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Bacteria Could Be Weapon Against Mosquito-Borne Dengue

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Lab-altered mosquitoes have made a big dent in the spread of dengue fever, researchers report.

How? Australian scientists released mosquitoes carrying a bacteria that prevents transmission of the dengue virus.

The strategy resulted in a 76% decrease in dengue transmission in a community in Indonesia that has frequent dengue outbreaks. Similar reductions were seen in an urban area near Rio de Janeiro, and around Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Releases of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes in Far North Queensland, Australia, that began eight years ago led to a 96% decline in cases of dengue transmission, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) researchers said.

The findings were presented Nov. 21 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in National Harbor, Md. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that causes intense joint pain and can also trigger deadly complications. There are no drugs to treat dengue infection. There is a vaccine, but it’s been plagued with safety problems.

There’s been a worldwide increase in dengue infections, and there are fears that climate change will make it worse, the investigators said.

“We are very encouraged by the public health impact we are seeing — it highlights the potential of this approach to fight dengue and related mosquito-borne diseases at a global scale,” said Cameron Simmons, director of impact assessment and an expert in the epidemiology of dengue at WMP.

“Evidence is rapidly accumulating that areas where Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes have been deployed have fewer reports of dengue than untreated areas,” Simmons added in a meeting news release.

Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are created in the laboratory by injecting the bacteria into their eggs. The bacteria also has been shown to inhibit chikungunya and Zika, according to the researchers.

The Wolbachia field tests are ongoing and, given the promising results to date, are being expanded to Colombia, Sri Lanka, India and Western Pacific island nations.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, news release, Nov. 21, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

An HIV Med Is Tied to Too-Small Heads in Newborns

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019 — Children born to women who take the HIV drug efavirenz during pregnancy have a higher risk of small head size — a birth defect known as microcephaly — compared to babies exposed to other HIV drugs in the womb, new research shows.

Prenatal exposure to the drug was also linked to developmental delays in children.

But one U.S. expert said the new data shouldn’t alarm most HIV-positive women.

“Efavirenz has not been widely used in the U.S. during pregnancy for many years due to its association with neural tube defects in studies conducted in monkeys,” said Dr. Joseph McGowan, medical director of the Northwell Health HIV Service Line Program in Manhasset, N.Y.

“Antiretroviral usage patterns have shifted away from efavirenz as recommended therapy, so the impact of these findings in the U.S. and developed countries may be limited,” said McGowan, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

“The major take-home from this study for me was that use of antiretrovirals during pregnancy was found to be safe for the exposed, uninfected infant with the one exception of efavirenz,” he added. “This should be reassuring to clinicians and mothers.”

The new research was led by Dr. Rohan Hazra, chief of the maternal and pediatric infectious disease branch at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Hazra’s team tracked data from more than 3,000 children born to U.S. women who took HIV drugs during pregnancy. The children’s head circumferences were measured from age 6 months through 5 to 7 years of age.

The children’s head growth was assessed using two classification systems: one developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children under 3 years of age, and Nellhaus charts, which are used for children older than 3 years.

The study couldn’t prove cause and effect. But based on Nellhaus charts, children whose mothers took the HIV drug efavirenz were more than twice as likely to have microcephaly than those whose mothers took other HIV drugs.

Based on the combined Nellhaus-CDC standards, children exposed to efavirenz in the womb were around 2.5 times more likely to have microcephaly than those exposed to other HIV drugs in the womb.

Children with microcephaly based on Nellhaus charts also scored lower on standardized tests of development at ages 1 and 5 years.

Of the 141 children exposed to efavirenz in the womb, 14 (9.9%) had microcephaly, compared to 142 of 2,842 who were not exposed to efavirenz (5%), according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study published online recently in The Lancet HIV.

“Our findings underlie the importance of having alternatives to combination therapy with efavirenz for pregnant women with HIV,” Hazra said in an NIH news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on microcephaly.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Why Are People Turning to CBD For Help with Their Health?

