Health Buzz: FDA Considers OTC Medication Risks and Other Health News

Risk-taking teens, and diets tips for diabetics

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FDA Panel Considers Risks of Over-the-Counter Medicines

A Food and Drug Administration panel of experts is set to vote today on whether to pull from the shelves some popular over-the-counter medications like NyQuil or Theraflu, which contain acetaminophen, an ingredient that in high doses can cause liver failure, the Associated Press reports. Acetaminophen reduces fever and pain and is the main ingredient in Tylenol. Concern about the drug comes from patients accidentally overdosing when they concurrently take over-the-counter cold medicines that contain acetaminophen and also pure acetaminophen drugs like Tylenol, according to AP. The FDA panel will also consider changing the medications' labels and packaging, AP reports.

Check out these 5 dangerous drug combinations you should avoid and 4 ways to prevent drug errors. Here are food and drug combinations that can cause toxic effects. The blood thinner warfarin, for example, shouldn't be combined with foods rich in vitamin K, like broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower, since these may reduce the drug's effectiveness.

Teens Who Think They'll Die Young Take More Risks

Scientists have known that teenagers tend to think that an early death is much more likely than it really is. What has recently been discovered is the connection between having a fatalistic take on life and behaving in ways that actually make it more likely that you will die—or get sick or otherwise seriously harmed, U.S. News's Nancy Shute reports. The new data, which came from the University of Minnesota and were published in the July Pediatrics, found that teens who anticipated an early death when first asked in 2005 were more likely to have made a suicide attempt, been injured in a fight, had unsafe sex, or been arrested a year later. They were also more likely to have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. This correlation gives doctors a new way to screen teenagers for the likelihood of coming to harm, the Minnesota researchers say, something that is surprisingly difficult to do, Shute writes.

A new guideline advises pediatricians to routinely screen teens for depression. Learn how to spot warning signs of depression and anxiety and raise kids who can cope.

Diagnosed With Diabetes? 4 Tips for a Low-Carb Diabetes Diet

Results from four studies released Friday suggest that the popularly prescribed insulin drug Lantus, used for treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes, might raise one's risk of cancer, Reuters reports. The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients do not stop taking their medication but see their doctor about concerns.

Diabetics' treatment plans should also involve taking a look at their diet, U.S. News's January Payne reported in March. Adopting a diabetes diet can help keep levels of blood glucose, or blood sugar, under control. Not paying attention to carb content in meals is likely to result in blood glucose that is variable and unpredictable, according to one expert. Carbohydrate is the nutrient that the body most easily turns into blood sugar. A good goal for diabetics is to have 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate at each meal; the ideal amount may vary depending on the person, Payne wrote. Four tips for counting carbs include knowing which foods contain carbs and avoiding products that don't contain many nutrients, such as sugar-sweetened drinks or foods that contain a lot of refined sugar in small portions.

Consider how to battle type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. Learn how to gauge your risk for developing diabetes, and find out about this novel approach to managing diabetes.

Megan Johnson

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