September 2, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Medical journal criticizes diet pill

 

New York – Editors of a top medical journal call Meridia “another flawed diet pill” and question whether it should stay on the market as a study shows it raises the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with heart problems.

The strongly worded editorial comes two weeks before government advisers review the prescription drug, which has already been pulled in Europe.

In January, U.S. drug regulators strengthened existing warnings that the appetite suppressant should not be used by those with a history of heart trouble.

In today’s issue, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine noted that the latest study showed weight loss with Meridia was minimal, it didn’t improve cardiovascular health, and those with heart disease fared worse.

“It is difficult to discern a credible rationale for keeping this medication on the market,” they wrote.

Cincinnati – A former Ohio church day care worker has been convicted of endangering children by slipping a dietary supplement into candy to get them to sleep.

Forty-two-year-old Cincinnati resident Donna Scott faces sentencing Sept. 15 on three counts of child endangering, carrying a maximum possible penalty of six months in jail.

Prosecutors said she and a co-worker wanted the children to sleep to make their jobs easier and gave them melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone whose possible side effects in supplement form include dizziness and nightmares.

Scott’s attorney told jurors she used poor judgment and parents were right to be upset. But he contended she didn’t commit a crime.

The other worker was sentenced to six months in jail after convictions for child endangering and misrepresentation by a child care provider.

Parked car breaks fall from high-rise

New York – A New York City man who plunged 39 stories from the roof of an apartment building survived after crashing onto a parked car.

Witnesses and police say 22-year-old Thomas Magill tried to commit suicide by jumping from the high-rise at West 63rd Street on Tuesday. He landed in the backseat area of a Dodge Charger after crashing through the windshield.

Magill suffered broken legs. Police said he’s in critical condition.

The car’s owner, Guy McCormack, of Old Bridge, N.J., told the Daily News he’s convinced that rosary beads he kept inside the Dodge saved Magill’s life.


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