Health Highlights: May 4, 2009

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

Ranbaxy Announces U.S. Recall of Antibiotic

A U.S.-wide recall of an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract infections has been announced by India-based drug maker Ranbaxy. The recall of 100-milligram capsules of nitrofurantoin was prompted by manufacturing problems.

"Certain lots of the products were determined to not be in conformity with the approved laboratory specifications," said a statement released by Ranbaxy, which gave no details about the problems, Agence France Presse reported.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Ranbaxy Announces U.S. Recall of Antibiotic
    • Fathers' Mental Health Affects Children: Study
    • Seattle Company Recalls Salads

"To the best of Ranbaxy's knowledge, the recalled product is unlikely to produce any serious adverse health effects," the company said, but added that there was "a remote possibility that the non-conforming product may increase the incidence" of nausea and vomiting.

Last fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned imports of more than 30 generic drugs produced by Ranbaxy because of manufacturing problems, AFP reported. Earlier this year, the FDA accused Ranbaxy of falsifying data and test results in approved and pending drug applications.

In 2007, Ranbaxy recalled 73 million tablets of the epilepsy drug gabapentin after it was discovered that impurities in the drug exceeded permissible limits.

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Fathers' Mental Health Affects Children: Study

Psychiatric and behavioral problems are more common in children whose fathers have mental health disorders, say U.K. researchers who reviewed available scientific evidence. Boys in particular are at increased risk if their fathers have depression or are alcoholics.

The University of Oxford researchers said too much focus has been placed on mothers' mental health issues, while the influence of fathers' mental health has been "underemphasized," BBC News reported.

This review shows that fathers have more impact than previously believed, and more research is needed to determine how their psychiatric disorders affect children's development, Professor Paul Ramchandani and colleagues wrote in The Lancet.

"Fathers are more involved in child rearing in countries including the U.K. than they used to be," he said, BBC News reported. "In years gone by, if fathers were depressed and distant, it may not have made much of an impact. We now need a more general understanding of what effects psychiatric problems in fathers can have on children."

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Seattle Company Recalls Salads

Two salad products made by Pasta & Co. of Seattle, Wash., are being recalled because they may be contaminated with salmonella, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Chinese Vermicelli Salad and Pot Sticker Salad were made using chili oil that was recalled by Union International Food Co. due to possible salmonella contamination. The salads were sold at Pasta & Co. stores in the Seattle area. Consumers who bought the salads can return them to any of the company's stores.

No known illnesses have been reported in connection with the salad products, the FDA said.

Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain in healthy people. In elderly or frail people, young children, and those with weakened immune systems, salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections.

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