FDA Approves Drug for Loss of Sexual Desire in Women

Saumya Joseph wrote . . . . . . . . .

The U.S. drug regulator on Friday approved Palatin Technologies and Amag Pharmaceuticals’ drug to restore sexual desire in premenopausal women, the latest attempt to come up with a therapy that some have dubbed as “female Viagra”.

The therapy, Vyleesi, will compete in a market which has seen previous attempts fail. Analysts have said that a drug that safely and effectively treats loss of sexual desire in women could eventually reach annual sales of about $1 billion.

Vyleesi, chemically known as bremelanotide, activates pathways in the brain involved in sexual desire, helping premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

The drug will compete with Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ Addyi, a once-daily pill that was approved for HSDD in 2015 with a warning restricting alcohol use when on the medication. It will be available from September through select pharmacies.

Addyi was approved under intense pressure from advocacy groups despite a review by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that deemed it minimally effective and possibly unsafe.

Vyleesi, which does not restrict alcohol use, is seen as having several advantages over Addyi, including tolerable side effects, rapid-acting nature and not having to take it every day, according to analysts.

Side effects reported during clinical trials included mild to moderate nausea lasting no more than two hours and mostly occurred over the first three doses, Amag said. About 40% of patients in clinical trials experienced nausea.

The drug is administered as a shot into the abdomen or thigh using an auto-injector at least 45 minutes before anticipated sexual activity, with the FDA recommending patients not to take more than one dose within 24 hours or more than eight doses per month.

Source: Reuters

Nyonya Rice Dumplings


500 g glutinous rice
150 g preserved sugared melon pieces
150 g peanuts
225 g pork belly, diced
2-1/2 tbsp coriander
1-1/2 cm sar keong
30 white peppercorns
5 shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp lard
cooking oil
sugar and salt to taste
225 g bamboo leaves
hemp string or kitchen string


  1. Soak the glutinous rice in water for 4 hours, clean and drain.
  2. Mince preserved sugared melon pieces.
  3. Fry peanuts at low heat until brown, stirring continuously. After frying, cool and remove skin, then pound coarsely.
  4. Boil pork till cooked.
  5. Grind coriander, peppercorns and sar keong finely. Pound shallots and garlic finely.
  6. Wash bamboo leaves and hemp string thoroughly. Dip in boiling water to soften.
  7. Heat pan, add cooking oil till hot. Add onions and garlic and ground coriander mixture. Stir-fry until fragrant
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add pork, preserved sugared melon, dark and light soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir-fry until the pork is cooked and sugar is dissolved. Do not add water.
  9. Steam the glutinous rice for 25 minutes, remove and mix well with the lard and a little salt.
  10. Fold the middle of a leaf to form a cone.
  11. Fill cone with glutinous rice, make a well in the centre to stuff with the fried ingredients. Cover with rice, then fold the leaf to make a pyramid-shaped dumpling. Secure firmly with hemp string.
  12. Steam rice dumplings for 35 minutes. Remove and serve.

Source: Penang Nyonya Cooking

What’s for Lunch?

Nagogoshi and Steamed Chicken Salad Set Meal at Yayoiken (やよい軒) in Shinjuku, Japan

The Menu

  • Steamed Chicken Breast and Salad of Cabbage, Lettuce, Cucumber, Purple Onion, and Mizuna
  • Deep-fried Onion and Corn
  • Cooked 16-grain Rice
  • Miso Soup
  • Grated Ginger and Daikon Radish

The price of the set meal is 890 yen (tax included).

When Elders Leave Hospital, Falls Are Big Reason They Return

Saumya Joseph wrote . . . . . . . . .

Preventing falls among elderly patients who’ve just left the hospital is an important part of keeping them safe, a large U.S. study shows.

When elderly patients are discharged, one of the major reasons they end up back in the hospital is that they’ve suffered a fall, researchers found.

“Hospitals spend a lot of time thinking about fall risk while the patient is in the hospital, but there’s much less attention to the patient after discharge,” said principal investigator Geoffrey Hoffman of the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Fall prevention efforts need to continue as the patient moves from the hospital to home, or elsewhere, he said.

