Entries in Injection (7)


Is Human Growth Hormone the 'Fountain of Youth'?

Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Human growth hormone is the so-called fountain of youth, and many celebrities are fans.

Actress Suzanne Somers calls it "sex in a capsule."  Actor Nick Nolte calls it "a systems repair" for the body, and actor Sylvester Stallone used it to get buff for his role in the movie Rambo IV.  Some sports superstars have even gotten themselves into legal trouble for allegedly using it to enhance their performance.

But human growth hormone, or hGH, is not just for celebrities anymore.  Ordinary Americans are turning to the product that many proponents claim turns back the clock on aging, builds muscle mass and strengthens bones.  The hormone is illegal if used for anti-aging and can only be prescribed by a doctor if a patient's blood test shows hormone levels that are too low.

Former NFL player Ed Lothamer and his wife, Beth, started injecting hGH about eight years ago after their doctor legally prescribed it.  They said that when they hit middle age, they just weren't feeling like themselves anymore.

"I think the older you get, the more depressed you get and the golden years are really the rusty years," Beth Lothame, 64, told ABC's Good Morning America.

Within months of starting the injections, they noticed a big change, including better skin and a spiced-up sex life.

HGH occurs naturally in the body.  It promotes growth in children and diminishes with age.  But people like Beth Lothamer have been injecting it back into their bodies.

Her regimen includes exercise, eating healthy and taking hGH and other medications, including melatonin and progesterone.  For her husband, 69, it's testosterone.  The hGH costs $150 per bottle and the Kansans spend between $8,000 and $10,000 a year on all their medications.

Ed Lothamer says he feels 20 years younger.  And his wife said she feels as though she's in her 40s.  She says she sleeps much better and runs three miles a day.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine even backs up some of their claims, finding that men who took hGH for six months reduced their body fat by more than 14 percent and increased muscle mass by 8.8 percent.

Results like those only come, however, when hGH is injected as prescribed, not when applied through the creams and lotions also advertised as hGH and available on the market.  But the practice of injecting hGH is highly controversial and potentially risky.

"Growth hormone has a number of dangerous side effects, primarily diabetes," Dr. Thomas Perls of Boston Medical Center told GMA.  "It increases blood sugar and can cause diabetes.  It can also cause a swelling of the joints, enlargement of organs, hypertension, sometimes breathing problems."

HGH has even caused cancer in mice.

The Lothamers are examined by their doctors every three to five months to make sure their hormone levels are balanced. They say any potential risks are worth the transformation they've experienced.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Botox Injections Don't Do Much for Neck Pain

BananaStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Despite being approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for chronic migraines, Botox injections don't seem to be as beneficial for other forms of head and neck pain, according to researchers at Merck Research Laboratories.

The authors of the study, which was released on Tuesday, reviewed nine studies involving over 500 participants and found that there was little difference in pain following Botox or placebo injections.

Although it’s possible that Botox provided some benefits that weren’t measured in the studies, the authors wrote that “based on current evidence we have no reason for supporting the use of BoNT [Botulinum toxin, or Botox] as a stand-alone therapy for neck pain, but we do suggest that researchers consider further study to clarify whether the dose can be optimized for neck pain.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Plastic Surgery Scam? Woman Dies After Buttocks Injection

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- Claudia Aderotimi, a 20-year-old British woman who died early Tuesday following a hotel room cosmetic buttocks injection, may be yet another casualty of dangerous, corner-cutting enhancement procedures.

Police believe Aderotimi, who was visiting from the U.K. with three friends, received the injection Monday morning at the Hampton Inn in southwest Philadelphia, local ABC affiliate WPVI-TV reported.

At around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, medics were called to the hotel in response to Aderotimi's reports of difficulty breathing and chest pains.  She was rushed to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital where she was pronounced dead, WPVI reported.

A complete autopsy was performed by the Delaware County medical examiner, but a cause of death and the details of the report were pending.  Aderotimi originally was misidentified by police as Claudia Adusei.

As police question the two women suspected of offering an illegitimate cosmetic service, plastic surgeons renewed public warnings concerning non-approved facilities and non-certified cosmetic practitioners: Cutting corners in hopes of a cheaper nip-tuck is dangerous, and potentially life-threatening.

"This is a distressing, tragic event," said Dr. Malcolm Roth, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  "What we want is for patients to learn how to avoid disastrous complications like this.  I don't know who performed the procedure.  Considering the scenario it was highly unlikely to be a board-certified plastic surgeon ... who should be performing these types of procedures."

