HEALTH

Industry responds to Senator’s call for safer OTC children’s liquid medicines

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Monday responded to Sen. Charles Schumer’s, D-N.Y., recent call for the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require flow restrictors on all bottles of children’s liquid medicines.

“Manufacturers have voluntarily added flow restrictors to infants’ and children’s liquid acetaminophen products," the association stated. "Flow restrictors are one tool for parents that industry employs to reduce the amount of medicine a child who defeats the child-resistant packaging might ingest. Because medicines are meant to be accessible, flow restrictors aren’t sufficient to prevent accidental, unsupervised medicine ingestions, but safe and appropriate storage is."

CHPA members are involved in a number of long-term efforts targeted at preventing accidental, unsupervised ingestion of medicines by young children, the association added. "The most impactful solution is locking the child-resistant closure and storing all medicines up and away and out of children’s reach. This is why we educate parents and caregivers to store medicines up and away and out of sight through a campaign led by CHPA’s Educational Foundation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Protect Initiative."

 

 

 

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Drive Medical launches maneuverable knee walker

BY Michael Johnsen

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Drive Medical recently launched its new Steerable Knee Walker, a durable and stable mobility option for individuals recovering from foot surgery, breaks, sprains, amputation and ulcers of the foot. It can be steered for enhanced maneuverability and features a deluxe dual-braking system for added safety.

The Steerable Knee Walker features tool-free height adjustment of the tiller which can also be folded down for storage or transport.

The knee pad is separated into two sections and can be height adjusted for comfort. The large, 8-inch caster wheels make the Steerable Knee Walker ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, the company stated. 

 

 

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Study: Higher levels of sleep aid melatonin may reduce prostate cancer risk

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO — Higher levels of melatonin, a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle, may decrease the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, according to results presented here at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, held Jan. 18-21.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced exclusively at night in the dark and is an important output of the circadian rhythm, or the body’s inherent 24-hour clock. Many biological processes are regulated by the circadian rhythm, including the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin may play a role in regulating a range of other hormones that influence certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancers.

"Sleep loss and other factors can influence the amount of melatonin secretion or block it altogether, and health problems associated with low melatonin, disrupted sleep and/or disruption of the circadian rhythm are broad, including a potential risk factor for cancer," stated Sarah Markt, doctoral candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "We found that men who had higher levels of melatonin had a 75% reduced risk for developing advanced prostate cancer compared with men who had lower levels of melatonin," she wrote. "Our results require replication, but support the public health implication of the importance of maintaining a stable light-dark and sleep-wake cycle. Because melatonin levels are potentially modifiable, further studies of melatonin and prostate cancer risk and progression are warranted."

The researchers found that 1-in-7 men reported problems falling asleep, 1-in-5 men reported problems staying asleep, and almost 1-in-3 reported taking sleeping medications.

"Further prospective studies to investigate the interplay between sleep duration, sleep disturbance and melatonin levels on risk for prostate cancer are needed," Markt said. 

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