PHARMACY

Some fruit juices can affect efficacy of drugs, study shows

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Some kinds of juices may inhibit the body’s absorption of some drugs, according to a study by Canadian researchers released Tuesday.

The study showed that grapefruit, orange and apple juices can reduce the efficacy of drugs for treating cancer, heart disease, infections and organ-transplant rejections.

The researchers enlisted healthy volunteers and gave them the antihistamine fexofenadine, as well as a glass of grapefruit juice and a glass of water with a substance that makes grapefruit juice taste bitter or plain water. Subjects who drank the juice absorbed half the amount of fexofenadine that subjects who received water did.

The results of the study were presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

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Survivors from 1918 influenza may hold key to current vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Researchers have found that survivors of the 1918 influenza pandemic still have antibodies providing resistance to one of the deadliest viruses in modern history, according to the Associated Press.

The researchers did tests on 32 survivors—all aged 92 to 102—and found that the antibodies remained in their bloodstreams. They also manipulated the antibodies into a vaccine and injected it into mice, which became immune to the virus themselves.

This is the longest that cells targeting specific pathogens have lasted in people, the author of the study said.

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FDA upholds decision not to approve PreMD’s skin cholesterol test

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO A decision by the Food and Drug Administration to not approve an expanded use for a skin cholesterol test caused maker PreMD’s shares to fall by more than 50 percent Monday, according to Reuters.

The FDA’s decision affirmed a ruling it made in January, in which it cited defects in the design and data analysis of a study used to support the expansion.

The company had tried to overturn the FDA’s initial ruling, which concluded that its clinical trial data were not sufficient to show that the test was “substantially equivalent” to approved cardiovascular risk tests.

The company’s shares were worth 14 Canadian cents Monday. Earlier in the day, they had fallen below 10 Canadian cents.

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