September 14th, 2010
06:45 PM ET

FDA panel: Cough and cold meds should remain over the counter

Cough and cold medicines that contain dextromethorphan should remain available without prescription, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended Tuesday.

Dextromethorphan or DXM  is found in many over-the-counter cough suppressant products, such as NyQuil, Robitussin and Tylenol Cold Tablets.  When taken in large doses and when mixed with other drugs it can create a state of euphoria.

The Drug Enforcement Administration asked the FDA, back in 2007, to look at how the government could curb abuse of DXM, because a growing number of teenagers were using it to get high. In rare cases, death did occur. FULL POST

September 14th, 2010
04:10 PM ET

Medical residents sick on the job?

Many medical residents work while they are sick, according to survey results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This phenomenon is called presenteeism, and it means that workers may be spreading illnesses to colleagues and clients (or, in this case patients) because they don't take time off when they should. For medical residents, poor health may also lead to declines in performance that affect patients and fellow health professionals, the authors wrote. They are Dr. Anupam Jena, Dr. DeWitt Baldwin Jr., Steven Daugherty, Dr. David Meltzer, and Dr. Vineet Arora.


September 14th, 2010
09:29 AM ET

The FDA may require prescriptions for products with common cough suppressant

Last year, more than 8,000 people, mostly teens, were treated at emergency rooms because they abused over-the-counter cough suppressants, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Now in an effort to control these substances, the FDA is considering whether to make medicines like Nyquil, Robitussin and Tylenol Cold tablets, prescription drugs.

An FDA advisory committee, which is meeting today in College Park, Maryland will review data, provided to them by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA, which asked for the hearing back in 2007, says it saw a 70 percent increase in emergency room visits between 2004 and 2008, because of teens using large amounts of cough syrup to get high.


September 14th, 2010
08:46 AM ET

Study: No increased autism risk from mercury-based perservative in vaccines

Exposing a fetus or young infant to vaccines with the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal does not increase the risk for autism, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics

"This study adds to the evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines do not increase a child's risk of developing autism," lead study author, Dr. Frank DeStefano of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells CNN.


September 14th, 2010
08:41 AM ET

My son hears suicidal voices. What can I do?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Elizabeth Rooks of Seymour, Indiana: My 7-year-old son has lost touch with reality, I think. He says he feels like he's in a dream and nothing is real.

He sees things and hears voices telling him to do bad things. He is bipolar, has autism, anxiety disorder, ADHD, ODD and OCD. He has tried many medications that either don't help or make things worse. He says the voices are telling him to kill himself. What should I do? I'm so scared for him. FULL POST

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.