HEALTH

Harvard Men’s Health Watch recommends topical analgesics for acute joint pain

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Topical pain relievers may be better suited for joint pain, according to a report published in the January 2013 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch

"Topical pain relievers can be very helpful for the more superficial joints like the knees, ankles, feet, elbows and hands," stated Rosalyn Nguyen, a clinical instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. "In those areas, the medication can penetrate closer to the joint."

The source of pain usually determines if a topical pain reliever is appropriate. For a localized problem with just one joint causing the pain, there’s no need for medication to travel throughout the body, Nguyen noted. A topical analgesic isn’t that helpful when pain emanates across an extended area, like the lower back.

Nguyen recommended trying a prescription topical analgesic, such as diclofenac gel. However, for patients looking for over-the-counter pain relief, Nguyen recommended Icy Hot or Bengay, which temporarily masks pain with a sensation of coolness or heat. 

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Chattem acquires Rolaids brand from McNeil

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS — Sanofi on Monday announced that its U.S. Consumer Healthcare Division Chattem, completed the acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Rolaids brand from McNeil Consumer Healthcare for an undisclosed amount.

"The addition of Rolaids represents a rare opportunity to obtain an iconic brand that we believe will respond positively to our proven approach of growing brands through innovation and advertising," stated Zan Guerry, CEO, Chattem. "We are primed to leverage the Rolaids market opportunity to drive incremental growth and take the brand to a new level."

Rolaids was first introduced in 1954. Chattem will re-launch Rolaids and expects the product to be available at retailers within a year.

"This acquisition is consistent with our long-term strategy, which includes growing our consumer healthcare offering as part of a broader diversification strategy," stated Anne Whitaker, president, North America Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi. "Chattem has a proven track record of successful acquisitions and integrations and the addition of Rolaids, an enduring brand with a deep heritage, further diversifies the company’s portfolio."

 

 

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March of Dimes highlights folic acid for pregnant women

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The March of Dimes is launching a campaign to encourage expectant mothers to take folic acid to prevent birth defects, the group said Friday.

The group announced national Folic Acid Awareness Week, reminding pregnant women to take vitamin B. The vitamin is known to prevent birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly, collectively known as neural tube defects. NTDs occur in the first few weeks following conception, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

"All women of reproductive age should be taking a multivitamin containing folic acid every day," March of Dimes medical adviser and author of the group’s new book "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide," Siobhan Dolan said. "It’s such an easy thing to do, and it can have such a major benefit to your future family. About half of pregnancies are unplanned, so take your folic acid daily and be sure to give your baby the healthiest start in life."

In the book, Dolan recommends taking 400 micrograms of folic acid before conceiving and up to 600-800 after.


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