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Health News: Limitation of Over the Counter Antidiarrheal Medication; Depression Prevalence in American Adults; Brain Concussion Blood Test Approved by FDA

written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Saturday, 17th February ,2018

Limitation of OTC Antidiarrheal Medication Doses by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will work with manufacturers to limit the number of doses in packages of over the counter antidiarrheal medication Loperamide ( Imodium).

Loperamide (Imodium A-D) can lead to serious heart problems and even death when consumed in a higher dosage than recommended by the FDA.  The maximum recommended daily dose for over-the counter Loperamide is up to 8mg for adults.  Abusers of Loperamide consume high levels of this medication together with other medications which increase its absorption rate to the brain resulting in an euphoric effect.


FDA Approval of Blood Test to Assess Adult Concussion

Brain Trauma Indicator (Banyan Biomarkers), the first blood test to assess mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), was approved by the FDA.  The test measures two proteins, UCH-L1 and GFA, which appear rapidly within 12 hours of injury.  The results which are available within 3-4 hours, would determine which patients should get a head CT scan.  The test was found to be able to predict presence of brain lesions resulted from mTBI, on a CT scan as high as 97.5% of the time.

FDA is hoping that this test will reduce the number of CT scans in concussion cases and decrease healthcare costs in mTBI cases.


Depression Prevalence Among American Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported in February that 8.1% of American adults aged 20 years and older had depression in a given two week period during 2013-2016. 

There was a lower rate of depression in non-Hispanic Asian Americans and in those with higher income levels.  The authors believe their data might even be conservative because some people might choose to avoid participation in these studies.

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