Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  12     ISSUE:  11 November  2014 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.



PTSD Risk !





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor,

Welcome to 'e-SQUARE'.

In this issue, we focused on some interesting features like -

"B Vitamins Alert !", "Cigars Dangerous !", "Contact Lens Risk !",       "Ebola Vaccine !",  "Heartbeat Alert !", "PTSD Risk !".

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.

B Vitamins Alert !

                                                  B Vitamins May Not Boost Memory Or Thinking, Study Suggests

Taking vitamin B12 or folic acid supplements may not reduce seniors' risk of memory loss, according to a new study. Past research hinted that taking vitamin B12 and folic acid might help protect memory and thinking skills, according to background information from the study. But follow-up trials have yielded less convincing findings. The current study included nearly 3,000 people. Their average age was 74 years. Half took a tablet daily with 500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 and 400 mcg of folic acid, and the rest took a placebo every day for two years. All of the participants had high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which has been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease, according to the study. Memory and thinking skills tests were given at the start and end of the study. Results of the study appear online in the Nov. 12 issue of the journal Neurology. "Since homocysteine levels can be lowered with folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements, the hope has been that taking these vitamins could also reduce the risk of memory loss and Alzheimer's disease," study author said. Study author and her colleagues found that people taking the vitamin B12-folic acid supplements had larger decreases in homocysteine levels than those taking the placebo. Despite that decrease, there was no difference between the two groups on the thinking and memory tests. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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Cigars Dangerous !

                                                                       Cigars Loaded With Harmful Toxins, Study Shows

Some cigar smokers may believe they face less health risk than if they were smoking cigarettes, but a new study casts doubt on that notion. Researchers say that cigar smokers are exposed to high levels of cancer-causing agents and other toxic substances, which suggests that the habit is as risky as smoking cigarettes. None of this came as much surprise to lung experts. "In spite of the fact that cigar smokers don't inhale, more attention needs to be paid to the damages of secondhand smoke, and to acknowledge that no smoking is safe," said a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "It is well known that secondhand smoking causes asthma, as well as a possible increase in the risk for lung cancer. The cloud around a cigar smoker's respiratory system is tantamount to this phenomenon," he said. Cigar use in the United States more than doubled from 2000 to 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the new study, researchers analyzed the presence of five chemical signals of tobacco exposure in tests conducted on more than 25,500 Americans. Two of the biomarkers -- cotinine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) -- are specific to tobacco. The other biomarkers -- lead, cadmium and arsenic -- are not tobacco-specific and can come from other sources. The study found that cigar smokers -- whether or not they also smoked cigarettes -- carried higher levels of cotinine, NNAL, cadmium and lead than people who did not use tobacco. Cigar smokers with a history of cigarette use had much higher levels of cotinine and NNAL than cigar smokers who did not smoke cigarettes. Also, levels of NNAL in daily cigar smokers were similar to those of daily cigarette smokers, according to the study. "Cigar smoking exposes users to similar types of harmful and cancer-causing agents as cigarette smoking," lead author said. "Once differences are accounted for in frequency of use, the levels of NNAL, a strong carcinogen, are comparable in cigar and cigarette smokers," lead author added. Another expert in respiratory health agreed that cigars are probably no better than cigarettes when it comes to health. "Frequently, cigars are cheaper and are available in a wide variety of flavors that appeal to adolescents and young adults," she said. "This combination of factors makes cigar smoking more attractive to young people, who may have the perception that cigar smoking is less harmful, especially due to flavors like chocolate, grape, strawberry and peach."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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Contact Lens Risk !

