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Health Updates 31 May 2012

  • FDA warns of fake version of ADHD drug Adderall“A counterfeit version of the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall, sold online, contains the wrong active ingredients, according to the Food and Drug Administration.  Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy.” It is also commonly misused by students who want better focus on exams, or by many for weight control.  “The drug…is currently in short supply in the United States.  The counterfeit versions of Adderall are ineffective and potentially harmful, the FDA warned.  Authentic Adderall contains four active ingredients: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate.  Preliminary laboratory tests by the FDA found that the counterfeit version sold as Adderall 30-milligram (mg) tablets contain tramadol and acetaminophen, ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain.  Genuine Adderall 30-mg tablets are round, orange/peach in color, and have ‘dp’ embossed on one side and ’30’ on the other.  The tablets are packaged only in 100-count bottles the National Drug Code (NDC) 0555-0768-02, the agency said.  In contrast, thecounterfeit tablets are round, white and do not have any type of letters or numbers…Fake tablets may also come in blister packages and have spelling mistakes on the packaging, such as:
    • ‘NDS’ instead of ‘NDC
    • ‘Aspartrte’ instead of ‘Aspartate’
    • ‘Singel’ instead of ‘Single’…” (HealthDay)
  • Hatchery hatches salmonella outbreak: “Chicks and ducklings originating at a mail-order hatchery caused 316 people, mostly young children, to become ill with salmonella over an 8-year period, researchers said.  Even after the source was identified and the hatchery owners took measures to clean up the facility, the unusual outbreak strain continued to turn up in people who bought poultry hatched there for another 5 years, according to Nicholas Gaffga, MD, MPH, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues.  The outbreak showed that salmonella may be impossible to eradicate at the source, the researchers suggested in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.  Although consumers bear final responsibility for avoiding infection, hatcheries and retailers should make sure that their customers understand the risk and the basics of prevention, Gaffga and colleagues suggested. ‘High-risk groups, including children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, and immunocompromised persons, should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry,’ they wrote.  Birds should be kept out of living and food-preparation areas within the home and all equipment used with poultry should be cleaned and stored elsewhere, they added.”  (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • New York plans to ban sale of big sizes of sugary drinks: New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.  The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened ice teas.  The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces – about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle – would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.  ‘Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands, saying “Oh, this is terrible”,’ Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.  ‘New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,’ he said.   ‘I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do’.  A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association , an arm of the soda industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday.  The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out soda; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.” (NY Times)
  • Once-obese women still face stigma, study finds: “Even after they shed their excess pounds, formerly obese women still have to contend with ‘anti-fat prejudice’, according to a new study.  Researchers asked young women and men to read about women who had either lost 70 pounds of excess weight or had stayed the same weight (weight-stable), and who were either currently obese or currently thin.  The participants were then asked about some of the women’s attributes, including their attractiveness.  ‘We were surprised to find that currently thin women were viewed differently depending on their weight history,’ study leader Janet Latner…said in a news release.  ‘Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight’…The findings, published May 29 in the journal Obesity, suggest that the stigma of obesity is so powerful that it can continue even after the obese person has lost weight.  The researchers said they were particularly troubled by finding that participants’ negative attitudes towards obese people increased when they were falsely told that body weight is easily controlled.  ‘The message we often hear from society is that weight is highly controllable, but the best science in the obesity field at the moment suggests that one’s physiology and genetics, as well as food environment, are the really big players in one’s weight status and weight loss…’.” (womenshealth.gov)
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