CBD is just one of the 104 chemical compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike other compounds of the plant, CBD is non-intoxicating and non-hallucinogenic. It is believed to have many therapeutic benefits that promote health and wellness in the body and mind.

CBD products have no intoxicating effects on the mind. It does not cause a high or euphoric feeling making it safe to use on a regular basis. The therapeutic effects of CBD have been studied by researchers and have been corroborated by consumers who swear that it helps them with everything from chronic pain to insomnia and anxiety.

There is an uptrend to using CBD nowadays, and people are making the CBD choice. The following are just some of the reasons why people are turning to CBD for help with their health.

1. CBD Provides Relief from Chronic Pain and Inflammation

Fibromyalgia is a condition wherein there is widespread muscle pain. Along with the pain are fatigue, memory, and mood issues. People who use CBD find that they get massive relief from fibromyalgia. CBD also helps keep the nervous system from further degeneration.

Chronic inflammation is bad for the body, and it can promote the development of more serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and type 1 diabetes. CBD decreases inflammation and can be seen as giving the body protection against serious illnesses.

2. CBD is seen as an alternative to Ibuprofen

People who do not use CBD Oil use NSAIDs for their pain management. NSAIDs are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are available without a prescription. Examples of NSAIDs are Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. However, NSAIDs have side effects. Regular use of NSAIDs can damage the kidneys and can cause heart attacks and strokes.

CBD has the same effects as NSAIDs in relieving pain symptoms but without the negative side effects.

3. CBD is an effective cure against epilepsy

Some people have drug-resistant epilepsy, and CBD is seen as an alternative medication that can help control seizures. In 2018, a drug, Epidiolex, was prescribed to people who are suffering from two particular types of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS). These two types of epilepsy don’t respond well to anti-seizure medications, but CBD has been proven to help control it.

4. CBD helps treat mental and behavioral disorders

Anxiety and other neuropsychiatric conditions is a growing health problem worldwide. Many health professionals will advise against the use of cannabis to treat mood and mental disorders because it will only exacerbate it. However, CBD has non-psychoactive properties and is non-hallucinogenic, making it safe to use. CBD can be used to treat a lot of mood and behavioral disorders such as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), General anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Substance-abuse disorders.

5. CBD can help treat heart ailments

Heart disease is a global problem and is one of the main causes of death. Having a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper diet and adequate exercise, can help stave off this disease. CBD is also an effective therapy against heart disease, according to studies. CBD has preventive factors against the buildup of oxidative stress and inflammation, which is the main cause of heart diseases.

In a study, a group of participants was given a placebo while the other group was administered with cannabidiol. The cannabidiol group had significantly lower blood pressure compared to the placebo group prompting researchers to conclude that CBD’s stress-fighting features are effective.

6. CBD helps with skin conditions

The beauty world has embraced CBD and has infused it in various creams, serums, and gels to help promote healthy skin. CBD is known to treat acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles due to its antioxidative properties. CBD also helps in treating serious skin conditions such as eczema. CBD regulates oil production on the skin by lowering the production of sebum.

7. CBD can help people with withdrawal symptoms

People who have been addicted to a substance will have withdrawal symptoms, which include nausea, pain, insomnia, and mood disorders. People who have opioid, cocaine, and other psychostimulant addictions will find that using CBD can vastly improve their recovery.

Smokers who smoke regular nicotine are also smoking less when they use inhalers with CBD.

Final Thoughts

CBD is a safe and natural way to heal many ailments, and its popularity has a reason: it does work. Unlike other medications, CBD is said to have fewer side effects. CBD has many therapeutic benefits, and more research should be done to exploit the many features and benefits of CBD further so people can use this substance not only for recreational but also for medicinal use.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Infants May Not Be as Immune to Measles as Thought

By Elizabeth Heubeck
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A surprising new study upends the notion that antibodies passed from mother to fetus protect infants from measles for as much as a year.