Improper Contact Lens Use Causes Millions Of Eye Infections: CDC

Millions of Americans misuse contact lenses -- wearing them too long, not cleaning them properly -- and that causes almost a million cases of eye infection in the United States annually, a new report finds. These infections are clinically known as keratitis, an infection of the cornea, the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye. Keratitis can cause pain and inflammation and, in severe cases, even blindness, according to experts. For the estimated 38 million Americans who wear contact lenses, the largest risk factor for this infection is the improper care of their lenses, experts said. "Contact lenses offer many benefits, but they are not risk-free," a CDC medical epidemiologist, said during a news conference. "Keratitis can be a scary infection, but it is preventable if people follow healthy habits and take care of their eyes and their lenses," she added. Some bad habits, such as sleeping with contact lenses, failing to clean and replace lens solution frequently, and letting contact lenses get wet while swimming or in the shower, greatly raises the risk for keratitis, she said. For example, "people who wear their contact lenses overnight are more than 20 times more likely to get keratitis," she said. However, when treated quickly, most cases of keratitis can be cured easily without any lasting damage, she added. For the report, CDC researchers analyzed three national databases of outpatient care centers and emergency rooms. Their efforts created, for the first time, estimates of how much keratitis occurs in the United States. They estimated that each year there are some 930,000 visits to doctors' offices and outpatient clinics and 58,000 emergency room visits for eye infections. More women than men saw their doctor for an eye infection (63 percent) and ended up going to the emergency room (55 percent), the researchers found. Keratitis affects all age groups, from teens to seniors, at about the same rate, the CDC team added. To prevent keratitis the CDC recommends:
Washing hands with soap and water before touching contact lenses,
Removing contacts before bed, showering or swimming,
Rubbing and rinsing contacts in disinfecting solution after taking them out,
Rubbing and rinsing the contact lens case with contact lens solution, drying the case and keeping it upside down with the caps off,
Replacing lens cases at least every three months.
The CDC also recommends carrying glasses should contact lenses have to be removed.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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Ebola Vaccine !

                                                                                       Early Trial Promising For Ebola Vaccine

An experimental Ebola vaccine appears to be safe and produces an immune system response that could protect people against the deadly virus, according to early clinical trial results reported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The success of the phase I clinical trial for the vaccine paves the way for field-testing it in the Ebola-stricken West African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone as early as January, NIH said. The genetically engineered vaccine caused no major side effects in 20 healthy adults who received a dose in September at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., the researchers report. The vaccine also created an immune system response in humans very similar to that of monkeys who, once inoculated, survived lab tests that exposed them to potentially fatal doses of Ebola, NIH said. "All in all, one can say this is a successful vaccine, from the standpoint of phase I," NIH added. "Now the critical question is, will it work?" Ebola has killed more than 5,450 people during the West African epidemic, according to the World Health Organization. In response, international efforts to develop a preventive vaccine have accelerated. The current vaccine, developed by the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline, is based on a virus called chimpanzee-derived adenovirus, which causes a common cold in chimps but has no effect on humans. Researchers have spliced portions of Ebola's genetic material into the chimp virus, to trick the immune system into creating Ebola-attacking antibodies without exposing the body to the virus itself. The clinical trial enrolled volunteers aged 18 to 50. Ten volunteers received a low-dose injection of the vaccine, while another 10 received the same vaccine at a higher dose. Within a day of vaccination, two people who got the higher dose developed a fever, which was "short-lived and easily handled," NIHsaid. "There were no real red flags when it comes to safety," he said. At two weeks and four weeks following vaccination, the researchers tested the volunteers' blood to determine if anti-Ebola antibodies were generated. All 20 volunteers developed such antibodies within four weeks of receiving the vaccine, but antibody levels were higher in those who received the higher-dose vaccine. Two other phase I trials for the vaccine are ongoing in the United Kingdom and Mali, with results expected by year-end, the NIH said. But based on the success of the Bethesda trial, researchers hope to begin delivering the experimental vaccine to people in Liberia and Sierra Leone within a couple of months, NIH added. NIH could not say how many people would receive the vaccine in the field trials. "We don't have the exact number." "In order to determine efficacy, thousands of people have to vaccinate, not just hundreds of people." The vaccine in question is one of two experimental Ebola vaccines that experts have said could be ready in time to combat the current epidemic. The second vaccine, also genetically engineered, is based on a virus common to cattle and horses called vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). This is in the same family as the rabies virus but causes only flu-like symptoms in infected humans. Produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada based on research by NewLink Genetics of Iowa -- the second vaccine is also being tested in phase I trials.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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Heartbeat Alert !

