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Over The Counter

March 31, 2005 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Aspirin is as good as the anticoagulant drug warfarin at preventing strokes caused by partial blockage of arteries in the brain, and it is much safer, according to the first clinical trial comparing the two treatments. The trial was halted prematurely, in fact, because of hemorrhaging and deaths associated with using warfarin, researchers report today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
March 10, 2005 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
After a night of electioneering, a bleary-eyed Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that prevents landlords from evicting rent-control tenants after major renovations and another that allows adult drug users and others to buy syringes without a prescription. One of Los Angeles' long-standing housing problems is that the city has a large number of apartments -- particularly in poor neighborhoods -- that are in very run-down condition. Many are rent-controlled.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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