Thursday, February 22, 2018

Watch for Clarithromycin if you have heart disease

The FDA said it does not know how clarithromycin might cause heart problems or death, but it’s been warning about the problem since 2005. But a review of data 10 years later shows heart patients still have a higher risk of dying if they took the antibiotic for two weeks.

The FDA is advising caution before prescribing the antibiotic clarithromycin (Biaxin) to patients with heart disease because of a potential increased risk of heart problems or death that can occur years later,” the FDA said in a statement.

 Healthcare professionals should be aware of these significant risks and weigh the benefits and risks of clarithromycin before prescribing it to any patient, particularly in patients with heart disease and even for short periods, and consider using other available antibiotics,” it added. Advise patients with heart disease of the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular problems, regardless of the medical condition for which you are treating them with clarithromycin.

Clarithromycin can be prescribed to treat infections of the skin, ears, sinuses and lungs. It’s also favored for treating Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection, a type of lung infection that often affects people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Therapy successfully reverses Alzheimer's in mice

Brain plaques believed to contribute to Alzheimer's disease melt away in mice when robbed of a key enzyme, researchers report.
And the rodents' intellectual function actually improved as their amyloid plaques dissolved from lack of beta-secretase (BACE1), an enzyme critical in the formation of the plaques, said senior researcher Riqiang Yan. He is vice chair of neuroscience with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.
The investigators had expected that blocking BACE1 would slow or halt the formation of amyloid plaques, but were surprised to find that it also caused existing plaques to fade away, Yan said.
"When we looked at the mice later -- at six months old and 10 months old -- all those pre-existing plaques were gone," Yan said. "Sequential deletion of beta-secretase actually can reverse existing plaques."
These results are good news for companies developing BACE1-inhibitor drugs as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease, Yan said. He noted that five such drugs are being tested in clinical trials.