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Side Effects

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NEWS
May 23, 1998
Viagra is having interesting side effects. It's making some women angry. In the two months since the anti-impotence pill was introduced, insurers have paid for nearly half of 270,000 prescriptions for the drug, according to reports. But the companies are not nearly so accommodating to women. Many insurers pay for birth control pills, but not other family planning methods, such as diaphragms and IUDs. This disparity provides fresh evidence of the double standards many insurers have when it comes to women.
NEWS
September 11, 1998 | By Faye Flam, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A completely new type of drug appears to lift depression without causing the sexual dysfunction, nausea, and other side effects that often plague people taking Prozac and its relatives. Scientists from Merck Research Laboratories tested their new drug, dubbed MK-869, in a six-month-long trial involving 210 patients. They published their conclusions in this week's issue of Science. "This is really very important," said Dr. Steven Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
BUSINESS
June 24, 1990 | By Christopher Scanlan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Americans, barraged with warnings about the dangers of crack cocaine and other street drugs, may have as much to fear from the medicine they get from their doctors. Each year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves between 20 and 30 drugs, setting in motion marketing efforts by manufacturers eager to promote their new pharmaceutical wonders. "Safer than aspirin" was Eli Lilly's claim for its arthritis drug Oraflex. A "first step" for high blood pressure was SmithKline Beecham's boast for Selacryn.
NEWS
December 15, 2005 | By Michael Busler
Imagine a pharmaceutical company putting a prescription medication on the market knowing that its use could result in death. In August, a jury in Texas awarded the wife of a Vioxx user $253 million in damages for the wrongful death of her husband, concluding that Merck & Co. had done just that. But in the second state-level Vioxx trial, decided last month in Atlantic City, Merck and its executives were found not guilty. This week, the jury in the first federal Vioxx trial deadlocked.
NEWS
October 20, 1986 | BY DON WILLIAMSON
War is about victims and violence. It can be about soldiers who die in battle or civilians who get in harm's way. It's always about the pain, fear and insanity that are part of the ritual when old men start wars for young boys to fight. Ten years of war in Lebanon have killed one person in every 40. Thirty-five percent of newly delivered babies in Lebanon are born physically deformed or mentally retarded, and a primary cause is the use of drugs during pregnancy. There's been a five-fold increase in the number of adolescents regularly using heroin or other hard drugs; 80 percent of teens now smoke cigarettes, compared to 2 percent before fighting started in 1975.
NEWS
February 6, 1991 | By Mary Flannery, Daily News Staff Writer
When Dominic Carbone was admitted to Graduate Hospital for chemotherapy, he expected the worst. He knew that intense nausea and vomiting almost always accompanied the anti-cancer drug he was to receive. Instead, Carbone, a lung cancer patient, looked so hale that a security guard admonished him, "Visiting hours are over and you'll have to leave. " Carbone assumed he'd be sedated with anti-nausea medication as deeply as the cancer patient in the adjacent bed. "It was a Monday and the man in the next bed said, 'I'm going to say goodbye to you for a while.
NEWS
August 18, 1993 | by Valerie M. Russ, Daily News Staff Writer
It's been 15 years since the appearance of the last new drug to treat epilepsy. Current anti-epileptic medications have side effects that make patients feel sleepy or sluggish or do not adequately control patients' seizures. That's why a new generation of drugs - medications that promise to prevent seizures but cause minimal side effects - is being hailed by doctors and patients. The first of these new drugs, felbamate - to be sold under the trade name Felbatol - was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month.
NEWS
June 3, 2005 | By Sharon Finlayson
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists it as a "hazard. " The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry warns that high levels of exposure can harm your health. It is used to treat human health but remains largely untested by the Food and Drug Administration. The substance we're talking about is fluoride. Why would we want this in our drinking water? While the benefits of topically applied fluoride (i.e. applying it directly to your teeth) have long been accepted, there is evidence that ingested fluoride is detrimental.
NEWS
June 21, 1993 | By Carolyn Acker, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The mind of Angelo Hughes is a quieter place, now. It used to resonate with the voices of men, women and children he didn't recognize. Voices from "a place like purgatory" that judged and condemned him. "I would try and communicate with them," said Hughes, who has schizophrenia. "But the best I could do was make a speech now and then, protesting, proclaiming my position. " Then, in March 1990, Hughes began taking an experimental drug, risperidone. It has neither cured his schizophrenia nor silenced the voices.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2007 | Inquirer staff
Jonathan Cutler has spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily in marketing products with big names: Tylenol, Motrin, Pepcid, Remicade. "It was an honor and a great experience to be with those big-name products," Cutler said. "But when the opportunity came to work with a small brand early in its life cycle, it was too good to turn down. " Earlier this summer, Cutler, 36, who goes by his nickname, J.J., took over as president and chief operating officer of Lindi Skin Inc., a five-year-old Ardmore company that specializes in skin-care products for people with cancer, mostly those suffering from irritations caused by chemotherapy and other treatments.
