Health news

FDA warns about rare but serious allergic reactions with the skin antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that rare but serious allergic reactions have been reported with the widely used skin antiseptic products containing chlorhexidine gluconate. Although rare, the number of reports of serious allergic reactions to these products has increased over the last several years. As a result, we are requesting the manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) antiseptic products containing chlorhexidine gluconate to add a warning about this risk to the Drug Facts labels. Prescription chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwashes and oral chips used for gum disease already contain a warning about the possibility of serious allergic reactions in their labels.

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17 000 kids ingest hand sanitizer each year - some on purpose, CDC says

Hand sanitizers turn out to be the classic double-edged sword of parenting:

While parents use it to keep themselves and their children safe from germs, it also brings with it the chance younger children will drink it out of confusion.

And older children will drink it on purpose.

So says a study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found hand sanitizer ingestion prompted an average of 17,000 calls a year to poison control hotlines.

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Really? The Claim: Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Stops Norovirus Spread

As public health officials struggle to contain a series of viral outbreaks this winter, many people are reaching for bottles of hand sanitizer. 

Studies show that alcohol-based sanitizers, particularly those with 60 percent ethanol or more, can reduce microbial counts on contaminated hands and reduce the spread of some strains of the flu. But against norovirus, the severe gastrointestinal illness gripping many parts of the country, they may be useless.

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Please Stop Drinking Hand Sanitizer

The common disinfectant is typically used on, well, hands. But a recent anecdote from a former Wells Fargo banker in an article in The New York Times, who claimed to drink it as a stress reliever, brought the issue into the national spotlight, the newspaper also reports. And earlier this month, it was parodied on "Saturday Night Live," when Emily Blunt's character needs to have her stomach pumped after downing hand sanitizer.

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U.S. FDA removes antibacterial soaps from market

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday ordered that antibacterial soaps that contain certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. That's because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections, the FDA said in its final rule.

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FDA has a few questions for makers of hand sanitizer

Federal health officials want to know whether hand sanitizers used by millions of Americans work as well as manufacturers claim — and whether there are any health risks to their growing use. The Food and Drug Administration is asking for new studies on how the antiseptic gels and rubs fight germs and get absorbed into the body, with a particular focus on children and pregnant women. The proposal unveiled Wednesday is part of an ongoing government effort to review decades-old chemicals that have never had a comprehensive federal review.

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Common antimicrobial agent disrupts gut bacteria

A new study suggests that an antimicrobial and antifungal agent found in many consumer products ranging from hand soaps to toys and toothpaste can rapidly disrupt bacterial communities found in the gut. The finding about triclosan, which was first used as a hospital scrub in the 1970s and now is one of the most common antimicrobial agents in the world, were published Wednesday in PLOS ONE by researchers from Oregon State University.

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