In fact, infants’ immunity wanes much more rapidly than once thought, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics. The finding drives home the importance of community-wide immunizations.

Measles is a serious disease, particularly among infants. Not only do they have a higher risk of infection, but also complications and hospitalizations. They’re also most vulnerable to death,” said senior study author Shelly Bolotin, a scientist at Public Health Ontario, in Toronto, Canada.

For the study, the researchers tested blood samples from 196 infants under 12 months of age to determine the presence of measles antibodies. The results were unexpected.

In their first month of life, 20% lacked sufficient antibodies to protect against the highly contagious virus, the study found. At 3 months, 92% had antibody levels below the protective threshold. By 6 months, none had antibodies at levels that could protect against measles.

Typically, babies have been presumed to be immune to measles for a year due to their mothers’ antibodies.

The authors attributed the quicker-than-expected loss of immunity to the type of protection received in the womb from their mothers.

Measles has been eliminated since 1998 in Canada, where the study took place. As such, mothers in the study probably got their protection from a shot and not through a previous infection, which may produce more antibodies. Nor would the mothers’ immunity have been boosted from measles circulating in the community.

“This study really underscores the need to protect infants in the first year of life,” Bolotin said.

Measles — a serious viral disease whose initial symptoms include a rash and fever — is highly contagious, especially among very young children. Though rare, complications — including pneumonia, hearing loss and death — are most common among vulnerable populations, such as infants, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2000, the CDC declared measles eradicated in the United States, thanks largely to a nationwide vaccination program. But the disease is present in other countries, and unvaccinated visitors sometimes bring the virus with them. That happened earlier this year, sparking repeated outbreaks that threatened the nation’s eradication status.

Continued

Among the 1,200-plus cases reported during the 2019 outbreaks, the median age of infected individuals was 6. Median means half were younger, half were older. More than 90% of cases occurred in people who were unvaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown, according to the CDC.

The worst outbreak happened in New York City when visitors from Israel and Europe — sites of recent outbreaks — mingled with Orthodox Jewish communities where many were unvaccinated.

While vaccine refusal is most often rooted in parents’ religious beliefs, the recent “anti-vaxxer” trend — popularized by celebrities in the media — can also influence parents’ decisions regarding vaccines. The World Health Organization recently identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health.

Vaccine refusal and hesitancy threaten herd immunity: the community-wide resistance to disease that takes hold when a high proportion of people are vaccinated. Roughly 95% of the population needs to be protected to maintain herd immunity against measles, according to Dr. Sean O’Leary, an expert on pediatric infectious diseases.

“If we maintain a highly vaccinated population, measles outbreaks are not going to be an issue,” said O’Leary, an associate professor at University of Colorado School of Medicine, in Aurora. “If measles is not circulating, it would be very rare for a young infant to be exposed to the virus.”

That’s because herd immunity protects vulnerable individuals, such as infants who are too young to be vaccinated. The CDC recommends babies receive the first of two shots for measles, mumps and rubella starting at 12 months of age.

With the new evidence that immunity from mom wanes sooner than previously thought, why not give babies their shots sooner?

O’Leary explained that even if antibodies from mom are no longer at a protective level, those still present may prevent a live vaccine from working very well. The vaccinated infant might then be unable to ward off measles if exposed, he said.

That’s why it’s so important that individuals who can get vaccinated against measles, do, experts agree.

“Because it’s been eliminated for the better part of two decades, people don’t remember measles’ devastating effects,” said study author Bolotin.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Shelly Bolotin, Ph.D., scientist in applied immunization research and evaluation, Public Health Ontario, Toronto, and assistant professor, public health, University of Toronto, Canada; Sean O’Leary, M.D., associate professor, pediatrics-infectious diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, and pediatrics-infectious diseases director, Colorado Pediatric Practice-Based Research Network; Nov. 21, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pagination

WebMD Health

Health Tip: Creating a Healthy Routine

— People are creatures of habit, so breaking old practices and forming new routines can be daunting.

