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Melatonin Use Skyrockets Among U.S. Kids, Study Finds

Record numbers of children and tweens now take melatonin for sleep, potentially doing harm to their development, a new study warns.

Nearly one in five school-aged kids are popping melatonin to help them rest, often with the help of their parents, researchers reported in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal JAMA ...

CVS Pulling Popular Cold Meds From Shelves After Report Deems Them to Be Useless

CVS Health plans to pull cold medications that contain phenylephrine from its store shelves after federal regulators determined recently that the decongestant doesn't work.

Oral phenylephrine is an active ingredient in such well-known products as Sudafed and Dayquil. An FDA advisory committee ruled las...

An OTC Contraceptive Pill Is Coming Soon, but Who Will Pay For It?

The first over-the-counter birth control pill is slated to hit drug stores in early 2024, but questions about cost and insurance coverage loom.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Opill (norgestrel) for preventing pregnancy without a pre...

A Year After Launch, OTC Hearing Aids Aren't Catching On With U.S. Consumers

It's now been possible to buy a hearing aid over-the-counter for nearly a year, but few Americans are doing so.

More education is needed about just who these over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids can help, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). It polled more than 2,200 Americans about the issue in late June and early July.

Just 2% of respondents aged 40...

Opioid OD Rescue Drug Narcan Will Reach Drug Store Shelves Next Week

Narcan, a lifesaving medication that reverses opioid overdose, will be available on U.S. drugstore shelves and online starting next week.

People who want to carry Narcan, the nasal spray version of naloxone, will be able to find it at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and CVS for a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a box of two doses, the drug maker reported Wednesday.

T...

FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the nation's first over-the-counter birth control pill, a move that will likely pave the way for far greater access to contraception for Americans.

Women will be able to buy the progestin-only oral contraceptive at drug stores, convenience stores and grocery stores, the FDA said. There is no age limit.

Opill, which is made b...

Traveling? Here's Your Family Medical Checklist

When going on vacation, there's a lot to remember, but it's a good idea if you add one more item to the to-do list.

Baylor College of Medicine in Houston suggests creating a family travel medical checklist, to be sure that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe while you're away.

"Traveling can expose families to different environments, climates and potential health risks. A ...

The Most Common Allergy Medicines

If you suffer from allergies, you know how bothersome and uncomfortable the sneezing and itchy eyes can be. These symptoms are more than irritating -- they impact day-to-day activities like work, school, sports, sleeping and even eating.

Not only that, but allergies can also cause more serious health problems such as asthma and even anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

FDA Advisors OK Approval of First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

In a unanimous vote, a panel of expert advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday endorsed the over-the-counter sale of a birth control pill, a recommendation that will likely pave the way for far greater access to contraception for Americans.

Opill, as the pill is called, was first approved by the FDA in 1973. There is no precise information available on how much Opil...

FDA Experts to Consider First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

As a U.S. Food Drug Administration advisory panel prepares to weigh whether to recommend that a birth control pill be sold over the counter in this country, a coalition of advocates on Monday called attention to the safety and effectiveness of the medication.

If approved, Opill, a daily progestin-only birth control pill, would become the first such drug sold over the counter in the United...

Get Pain Relief With the Most Common Arthritis Medications

Arthritis is a common disease that causes pain and inflammation in different body joints, making it difficult to enjoy everyday tasks and physical activity.

Fortunately, there are many different medications for arthritis. Depending on what type of arthritis you have and its severity, an arthritis medication may help you manage pain and other symptoms. Here is a breakdown of the most comm...

FDA Panel to Again Weigh Merit of Decongestant That Many Call Useless

Consumers have been using a common over-the-counter oral decongestant known as phenylephrine for years, but that may not continue much longer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked a panel of its advisors to reassess the drug's effectiveness. The medication's safety isn't in question, just whether it actually does what it claims to do.

The FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advis...

In Face of Tripledemic, CVS and Walgreens Limit Purchases of Kids' Pain Meds

As a tripledemic of the flu, COVID and RSV continues to spread across the United States, customers at two major pharmacy chains will now be limited as to how much children's pain relievers and fever-reducing medications they can buy for their sick child.