                                       Irregular Heartbeat Doubles Risk For 'Silent Strokes,' Review Suggests

Atrial fibrillation, a common condition where the heart beats abnormally, may more than double the risk of "silent" strokes, a new review suggests. Silent strokes have no signs or symptoms, but can affect thinking and memory. In addition, recent research has shown that atrial fibrillation is associated with a 40 percent increased risk for mental impairment, the researchers noted. "Patients with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of developing silent strokes," said review author. Previous studies have found that silent strokes are associated with a more than threefold increase in the risk for symptomatic stroke and a twofold increase in the risk for dementia, she said. "The higher prevalence of silent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation may put this population at a higher risk for mental impairment, future stroke and disability," she added. More than 2.7 million Americans, many of them elderly, experience atrial fibrillation, according to background information in the report. Atrial fibrillation is an electrical disorder that causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract quickly and irregularly. These abnormal contractions allow blood to pool and coagulate in the heart, forming clots that can cause a stroke if they break off and are carried into the brain. For their study, the researchers reviewed 11 previously published reports that looked at the association between atrial fibrillation and silent strokes in a total of about 5,000 patients. In this type of study, called a meta-analysis, researchers cull published studies in hopes of finding patterns that support a conclusion or trend. By finding similar trends in a variety of studies, the conclusions can be stronger than what a single study can provide. While the analysis found an association between atrial fibrillation and an increased risk of silent strokes, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link. Review author, who conducted the study while at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said that clinical trials are needed to investigate whether diagnosing silent strokes should be a factor in whether blood thinners should be started at the first signs of atrial fibrillation.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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PTSD Risk !

                                                                                   PTSD In Women Linked To Premature Birth

Having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) significantly increases a pregnant woman's risk of premature birth, according to a new study. Researchers examined more than 16,000 births involving female U.S. military veterans between 2000 and 2012, and found that having PTSD in the year before delivery increased the risk of spontaneous premature birth by 35 percent. In spontaneous premature birth, the mother goes into labor and delivers her baby more than three weeks early. These types of births typically account for about six deliveries for every 100 births, according to the researchers. The study found that recent PTSD is associated with about two additional premature births for every 100 deliveries. Due to the design of the study, the researchers were only able to find an association between PTSD and premature birth. They couldn't prove that PTSD was the cause of the earlier deliveries. Overall, there are about 12 premature births per 100 deliveries. Some of these occur due to medical problems involving the mother or baby, rather than because of spontaneous labor, according to the researchers. "This study gives us a convincing epidemiological basis to say that, yes, PTSD is a risk factor for preterm delivery," study senior author said. "Mothers with PTSD should be treated as having high-risk pregnancies," study author added. Study senior author noted that rates of spontaneous preterm birth have barely changed in the last 50 years. "Spontaneous preterm labor has been an intractable problem. Before we can come up with ways to prevent it, we need to have a better understanding of what the causes are. This is one piece of the puzzle," study author said. The study, published online Nov. 6 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, has prompted the Veterans Affairs Administration to instruct all of its medical centers to treat all pregnancies among women with recent PTSD as high-risk.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, November 2014

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Calbo - D Vita
  Generic Name Calcium + Vitamin-D3

600 mg + 400 IU

  Dosage form Effervescent Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Calcium Supplement
  Product ResQ 30 Licap
Generic Name

Coenzyme Q10 as Ubidecarenone USP

Strength 30 mg
Dosage form Hard Gelatin Liquid Filled Capsule
Therapeutic Category Cardiac Vitamin
  Product ResQ 60 Licap
  Generic Name Coenzyme Q10 as Ubidecarenone USP
  Strength 60 mg
  Dosage form Hard Gelatin Liquid Filled Capsule
  Therapeutic Category Cardiac Vitamin

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