US drug overdose deaths rose 7% in 2017 and doubled over a decade, CDC reports

More than 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017, up nearly 7% from 2016, according to preliminary data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2017 preliminary death count for all 50 states and the District of Columbia represents a twofold increase over a decade, the CDC says. The authors of the report say the 2017 numbers may be an underestimate because states’ investigations into some overdose deaths may not be complete. Opioids, which include prescription painkillers along with heroin and other illegal synthetic opioid drugs, contributed 49,068…

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FDA warns of pet owners using animals to get opioids

The US Food and Drug Administration has raised alarm about one way people might access opioids to misuse and abuse: their pets. As America’s opioid epidemic rages, some pet owners could be stealing pain medications intended for their furry friends, according to a statement from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. “We recognize that opioids and other pain medications have a legitimate and important role in treating pain in animals — just as they do for people,” Gottlieb said in Wednesday’s statement. “But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these…

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FDA approves generic version of EpiPen

Watch Video The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced the approval of the first generic version of EpiPen. The auto-injector pen delivers the drug epinephrine to patients experiencing a severe allergic reaction that, if untreated, could develop into the life-threatening condition anaphylaxis. The medication is delivered into a muscle as a single dose, like a shot, through an injector pen with a spring. Allergies from food, bug bites, medications and latex can cause life-threatening reactions. The newly approved generic is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals and offers an alternative for patients…

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A rare disease stole her vision. Thanks to technology, she can see again

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana girl has a new outlook on life thanks to some groundbreaking technology. Twelve-year-old Kaylee Marks went blind over the past two years. A rare disease took her vision away, but technology is giving it back, according to WXIN. “Kaylee and I were at the Kentucky horse park Breyerfest, and I was pointing out some huge horses. I got the response of ‘uh huh’ from a girl who since the moment she’s been born loves horses,” Kaylee’s mom Brenda said. That’s the day two years ago when…

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A contact lens was embedded in woman’s eyelid for 28 years

Calling all contact lens users: Do not panic. Imagine going to the eye doctor because your upper eyelid is swollen and painful. The doctor tells you it’s a cyst and operates. Inside the blister, the surgeon finds a contact lens: a rigid gas-permeable one. But you haven’t worn that type of contact in 28 years! That’s what happened to a 42-year-old British woman, according to a report recently published in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Starting as a pea-sized lump just below her left eyebrow, the cyst grew over a…

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Report: Unsafe levels of weed killer chemical found in cereal, oat products

Watch Video Some types of oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars contain higher levels of a chemical found in the weed killer Roundup than what the Environmental Working Group considers safe, according to a report released Wednesday by the advocacy group. Almost three-quarters of food samples tested showed higher glyphosate levels than what the group’s scientists believe to be “protective of children’s health,” the report indicates. Last week, a jury at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco awarded $289 million in damages to a groundskeeper whose attorney…

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CDC monitoring measles outbreak in 21 states

ATLANTA — Health officials across the country are monitoring the spread of measles across 21 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to CDC, there have already been 107 cases reported this year. The majority of those cases were in people who were not vaccinated. Measles is an airborne virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms typically show up 10-14 days after exposure. Credit: CDC This year is on track to become one of the worst years for measles in the last decade. In 2014, the United…

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FDA recalls thyroid medications made in China

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a voluntary recall for two thyroid medications made by a Chinese manufacturer because of potential problems with an ingredient. In the Aug. 9 statement, the FDA said Levothyroxine and Liothyronine 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg, and 120 mg thyroid tablets are being recalled as a precaution. The FDA said the recalled medications were “manufactured using active pharmaceutical ingredients that were sourced prior to the FDA’s import alert.” “Because these products may be used in the treatment of serious medical conditions, patients taking…

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Historic face transplant gives suicide survivor a ‘second chance’

Watch Video As Katie Stubblefield brushed her fingers across her face, she could feel the wound. Her vision is greatly impaired due to her injury, but touching her face allowed her to feel what her doctors were working around the clock to treat. She could feel where her face was swollen. She could feel the portions that were missing. That was before Katie, at 21, became the youngest person in the United States to receive a face transplant. The transplant, performed last year, aims to restore Katie’s face structure and…

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