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NEWS
May 29, 2016 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
The dentist and the ex-cop first met about five years ago at a pain management seminar at Tufts University. "He asked me what I was doing there," recalls Carlos Aquino, who spent 23 years on the Philadelphia police force before retiring in 1995 as a sergeant specializing in narcotics investigations. "When I told him, he understood. " Elliot Hersh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania dental school who specializes in pharmacology, understood so well that he soon had Aquino lecturing his students on the dangers of overprescribing painkillers, including opioids such as Percocet and Vicodin.
NEWS
May 29, 2016 | Paul Jablow, FOR THE INQUIRER
The dentist and the ex-cop first met about five years ago at a pain management seminar at Tufts University. "He asked me what I was doing there," recalls Carlos Aquino, who spent 23 years on the Philadelphia police force before retiring in 1995 as a sergeant specializing in narcotics investigations. "When I told him, he understood. " Elliot Hersh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania dental school who specializes in pharmacology, understood so well that he soon had Aquino lecturing his students on the dangers of overprescribing painkillers, including opioids such as Percocet and Vicodin.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before Mike Sofia became a big name in the world of drug discovery, he and his team wrestled with a challenge common to many businesses: How do we take a great idea to a bigger scale? How would they take a molecule from working well in one cell to a whole patient, and have it kill the hepatitis C virus without damaging the body? And then, how would they produce enough of it to make medicine for millions? "There appeared to be no path forward, and the project could have been stopped in its tracks," Sofia said.
NEWS
April 12, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
No one would chide a bald chemo patient for making bad decisions about her hair. But a stranger told one of Beth Eaby-Sandy's cancer patients - a woman whose treatment had made her skin turn bright red - that she "really should wear sunscreen. " The patient, who already felt conspicuous, was upset, said Eaby-Sandy, a nurse practitioner who works with lung cancer patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The stranger was rude, no doubt, but her ignorance is understandable.
NEWS
March 22, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
To the ever-growing list of things smartphones can put at your fingertips (weather, traffic, games, stock quotes), Apple aims to add "relieve suffering" and "advance science. " Two local researchers who were part of the team that created the company's new breast cancer iPhone application, called Share the Journey, believe that those lofty goals are realistic. Apple enlisted Kathryn Schmitz, an epidemiologist and exercise physiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Marisa Weiss, a Lankenau Hospital breast radiation oncologist, who founded and leads the resource website breastcancer.org.
NEWS
March 22, 2015 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a few days, surgeons at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are scheduled to operate on the heart of Graziella Nobile's newborn baby, fixing a grave arterial defect that, if left unrepaired, would be fatal. The hospital lately has a stellar record on that type of operation, in the sense of getting patients home alive. From 2009 to 2012, the most recent data available, 60 infants had this surgery, called an arterial switch, and all survived. The part that doctors have yet to figure out completely is the brain.
NEWS
January 16, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joan Markman, 57, of Center City, Philadelphia's first chief integrity officer and a federal prosecutor for 20 years, died Wednesday, Jan. 14. She had been undergoing treatment for cancer. On Jan. 17, 2014, Mayor Nutter announced the departure of Ms. Markman, who he said was contending with the side effects of chemotherapy for recurrent cancer. Ms. Markman's last day of city employment was Jan. 31 of that year. "We're devastated and deeply saddened at the news of the passing of our friend Joan Markman," Nutter said Wednesday night.
NEWS
December 25, 2014
ISSUE | SENIOR HEALTH Another pill isn't always the answer As a 69-year-old, I applaud the Elder Law Task Force effort, but I was shocked to see that one of the recommendations was to use more medication for dysfunctional families ("Group urges law changes to protect elderly in Pa.," Dec. 12). It has been well-documented that seniors in particular are often overmedicated because of the side effects of a medication they supposedly need. Another medication is prescribed to address the side effects, and so on. This ridiculous cycle can and does significantly alter an older person's ability to think rationally, and it can lead to mistaken diagnoses of dementia, often resulting in unneccesary nursing home placements, more medication, and the types of legal fights over guardianship and financial control that the task force was formed to work against.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Art Carey, For The Inquirer
Sam Rennix could be forgiven for assuming that the worst was behind him after triple-bypass surgery in 2010. Then, last summer, his throat became sore, like something was stuck in it. Unlike many men, Rennix, who lives in Springfield, Delaware County, and is manager of Wolfe Pool Supply in Narberth, doesn't hesitate to see a doctor when something's amiss with his health. Perhaps it's because he's married to an intensive-care nurse and knows all too well that procrastinating can turn a curable problem into a death sentence.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
Geno Merli figures it's about 10 or 15 minutes into the conventional medical school lecture when the cellphones and iPads come out and the texting and Web-surfing start. "They're doing something else while they're listening," says Merli, an internist and codirector of the Vascular Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. It's not that different at medical conventions, he says, which was why the people who run the annual American College of Physicians (ACP) meeting came to Merli and fellow lecturer Howard Weitz seven years ago and said, almost pleadingly, "Be innovative.
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