Sarah Rosenthal

Sarah Rosenthal studied Biology and Society at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University with a concentration in food, health, and sustainability, and minoring in Viticulture and Enology.

The nasal spray vaccine FluMist has proven to be considerably less effective than shots, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics this week. Researchers based their findings on data collected from 17,000 children ages 2 to 17, and results were consistent with research published outside the US. Because the nasal spray delivery method is so much easier for children, pediatricians had hoped FluMist, or live attenuated influenza vaccine, would provide protection equivalent to the flu shot. Results showed that the injection had a 67% efficiency, while FluMist had only a 20% efficiency. Published January 7, 2019. Via Medpage Today.…

Read More

The pharmaceutical company Merck is accused of withholding notification of a serious adverse side effect of Fosamax (and all bisphosphonates), meds used for osteoporosis, from doctors and the public. On Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments from Merck and class action attorneys (the original lead plaintiff is Doris Albrecht) to determine whether Merck took all the proper steps to warn doctors about the side effect — severe femur fractures that usually require surgery to repair. MedShadow Foundation and three past FDA executives filed an amicus brief (“friend of the court”) to support Albrecht. Suzanne Robotti, founder of MedShadow, was at…

Read More

With the increased legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use, there are more ways to experience the effects of marijuana than smoking it. Vaporizers for cannabis oil have become increasingly popular due to the decreased amounts of toxic particles in comparison to combustible smoking. A small study approved by the Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Board analyzed participants who infrequently used marijuana and with at least 30 days since their last use. Researchers wanted to determine the differences in effects from marijuana when smoked or vaporized. Seventeen healthy adults participated in the double-blind trial, which involved six 8.5-hour…

Read More

Aurobindo Pharma USA has voluntarily recalled 80 lots of Amlodipine Valsartan, a blood pressure and heart failure medication. Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets, USP and Valsartan Tablets USP have all been removed from the consumer-level of sale. Trace amounts of N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), a known carcinogen, were detected in the tablets, possibly due to a manufacturing error. While NDEA can be found in certain foods, drinking waters and forms of pollution, it is still dangerous to the public. The FDA recommends that patients currently using the medication not stop taking it without a viable substitute, as this could cause…

Read More

The FDA has expanded a recall of a hypertension drug over concerns it may contain a carcinogen. The latest recall involves valsartan that was made by a Chinese pharmaceutical company. The recalled valsartan contains a potentially dangerous component, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which laboratory studies have shown can cause cancer or liver damage in patients. The FDA says not all valsartan medications contain NDMA, and has provided a list of productsincluded in the recall, as well as a list of non-impacted valsartan. Posted August 7, 2018. Via USA Today. Using probiotics excessively can lead to an accumulation of bacteria in the small…

Read More

Janssen Pharmaceuticals has stopped making Levaquin (levofloxacin), a fluoroquinolone antibiotic associated with many side effects. In December, Janssen, which is part of pharma giant Johnson & Johnson, discontinued both the oral and IV versions. They company claimed the reason for the discontinuation was due to the availability of other treatment options as well as their aim to develop medicines for unmet needs. Levaquin may still be available in pharmacies through 2020, however. Despite Janssen’s move, generic versions of levofloxacin will still be made. Brand-name Levaquin was only 1% of the market share. In 2016, the FDA issued a “boxed warning”…

Read More

A quarter of patients who went to the hospital for a sprained ankle ended up leaving with a prescription for an opioid, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined private insurance claims for 31,000 patients 18 and over who had sprained their ankle. Of that number, 25.1% were given a prescription for an opioid, according to results published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Those who received an opioid prescription hadn’t had one filled at least 6 months prior to going to the hospital and weren’t dependent on them. The average prescription was for a…

Read More

Bayer will stop selling its troubled permanent birth control device Essure by the end of the year. As of 2015, there were more than 17,000 adverse event reports worldwide associated with Essure, which looks like a tiny coil and is made of nickel. Bayer says it will no longer sell Essure because of financial reasons. The FDA responded to Bayer’s announcement noting that their own review of adverse event reports found there are certain risks associated with Essure. The risks include persistent pain, perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes from device migration, abnormal bleeding and allergy or hypersensitivity reactions.…

Read More