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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Calcitonin-containing drugs: Health Canada assessing potential cancer risk with long-term use

"Health Canada is informing Canadians that it is assessing the possibility of an increased risk of cancer with long-term use of the drug calcitonin. Patients who are taking a calcitonin medicine who have questions should speak to their health care professional before they consider stopping their calcitonin treatment."

Link: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2012/index-eng.php

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From Medscape:

"July 20, 2012 — The European equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday recommended withdrawing calcitonin nasal spray — indicated for treating osteoporosis in the European Union — because of an increased risk for cancer.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also said that the long-term use of calcitonin-containing medicines delivered by injection or infusion increases the risk for cancer. As a consequence, the EMA recommended that these drugs be used only on a short-term basis for 3 conditions for which they had previously been approved in the European Union: Paget's disease, acute bone loss resulting from sudden immobilization, and hypercalcemia caused by cancer.
Calcitonin in any formulation should not be used to treat osteoporosis at all, the agency said.
In the United States, 2 nasal-spray versions of calcitonin are FDA-approved for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis in women: Fortical (Upsher-Smith Laboratories) and Miacalcin (Novartis). Neither of the labels for the 2 drugs contains restrictions on how they should be used or a warning about the risk for cancer.
Calcitonin, also called calcitonin-salmon, is a synthetic copy of a polypeptide hormone secreted by the ultimobranchial gland of salmon."

Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/767814

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy#History_of_pharmacy

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