Health Highlights: Jan. 5, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009; 12:00 AM

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

56 Substances That Interact With E.D. Drugs Listed

Certain anti-angina drugs, blood pressure medicines, grapefruit juice and the herbal supplement St. John's wort are among the substances that could negatively interact with popular erectile dysfunction (E.D.) drugs, the consumer group Public Citizen said Monday in releasing a list of 56 such substances.

The substances were analyzed when taken with the E.D. drugs Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, Public Citizen said in a news release. The substances are capable of causing either:

A life-threatening drop in blood pressure,An overdose of the E.D. drugs because the other substances prevent the body from ridding itself of the E.D. drugs,Or reducing the effectiveness of the E.D. drugs by speeding up the body's metabolism.

E.D. drugs cause the blood vessels to dilate, and this process can be magnified when taken with blood pressure medicines such as Flomax or Cardura. Men who take hypertension medicines should avoid the E.D. drugs, the consumer group said.

The complete list of substances is available at Public Citizen's Web site.


MRI Appears to Verify Everlasting Love

Cynics have long disputed the notion of everlasting love. But medical technology may prove them wrong, Britain's Sunday Times reported.

Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York state scanned the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years. About one in 10 of these couples, when shown pictures of their loved ones, had the same chemical reactions in the brain as newlyweds.

Prior studies had shown that the intense "limerence" felt by new couples was virtually gone after a decade, the newspaper said.

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