HEALTH

Research concludes that black cohosh may have no effect on liver function

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO According to research presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting this week, black cohosh has no effects on liver function, Enzymatic Therapy, distributors of Remifemin, announced Tuesday.

Black cohosh has been widely used in Europe and also in North America to treat menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, occasional irritability and mood swings. While extensive research has been published on this botanical, the question of liver safety has arisen in a few isolated cases, Enzymatic Therapy noted.

According to research from Rolf Teschke, black cohosh is not connected to liver problems.

“Teschke’s re-evaluation of four … cases considered by the European Medicines Agency as having a ‘possible’ or ‘probable’ causality, concluded that there was in fact no evidence for a causal relationship between treatment with black cohosh and the observed liver problems,” stated Belal Naser, head of drug safety at Schaper & Brummer, which manufactures Remifemin in Germany.

Teschke said that, “due to incomplete data, the case of one patient was not assessable. In the remaining three cases, one patient diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis had a favorable course under continued steroid therapy. The two other patients, who required liver transplants, received a final diagnosis of herpetic hepatitis. In none of these four was there any causality between treatment with black cohosh and liver disease.”

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HEALTH

Vagisil launches new feminine hygiene product

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. As a brand leader in the feminine hygiene product market, Combe on Monday announced the introduction of Vagisil Satin — a fast-absorbing creme that provides quick and long-lasting relief from itch and irritation as it soothes and helps heal the skin.

“Whether at work, home or on the go, external vaginal discomfort not only causes physical stress, but also puts a damper on a woman’s mood and confidence level,” stated Adelaide Nardone, board certified OB/GYN.

According to the Journal of Urgent Care, vulvovaginitis is the cause of approximately 10 million office visits in the United States annually. Vulvovaginitis can be characterized by symptoms of itching, irritation, burning, redness, discharge and discomfort.

“These uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms affect women of all ages and are common gynecological concerns,” commented Jeanne Collins, Combe senior brand manager of marketing, feminine hygiene. “We are thrilled about the launch of Vagisil Satin as we continually strive to meet the needs of women by offering them a solution that immediately helps them feel more comfortable.”

Vagisil Satin contains 1% hydrocortisone acetate and provides 12 hours of relief from itch, discomfort and distraction.

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Swine flu inaccurate moniker; CDC identifies 3 strains in H1N1 virus

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization renamed what had become known as the “swine flu” to H1N1 in part because sequencing results of the virus was found to contain genetic reassortment of three viruses which have been circulating in pigs in Europe, Asia and America since 1998.

The new information suggests that the progenitor virus strain was a virus circulating in swine and has evolved in humans through gradual mutations over a 10-12 year span, and has avian and human components.

The new information also provides other insight into influenza virus strains, such as the fact that influenza viruses, whether in humans or among animals, are constantly evolving genetically, along with changes in their ability to cause morbidity and mortality in humans or animals. These changes may be gradual or very rapid.

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