According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, "intravitreal use of the corticosteroid triamcinolone may slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but adverse effects including cataract formation and glaucoma may prevent use of this treatment merely to reduce progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy." Two years after treating a "total of 840 eyes from 693 participants with diabetic macular edema" who were randomized "to receive laser therapy (n = 330), 1 mg of triamcinolone acetonide (n = 256), or 4 mg of triamcinolone acetonide (n = 254)," researchers found that "the cumulative probability of progression of retinopathy was 31% in the laser group, 29% in the 1-mg group, and 21% in the 4-mg group."
Birth control pills may treat menstruation-related disorders, reduce risk of some cancers.
A new Practice Bulletin issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and appearing in the J. Obstetrics & Gynecology reported that hormonal contraceptives, along with preventing pregnancy may "treat menstruation-related disorders, such as severe menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. In addition, "combined contraceptives containing both estrogen and progesterone reduce the risk of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancer." Further "potential benefits include prevention of menstrual migraines, treatment of pelvic pain caused by endometriosis and treatment of bleeding because of uterine fibroids.
Extended-release niacin may improve HDL quality in patients with diabetes.
A study published in the journal Circulation, "treatment with extended-release niacin" may improve the "endothelial protective effects" of "HDL cholesterol in individuals with diabetes." In a study population of "10 healthy subjects" and "33 individuals with diabetes and low HDL-cholesterol levels," researchers "randomized the diabetic patients to extended-release niacin (1,500 mg/day) or placebo for three months." The investigators found that "treatment with niacin increased HDL-cholesterol levels, but more important, also improved the endothelial protective effects compared with the HDL from healthy subjects."
Cardiac glycosides said to show promise in fighting colon cancer.
A research study published in the Journal of Natural Products reported that a family of naturally derived heart drugs called cardiac glycosides shows promise in fighting colon cancer. According to the researchers, they found that five cardiac glycosides "tested on laboratory cultures of human colon cancer cells...proved effective, to varying degrees, at killing the cancer cells."
New study seen as having "potentially significant implications" for Merck cholesterol drugs.
A report from the American Heart Association meeting minutes state that , "researchers are expected to present a study with potentially significant implications for multibillion-dollar cholesterol medications" -- Merck's Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe). Drug industry "analysts are paying rapt attention to the report because two previous studies reduced sales of the drugs after indicating that they may not work any better than cholesterol drugs known as statins that are widely available as inexpensive generics." The "analysts are waiting to see whether the new study reinforces the earlier findings or, perhaps, makes matters even worse for Merck."