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Don't give kids homeopathic teething tablets, FDA warns parents

Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week warned parents against using homeopathic teething tablets and gels as regulators investigate reports of infants and children suffering seizures and other health issues after taking the natural remedies.

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The FDA zeroed in on tablets and gels distributed by CVS Pharmacy and Hyland's Homeopathy in a warning released Friday, although regulators noted that other retailers might sell the products or similar ones in stores nationwide and online.

The tablets and gels are unnecessary to get children through teething, Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release.

"We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives," she said.

Regulators warned parents to be particularly careful if children suffer from seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating or agitation, all signs of belladonna toxicity, after taking the teething remedies.

The warning comes six years after the FDA warned parents against using Hyland's Teething Tablets. Regulators said a laboratory analysis found that the tablets used an inconsistent amount of belladonna, a substance that can be toxic in large doses.

Belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is not uncommon in homeopathic remedies and is used by Hyland's to combat redness, inflammation and general discomfort.

In a statement, Hyland's described the FDA warning as a "surprise" and said the company is "confident that Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets remain safe."

The company is cooperating with the FDA investigation, although it said it had yet to learn of any of the data supporting the FDA's warning.

The company's teething tablets are sold over the counter and are tested for excessive belladonna content and contaminants, Hyland's said.

"A 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product," the company said in a statement.

"Additionally, the body clears belladonna alkaloids from any single dose in a matter of hours," making it unlikely that the substance would build in a person's system, the company said.

The company also worried about "rumors" that cause "fear and worry" about belladonna.

"This new FDA statement increases the confusion," the company said. "The safety and effectiveness of Hyland's natural homeopathic medicines is our top priority. That's why we work with regulators to ensure that our products meet the highest standards."

However, the FDA said the tablets and gels have not been evaluated or approved for either safety or efficacy by the government agency. Regulators said they were unaware "of any proven health benefit of the products."

The FDA is investigating the issue. Among other steps, regulators are testing product samples to determine whether there are unsafe levels of belladonna or other substances.

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Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 1:20 PM

Feds Say 1,500 Immigrant Children Missing, They’re Not Responsible

The federal government has admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of almost 1,500 immigrant children in its custody, according to news reports.

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The Office of Refugee Resettlement took in some 40,000 immigrant children in 2017 and when the agency reached out to check on more than 7,000 of them between October and December of 2017, 1,475 were unaccounted for at the end of the year, CNN reported.

The news came as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, threatening to separate more children from their families if the families are caught entering the United States illegally, in a new policy move.

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said the children of illegal immigrants are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours after they are taken into custody, and DHHS officials then find sponsored homes for them, USA Today reported.

Nielsen said separations like this happen in the U.S. every day.

Top DHHS official Steven Wagner testified before a Congressional subcommittee last month during a hearing on the Office of Refugee Resettlement that the ORR was “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” and that 28 more had run away, CNN reported.

“I understand that it has been HHS’ long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for the children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said. 

>> Related: Woman arrested for stealing a salad now facing deportation

Wagner also said DHHS is “taking a fresh look at that question,” according to CNN, but he also said ORR would need a lot more money if the office is expected to be legally responsible for unaccompanied immigrant children.

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Dog abandoned with ‘free,’ ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

A dog abandoned in a park in Ohio had the words ‘free’ and ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker. The Ross County Humane Society now has the dog and is putting her up for adoption.
Pixabay
A dog abandoned in a park in Ohio had the words ‘free’ and ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker. The Ross County Humane Society now has the dog and is putting her up for adoption.(Pixabay)

A young dog found abandoned in a park in Ross County, Ohio, had the words “free” and “good home only” written on it in permanent marker, according to a post on social media.

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“I usually try to contain myself with my work life and what I see every single day, but this just tops it off!” Brittany May with the Ross County Humane Society said in a post on Facebook.

Whoever did this has “reached a whole new level of LOW,” May wrote.

“How are you going to dump your dog, and write FREE all over it in permanent marker! I just don’t get it!” she said

The good news is the five to six month-old female, Labrador-mix, named Marvella by the agency, will soon have a new home, May told WSYX-TV. The dog is now up for adoption.

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Former President George H.W. Bush back in the hospital in Maine with low blood pressure

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 2:28 PM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush is back in the hospital, according to a family spokesman.

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Bush was taken to Southern Maine Health Care Sunday “after experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue,” his spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter.

The former president is described as “awake and alert” and will probably remain hospitalized for a few days for observation, McGrath said.


Bush was most recently hospitalized in Houston on April 22, one day after the funeral and burial of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

During that hospital stay, he was diagnosed with an infection that had spread to his blood, doctors said at the time, but he recovered and eventually went home.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush remains hospitalized; doctors 'very pleased' with progress, spokesman says

At the time he said he was looking forward to visiting the family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush was out and about Saturday, marking the Memorial Day holiday, joining a group of veterans at American Legion Post 159 for a pancake breakfast in Kennebunkport.

“Delighted to join the veterans, including my dear friend Gen. Brent Scowcroft,” Bush tweeted.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States

Scowcroft was National Security Adviser during the presidencies of both Bush and Gerald Ford.

“This weekend we remember, and thank, all who have given their lives for our great country,” he said Saturday.

George Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around. 

He was the youngest naval aviator when he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943, spurred by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery.

>> Related: PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

He had six children with Barbara Bush, and in 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to secure the presidency since 1837.

Former United States President George H. W. Bush prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Younger white and Hispanic women more likely to get lung cancer than men, study finds

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:55 AM

Younger white and Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer now than theri male counterparts, a new study finds.
Pixabay
Younger white and Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer now than theri male counterparts, a new study finds.(Pixabay)

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, with an estimated 154,050 deaths projected for 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unfortunately, some groups are more likely to be diagnosed than others.

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Researchers from the NCH and American Cancer Society recently conducted a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, to find out. 

For the assessment, they examined lung cancer data of adults aged 30 to 54 from 1995 to 2014. They gathered information on sex, race or ethnic group, age, year of diagnosis and year of birth.

While previous research revealed men were more likely to be diagnosed, the new data suggests otherwise.

>> Related: High-risk smokers aren’t getting tested for lung cancer, study suggests

Overall, men were still more likely than women to have lung cancer when all races and ages were combined, but researchers noticed new patterns after closely assessing the different age and race groups.

Younger white and Hispanic women born since 1965 are now more likely to have lung cancer than white and Hispanic men, the researchers found. 

For example, incidence rates for white women surpassed white men in nearly every age group examined. Rates of lung cancer among white women aged 40 to 44 went from 12 percent lower than men during the 1995-1999 period to 17 percent higher during the 2010-2014 period.

>> Related: Immune therapy plus chemo doubles lung cancer survival, study says

For black and Asian groups, the women rates inched closer to those of the men but did not exceed them.

In a statement, researchers said they were surprised by the results. While they are still exploring why the switch has occurred, they noted smoking patterns did not explain the change. 

“While prevalence of smoking among men and women has converged over the past several decades, smoking prevalence among women has still generally not exceeded that of men,” lead author Ahmedin Jemal said. “We do not believe sex differences in smoking behavior explain our finding of a gender crossover.”

>> Related: This new cancer 'vaccine' completely wipes out tumors in mice — and human trials are on the way

On the other hand, they do believe women more than men may be more susceptible to the health hazards of cigarette smoking. They explained that women may also be more likely to get lung cancer even after they quit smoking, but more research needs to be done. 

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