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Health Tips ... from UPI

Posted - Oct. 29, 2004 at 9:20 a.m.



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Oct 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- DRUG MAY BENEFIT BABY SURGERY PATIENTS

U.S. and Canadian pediatricians say the drug Zofran (ondansetron hydrochloride) reduced vomiting in tots who underwent surgery under general anesthesia. General anesthesia often is associated with vomiting, they say. The injections of the GlaxoSmithKline remedy were well tolerated and significantly more effective than a placebo in curtailing post-operative vomiting in youngsters 1 month to 2 years old, the researches said at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Las Vegas. "Uncontrolled POV in children under 2 years old can be very distressing for the patients, as well as their parents," says lead investigator Dr. Samia Khalil, professor of pediatric anesthesia at the University of Texas Health Science Center. In the study of 670 infants and toddlers, 11 percent of children given Zofran vomited after surgery, compared to 28 percent of those receiving a placebo.

ACNE TREATMENT GETS GREEN LIGHT

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Evoclin (clindamycin) Foam, 1 percent, as a treatment for acne. The skin condition affects 17 million Americans, including 85 percent of all teenagers. Acne, which can mar the skin even in mid-life, has been linked to depression, social isolation, decreased self-esteem and poor body image, researchers say. The treatment, marketed by Connetics Corp. of Palo Alto, Calif., comes in 50 gram and 100 gram units. "Clindamycin is the most popular topical antibiotic used for treating acne patients and represents approximately one-third of the topical acne market," says Dr. Alan Shalita, an Evoclin clinical study investigator at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York. "The novel VersaFoam formulation of clindamycin has the added advantage of being a once-a-day therapy that leaves minimal residue, dissolves rapidly upon contact with skin and is easy to apply." Acne is responsible for some 5.5 million visits to the doctor's office each year. Consumers spend an estimated $1.2 billion a year on products aimed at controlling the skin condition.

MOVIES MAY CUT NEED FOR ANESTHESIA

University of California, Los Angeles, researchers say watching movies during an operation can cut the need for anesthesia. In the study by Dr. Akash Bajaj, associate professor at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, patients watched a movie through a goggle-type device worn throughout the procedure. "Patients under regional anesthesia can be awake during surgery, and some may find it difficult to remain composed with unfamiliar sounds in the background," Bajaj says. Choosing a DVD to focus on was shown to ease the patients' minds so they needed less medication, Bajaj says. By offering a less risky alternative, the movie device stands to have a major impact on how regional anesthesia is delivered in the future, Bajaj says.

CAFFEINE MAY HELP PROTECT BRAIN FROM INJURY

University of Pittsburgh scientists have found caffeine may help protect the brain in case of traumatic injury. "The data suggest that if you happen to have a severe head injury, having had some caffeine consumption, or just being a regular caffeine consumer, provides you with some protection against the evolution of damage in the brain once the injury has occurred," says Dr. Patrick Kochanek, director of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research. He noted at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists previous studies have shown caffeine to have beneficial effects in other central nervous system disorders, including Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Caffeine interacts with so-called adenosine receptors found in the brain and throughout the body. Certain receptors, called A1 receptors, are especially protective to neurons during brain injury.

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(Editors: For more information about BABY, call Julie Mandell at (918) 813-3856. For ACNE, Megan Roberts at (973) 635-6669. For MOVIES, Roy Winkler at (847) 825-5586. For CAFFEINE, Gina Steiner at (847) 825-5586)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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