for constipation. The problem was more common among women and less educated people, but it did not increase with age, as some other studies have suggested. Neither vigorous exercise nor fiber intake was linked with a person's likelihood of having constipation. But among the people who consumed the least amount of liquid daily from food and drinks, 8 percent of men and 13 percent of women were constipated, compared to 3 percent of men and 8 percent of women who got the most liquid. "We used stool consistency, so we took a validated scale and defined constipation as those with the hardest stool," lead researcher said. That could have made liquids in the diet, which influence stool consistency but not necessarily frequency or amount, seem more important, she acknowledged. Exercise and fiber may have more of an impact on frequency, she added. The study doesn't mean that those factors are "bogus," she said, just that future studies need to define the weekly thresholds where each factor becomes meaningful. "It just begs for more research on the role of fiber," she said.

SOURCE: Reuters Health, May 2013

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 Gene Linked Migraines !

Gene Mutation Linked To Migraines, Researchers Say

Researchers say they've identified a gene mutation associated with a typical form of migraine headache. The causes of migraine headaches are unknown. Between 10 percent and 20 percent of people suffer from the debilitating, recurrent headaches. For the new study, researchers analyzed the genetics of two families in which migraines were common. They found that many of the migraine sufferers had either a mutation in the casein kinase I delta (CKIdelta) gene or were the children of a parent with the mutation. In laboratory cells, the researchers found that the mutation affects production of the CKIdelta enzyme, which performs vital functions in the brain and body. Further experiments in mice suggested more evidence of a connection between this gene mutation and migraines. "This is the first gene in which mutations have been shown to cause a very typical form of migraine," senior investigator said. "It's our initial glimpse into a black box that we don't yet understand," the investigator added. There are good migraine drugs available now, "but they only help some patients, some of the time," he said. "The need for better treatments is huge." "This research puts us one step closer to understanding the molecular pathway to pain in migraine," he said. With a better understanding of the condition, " we can start thinking about better therapies. Certain molecules might be targets for new drugs." Researcher said the CKIdelta gene is not the only mutation likely to be associated with migraines. "There are likely several, in different combinations in different people," he said. "This is simply the first one we've found."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2013

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 Sleep Alert !

Sleep Problems Double Men's Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, double the risk of prostate cancer in men, according to new research. "Sleep problems are very common in modern society and can have adverse health consequences. Women with sleep disruption have consistently been reported to be at an increased risk for breast cancer, but less is known about the potential role of sleep problems in prostate cancer." - lead researcher said. Past research has produced contradicting results for a link between sleep disruption from working night shifts and prostate cancer risk. Therefore, lead auther and her team set out to examine the effect sleep might have on prostate cancer risk. They observed 2,102 men from the prospective Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility which consisted of a population-based cohort of 2,425 males between the ages of 67 and 96. At the start of the investigation, the subjects were asked to answer four questions regarding sleep disruptions:

whether they took medicine to sleep

whether they had difficulty falling asleep

whether they woke up during the night with difficulty going back to sleep

whether they woke up early in the morning with a hard time going back to sleep

Among the subjects examined, 8.7 reported severe sleep problems and 5.7% reported very severe sleep problems. At the start of the study, none of the volunteers had prostate cancer. The subjects were followed for five years - during this time, 6.4% received a prostate cancer diagnosis. After adjusting for age, the experts discovered that with reported severity of difficulty falling and staying asleep, the risk of prostate cancer elevated proportionately, from 1.6-fold to 2.1-fold, compared to men with no problems sleeping. Additionally, the scientists found that the link was stronger for advanced prostate cancer compared to overall prostate cancer - with more than a three times higher likelihood for advanced prostate cancer linked to "very severe" sleep problems. In order to rule out the possibility that the sleep problems were due to undiagnosed cancer or an enlarged prostate, the investigators re-examined the data after leaving out men with symptoms of sleep disturbance that may be a sign of nocturia - waking up to urinate. The results remained the same, according to the team. However, it is necessary to confirm these findings in larger studies with longer observation times, lead author pointed out. Researchers concluded: "Prostate cancer is one of the leading public health concerns for men and sleep problems are quite common. If our results are confirmed with further studies, sleep may become a potential target for intervention to reduce the risk for prostate cancer."

SOURCE: Medical News Today, May 2013

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 Statins & Ca Kidney !

Cholesterol Drugs Might Boost Kidney Cancer Survival

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that are taken by millions of Americans might also improve survival from a type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma, a new study suggests. Statins -- drugs such as Rosuvastatin, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin and Simvastatin -- have anti-inflammatory and cell self-destruction properties, and previous research has shown that these drugs may lower the risk of developing some types of cancer. The new research suggests that the drugs might fight kidney cancer. "Given that one in four Americans over 45 years of age take a statin and renal cell carcinoma occurs most often in men ages 50 to 70, it may be prudent to prospectively evaluate if statins protect against cancer progression," study author said. In the study, research team reviewed data from more than 900 patients who had surgery for renal cell carcinoma between 1995 and 2010. After an average follow-up period approaching four years, statin use was associated with a reduced risk of cancer progression, the team reported. Over three years, 10 percent of the patients who took statins died of their cancer, compared with 17 percent of those who did not take this type of drug. After accounting for other factors, the researchers concluded that statin use was independently associated with both improved overall survival and disease-specific survival. Another expert said the finding echoes those seen in other studies involving cancer patients. But he stressed that the data so far come from observational trials, which can prove an association but not a cause-and-effect relationship between statin use and improved survival. "Given the current data and known cardiovascular protective effects of statins, certainly it seems prudent to design clinical trials to study the potential of statin therapy in breast, colon, prostate and now kidney cancer treatment," author said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2013

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Alacot DS Eye Drops
  Generic Name Olopatadine
  Strength

0.2%

  Dosage form Eye Drops
  Therapeutic Category Antiallergic
  Product Splendora        
Generic Name

Minoxidil

Strength 5% & 2%
Dosage form Topical Spray
Therapeutic Category Hair Care Products
  Product Ticamet 125 HFA Inhaler
  Generic Name Salmeterol+Fluticasone
  Strength (25mcg+125 mcg)/puff
  Dosage form MDI
  Therapeutic Category Antiasthma

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