Health Buzz: Antibiotic Warning and Other Health News

Sex and seniors, new findings about prostate cancer treatment, and a $25 million lawsuit.

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FDA Calls for Black Box Warning on Cipro, Other Antibiotics

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday ordered the manufacturers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to add a "black box" warning to the labeling of those drugs because of an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture when taking the medications. This risk—tied to Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR, Factive, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, and Floxin—is higher in people older than 60, in those currently taking corticosteroids, and in those who've received kidney, heart, and lung transplants. The new warning applies to pills, tablets, capsules, and injections but not to eye and ear drops. The FDA's decision is based on a new analysis of available research, as well as post-marketing adverse event reports.

Earlier this year, U.S. News reported that antibiotics may not be best for treating sinusitis or fluid in the ears. And U.S. News's Avery Comarow explained last year that more medicine isn't better medicine.

Seniors Say They’re Satisfied With Their Sex Lives

Seniors are having sex more often than they did in the past, reports a Swedish study that appears in the British Medical Journal online. Study participants—especially women—say that compared with the previous generation of seniors, they're more satisfied with sex. They say they experience less sexual dysfunction and feel more positive about their sexual experiences. Researchers reviewed surveys on sexual behaviors and attitudes completed by more than 1,500 healthy 70-year-olds, both married and unmarried, during a 30-year period.

Last year, Deborah Kotz listed medications that can dampen seniors sex lives.

Can Some Prostate Cancer Patients Skip Hormone Therapy?

Older men with localized prostate cancer may do well to avoid hormone therapy, especially if they're suffering from other chronic diseases such as osteoporosis or heart disease, Adam Voiland reports. New research, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that older men who receive what doctors call primary androgen deprivation therapy—a treatment that typically involves either surgical removal of the testicles or medical treatment to quench the body's ability to produce testosterone—survive no longer than men who forgo that side-effect-laden treatment.

Voiland has written multiple articles on prostate cancer, including proton beam therapy, robotic prostatectomy, how to prevent prostate cancer, how to weigh treatment options, and 11 things to know about prostate cancer.

Family of Woman Who Died in Waiting Room to Sue for $25 Million

The family of a woman who died on the floor of a Brooklyn, N.Y., hospital emergency room while waiting for treatment has filed notice of their intent to sue the facility for $25 million, the Associated Press reports. The family is also calling for criminal charges to be filed. Esmin Green collapsed face-down June 19 in Kings County Hospital and was ignored by multiple workers for more than an hour. Six hospital employees were fired over the incident. The cause of Green's death is being investigated.

U.S. News's Avery Comarow regularly reports on hospital quality issues in his On Quality blog.

—January W. Payne