PHARMACY

Use of antidepressants associated with increased diabetes risk

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The use of antidepressant medication is strongly associated with the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Richard Rubin, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues point out that among diabetics, the risk of depression is 50 to 100 percent greater than in the general population. Furthermore, depression in diabetic patients is associated with higher complication and mortality rates and higher health care costs.

Over 3,100 participants were used in the randomized Diabetes Prevention Program study, which Rubin’s team used to determine whether depression symptoms or antidepressant use were associated with progression to type 2 diabetes, and whether the associations varied depending on the treatment arm: standard lifestyle recommendations plus 850 mg metformin twice daily (MET arm), standard lifestyle recommendations plus placebo (PLB arm), or an intensive lifestyle modification program (ILS arm).

At baseline, 10.3 percent of subjects had Beck Depression Inventory scores indicating at least mild depression (11 or higher), and 5.7 percent were taking antidepressants. Intermittent antidepressant use was reported for 7.2 percent during the study, and continuous antidepressant use was reported for 3.2 percent.

“Baseline antidepressant use, on the other hand, was strongly associated with diabetes risk” in both the PLB and ILS arms according to the report.

Compared with no use, continuous antidepressant use during the study was also associated with diabetes risk in the PLB and ILS arms. Intermittent antidepressant use during the study was associated with diabetes risk in the ILS arm. No association was found between antidepressant use and development of diabetes among participants in the MET arm.

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GE introduces ChipCap humidity and temperature gauge

BY Diana Alickaj

BILLERICA, Mass. GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies has announced a new product; proven to lower the cost of humidity and temperature sensor integration by 50 percent or more, according to published reports.

The product is known as ChipCap, a sensor for relative humidity and temperature used for the HVAC, automotive, medical and appliance industries. It is the only device that offers digital and analog configurations on a single chip. According to published reports, it is also highly resistant to contaminants and is programmed to fully recover in condensing environments.

Bryan Conner, Global Product Manager of Gas and Moisture for GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies, says, “ChipCap offers a full factory calibrated solution. It doesn’t require further signal conditioning, therefore reducing the overall design time in integration and time to market for new products. By eliminating the need for calibration, end users increase throughput and lower cycle time once in production.” The new product is sad to save an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 in capital equipment costs and calibration labor, according to published reports.

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Oxycontin removed from Walgreens Tampa Bay locations

BY Diana Alickaj

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. As a response to recent pharmacy robberies in the Tampa Bay area, Walgreens has decided to remove the drug Oxycontin from some of its Tampa Bay stores, according to published reports.

Oxycontin, which is supposed to be used in treatment for severe pain or injuries, as well as cancer, has been identified as a street drug with names like OC, Ox, Kicker or Oxy. The most recent robbery occurred on March 27, according to published reports, during which a man pulled out a gun to obtain Oxycontin.

Carol Hively, a spokesperson from Walgreens, released the following statement in response to the news of the removal of Oxycontin:

“Walgreens is in the process of removing OxyContin from some of its stores in the Tampa area. This is a temporary measure we’re taking for the safety of our customers and employees, in response to local robberies. Signs are posted in our stores informing pharmacy patients of the change.”

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