News articles over the weekend (7-8 May 2016) revealed that women in the UK are paying an astonishing five times more for the morning after pill than those in other European countries.
Experts have also expressed outrage at the hoops that must be jumped through to get the drug, calling on the government to make it available off the shelf, as well as reduce the price. Unlike in France, Scandinavia, and the United States, the pill is not available without a consultation; women are required to undergo a consultation and discuss their sex lives with a pharmacist or doctor in order to access the time-sensitive emergency contraception.
The Department of Health has released the new Eatwell Guide that shows the different types of food we should eat – and in what proportions – to have a healthy, balanced diet.
The guide says a healthy diet should now include more fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates.
Sugary soft drinks have been removed entirely from the new guide and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar have been moved off the plate to a corner of the image, reflecting advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Despite a recent study linking acid indigestion tablets to increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, patients should continue to take prescribed proton pump inhibitor drugs (PPIs), such as Omeprazole.
Medications like Omeprazole and Ranitidine work by suppressing the amount of stomach acid, treating heartburn and stomach ulcers, and are widely used throughout the UK. However a recent Daily Mail article cites research by the German Study on Aging, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients, linking the taking of PPIs with a 44% higher chance of developing dementia. Read in full
Alarming headlines in several UK newspapers and news websites this week (27 January 2015) claiming a US study concluded common hay fever tablets available over the counter raise the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
While there are significant findings in the study, the news reporting was not entirely accurate according to NHS ‘Behind the headlines’ (page now removed). Much of the reporting failed to highlight the study focus was on prescribed medicine for over 65s only; some brand name drugs contain different ingredients in the US to the UK; and other limitations of the study findings.
Although some of the drugs can be bought over the counter, the study only included prescribed medicines which have an anticholinergic effect, including some antihistamines, antidepressants and drugs for an overactive bladder, and concludes those over 65s taking the highest levels of anticholinergic prescribed medicines were at a higher risk of developing dementia compared with those not taking any.
Some of the medicine brands also contain different ingredients in the UK than the US: Benadryl and Piriteze do not contain ingredients identified in the study as causes of concern. Read in full
Many millions of men have taken Viagra (sildenafil) repeatedly and regularly for up to 15 years, since it became available in 1998.
The concerns raised in this article are based on a single short term study in mice, which may not be relevant to humans. The mice study was carried out using very much higher doses than are taken in humans.
The side effects of medicines are monitored. There has been no reporting of widespread permanent damage to vision in men taking Viagra/sildenafil. There is no need for men to be alarmed, as is explained by the NHS website response to the study. Read in full
Over the past decade and beyond, technology has increasingly become part of our lives, gaining functions as its form factor has shrunk in size. Until recently, however, the focus has been on helping us get a clearer view of the world “out there”. Constantly evolving technology has allowed individuals to research, learn, stay-up-to-date and communicate in new and ever-deeper ways – but will the next frontier be within ourselves? Technology is poised to start looking in, rather than helping us to look out. The latest tech trends help us to monitor ourselves. Read in full