To start and maintain a new routine, NorthShore University Health System recommends:

  • Figure out what needs to be in your routine.
  • Set small goals.
  • Lay out a plan.
  • Be consistent over time.
  • Be prepared.
  • Make it fun.
  • Track your progress.
  • Reward yourself.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

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Selling or Using CBD – What Common Uses Should You Consider?

Whether you are thinking of producing your own CBD products for sale, or simply using CBD, there are several different products to consider. Taking a look at these products is helpful in ensuring that you make the right investment.

If you are thinking of buying CBD oil, to make your own products, you need to know which products are popular. If you want to try CBD oil for yourself, it helps to know what products are available so that you make an informed choice. Let’s take a look at some CBD oil products, for inspiration.

Soft gel capsules

These softgels have become increasingly popular as a means of ingesting CBD. This is because they have no taste and are easy to swallow. It’s possible to use these capsules as easily as daily supplements.

CBD concentrates

CBD concentrates are not a product in themselves. They come in a variety of forms, including wax and shatter. However, it’s important to understand the benefits of CBD concentrate, if you are thinking of developing CBD products or using them.

The fact is that the large dose of cannabinoids in CBD concentrates is fast acting. This means that the positive effects of the CBD are felt sooner.

Vape oil

Although this product is referred to as vape oil, it’s actually a distillate of CBD. There is no oil present. It’s a popular means of using CBD. Generally, a vape cartridge that contains 100mg of CBD delivers about 1-2mg with each puff. This contributes to the average daily CBD intake of 10-30mg each day.

Skin and body care products

Using CBD oil in skin and body care products has become increasingly popular recently. Products can be applied to the skin, to help it deal with the stresses of everyday life. Problems that this type of product can help with include eczema, acne and other chronic conditions.

Pet CBD

If you are looking into which CBD products are popular, you may be interested to know that there is a growing market for pet CBD. This interest in using CBD for animals has come from research that suggests it could be beneficial.

It has the potential to help with conditions in dogs such as seizures, cancer and anxiety. There seem to be several potential positives of using CBD for pets.

In summary

If you are considering investing in CBD wholesale, to create your own products, you can use this information to show you where you are more likely to make a profit.

If you are someone who is interested in using CBD, it’s interesting to look at the variety of different products that are out there. Having this information helps you to decide which options for using CBD are the best choice for you.

Whatever your reasons for researching CBD products, it helps to have as much information as possible. This is because being well-informed allows you to make sure that you get the best value for money, by making the right investment.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Inducing Labor Safer Bet for Late-Term Pregnancies

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The risk of newborn death in late-term pregnancies may be lower if labor is induced rather than taking a wait-and-see approach, a new study suggests.

It’s widely believed that mothers and babies have an increased risk of problems at or beyond 42 weeks of pregnancy. (A normal-term pregnancy is 40 weeks.) Some studies have suggested that inducing labor at or after 41 weeks reduces those risks, but there is no consensus on managing healthy pregnancies that last more than 41 weeks, according to background information about the study.

The researchers were led by Ulla-Britt Wennerholm, an associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. They looked at more than 2,700 Swedish women, average age 31, with an uncomplicated, single pregnancy. They were randomly assigned to induced labor at 41 weeks or wait and see (expectant management) until induced labor at 42 weeks if necessary.

Rates of death and complications such as breathing problems, pneumonia and sepsis were not statistically different between the two groups: 2.4‘ in the induced labor group and 2.2% in the wait-and-see group.

Other outcomes, such as cesarean section birth and mothers’ health after giving birth, were also similar in the two groups, according to the study published in the journal BMJ.

However, it found that six babies in the wait-and-see group died, compared with none in the induced labor group, leading to an early halt of the study. For every 230 women induced at 41 weeks, one newborn death would be prevented, the researchers concluded.

