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Posted - Apr. 9, 2004 at 7:40 a.m.



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April 9 , Apr 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- STUDY FINDS ANTIDEPRESSANTS NOT SAFE FOR KIDS

A study in this week's British Medical Journal concludes the newer antidepressant drugs should not be recommended for children. A review of the clinical evidence found shortcomings in six clinical trials involving newer antidepressants in pediatric patients. The study says drug companies paid for the trials or paid the trial authors in at least three of the four larger studies -- bringing the results into question. The researchers said the trial results exaggerated the benefits of drugs given to children and downplayed the side effects.

KIDNEY STONE BOOKLET UPDATED

Mission Pharmacal Co. of San Antonio, Texas, has published an updated version of a booklet on managing kidney stone disease. The "ABCs of Medical Management of Stones" was done by five physicians who are kidney stone disease experts and it talks about the many issues involved in the disease, from diagnosis to long-term management. A New England Journal of Medicine study estimated kidney stone disease resulted in 1.32 million patient/doctor visits during 1995 and $1.83 billion in healthcare expenditures during 1993. While the book is primarily aimed at physicians, the authors say it is clear and understandable for consumers and patients, with information on treatment options and disease management strategies -- including the use of prescription drugs.

ZINC SUPPLEMENTS COULD HELP ADHD

Researchers say zinc supplements could help youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which affects one in 25 school-aged children. A study published in BMC Psychiatry says zinc supplements could increase the effectiveness of other stimulants used to treat ADHD children. Zinc is believed to help regulate the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is implicated in ADHD. An Iranian research team did a controlled trial looking at the benefits of adding zinc to standard methylphenidate treatment. They found children taking additional zinc sulfate daily improved faster than those taking a placebo. The researchers said children taking zinc sulfate were three times more likely to report nausea as a side effect and almost all complained about the metallic taste of the tablets.

WOUND HEALING HINDERED BY SMOKE

Researchers at the University of California at Riverside say second-hand smoke reduces the healing speed of wounds and leads to more scarring. Their study, in the journal BMC Cell Biology, finds when cells are exposed to smoke their ability to move toward the site of damage is compromised. The team studied the effects of second-hand smoke on fibroblasts -- cells critical to wound healing. In second-hand smoke, concentrations of nicotine, tar, nitric oxide and carbon monoxide levels are at least twice as high as those the smoker inhales. Exposure to this smoke changed the arrangement of the cells' cytoskeleton -- increasing the cells' adhesive properties and reducing their mobility. In normal wound healing, fibroblasts move toward damaged tissue and secrete growth factors that begin the healing process.

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(EDITORS: For more information on ANTIDEPRESSANTS, contact Emma Dickinson at 44-207-383-6529 or e-mail edickinson@bmj.com. For KIDNEY, contact Bill Glitz at (703) 532-3797. For ZINC, Gemma Bradley at 44-207-323-0323 or

press@biomedcentral.com. For SMOKE, Ricardo Duran at (909) 787-5893 or ricardo.duran@ucr.edu)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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