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By Diana K. Sugg and Diana K. Sugg,SUN STAFF | August 19, 1998
New heart studies published yesterday are confounding the long-held expectations of many physicians.In the first study of its kind, hormone replacement therapy -- widely expected to protect against heart disease -- did not show any cardiovascular benefit over four years.In two other studies, including one from the University of Maryland Medical Center, an old class of heart drugs -- beta blockers, which physicians have been reluctant to prescribe to the sick and elderly -- proved it could save these patients' lives.
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By Joe and Teresa Graedon | November 16, 2009
Question: : I've been using a Grecian Formula for my graying hair for years. It has lead acetate in it. I checked the Food and Drug Administration Web site. They say they tested it and approved it. The lead has me a bit concerned. Any thoughts? Answer: : The FDA does no testing of its own but did approve lead acetate as a "progressive" hair dye. That means it gradually darkens hair with repeated use. The FDA concluded in 2002 that according to safety tests it received, "No significant increase in blood levels of lead was seen in the trial subjects and the lead was not shown to be absorbed into the body through such use."
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NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN and DENNIS O'BRIEN,SUN REPORTER | July 11, 2006
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine say they have solved a mystery that has intrigued cardiologists for years: why one of the most commonly prescribed heart medications doesn't always work. The effectiveness of beta blockers - a class of drugs given to many of the estimated 5 million patients with chronic heart failure - depends on the genetic makeup of receptors in the heart, said Dr. Stephen B. Liggett, head of the school's cardiopulmonary genomics program and lead author of the beta blockers study.
NEWS
By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON | October 13, 2008
I'm not a pill taker, but my doctors insist I get my blood pressure down to 120/80. I started on beta blockers (first propranolol, then atenolol and now metoprolol). They make my joints ache, and I feel tired, depressed and disappointed. Diovan makes me weak and dizzy. My hair is falling out, my cholesterol is going up and my breathing is bad. I used to feel great. I stayed active by walking and golfing. Now I can barely drag myself out of a chair. Are there any better medications or natural remedies I could ask my doctor about?
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,Sun reporter | April 21, 2008
A genetic variation common in African-Americans naturally protects heart failure patients as effectively as popular heart medications, researchers reported today. Scientists at the University of Maryland and other institutions tracked more than 300 heart failure patients for up to eight years and found that variations of a particular gene extended the lives of many of them for several years - just as if they were on beta blockers. Researchers found the variation in 40 percent of blacks but only 2 percent of Caucasians.
FEATURES
By Dr. Gabe Mirkin and Dr. Gabe Mirkin,Contributing Writer | November 24, 1992
Untreated high blood pressure can cause stroke, heart attack and kidney damage. But many of the drugs commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure can cause impotence, elevate blood cholesterol levels and make you tire more quickly when you exercise.The treatment for high blood pressure is to reach and maintain a proper body weight, stick to a low-fat diet and avoid stimulants such as caffeine. If these measures don't work, your doctor will probably prescribe medication.Some of these drugs -- such as beta blockers, diuretics and the calcium channel blockers, nifidipine -- tire a person during exercise.
FEATURES
By DR. SIMEON MARGOLIS and DR. SIMEON MARGOLIS,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 10, 1995
My doctor has been treating my high blood pressure with a calcium channel blocker drug for a number of years. I am concerned by newspaper articles that described an increase in heart attacks in people taking this kind of drug. Do you think I should stop taking this drug?You should not stop taking the medication, but should speak to your doctor about your worries.The controversy about calcium channel blocker drugs began earlier this year with a talk at a medical meeting that was followed by publication of the data used to reach the conclusions made in the talk.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor | July 25, 1991
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University and the Shriners Hospital in Portland, Ore., have identified the gene responsible for Marfan syndrome, a discovery that has spawned a test capable of diagnosing the disorder before deadly symptoms appear.A cure might still be many years off, but the discovery could save lives, since it offers patients the chance of diagnosis early in life and treatment -- such as drugs or surgery -- to prevent or delay fatal complications.Within a year, scientists predict, a prospective parent whose family has been plagued by Marfan will be able to get a prenatal diagnosis.
FEATURES
By Dr. Gabe Mirkin and Dr. Gabe Mirkin,United Feature Syndicate | November 26, 1991
Untreated high blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause strokes, heart attacks and kidney damage. But many of the drugs commonly used to treat it can make you feel tired during exercise. Some can even cause impotence and elevated blood cholesterol. It's best to know what the drug you're taking can do to your body.Treatment for high blood pressure is to lose weight. If overweight, follow a low-fat diet and avoid stimulants such as coffee. If these measures don't reduce your blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe an anti-hypertension medication -- such as a beta blocker, diuretic or a calcium channel blocker.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 8, 1993
ATLANTA -- Two drugs commonly used to treat heart attacks show little or no benefit in preventing death, and a third shows only a small benefit, according to the largest study of heart attack patients ever conducted.Leading experts had predicted that the study, presented at a scientific meeting in Atlanta yesterday, would confirm the benefits of all three drugs. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States and many other countries.The three drugs were magnesium; nitrates like nitroglycerin; and captopril, a member of the class of drugs known as converting-enzyme inhibitors.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,Sun Reporter | June 26, 2008
A popular blood-pressure medication has shown promise as a therapy for Marfan syndrome, slowing and, in some cases, stopping the enlargement of a major blood vessel that can lead to fatal ruptures, Johns Hopkins researchers reported today. Although they cautioned that their study was small and the results preliminary, the scientists at Hopkins' School of Medicine say the drug could reduce the need for the open-heart operations that many patients need to stay alive. "The results are telling me that there is the potential to prevent aortic disease for a lifetime," said Dr. Harry Dietz, the Hopkins geneticist and cardiologist who led the study appearing in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,Sun reporter | April 21, 2008
A genetic variation common in African-Americans naturally protects heart failure patients as effectively as popular heart medications, researchers reported today. Scientists at the University of Maryland and other institutions tracked more than 300 heart failure patients for up to eight years and found that variations of a particular gene extended the lives of many of them for several years - just as if they were on beta blockers. Researchers found the variation in 40 percent of blacks but only 2 percent of Caucasians.
NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN and DENNIS O'BRIEN,SUN REPORTER | July 11, 2006
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine say they have solved a mystery that has intrigued cardiologists for years: why one of the most commonly prescribed heart medications doesn't always work. The effectiveness of beta blockers - a class of drugs given to many of the estimated 5 million patients with chronic heart failure - depends on the genetic makeup of receptors in the heart, said Dr. Stephen B. Liggett, head of the school's cardiopulmonary genomics program and lead author of the beta blockers study.
NEWS
By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon and Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate | June 26, 2005
I've read about a pill to combat "stage fright" symptoms in public speaking or similar situations. It is called "propol-something" and is taken before the event. Do you know what it is and if it works? You are probably referring to a medication called propranolol (Inderal). This beta blocker is prescribed for problems from high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms to angina and migraine prevention. Propranolol and other beta blockers are used clandestinely by many musicians to control stage fright, but the Food and Drug Administration has never approved these drugs for this purpose.
NEWS
By Thomas M. Maugh and Thomas M. Maugh,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 19, 2004
Heart disease is the bane of diabetics. Fully 80 percent of diabetics die of cardiovascular disease, and efforts to lower the risk by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and eliminating other risk factors have had minimal success. About 7 percent of diabetics are able to bring cardiac risk factors to desired levels. One big problem is that drugs that lower blood pressure can be counterproductive, exacerbating diabetes as they reduce hypertension. The key class of drugs known as beta blockers, for example, has repeatedly been demonstrated to be more effective at lowering blood pressure in diabetics than in those without the disease.
NEWS
By Jane E. Allen and By Jane E. Allen,Special to the Sun | August 4, 2002
A class of highly effective heart drugs called beta-blockers have developed a reputation for causing depression, impotence and fatigue. But a new study has found that the drugs' reputed side effects have been overblown. The study of 15 trials involving 35,000 patients was conducted by researchers trying to understand why so many physicians are reluctant to prescribe beta-blockers, even though they lower blood pressure, improve heart function and survival in patients with heart failure, and reduce deaths after heart attacks by 20 percent.
NEWS
By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON | October 13, 2008
I'm not a pill taker, but my doctors insist I get my blood pressure down to 120/80. I started on beta blockers (first propranolol, then atenolol and now metoprolol). They make my joints ache, and I feel tired, depressed and disappointed. Diovan makes me weak and dizzy. My hair is falling out, my cholesterol is going up and my breathing is bad. I used to feel great. I stayed active by walking and golfing. Now I can barely drag myself out of a chair. Are there any better medications or natural remedies I could ask my doctor about?
FEATURES
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,Sun Reporter | June 26, 2008
A popular blood-pressure medication has shown promise as a therapy for Marfan syndrome, slowing and, in some cases, stopping the enlargement of a major blood vessel that can lead to fatal ruptures, Johns Hopkins researchers reported today. Although they cautioned that their study was small and the results preliminary, the scientists at Hopkins' School of Medicine say the drug could reduce the need for the open-heart operations that many patients need to stay alive. "The results are telling me that there is the potential to prevent aortic disease for a lifetime," said Dr. Harry Dietz, the Hopkins geneticist and cardiologist who led the study appearing in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
NEWS
By King Features Syndicate | June 18, 2000
Q. I am a 43-year-old man being treated to prevent glaucoma. My father and grandfather both had it, and my eye pressure is increased. I stopped responding to Betagan and am now on Timoptic-XE. Do these drugs affect the heart? It is harder to hit my target heart rate when exercising, and I also tire more easily since I've been on the drops. A. Betagan and Timoptic are both beta blockers. These eye drops lower the pressure within your eye, but they can be absorbed into the body and also lower blood pressure and heart rate.
NEWS
By Diana K. Sugg and Diana K. Sugg,SUN STAFF | November 11, 1998
A drug that doctors feared would hurt heart-failure patients has turned out to be the very medicine that might save their lives.In preliminary results reported yesterday at the American Heart Association meeting, researchers from the University of zTC Maryland Medical Center found that adding an old drug -- the beta-blocker metoprolol -- to the treatment of heart-failure patients increased survival by about 35 percent.The evidence was so strong that physicians overseeing the international study of nearly 4,000 patients had to stop it almost three years early.
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