Health Highlights: Sept. 11, 2008

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

FDA Warns on Infant Formula Suspected in China Illnesses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning American consumers not to use any infant formula made in China. The warning comes on the heels of an investigation in China of substandard formula following nationwide reports of infants being hospitalized with kidney stones.

The FDA said late Thursday that the China formulas are apparently suspected of being contaminated with melamine, the same chemical involved in the massive pet food recall last year, according to the Associated Press./

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    • Botox May Relieve Migraines
    • FDA Hires 1,317 New Staff
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But Janice Oliver, deputy director of the FDA's food safety program, added that no U.S. formula manufacturer has received any ingredients from China, so "there is no threat of contamination to the domestic supply."

However, she said, "We're concerned that there may be some infant formula that may have gotten into the United States illegally and may be on the ethnic market." FDA officials are particularly concerned about places like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston, which have large populations of Chinese immigrants, the AP reported.

Agence France Presse reported earlier in the day that China's state news agency Xinhua said reports of seriously ill babies first emerged in the northwestern province of Gansu and have now appeared in six other provinces. In Gansu, there were at least 59 cases of babies with kidney stones, including one who died, AFP reported.

"An unknown number of infants in at least seven provinces and regions across China have suffered from kidney stones," Xinhua reported. "Doctors and parents suspected it could be the result of drinking fake milk powder of the same brand."

The news agency said the suspect formula bore the label of the Sanlu Group, a leading dairy products company, AFP reported. The company says that the product was produced by counterfeiters and that it has sent investigators to Gansu.


Botox May Relieve Migraines

The anti-wrinkle injection Botox may help relieve migraine headaches, according to preliminary findings of two new studies released Thursday by Allergan, Inc.

The phase III clinical trials compared Botox to a placebo and included patients who generally suffered from migraines at least 15 days a month, MarketWatch reported. One study showed that Botox didn't reduce the number of migraines, but did reduce the number of days that patients had migraines. The second study showed that Botox decreased both headache episodes and headache days.

Full study results are expected to be released in mid-2009. Allergan plans to file for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use of Botox in the treatment of migraines next year.

Up to 3.6 million Americans suffer from chronic migraines, according to Allergen.

Botox -- which is made from the toxin that causes botulism -- is currently used to treat wrinkles, excessive sweating under the armpits, and certain head and neck pain conditions, MarketWatch reported.


FDA Hires 1,317 New Staff

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