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Info may prompt seniors to taper off sleeping pills

By Anne Harding NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older people are willing and able to get themselves off medications like sleeping pills once they're informed of the potential harms, according to a new Canadian study. "Even among patients who have been taking sleeping pills for 30 years, many of them in their 80s and 90s were able to get off the sleeping pills once they realized that these pills could cause falls, memory problems and car accidents," lead author Dr. Cara Tannenbaum of the University of Montreal told Reuters Health.

Pfizer, Teva reach deal to allow launch of generic Viagra by 2017

Pfizer Inc. has reached a settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals that allows the generic drugmaker to launch a copycat version of its popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra in 2017. Pfizer said Tuesday that Teva will pay an undisclosed royalty for a license to produce a generic version of Viagra, one of New York-based Pfizer's bestselling drugs. Viagra generated about $1.14 billion in U.S. sales last year and more than $2 billion worldwide.

Johnson & Johnson recalls schizophrenia drug after discovering mold

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling one lot of schizophrenia drug Risperdal Consta after discovering mold during a routine testing process, a company spokeswoman said, the latest in a string of recalls over the past two years. Risperdal Consta is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The company is recalling the drug from wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and healthcare providers.

Lawsuit claims hair drug Propecia hurt sex life of some men who used it

REGINA - A Saskatchewan law firm is hoping to launch a class-action lawsuit over allegations a popular hair-growth drug has ruined the sex lives of some of its users. In statements of claim filed in Regina and Calgary, two men say they lost interest in sexual activity after taking Propecia. The claims, which have not been proven in court and have yet to be certified as a class-action, allege that drug maker Merck Frosst Canada didn't adequately warn people about the risks of Propecia. Sexual dysfunction is listed as a possible side effect to the drug.

FDA panel favours Merck sleeping aid despite safety concerns over drowsiness, driving issues

WASHINGTON - A federal panel of medical experts said that an experimental insomnia drug from Merck A majority of Food and Drug Administration panelists voted Wednesday that Merck's sleeping aid, suvorexant, helped patients get to sleep and stay asleep. In a separate set of votes, the panel voted that the drug appears safe at the starting doses proposed by the company. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its experts, though it often does.

Perch exposed to human anti-anxiety drugs become isolated, aggressive-study

* Fish turned aggressive, anti-social and bold - scientists * Exposure of fish to the drug is global problem - scientists * Expanding study to look at wider environmental implications By Irene Klotz BOSTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Wild perch living in water tainted with a commonly prescribed human anti-anxiety drug aggressively feed, shun other fish and become careless, according to the results of a study presented at a meeting of scientists on Thursday.
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