Pharmaceuticals

Every day in hospitals all over America, thousands of patients die of infections that used to be curable. But the antibiotics used to treat them aren't working anymore.

It's called drug resistance, and it's largely a consequence of antibiotics overuse. The more germs are exposed to antibiotics, the faster they mutate to evade being vanquished.

Dad takes a cholesterol-lowering statin so he'll be around to see the kids grow up. But statins, like Lipitor and Zocor, as well as some other common adult prescription drugs are causing a rise in poisonings among children, a study says.

The big surprise is that children are at risk not just from opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, which most parents know need to be kept away from kids.

Chinese doctors report they've seen signs that the bird flu virus infecting humans is able to overcome one of the few drugs used to fight it.

In a report published online Tuesday by The Lancet, doctors report on 14 patients infected with the H7N9 virus and admitted to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in April. All the people came down with pneumonia, and two died.

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Stress can be a bummer for your heart. And, it seems, antidepressants may help some people with heart disease better weather that stress.

That's the intriguing suggestion from a study that tested how people with heart disease reacted when faced with challenging mental and social tests.

The U.S. District Court judge who last month ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the most popular forms of the emergency contraceptive pill available over-the-counter with no age restrictions has denied the government's request to stay his ruling while it's on appeal.

The ubiquitous blue-toned TV ads for Viagra look downright tame compared with Pfizer's latest gambit for the impotence remedy.

Pfizer is now selling the drug directly from the official Viagra website.

Men still need a prescription for the diamond-shaped blue pills. But instead of going to the pharmacy in person, or taking their chances buying from an online pharmacy of unknown repute, men will be able to buy Viagra from the maker of the drug itself and have it shipped to their homes.

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Do you have any unwanted, unused, or expired prescriptions? Coloradans can drop off those drugs between 10 and 2 Saturday.

Now that it's spring, maybe you've decided it's time to clean out the medicine cabinet. Maybe you'd rather your teenagers not be tempted by those dusty bottles of Vicodin or other forgotten prescription drugs.

But we're told not to flush medications down the toilet because the drugs can taint rivers and lakes. Traces can also get into drinking water.

Banning cheaper, generic forms of a dangerous drug sounds like a worthy idea.

But the Food and Drug Administration's decision to bar generic OxyContin may also push patients towards less effective drugs without eliminating the risk of addiction, experts say.

"Obviously, there's a cost issue," says Lynn Webster, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. "Not having generics means this type of medication is going to be more expensive."

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