They said women with low-risk pregnancies “should be informed of the risk profile of induction of labor versus expectant management and offered induction of labor no later than at 41 full weeks. This could be one [of few] interventions that reduces stillbirth.”

Labor induction at 41 weeks “looks like the safer option for women and their babies,” Sara Kenyon, a professor at the University of Birmingham in England, and colleagues wrote in an accompanying editorial.

It’s important to give pregnant women a choice, according to the editorial authors. “Clear information about available options should be accessible to all pregnant women, enabling them to make fully informed and timely decisions,” they wrote.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE:BMJ, news release, Nov. 20, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Obesity Rates Fall for Many Young Kids in Federal Nutrition Program

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2019 — Forty-one states and territories have seen drops in obesity rates among young children enrolled in a U.S. nutrition program, a new study shows.

“Improvements in national, state and caregiver guidance around nutrition and physical activity may be contributing to this decline in childhood obesity,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are moving in the right direction, and helping parents make healthy choices for their children is reducing the potential for complications posed by childhood obesity later in life,” he added in a CDC news release.

In the study, U.S. federal government researchers analyzed obesity trends from 2010 to 2016 among more than 12.4 million children, aged 2 to 4, in low-income families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC helps provide supplemental foods and nutrition education.

In 2009, WIC state agencies started providing food packages more in line with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This led to increased availability of healthier foods and beverages for WIC enrollees.

Between 2010 and 2016, obesity rates fell by more than 3% in seven WIC states and territories (New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico).

However, three states had increases in obesity: Alabama (0.5%), North Carolina (0.6%), and West Virginia (2.2%).

The study appears in the Nov. 21 issue of the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A previous study found that 34 of 56 WIC state/territory agencies had decreases in obesity rates between 2010 and 2014.

Currently, the WIC program also helps establish successful long-term breastfeeding, provides participants with a wider variety of foods, and offers WIC state agencies flexibility in food packages for participants with cultural food preferences.

Despite these declines in obesity among children enrolled in WIC, rates remained high in most states in 2016.

“While we have seen some progress, obesity prevalence among young children remains too high,” said Dr. Ruth Petersen, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.

“We must persist in our efforts to support healthy eating and physical activity for this positive trend to continue,” Petersen said in the release.

More information

Advice on preventing childhood obesity can be found at healthfinder.gov.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

A compound naturally produced by the Cannabis Sativa plants is called CBD or Cannabidiol. This phytocannabinoid has taken the world by storm in recent years due to its multiple potential health benefits.

Since the mid 70’s, studies suggest that it could be used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions effectively, including inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, depression, and anxiety.

A common question asked by people looking to start taking CBD is: “How much should I take?” Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. There’s not enough knowledge of CBD for official dosages to have been released, and a multitude of factors come into play when calculating it for yourself. This article will provide guidance on how much CBD you should take.

Cannabidiol and the Body

Before you decide how much CBD to take, it’s important to understand how it interacts with the human body – and what it will affect. It’s therefore vital to inform yourself about the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex biological system found in the human body with the primary purpose of maintaining physical and emotional homeostasis (balance) throughout the body. It does this by using naturally produced endocannabinoids to regulate various biological and cognitive processes, such as mood, appetite, and sleep – as such, it is often referred to as “the bridge between the body and the mind.”

The ECS is also responsive to plant-based cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis – which is where CBD comes into play. It acts as an antagonist to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the entire body. It makes it harder for them to be over- or under-stimulated, plus boosts the production of endocannabinoids, which all helps your body to achieve homeostasis quickly and efficiently.

Due to the fact that CBD interacts directly with the ECS, its effects are potentially broad – in fact, studies suggest that the ECS is involved in the majority of bodily functions and processes. CBD is therefore becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of conditions, as well as a general health supplement.

So, How Much Should I Take?

Currently, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that there are no official recommended dosages. However, it’s possible to discuss dosing with your doctor or a medical professional, who may be able to give a recommendation. If not, you should base your decision on a few factors.

