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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
FDA OKs generic Depakote

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, July 31, 2008 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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                  FDA OKs generic Depakote

WASHINGTON, -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has 
approved the first generic versions of a drug designed to 
treat seizures, bipolar disorders and migraine headaches.
The FDA said the generic versions of the drug Depakote 
(divalproex sodium) will carry the same warnings as Depakote.
"Generic drugs undergo a rigorous scientific review to en-
sure that they will provide the patient with the same amount
of high quality, safe and effective drug as the name brand 
product," said Gary Buehler, director of the FDA's Office of
Generic Drugs. "This approval provides an additional treat-
ment option for patients who suffer from epilepsy, bipolar 
disorder and migraines." Generic divalproex sodium will in-
clude a warning that cautions about the risk of liver damage
and pancreatitis, both of which include fatalities. The war-
ning also highlights the risk of birth defects. The comp-
anies approved to market divalproex sodium delayed-release 
tablets are: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Lupin 
Ltd., both of Mumbai; Genpharm Inc. and Nu-Pharm Inc., both 
of Ontario, Canada; Upsher-Smith Laboratories of Maple Grove,
Minn.; Sandoz Inc. of Broomfield, Colo.; TEVA Pharmaceuti-
cals USA of North Wales, Pa.; and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories 
of Hyderabad, India.

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         Officials: Deaths linked to heparin batch

CHICAGO, -- U.S. health officials say they have been able to
connect three deaths to a contaminated batch of the blood-
thinning drug heparin. A spike in the number of allergic 
reactions by hospital patients injected with the drug prom-
pted its manufacturer, Baxter International Inc., of subur-
ban Chicago, to pull the heparin from distribution in Feb-
ruary. Since then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has
been examining reports of 93 deaths related to heparin. An 
FDA scientist told the Chicago Tribune three of the deaths 
have been linked to a specific batch of heparin contaminated
by an animal-like substance known as oversulfated chondro-
itin sulfate, the newspaper reported Wednesday. "We have 
what looks like a cause and effect in some patients," Dr.-
Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Eval-
uation and Research, told the Tribune. "We know that they 
got contaminated heparin, and they died subsequently. This 
is one of the final links in the chain." Baxter officials 
said the company wouldn't comment on the FDA's analysis 
until it had a chance to review it.

        Salmonella traced to Mexican pepper farm

WASHINGTON, -- The source of a salmonella outbreak initially
linked to tomatoes has been narrowed to a pepper farm in 
Mexico, officials said Wednesday. The Washington Post repor-
ted the federal investigators found the Salmonella saintpaul
strain in irrigation water and serrano peppers on a Mexican 
farm where jalapeno peppers are also grown. "We have a smo-
king gun it appears," said Lonnie King, a director at the 
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. David 
Acheson, a senior FDA food safety official, revealed the 
breakthrough Wednesday while testifying at a congressional 
hearing on the salmonella outbreak. The U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration is now warning consumers to avoid raw serrano
peppers grown and packed in Mexico. Since April, more than 
1,300 people have fallen ill from Salmonella saintpaul in 
43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, the news-
paper reported.
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         U.S. beach water quality still bad overall

WASHINGTON, -- A study of U.S. beach water quality by the 
Natural Resources Defense Council shows 2007 was the second 
worst year since studies began 18 years ago. "Some families
can't enjoy their local beaches because they are polluted 
and kids are getting sick -- largely because of human and 
animal waste in the water," said Nancy Stoner, director of 
the NRDC's clean water project. Using U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency data, the report rates more than 100 pop-
ular U.S. beaches with a five-star rating guide based on the
cleanliness of the water, as well as monitoring and public 
notification practices. Some of the nation's cleanest 
beaches are on the California coast and in Hawaii. On the 
east coast, one Maryland beach earned a five-star rating -- 
Ocean City at Beach 6 -- and in New Hampshire, Hampton Beach
in Rockingham County was awarded five stars, as were three 
Duluth, Minn., beaches on Lake Superior, But in the entire 
Great Lakes area, 15 percent of beach water violated health 
standards with the highest level of contamination of any 
continental U.S. region. Nationally, seven percent of all 
beach water samples violated health standards, showing no 
improvement from 2006.

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--------------- Health Tip Video of the Week ---------------

Lunch Your Way to a Happier Day - current rating 4

The right sandwich can boost your mood, and we're not 
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Health Tips and Info From EVTV1.com Health Related Videos

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