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NATIONAL
December 21, 2004 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
Three days after warning that the prescription painkiller Celebrex can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, federal health officials Monday raised questions about the potential for similar problems with a principal over-the-counter alternative, Aleve. "This is a very confusing situation," said Dr. Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of New Drugs.
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HEALTH
December 6, 2004 | Valerie Ulene, Special to The Times
Making a doctor's appointment simply to obtain a prescription can seem like an unnecessary hassle to an ill patient seeking a specific medication. But physician supervision of drug use increases the likelihood that medications are taken only when truly needed and decreases the chance of serious complications. Since 1995, however, the Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 70 drugs, or new uses of available drugs, for over-the-counter sale. More are likely to become available.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2004 | Jordan Rau And Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writers
Swerving to the left of his Democratic predecessor on a highly contested public health fight, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday signed legislation allowing pharmacists to sell up to 10 clean syringes without a prescription. In approving a bill similar to ones former Gov. Gray Davis vetoed in his last two years, Schwarzenegger rejected the fears of some law-enforcement groups that making needles easy to obtain would condone drug use.
HEALTH
August 9, 2004 | Judy Foreman, Special to The Times
Americans spend $6 billion a year on the arthritis painkillers Vioxx and Celebrex, which are said to be as good as over-the-counter drugs -- but easier on the stomach. But the two have not lived up to their hype, according to published research and interviews with arthritis doctors and drug specialists. Vioxx, which may be better for the stomach, appears to have a far worse side effect than over-the-counter drugs: an increased risk of heart attack.
HEALTH
March 15, 2004 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
The safety of zinc gluconate nasal sprays taken to ease symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold is under review following reports that people lost their sense of smell after using the products. The reports involve people who used Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel or Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy nasal spray, both of which are sold over the counter.
OPINION
December 20, 2003
Re "Crucial Option for Women," editorial, Dec. 15: The Times should be applauded for endorsing the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception, or the so-called morning-after pill. Increased access to emergency contraception would be extremely beneficial to the women of this country who want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy after having unprotected sex, in too many cases because of rape or incest. And emergency contraception meets all customary Food and Drug Administration requirements for over-the-counter use: It is safe, there is no potential for overdose or addiction, no medical screening is required, the need it fills can be self-diagnosed, the dosage is uniform and it has no important drug interactions.
NATIONAL
December 17, 2003 | Vicki Kemper, Times Staff Writer
A joint panel of outside experts strongly recommended Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration make the so-called morning-after birth control pill available over the counter, saying that unhindered access to emergency contraception would dramatically reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the demand for abortion.
HEALTH
October 6, 2003 | Dianne Partie Lange
More than 300 over-the-counter remedies promise to stop, or curtail, snoring, but physicians who studied one of each of the three main types found them ineffective. Participants (29 male snorers and 11 female snorers) used a lubricating mouth spray, a nasal dilator strip, and an ergonomically shaped pillow on alternating nights. On the nights in between, they used nothing.
BUSINESS
June 21, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
Procter & Gamble Co. said it won U.S. approval to sell a nonprescription version of AstraZeneca's Prilosec heartburn drug. The Food and Drug Administration cleared over-the-counter sales of Prilosec, which Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble will sell through an agreement with AstraZeneca. Prilosec, once the world's top-selling drug with annual sales of more than $5 billion, had been promoted in ads as the "purple pill." P&G shares rose 82 cents to $91.23 on the NYSE. From Bloomberg News
HEALTH
April 21, 2003 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
The morning-after pill is safe and effective enough that it should be sold over the counter, a manufacturer says, and it is asking the federal government for permission to do so. Women's Capital Corp., maker of the Plan B emergency contraceptive, will submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration today asking for approval to sell the product without a prescription. The request is expected to generate protests from antiabortion groups that say the pill causes abortion.
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