First is the condition or ailment you’re trying to treat and how serious it is. Someone with a mild skin irritation, for example, will probably need to use less CBD than someone with serious eczema. Equally, someone who is experiencing mild stress will more than likely have lower CBD requirements than someone who has frequent severe panic attacks.

Here’s a general guide to the recommended strength by ailment/condition:

  • General health: low strength
  • Nausea: low to medium strength
  • Chronic pain: medium to high strength
  • Anxiety: medium to high strength
  • Sleep disorders: medium to high strength
  • Cancer: high strength or pharmaceutical grade
  • Epilepsy: high strength or pharmaceutical grade
  • Migraines: low to high strength

Secondly, factors such as your body weight and general health comes into play – these can affect how quickly effects are felt and for how long, although research in this area is currently limited, so you’ll have to make your own judgment calls.

The general advice in the industry is “start low and go slow” – basically, start with a small dose for a while, see how your body reacts to it, and increase the dose by a small amount gradually until you reach the desired effects.

Here’s a general guide to help you decide where to start:

  • Low strength: 1 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight
  • Medium strength: 3 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight
  • High strength: 6 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight

Can I Take Too Much CBD?

Current medical research shows CBD to be safe to use, with very little to no risk of overdosing or developing a physical addiction. So, if you do accidentally take a little more than intended during your “start low and go slow” introduction, there’s no need to panic.

According to the same research, CBD does have some recorded side-effects, but they are minimal and usually mild. They include tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, and changes in appetite and/or weight.

A Word of Warning

Although currently deemed to be an extremely safe treatment option for multiple conditions, there are some medicines that should not be mixed with CBD, including some sedatives and anti-seizure medicines. This is because CBD inhibits cytochrome p450 enzymes that are found in the body and impedes the metabolizing process.

Interestingly, grapefruit juice does exactly the same thing – and it’s commonly listed as something to avoid on prescription medication packaging. So, if a medication should not be consumed with grapefruit juice, it should not be consumed with CBD either.

It’s important to note that these findings are not conclusive – further, more in-depth research is required before we know the full extent of how CBD works in our bodies and interacts with other medicines. We would always strongly advise that you seek professional guidance before beginning any kind of CBD treatment, especially if you’re already taking prescription medicines.

It’s Different for Everyone

A variety of factors go into deciding how much CBD to take, but one thing is clear: what works for your family or friends won’t necessarily work in the same way for you. One study specifically showed that different people respond to different dosages of CBD – and in different ways, too. Therefore, finding your optimum dosage is largely down to you. Most of the human studies that have been conducted use dosages anywhere between 20 mg and 1,500 mg per day.

As with any new health supplement or alternative treatment, it’s best to consult with a medical professional before you start – if they can’t give you a dosage recommendation, remember “start low and go slow,” and you won’t go far wrong!

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Recalls of Blood Pressure Med Took Toll on Patients’ Health

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Emergency room visits for high blood pressure surged following last year’s recall of the popular heart drug valsartan, Canadian researchers report.

Within the first month of the recall, there was a 55% increase of people coming to Ontario-area emergency departments complaining of high blood pressure, said lead researcher Cynthia Jackevicius. She is a senior scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, in Toronto.

Some of these patients likely were valsartan users who stopped taking the blood pressure med after seeing scary recall news citing a potential carcinogen found in some lots of the drug, Jackevicius said.

“Nine out of 10 did have an alternative replacement” for valsartan within three months. “However, that means that one out of 10 did not,” Jackevicius said.

“That’s a little bit concerning, that some of these patients may have either been confused or concerned, and decided not to switch to another medication,” she added.

The recall occurred in July 2018 in both Canada and the United States, after generics maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals detected trace amounts of a probable cancer-causing chemical called N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in valsartan meds.

It was an unusually large recall that involved intense media interest, and Jackevicius and her colleagues wondered how it might have affected the drug’s users.