Both CVS and Walgreens confirmed the limits Monday, CNN reported, though they've approached it in different ways.

Walgre...

FDA Moves Toward Making Overdose Antidote an Over-the-Counter Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears poised to approve certain naloxone products for over-the-counter use, a move that would help fight the nation's opioid epidemic.

Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) can save lives when administered soon after the first signs of an overdose from opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone or morphine.

On Tuesday, the FDA

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 16, 2022
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  • More U.S. Kids Are Heading to ERs After Drinking Cough Suppressant

    Increasing numbers of young children are showing up in emergency rooms after accidentally ingesting the cough suppressant benzonatate, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

    Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough suppressant first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1958 for children ages 10 and up. It works by reducing the cough reflex in the lungs and airways.

    "Benz...

    Child Danger: Almost Half of Parents Have Leftover Meds at Home

    Getting into prescription or over-the-counter medicines at home is a major source of accidental poisoning for young children.

    Yet, nearly half of parents say they have leftover prescriptions at home, a new poll shows.

    "We found that it's common for parents to keep m...

    You Can Now Buy Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter.  Experts Offer Tips for Consumers

    It's official: Older Americans with hearing loss can now stroll into a big box store or pharmacy -- or just visit a website -- and buy hearing aids without a prescription.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved this

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 17, 2022
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  • Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Coming in October. Experts Offer Tips for Consumers

    Adults with hearing loss soon will be able to amble into a big box store or pharmacy -- or just visit a website -- and buy hearing aids without a prescription.

    Over-the-counter hearing aids will be on the market by mid-October, available for purchase ...

    Chicken Cooked in NyQuil? Help Kids Steer Clear of Social Media 'Medicine Challenges'

    Misusing over-the-counter medications can have dangerous consequences, but recent social media trends encouraging this could be downright deadly for gullible teens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

    One concerning trend has been a challenge that encouraged people to cook chicken in NyQu...

    FDA Mulling Over-the-Counter Sale of Contraceptive Pill

    For decades, birth control pills in the United States have only been available with a prescription, but an application filed Monday with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an over-the-counter pill might change all that.

    The lates...

    Need a Pill to Help You Sleep? You're Far From Alone, Survey Finds

    If you struggle to fall asleep at night, you are not alone.

    About 28% of Americans say insomnia is taking a toll on their daily lives, and about 64% say they take sleep aids to help them fall asleep or stay asleep.

    "

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 23, 2022
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  • FDA Warns 12 Companies About Skin Lightening Products

    Twelve companies have been issued warning letters about selling over-the-counter skin lightening products containing hydroquinone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.

    The products are unapproved drugs that are not recognized as safe and effective, according to

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 20, 2022
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  • Weed May Mess With Your Medicines, Causing Harm

    Many people turn to marijuana or cannabidiol to ease their achy joints and help them sleep, but a new study suggests that could wreak havoc with any other medications they're taking.

    Why? Because the body uses the same set of enzymes to process them all, scientists report.

    The chemicals in mari...

    Addictive Opioid Painkillers Might Not Be Needed After Knee Surgery

    Addictive opioid painkillers aren't the only option for patients seeking relief following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction, researchers say.

    As the United States wrestles with skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the findings may come as good news.

    After ACL surgery, Advil and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminop...

    Most Americans Would Skip Opioids After Surgery If They Could: Survey

    More than two-thirds of Americans would be willing to try alternatives to prescription opioids to control pain after surgery, a new survey shows.

    The United States is grappling with an opioid addiction crisis, and it's common for addiction to begin when patients get painkillers after surgery or an injury.

    The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older found that four ou...

    Do Your Kids Really Need Cough & Cold Meds?

    When children have colds, parents may want to hold off on using cough and cold medicines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests.

    Most children get better on their own, and cough or cold medicines won't change the natural course of a cold or make it go away faster.

    Also, some cough and cold medicines can have serious side effects, such as slowed breathing, which can be life-...

