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Combining Invirase, Norvir could cause health problems

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Combining two antiviral drugs for HIV may raise the risks of life-threatening heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

The agency said it would require changes to the safety labeling for Genentech’s drug Invirase (saquinavir) following reports that combining it with Abbott’s Norvir (ritonavir) could lead to prolongation of the QT and PR heartbeat intervals. Prolongation of the QT interval could lead to an abnormal heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes, which can lead to the potentially fatal condition called ventricular fibrillation.

“Patients should talk to their doctor if they have any concerns about their treatment,” FDA Office of Antimicrobial Products director Edward Cox said. “Certain drugs may interact with Invirase and increase the risk of developing these side effects, so patients should be sure to tell their doctor about other medicines they may be taking, including nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.”

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Spartan Stores reports drop in Q2 sales

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. The lackluster economy caused a dip in sales of nearly $8 million for Spartan Stores, according to the supermarket operator’s quarterly earnings report.

Sales for the second quarter of the company’s 2011 fiscal year were $602.1 million, compared with $610.2 million during the same period last year, though the lower sales were offset partially by higher fuel sales.

Profits increased, however, to $11.3 million from $10.5 million in second quarter 2010.

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Say good-bye to bed bugs with ActiveGuard mattress liners

BY Allison Cerra

AMBLER, Pa. Allergy Technologies has developed mattress liners that are designed to kill bed bugs within 72 hours.

The breathable, thin ActiveGuard mattress liners can be installed onto a mattress or box spring by one person in less than a minute. The liners are comfortable and provide security that no other mattress covering or product can deliver, and they are ideal for college dorms and household use, Allergy Technologies said.

 

"ActiveGuard mattress liners are literally the only liners registered to kill bed bugs within 72 hours, and they can save consumers the cost of replacing mattresses and box springs," said Gus Carey, founder of Allergy Technologies. "The liners, fashioned as a simple fitted sheet, come in four easy-to-install sizes that fit any size mattress or box spring. [They] kill bed bugs [and] dust mites for up to two years."

 

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