Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 73 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 13-Mar-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Mar-2004
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HHS launches crackdown on products containing andro: FDA Warns Manufacturers To Stop Distributing Such Products
On March 12, 2004, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced a crackdown on companies that manufacture, market and distribute products containing androstenedione, or, “andro,” which acts like a steroid once it is metabolized by the body and therefore can pose similar kinds of health risks as steroids. These products are generally advertised as dietary supplements that enhance athletic performance based on their claimed anabolic and androgenic properties to stimulate muscle growth and increase production of testosterone.  more

Information for patients and practitioners: Questions and answers about androstenedione
FDA concluded that there is inadequate information to establish that a dietary supplement containing androstenedione will reasonably be expected to be safe.  In fact, FDA believes that these products may increase the risk of serious health problems because they are converted in the body to testosterone which is an androgenic and anabolic steroid. more

FDA white paper: Health effects of androstenedione
Androstenedione and related molecules, if given in sufficient quantities and for sufficient duration, are likely to cause androgenic (and thus anabolic) or estrogenic effects in humans. Although these compounds possess at most weak intrinsic androgenic activity, they are prohormones for both androgens (testosterone) and estrogens. The biochemical evidence supporting the effect of androstenedione to raise circulating levels of testosterone and estrogens is strong.  more


Novel therapy is first new type of drug for advanced oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer approved in the European Union since 1995
AstraZeneca announced today that it has received European marketing approval for its new breast cancer drug Faslodex(TM) (fulvestrant). The novel drug is indicated for the treatment of postmenopausal women with receptor-positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, for disease relapse or progression on or after therapy with an anti-oestrogen such as tamoxifen. 'Faslodex' has been launched in the USA since May 2002, and more recently in Brazil in July 2003.  more

Prescribing information: Faslodex (fulvestrant)
Because Faslodex is administered intramuscularly, it should not be used in patients with certain blood disorders or in patients receiving anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners, for example, warfarin). In clinical studies, the most commonly reported side effects were nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain headache, back pain, hot flashes, sore throat and injection site reactions with mild, transient pain and inflammation.  more

Families, media and education crucial in preventing eating disorders
The process of educating young people on the prevention of eating disorders needs to start as early as middle-school, emphasizes Danny J. Ballard, a Texas A&M University health education professor. more

Effectiveness of safer smallpox vaccine demonstrated against monkeypox
A mild, experimental smallpox vaccine known as modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) is nearly as effective as the standard smallpox vaccine in protecting monkeys against monkeypox, a study by researchers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, has found. Monkeypox is used to test the effectiveness of a smallpox vaccine because of its similarity to the smallpox virus.  more

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