So they turned to Canadian prescription and medical records to track how valsartan users responded to the crisis.

Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, a past president of the American College of Cardiology and a cardiologist at St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana, said, “It’s really interesting data, because my assumption would have been in Canada and the U.S. that substitution was made pretty much instantly.”

That’s what happened — mostly.

Within one month, 85% of patients had a new prescription for an alternative to their generic valsartan, Jackevicius said. By three months, 90% had a prescription for a different blood pressure drug.

But that left 10% of patients with recalled valsartan who hadn’t been prescribed an alternative, Jackevicius noted.

“Maybe they heard about the recall on the news and never went to their physician or clinician to get a substitution,” Walsh said.

Continued

“When there’s a recall like this, is there a patient lack of trust in the system? Do they not get back on drugs because they’re afraid? I don’t know,” Walsh asked.

In the immediate aftermath of the recall, people swarmed Ontario emergency departments for blood pressure treatment, the researchers found.

Many of these folks likely were people who were afraid to take their valsartan and went to the ER for a replacement drug when they couldn’t reach their doctor, Jackevicius suggested.

“That’s not really the best place to go” when your drug is recalled, she said. “Going to the emergency department is not a good use of the resources there, and it’s not a good use of the patient’s time.”

However, there were also probably quite a few who stopped taking the drug altogether and suffered symptoms related to high blood pressure, Jackevicius and Walsh said.

According to Walsh, “People did worse if they came off it, which is not surprising because the primary reason they were prescribed it was for hypertension.”

Jackevicius said the incident revealed holes in medicine’s response to major drug recalls.

Empowering pharmacists to reach out to patients and prescribe alternatives could be one way to improve the response to a recall, Jackevicius said.

Pharmacists have direct knowledge of the specific drugs handed out to patients that their doctors don’t, she explained.

“It would make sense that they take more responsibility and be given the authority to substitute common medications, to be a point person in the event of a recall,” Jackevicius said. “They are accessible and would know similar medications that might be OK for that condition.”

Public health officials also could help by promptly creating a consensus list of approved alternative medications, so doctors and pharmacists could quickly and efficiently move patients onto a new prescription, she added.

Jackevicius presented her study last weekend at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting, in Philadelphia. The work was also published recently in the journal Circulation.

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Sources

SOURCES: Cynthia Jackevicius, Pharm.D., senior scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Canada; Mary Norine Walsh, M.D., past president,  American College of Cardiology, and cardiologist, St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana; Nov. 11, 2019,Circulation

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Health Tip: Thanksgiving and Your Heart Health

— Though Thanksgiving dinner is treasured by many Americans, the meal typically isn’t heart-healthy.

Including holiday staples such as mashed potatoes and stuffing, the traditional feast is full of fatty, high-cholesterol foods, says the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For a healthier holiday meal, the school suggests:

  • Devote most of your plate to vegetables, such as green beans, carrots and squash.
  • Don’t drench everything in gravy. Use as little as you can.
  • Limit turkey skin and dark meat.
  • Have a small slice of pie for dessert. Resist a second helping.

The school says after all is said and done, one meal won’t ruin your heart and arteries. It urges you to eat healthy during the holiday season overall.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

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California Sues Juul for Targeting Teens

Juul, the top-selling maker of e-cigarettes in the United States, is being sued by California for allegedly targeting teens with it early marketing campaigns.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, also alleges that Juul’s website didn’t previously adequately verify customers’ ages, the Associated Press reported.

This is just one of many legal battles for Juul. It’s the focus of numerous state and federal investigations into whether its early marketing campaigns helped trigger the teen vaping crisis in the United States.

Juul denies that it marketed to teens and notes that it’s stopped advertising and taken most of its flavors off the market, the AP reported.

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Doctors’ Group Calls for Ban on Most Vaping Products

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 — The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The move is in response to a sharp rise in youth e-cigarette use and an outbreak of more than 2,000 illnesses and 40-plus deaths caused by vaping-related lung illness.