    FDA Eases Access to Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

    Affordable over-the-counter hearing aids could soon bring relief to millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, under a landmark proposal announced Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The proposal would create a category of hearing aids that could be sold directly to consumers, without either a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist.

    Until now, folks suffer...

    Low-Dose Aspirin Guards Against Preeclampsia: Task Force

    Pregnant women at risk for a serious high blood pressure disorder called preeclampsia should take low-dose aspirin after their first trimester, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

    The recommendation, announced Sept. 28, updates and is consistent with the task force's 2014 sta...

    Could Cheaper, Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally Be Here?

    Until now, folks suffering from hearing loss typically have had to fork out thousands of dollars for a device that could be adjusted only by a professional audiologist.

    No wonder that only one-quarter of the nearly 29 million U.S. adults who could benefit from a hearing aid have actually tried one, according to the U.S.

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 9, 2021
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  • CBD Products Gain Following Among Fibromyalgia Patients

    Could the answer to easing the tough-to-treat chronic pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia be found in edibles and other products containing CBD?

    A new study from Michigan Medicine examined whether people using potentially addictive painkillers like opioids could get relief by replacing those narcotics with over-the-counter cannabidiol (CBD) treatments.

    There's recent research "suggesti...

    Too Many Older Americans Are Taking Daily Aspirin

    Many older adults are still taking a daily baby aspirin to ward off first-time heart problems -- despite guidelines that now discourage it, a new study finds.

    Researchers found that one-half to 62% of U.S. adults aged 70 and up were using low-dose aspirin to cut their risk of heart disease or stroke. And aspirin use was common even among those with no history of cardiovascular disease -- ...

    Low- or High-Dose, Aspirin Brings Similar Protection Against Heart Disease: Study

    When it comes to taking a daily aspirin to cut heart patients' risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study finds dosing doesn't matter.

    Researchers looked at more than 15,000 heart disease patients at 40 health centers across the United States who took either 81 milligrams (mg) or 325 mg of daily aspirin for a median of 26.2 months.

    Though there were no significant differences betw...

    Reviews Find No Evidence Weight-Loss Supplements Work

    You're getting no real benefit from taking weight-loss supplements like garcinia cambogia, green tea extract, glucomannan, conjugated linoleic acid or chitosan, two new reviews show.

    Most of the clinical trials studied didn't show these supplements producing any weight loss among users, the researchers said. In the rare cases where people did lose weight, they didn't drop enough pounds to...

    Are You Taking a Med That's Raising Your Blood Pressure?

    Nearly one in five Americans with high blood pressure use medications that can cause blood pressure to spike, a preliminary study shows.

    The researchers said the findings are concerning, given how many people have difficulty controlling their high blood pressure.

    "A large number of Americans are not meeting their blood pressure goals," said lead researcher Dr. John Vitarello, an int...

    1 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'

    One-third of neighborhoods in the 30 largest U.S. cities are "pharmacy deserts," and this is much more common in Black and Hispanic communities, a new study finds.

    What's a 'pharmacy desert'? In general, in a neighborhood where most residents have cars, the study labeled it a pharmacy desert if the average distance to the nearest pharmacy was 1 mile or more. That distance was reduced to ...

    Could High-Dose Fish Oil Raise Odds for A-Fib in Heart Patients?

    Many people take fish oil to protect their heart, but a new study suggests that prescription versions may raise the risk of a common heart rhythm disorder.

    At issue are prescription-strength omega-3 fatty acids, which are naturally found in fish oil. The medications are often prescribed to people with very high triglycerides, a type of blood fat linked to increased risk of heart attack an...

    FDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  Decongestant

    Makers of inhalers that contain the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine should make design changes to prevent misuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

    Propylhexedrine is a nasal decongestant in over-the-counter inhalers, and right now is "only marketed under the brand name Benzedrex," the FDA said. The agency said that propylhexedrine is effective and safe when used for short pe...

    Spring Cleaning Can Sweep Away Allergens From Your Home

    If seasonal allergies get you down, try tackling them with a good spring cleaning.

    This can not only ease some of those spring symptoms, but also get rid of allergens you've been living with for a while, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

    "If you aren't someone who regularly undertakes spring cleaning, consider tackling it this year," said D...

