From Medscape Medical News > Alerts, Approvals and Safety Changes > FDA Approvals
FDA Approves Zoster Vaccine for Younger Adults
March 24, 2011 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today approval for a vaccine to prevent herpes zoster, also known as shingles, in adults age 50 to 59 years.
The vaccine (Zostavax, Merck & Co., Inc.), a live attenuated virus vaccine, was already approved for prevention of zoster in adults 60 years of age and older in May 2006.
“The likelihood of shingles increases with age. The availability of Zostavax to a younger age group provides an additional opportunity to prevent this often painful and debilitating disease,” said Karen Midthun, MD, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a news release.
Approval was based on a multicenter placebo-controlled trial conducted in the United States and 4 other countries among approximately 22,000 adults who were 50 to 59 years of age. Study participants were followed for at least 1 year for the development of zoster. Results showed that compared with placebo, the vaccine reduced the risk of developing zoster by approximately 70%.
The most common side effects observed were redness, pain, and swelling at the site of injection and headache.
From Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry
Acne Scars Are More Than Skin Deep
March 17, 2011 — Acne is a scourge of adolescence, and a new review of published research confirms that for some teens, acne can fuel anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological problems. Self-esteem and quality of life may also suffer.
“Depression is common among teenagers and acne can contribute to it, but there are effective treatments available to treat acne,” Steven R. Feldman, MD, PhD, from the Center for Dermatology Research, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told Medscape Medical News.
From Medscape Allergy & Clinical Immunology
Food Allergy in Dermatology: The Patient With Atopic Dermatitis
Highlights of the NIAID Guidelines
Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS
Dermatology and Food Allergy
Food allergy is an immune-based disease that may be increasing in prevalence in the United States. Fears about food allergy have become heightened in the general public, although many of these fears are born of myths and misunderstandings about food allergy that occasionally are perpetuated by healthcare professionals.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently issued Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States , which are a “harmonization of best clinical practices related to food allergy across a wide range of medical specialties.” The guidelines address misconceptions surrounding food allergy and attempt to improve the diagnosis and management of this widespread condition. For more information about the NIAID guidelines, see Food Allergy: The Definitive Guide to Clinical Practice .
Patients with suspected food allergy present to many different settings for care depending on the nature and severity of their symptoms. One such setting is the dermatology practice, where the typical nonurgent presentation of a patient with potential food allergy is the infant or child with atopic dermatitis (AD). A skin-based treatment regimen is recommended for most patients with AD, but parents often wonder whether their child’s AD suggests an underlying food allergy that warrants either further testing or dietary restriction.
AD (also known as atopic eczema) is a red, scaly, pruritic chronic inflammatory rash that is 2-3 times more prevalent than it was 40 years ago. This remitting and relapsing disorder also shows predilection for certain body sites: the face, scalp, neck, and extensor surfaces in infants; and the flexural areas (such as the back of the knees and front of elbows) and the hands in children and adults. The skin of affected individuals is often very dry. AD is managed primarily with topical corticosteroids, emollient therapy, and education about skin care for affected children.
Many children outgrow AD by the time they reach adolescence. In the meantime, however, AD can have a significant impact on the child’s quality of life. It is not surprising that parents seek an explanation for their child’s AD, hoping that perhaps a quick fix will be offered by food allergen avoidance, or fearing a life-threatening reaction that could be prevented by taking simple precautions.
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