“The recent lung illness outbreak has alarmed physicians and the broader public health community and shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” AMA president Dr. Patrice Harris said.

“It’s simple — we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people and that’s why we are calling for an immediate ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products from the market,” Harris said in a news release from the group.

Besides preventing kids from ever using nicotine, Harris said it’s “critical that there is research into nicotine-addiction treatments for this population.”

The ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products was one of a number of anti-nicotine policies adopted at a recent AMA meeting in San Diego.

Doctors, residents and medical students also called for funding of research to assess the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarette and vaping products in helping people quit smoking cigarettes, and a study of drug and non-drug treatments for nicotine addiction in young people.

Pharmacies should also stop selling tobacco products, the group said.

In the past, the AMA has urged media companies to reject advertising that markets e-cigarette products to young people and supported laws making 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

“Since declaring e-cigarette use and vaping an urgent public health epidemic in 2018, the AMA has pushed for more stringent policies to help protect our nation’s young people from the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use,” Harris said.

“For decades, we have led the public health fight to combat the harmful effects of tobacco products, and we will continue to support policies and regulations aimed at preventing another generation from becoming dependent on nicotine,” Harris concluded.

More information

The American Lung Association has more on e-cigarettes.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

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Colorado Supreme Court Lessens Restrictions for MMJ on Probation

The Colorado Supreme Court has overruled a district court decision that upheld a county court ruling requiring a doctor’s testimony for medical marijuana patients who want to use their medication while on probation. The Colorado Supreme Court decision, handed down on Monday, November 18, weakens the restrictions and burdens of proof that Colorado judges can place on medical marijuana patients.

In their decision, the justices said that unless a probationer’s medical marijuana use conflicts with the specified goals of sentencing, cannabis use should be allowed.

“The relevant exception here applies if the sentencing court finds, based on material evidence, that prohibiting this defendant’s otherwise-authorized medical marijuana use is necessary and appropriate to promote statutory sentencing goals. Because the county court made no such findings here, we disapprove of the district court’s judgment affirming the county court’s decision,” the decision reads.

A Colorado law passed in 2015 was supposed to allow probationers to use medical marijuana unless convicted of a crime involving medical marijuana, or cannabis use undermines the goals of a person’s sentencing, but a 2016 DUI case in El Paso County led to the push for clarification, after El Paso County Court Judge Karla Hansen demanded that a medical marijuana patient provide live testimony from her doctor about her need for the medication.

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Alysha Walton, the patient charged with the DUI, could only provide her state-approved medical marijuana card and a signed letter from her recommending doctor. Hansen ultimately denied Walton’s request to continue using medical marijuana, explaining that her requirement was universal for all medical marijuana patients on probation. A district court upheld Hansen’s decision on appeal, but Walton and her attorneys continued to argue that Hansen’s policy conflicted with the state constitution, and argued her case before the Colorado Supreme Court in October.

Walton’s need for medical marijuana and the authenticity of her doctor’s recommendation were never questioned by the county court judge, according to the decision, meaning that any further probing of “the legitimacy of Walton’s authorization was misplaced.” The justices also criticized Hansen’s blanket policy that didn’t consider the context of individual cases.

“First, the authenticity of Walton’s medical marijuana card was not at issue in this case — no one argued that Walton had not lawfully obtained her card or that she lacked state-sanctioned authority to use medical marijuana. Thus, the district court’s focus on the county court’s desire to further probe the legitimacy of Walton’s authorization was misplaced,” the decision reads. “Second, the county court’s blanket policy contradicts the plain language of the probation conditions statute, which requires the court to base any decision to prohibit medical marijuana use on the particular defendant’s circumstances, after considering the material evidence before it and the statutory sentencing goals.”

While the Colorado Supreme Court noted that its decision will not affect Walton — her sentence and probation were completed well over a year ago — it creates a precedent that other medical marijuana patients will welcome.


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