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flu shotDespite a series of vaccine-related scandals and the recent admission from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that its flu-death estimates were wildly inflated, U.S. and global health authorities are teaming up with big business, the mainstream media, and various organizations to urge more Americans to get an influenza shot. But not all experts — or even most of the public — are necessarily on board with the effort.

dentistAccording to MSNBC.com for September 7, a new study concludes that BPA (Bisphenol A) derivatives, increasingly used in dental resins and sealants, are safe for children’s dentistry, but that expectant mothers should wait for any dental work until after delivery. The widely used sealants, containing substances that degrade into the controversial chemical, are used for all dental patients, but children and pregnant women and their developing babies are particularly susceptible to the effects of the chemical.

midodrineConsumers have won a rare, if possibly temporary, victory for their own freedom to take a drug that has worked for them even if its effectiveness has not been demonstrated to the FDA’s satisfaction.

doctor and patientEveryone is familiar with the routine when visiting a doctor’s office: The doctor or his assistant checks the patient’s vital signs, then discusses any symptoms the patient is experiencing and examines him in relation to those symptoms. If the patient is anything less than healthy, the doctor prescribes a course of treatment.

cough medicineThe Food and Drug Administration is pondering placing restrictions on the purchase of cough suppressants such as Robitussin and NyQuil because these, and a number of other similar over-the-counter medications that contain dextromethorphan, can be used to obtain a drug euphoria known as “robotripping.” Taking the drug as prescribed will not cause that effect, but 25 times the recommended dosage can induce robotripping.

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