HEALTH

Home test for alcohol in breast milk begins nationwide sales at Walgreens

BY Drug Store News Team

AUSTIN For women that want to partake in occasional alcohol use during this extended period of time, there is a tool that tells them when it is best to breastfeed a baby.

UpSpring Baby, developers of the Milkscreen™ home test for alcohol in breast milk, announced that their product is now available for purchase over-the-counter at over 6,000 Walgreens drugstores across the U.S.

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends that women exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months and support breastfeeding for the first year and beyond if mutually desired by mother and child.

To perform the test, a woman simply expresses a few drops of breast milk onto the Milkscreen test strip and in less than two minutes the color will begin to change if there is alcohol in the breast milk.

Suggested retail price for Milkscreen is $5.99 for a 3-pack of test strips and $14.99 for a 12-pack of test strips.

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CDC study reveals face masks ineffective against spread of pandemic flu due to Americans’ lack of use

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Face masks may not be an effective barrier against the spread of pandemic influenza, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed in a study posted last week on its Web site.

But it’s not because the masks don’t work, it’s because Americans are not likely to wear them.

During the 2006 and 2007 winter seasons, CDC recruited 286 exposed adults from 143 households who had been exposed to a child with clinical respiratory illness. “We found that adherence to mask use significantly reduced the risk for ILI-associated [influenza-like illness] infection, but less than 50% of participants wore masks most of the time,” the CDC noted. “We concluded that household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease. However, during a severe pandemic when use of face masks might be greater, pandemic transmission in households could be reduced.”

In fact, only 21% of household contacts in the face mask arm self reported wearing the mask often or always during the follow-up period. Adherence with treatments and preventive measures is well known to vary depending on perception of risk, the CDC noted, and that adherence would be expected to increase during an influenza pandemic. During the height of the SARS epidemic of April and May 2003 in Hong Kong, for example, adherence to infection control measures was high, the agency said — 76% of the population wore a face mask, 65% washed their hands after relevant contact and 78% covered their mouths when sneezing or coughing. In addition, adherence may vary depending on cultural context; Asian cultures are more accepting of mask use.

“Results of our study have global relevance to respiratory disease control planning, especially with regard to home care,” the agency noted. “During an influenza pandemic, supplies of antiviral drugs may be limited, and there will be unavoidable delays in the production of a matched pandemic vaccine. For new or emerging respiratory virus infections, no pharmaceutical interventions may be available. Even with seasonal influenza, widespread oseltamivir [Tamiflu] resistance in influenza virus A (H1N1) strains have recently been reported. Masks may therefore play an important role in reducing transmission.”

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Matrixx considering partnership with other OTC companies to release Zicare and Xcid

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives is exploring partnering with other over-the-counter companies on the national roll out of its Zicare oral care product and Xcid antacid.

“We continue to explore the possibility of partnering with other parties on both of those projects,,” Bill Hemelt, Matrixx acting president, CFO and COO, told analysts last week. “As we’ve said before, we don’t want to move forward on them by ourselves because of the significant risks associated with that,” he said. “Xcid was a disappointment. … We did roll it out on a limited basis this past year, but it did not meet our expectations. Not because it’s a bad product, it just simply will require greater investment to take that nationally. So we are exploring partnership possibilities for both of those projects.”

Both products are “market ready,” Hemelt said, replete with consumer research and product research.

Zicare, when used in conjunction with a daily oral routine, helps dissolve up to 30% of visible tartar that has already formed and helps inhibit future tartar formation above the gumline, according to the product web site. Zicare is a gel that is applied at the gumline and between the teeth after brushing and before bed.

Xcid is an antacid featuring a unique delivery form — a creamy pudding-like gel available in three flavors: strawberry, orange and chocolate.

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