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IMB Issues New Recommendations For Use of Cough and Cold Medicines in Under Six Year Olds

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Following its review of cough and cold medication use in children, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) no longer advises their use in children under six years of age.

The decision comes soon after a similar conclusion was reached by the FDA in America. In it's letter to healthcare professionals the IMB states that: "These recommendations reflect an evolution in the therapeutic strategy over time for the management of coughs and colds in children rather than the emergence of any new safety concern."

Irish Medicines Board Recalls Nurofen Plus

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The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has today issued a wholesale recall of Nurofen Plus tablets, due to possible contamination with rogue blister strips of either Seroquel XL 50mg Tablets (a schizophrenia and depression tablet) or Neurontin 100mg Capsules (used to treat epilepsy). Patient Information Leaflets may also have been affected.

Some Herbal Products May Disappear From the Irish Market in 2011

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Starting in May 2011 all traditional herbal medicinal products (THMPS), will require a marketing authorisation or certificate of traditional-use registration before being placed on the EU or Irish market. Any herbal medicinal products already on the market that have not received or applied for registration by the end of April 2011, will be considered unlicensed and will have to be removed from sale.

Availability of Iodine Tablets in Ireland

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Due to the on-going nuclear crisis in Japan, we have seen an increasing number of requests for iodine tablets in Irish pharmacies. None of the potassium iodide tablets are licenced for use in Ireland and are therefore not readily available, either over the counter or on prescription.

If you wish to purchase Iodine tablets (i.e. Jodetten) you will first need to see your GP, who will issue you with a prescription. You should then take the prescription to your local pharmacy, where they will order the tablets for you.

Due to the unlicensed nature of these tablets, it is unlikely that the pharmacy will have them in stock and it could take anything between 7 and 9 business days for them to come in. You should expect to pay around €17 for a packet of 100.

Pistachio Nuts Shown to Improve Erectile Function

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It would appear that scientists at the Atatürk Teaching and Research Hospital in Ankara, Turkey have found a tasty alternative to Viagra. According to their study conducted on 17 married male patients, who have suffered from erectile disfunction (ED) for at least 12 months, a diet of 100 g of pistachio nuts daily, which corresponds to 20% of the daily calorie intake, for 3 weeks improved all five domains of International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) scores.

Morning After Pill Becomes Available Over The Counter in Ireland

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Norlevo 1.5mg
Image 1: (POM) NorLevo 1.5mg Packaging.

On the 15th of February 2011, after having rejected the manufacturer's first application for a POM to P switch only a year before, and much to everyone's surprise, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) approved the morning after pill NorLevo for over the counter supply by a pharmacist.

The switch caught much of the profession off guard, causing a lot of confusion in the first few weeks following this announcement. At the same time the IMB also launched a legal challenge to Boots' Emergency Contraception Service which launched only a month earlier.

Boots have been providing prescription only contraception tablets Levonelle and NorLevo under their in-house developed patient group direction (PGD). This is a protocol, authorised by a doctor, through which a pharmacist may supply a prescription only medicine without the need for the customer to see the doctor first.

IMB Recalls Sibutramine (Reductil)

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Reductil 15mg
Image 1: Reductil 15mg.

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has today issued a statement recalling Reductil (Sibitramine) from the Irish market. In line with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommendation, the IMB have concluded that the risks of sibutramine-containing medicines outweigh their benefits.

The decision comes on the back of recent results from the Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUTcomes (SCOUT) trial, which showed an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke in patients with cardiovascular disease treated with this medicine. As obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the risk is also considered to be applicable to all patients using the drug.

Medicines Are Best Taken With Water

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A research team headed by Dr David G. Bailey, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, has discovered that consuming certain medications with certain fruit juices can increase or decrease their effectiveness.

Fruit juices like grapefruit, orange and apple juice, contain substances that reduce the effectiveness of common drugs, used to treat infections, allergy, transplant rejection, cancer, and high blood pressure.

Cancer Set to Become the No. 1 Killer

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New research has shown that cancer will overtake cardiovascular disease as the most fatal disease across the world in 2010.

The report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is asking governments to take action and to help fund cancer research projects and prevention, as cancer numbers had doubled between 1975 and 2000 and are set to almost triple by 2030.

Even Common NSAIDs are Dangerous for Heart-failure Patients

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There has been yet more suggestion that even commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Nurofen) and diclofenac (Difene) are dangerous for heart failure patients.