Health Highlights: April 16, 2008

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008; 12:00 AM

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors ofHealthDay:

Generic Bupropion Antidepressant Safe, Effective: FDA

Teva Pharmaceuticals' version of generic bupropion extended-release tablets (marketed as Budeprion XL 300 milligram) is a safe and effective choice for the treatment of depression and meets all requirements for approval, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA launched an evaluation of the drug after it received reports of loss of antidepressant effect and new or worsening side effects in some patients who switched from the brand-name drug, Wellbutrin XL, made by GlaxoSmithKline.

The FDA reviewed adverse event reports and other data on the drug, made by Impax Laboratories of California and distributed by Teva, in order to assess its safety and effectiveness.

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Low-Calorie Diet May Protect Against Skin Cancer

A low-calorie diet may help prevent skin cancer, a U.S. study of mice suggests.

Researchers concluded that eating fewer calories prevented activation of two signaling pathways associated with the growth and development of cancer, while a high-calorie diet activated the pathways,CBC Newsreported.

The study was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in San Diego.

"These results, while tested in a mouse model of skin cancer, are broadly applicable to epithelial cancers in other tissues," said senior author John DiGiovanni, director of the department of carcinogenesis at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,CBC Newsreported.

The mice in the study had precancerous skin lesions called papillomas and were fed four different diets. Two groups of mice ate calorie-reduced diets (15 percent and 30 percent) while the two other groups ate diets in which 10 percent and 60 percent of calories came from fat.


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