Quick Hits: Magnesium Eyed as Depression Treatment and Few Youths Receive Medication Treatment for Opioid Abuse

Quick Hits: Transvaginal Mesh Pulled, New Weight Loss Drug & More

Taking magnesium is safe for depression and has efficacy comparable to prescription SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants. Researchers at Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont examined 126 adults who were experiencing mild to moderate depression. The study team found that participants who received 248 milligrams of elemental magnesium per day over 6 weeks resulted in a clinically significant improvement in measures of depression and anxiety symptoms compared to those who received no treatment at all. In addition, positive effects of magnesium were seen in as little as 2 weeks, and the supplement was well tolerated. Most antidepressants can take a month or more for clinical benefits to be seen, and are often accompanied by side effects. Posted June 27, 2017. Via Larner College of Medicine.

Buprenorphine and naltrexone, 2 medications used to treat opioid abuse, have been underutilized in adolescents and young adults. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine examined health insurance claims for 9.7 million young people (ages 13 to 25) to measure dispensing of buprenorphine or naltrexone and to identify those who received an opioid use disorder diagnosis from 2001 through June 2014. The rate of diagnosis of opioid use disorder increased nearly six-fold from 2001 to 2014. But just 5,580 out of 20,822 young people with opioid use disorder — just 26.8% — were dispensed a medication within 6 months of diagnosis, with 89% receiving buprenorphine and about 11% receiving naltrexone. Researchers did note that use of the 2 medications in these youths increased from just 3% in 2002 to 27.5% in 2014. However, women, black and Hispanic youths were less likely to receive the medications. Posted June 19, 2017. Via JAMA Pediatrics.

The FDA will assign more personnel to review applications for drugs to treat rare diseases to reduce a huge backlog. The agency currently has around 200 applications seeking orphan drug designation for a medication. That designation, given to drugs that treat diseases with fewer than 200,000 patients in the US, provides incentives to drugmakers, such as tax credits for clinical trial costs and longer time on the market before generic competition for the medication. The FDA also said it is making changes to ensure that future applications receive a response within 90 days. Posted June 29, 2017. Via FDA.


Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.


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