Health Highlights: Sept. 26, 2015

Health Highlights: Sept. 26, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Approves New Diabetes Treatment

A new diabetes treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

Sold under the brand name Tresiba, the drug is a long-acting insulin product, the agency said in a news release. It is injected once daily and helps control blood sugar levels in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The FDA also approved a related treatment, Ryzodeg, which combines Tresiba and another insulin. Both treatments are made by Novo Nordisk, based in Plainsboro, N.J.

In 2013, the FDA rejected the company’s request for approval of Tresiba because of concerns over heart safety, the Wall Street Journal reported. At the time, the agency requested a trial looking at any possible heart risks in people using Treisba. Last March, the company resubmitted its application for Tresiba after an interim analysis of that trial, the newspaper reported.

The FDA said in its news release Friday that Tresiba’s overall efficacy and safety were evaluated in numerous trials involving more than 3,700 patients with type 1 and type diabetes. The results showed that blood-sugar reduction was comparable to other long-acting insulin products, the agency added.

“Long-acting insulins play an essential role in the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes and in patients with type 2 diabetes with advanced disease,” Dr. Jean-Marc Guettier, director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the news release. “The FDA remains committed to support the development of innovative therapies for the treatment of diabetes.”

Tresiba and Ryzodeg should not be used by diabetes patients who have high levels of ketones in their blood, and some common effects include episodes of low blood sugar, allergic reactions, rashes, itching, swelling and weight gain, the agency noted.


Dalai Lama Cancels U.S. Visit Due to Health Reasons

The Dalai Lama has canceled next month’s planned visit to the United States due to health reasons, the University of Colorado said Friday.

On Thursday, the Dalai Lama visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for a medical evaluation, the Associated Press reported.

Doctors advised the Dalai Lama to “take complete rest,” according to the Office of Tibet in Washington, D.C.

He will return to India next week but offered to reschedule his visit to the U.S., according to the university, the AP reported.


Labels on Yohimbe Products Inaccurate: Study

Label information on most yohimbe herbal supplement products is inaccurate, a new study finds.

The products are marketed for weight loss and as treatments for conditions such as depression, erectile dysfunction, and low libido in women. They are widely available in the United States but banned in Canada, Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands, The New York Times reported.

The active ingredient in the products is yohimbine, which is derived from the bark of the African yohimbe tree.

Researchers analyzed 49 brands of yohimbe supplements and found that only 11 listed the quantity of yohimbine they actually contained. In other brands, the actual amounts ranged from 23 percent to 147 percent of what was on the label, The Times reported.

The study in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis also found that only two provided accurate information about both the quantity of yohimbine and side effects, while nine provided no details about side effects.


Fed Chief Yellen Checked by Medical Staff After Faltering During Speech

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was checked by medical staff after she gave a speech Thursday at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

A Fed statement said Yellen “felt dehydrated at the end of a long speech under bright lights” and “as a precaution, she was seen by EMT staff on-site at UMASS-Amherst,” the Associated Press reported.

The statement said Yellen, 69, “felt fine afterward and has continued with her schedule Thursday evening.”

Toward the end of her 23-page speech, Yellen paused and appeared to lose her place in the text. She then resumed speaking and was later helped from the stage, the AP reported.


FDA Panel Reviews Essure Birth Control Implant

Concerns about the birth control implant Essure were reviewed Thursday by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel of medical experts.

Problems experienced by women using the implant include bleeding, allergic reactions, chronic pain and headaches. At Thursday’s meeting, the panel re-examined the safety and effectiveness of the device, the Associated Press reported.

Essure consists of two metallic coils that are inserted into the fallopian tubes, where they prompt the growth of scar tissue that blocks sperm. It is marketed as the only permanent form of birth control that does not require surgery.

The implant has been available in the United States for 13 years, but since 2013 the FDA has received a large number of complaints about the device, the AP reported.

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