    Spring Allergies Are Near, Here's What Works to Fight Them

    For millions of Americans, sneezing, coughing, runny noses, itchy eyes and congestion are sure signs that spring is on the way.

    The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has advice for coping with these classic hay fever symptoms. It recently published a guideline for health care providers caring for patients with these dreaded seasonal allergies.

    "The guideline...

    Stuck at Home, Suffering With COVID? Experts Offer Guidance on Care

    Most folks infected with COVID-19 will only have mild or moderate illness -- but that means they'll still be stuck at home and feeling really lousy.

    What's the best way to cope?

    In many ways, you want to behave as you would if you were suffering from a cold or the flu, said infectious disease expert Dr. Aaron Glatt.

    "The general good advice we give to people is eat well, make ...

    FDA OKs First Over-the-Counter Home Test for COVID-19

    The first non-prescription COVID-19 test that enables people to collect samples and get results at home has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    "This is a great step forward," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. "If people could know their status on any given day, they could chang...

    Common Heartburn Meds Tied to Higher Diabetes Risk

    Often-used drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) ease heartburn symptoms, but a new study suggests they might also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Chinese researchers drew on information from studies of more than 200,000 U.S. health care professionals and found that regular use of PPIs (such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix) was associated with a 24% hi...

    Common Meds Tied to Faster Mental Decline in Seniors

    A group of widely used medications might speed up older adults' mental decline -- especially if they are at increased risk of dementia, a new study hints.

    The medications in question are called anticholinergics, and they are used to treat a diverse range of conditions -- from allergies, motion sickness and overactive bladder to high blood pressure, depression and Parkinson's disease.<...

    Bee Healthy: Honey May Beat Cold Meds Against Cough

    There may be no cure for the common cold, but a spoonful of honey might make it less miserable, a new research review concludes.

    Parents have long used honey to soothe kids' sore throats and cough -- probably because their parents did. But the review of 14 clinical trials finds some science to back it up.

    Overall, adults and kids given honey had less-severe, less-frequent co...

    Heart Patients Need to Be Wary of Coronavirus

    People with high blood pressure and heart disease may be vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, heart experts say.

    Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

    Based on current knowledge, seniors "with coronary heart disease or high blood pressure may be more susceptible to the coronavirus and more likely to devel...

    Prescription-Strength Steroid Creams Sold Over-the-Counter Can Be Dangerous

    Rubbing cream into your skin to calm an itchy rash may seem harmless, but not all topical anti-itch formulas are created equal.

    "People don't understand the potential dangers of prescription-strength steroid creams," said Dr. Lawrence Green, clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

    Hydrocortisone -- a topical steroid often used to...

    Two More Heartburn Meds Recalled Due to Possible Carcinogen

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is adding to a list of recalled lots of popular heartburn medications -- including generic forms of Zantac -- because the pills might contain small amounts of a suspected carcinogen.

    The substance, called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), is an environmental contaminant that can be found in water and foods and has been classified as a "probable human...

    Popular Heartburn Drugs May Up Odds of Stomach Bug

    If you're one of the millions who rely on medications known as proton pump inhibitors for relief from heartburn, you may be at higher risk of illness from a stomach bug, new research suggests.

    Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) include medications such as Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix and Prilosec.

    The study from France found that people who took these acid-relieving medications we...

    Acetaminophen in Pregnancy Might Raise Children's Odds of ADHD, Autism

    Two-thirds of American women take acetaminophen for the aches and pains of pregnancy, but the medication might not be as benign as thought.

    New research shows that women who took acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, at the end of their pregnancies were much more likely to have child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism.

    After testing blood from t...

    Antibiotics Not Recommended for Most Toothaches, New Guideline Says

    Antibiotics aren't necessary for most toothaches, a new American Dental Association (ADA) guideline says.

    It's common for doctors and dentists to prescribe antibiotics to ease toothache symptoms and prevent a more serious condition.

    But a review that led to the new guideline concluded that antibiotics are not the best option for adults with a toothache. Instead, they should ...