Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health News

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health News

Article excerpt

LAXATIVE RECALL

Gelcaps Ingredient Linked To Cancer

Bayer Corp. is pulling its Phillips' Gelcaps laxative from stores nationwide, citing Food and Drug Administration concerns about an ingredient that may cause cancer. In a report last month to a committee of the Food and Drug Administration, federal scientists said rats developed cancer after six months of a diet laced with phenolphthalein, an ingredient in some popular laxatives. Bayer said it doesn't expect to resume sales of Gelcaps, despite an absence of evidence that people developed cancer from phenolphthalein. The company said laxatives containing phenolphthalein have been approved as safe by the FDA and have been on the market for many years. The company said phenolphthalein is not present in its other laxative products: Phillips' Milk of Magnesia, Phillips' Chewable Tablets and Haley's MO. CLOT-DISSOLVING DRUGS Report: Many Don't Get Treatment Many older people who suffer heart attacks do not receive potentially lifesaving treatment with blood clot-dissolving drugs, according to a report published Tuesday. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center in New Haven, Conn., said they based the finding on a look at more than 3,000 heart attack patients in Connecticut ages 65 and older who were treated in 1992 and 1993. Of 261 patients in the group who would have been considered "ideal" candidates for treatment with anticoagulant drugs, one in four did not receive such treatment. Doctors may be reluctant to use the drugs - a treatment called thrombolytic therapy - because other studies have shown an increased risk of bleeding, which could lead to a stroke, or because too much time had passed between the attack and when the patient arrived for treatment, the study said. The therapy is considered most effective when used within six hours of a heart attack. …

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