Hoffman and colleagues analyzed data on more than 8.3 million patients, age 65 and above, who were hospitalized in 2013 and 2014. About 14% of the patients were readmitted within 30 days of being discharged.

Among these patients, about 5% were readmitted due to injuries caused by falling, making it the third leading cause of readmissions after blood poisoning due to bacteria and heart failure.

The prevalence of falls after discharge suggests there is a gap in the quality of care provided before and after patients leave the hospital, Hoffman said.

“Promoting mobility in and outside the hospital is critical,” Hoffman told Reuters Health by phone.

Medicare, the government insurance program for older Americans, penalizes hospitals when patients fall. To minimize these penalties, hospitalized patients at high risk of falling may be discouraged from getting up and moving around without assistance. This enforced immobility could increase the risk of falls after discharge, the researchers noted.

While hospitals already have programs in place to prevent readmissions due to other post-discharge complications, the current findings suggest these programs should also include fall prevention, the researchers write in JAMA Network Open.

Preventing falls requires multifaceted interventions, some of which are beyond the hospital’s control, said Tamara Konetzka, a researcher at the University of Chicago who has studied patient safety but who was not involved in the new study.

These interventions include physical and occupational therapy to improve balance, medication review to avoid drugs that may contribute to dizziness, and home modification efforts such as installing handrails and removing rugs or slippery surfaces.

Patients who had fallen in the past, and those with impaired cognition, had a higher risk of being readmitted for any reason, the researchers found – particularly if they went home after discharge, rather than to a skilled nursing facility.

“You essentially can’t change someone’s cognition or the fact that they have fallen previously. What type of care they receive following a hospital stay and where they receive it can be modified,” Matthew Titmuss, assistant vice president of value management at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, told Reuters Health by email.

“Falls are often the initial trigger for a trajectory of decline among older adults – a trajectory including functional limitations, multiple hospitalizations, and long-term nursing home use,” Konetzka told Reuters Health by email. “Reducing falls may thus have much broader implications for health outcomes.”

Source: Reuters

Poor Oral Health Linked to a 75% Increase in Liver Cancer Risk

The study, by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, analysed a large cohort of over 469,000 people in the UK, investigated the association between oral health conditions and the risk of a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver, colon, rectum and pancreatic cancer. Models were applied to estimate the relationship between cancer risk and self-reported oral health conditions, such as painful or bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and loose teeth.

Whilst no significant associations were observed on the risk of the majority gastrointestinal cancers and poor oral health, a substantial link was found for hepatobiliary cancer.

“Poor oral health has been associated with the risk of several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” explained Dr Haydée WT Jordão, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and lead author of the study. “However, there is inconsistent evidence on the association between poor oral health and specific types of gastrointestinal cancers, which is what our research aimed to examine.”

Of the 469,628 participants, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) six-year follow up. In 13% of these cases, patients reported poor oral health. Participants with poor oral health were more likely to be younger, female, living in deprived socioeconomic areas and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, is currently uncertain. One explanation is the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in disease development. “The liver contributes to the elimination of bacteria from the human body,” stated Dr Haydée WT Jordão. “When the liver is affected by diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer, its function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm. One bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, originates in the oral cavity but its role in liver cancer is unclear. Further studies investigating the microbiome and liver cancer are therefore warranted.”

Another theory in explaining the higher cancer risk due to poor oral health suggests that participants with a high number of missing teeth may alter their diet, consuming softer and potentially less nutritious foods, which in turn influence the risk of liver cancer2.

Liver cancer is the sixth bigger cancer killer in the EU, claiming the lives of almost 60,000 people per year3. The five-year survival rate for the disease across Europe is just 11%4 and approximately 9 in 10 cases are in individuals over the age of 55 ref media pack3. It is believed that up to half of cases of liver cancer are preventable, with risk factors often relating to lifestyle, such as overweight or obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Source: Science Daily

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