Choosing a board-certified physician is just one of many requirements patients should take into account when opting for cosmetic procedures, plastic surgeons said.  Whether going under the knife or having an injection of some sort, there are numerous requirements that any prospective patient should evaluate in order to minimize risk of adverse, potentially lethal effects. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Warming Injections Can Greatly Minimize Pain for Patients

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Canadian researchers report that if an injection of local anesthetic is warmed beforehand, the shot will be much less painful for the patient, according to the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

A review of 18 studies found that warmed injections resulted in a "clinically meaningful reduction in pain," regardless of the amount injected or whether it was injected subcutaneously (under the skin) or intradermally (into the skin).

Lead author of the study, Dr. Anna Taddio of the University of Toronto, explained how a small change can make a big difference for patients.

"Warming an injection is a cost-free step that emergency physicians can take to reduce pain from a shot."

"Patients often dread the sight of a needle, but doing something as simple as warming the injection to body temperature can make a painful part of an emergency department visit more tolerable," Taddio added.

The study highlighted several ways to warm injections including controlled water baths, incubators, fluid warmers, baby food warmers and a syringe warmer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bayer Tests Fat-Loss Injection for Double Chin

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LEVERKUSEN, Germany) -- A simple injection in the neck to get rid of that double chin? Sounds too good to be true, and that very well may be the case concerning Bayer's newest fat-dissolving injectable, ATX-101, which is beginning phase III trials in Europe.

The upcoming multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study will test the efficacy of ATX-101 for eliminating localized fat under the chin, known as submental fat. The companies announced Monday that they are enrolling patients for the trial in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the U.K.

The drug utilizes half of the two-drug, off-label cocktail used for the notoriously problematic fat-dissolving injectable Lipodissolve that prompted a public warning by the Food and Drug Administration in spring 2010.

Lipodissolve, which was marketed as a quick and easy "lunchtime lipo" procedure a few years back, utilized two chemicals, phosphatidylcholine (PC) and deoxycholate (DC), neither of which were FDA approved for fat elimination.

ATX-101, is just sodium deoxycholate (DC in solution).

Research has shown PC actually inhibits the fat-dissolving effects of DC, so researchers are testing the efficacy of DC alone for fat elimination, said KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., which teamed with Bayer in August 2010 for the upcoming trial.

KYTHERA hopes ultimately to bring an FDA-approved compound for injectable fat elimination to the U.S. market. Two phase II trials in humans have been done in the U.S. so far and a third is underway.

"We are very pleased with the progress that has been made in Europe with ATX-101," Keith Leonard, KYTHERA's president and CEO, said in a press release on the trial. "The initiation of these Phase III studies marks an important milestone in our collaboration with Intendis and further demonstrates the potential of ATX-101 as a first-in-class injectable drug for localized fat reduction."

But plastic surgeons are wary of this renewed attempt to test DC as a cosmetic fat-dissolver.

"I would be very cautious. Even if it's approved in Europe, people will start purchasing it and sneaking into the U.S. illegally," said Dr. Darrick Antell, a plastic surgeon at Roosevelt Hospital in New York and a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "There's no doubt in my mind that if it's approved for the small area [under the chin], then people will start using for large areas and I have no doubt that there will invariably be adverse effects. [Injectable fat-dissolvers] need a lot more work. People who would use this sort of medicine at this point would be like driving ahead of your headlights."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Patients Report Largest Hospital Drug Shortage in Decades

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) -- Many hospital patients are being turned away for potentially life-saving injection treatments in what may be the largest U.S. hospital drug shortage in over two decades.

Most drugs in short supply are known as injectables and include sedation medication such as propofol, the popular blood thinner heparin, and hard-hitting chemotherapy drugs like doxorubicin.

"I've been in practice more than 30 years and this is the first time I've encountered shortages that may affect patient care," said Dr. Michael Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Limited manufacturing, lagging production time, and lack of profits from these drugs are contributing to the shortage, according to an August 2010 editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The production cost outweighs the profits for some companies.  Since many firms would rather produce cheaper generic drugs, manufacturers are shunning some costly brands.

Doctors at local hospitals are frustrated and many times they're not even informed of the shortage, according to survey results released in September by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.  Of those surveyed, 85 percent said they were given little to no information on how long the shortages would last.

And since these medications are mainly housed in hospitals, most patients won't know it might not be available until they really need it.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Toxic Butt-Boosting Injections: Why Is It Still Happening?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's not the first time patients have allegedly been harmed by a risky, unapproved approach to a larger, curvier backside -- and it probably won't be the last.

So say cosmetic surgeons in response to the latest news of another untrained practitioner -- this time a 28-year-old model in New Brunswick, N.J. -- facing charges of practicing medicine without a license in offering butt-boosting injections, according to reports this week in the Star-Ledger.

Anivia Cruz-Dilworth allegedly injected six women in the buttocks with silicone bathtub caulk in March. The women reportedly showed up in hospital emergency rooms complaining of problems, several requiring surgery to treat serious bacterial infections.

Illegal butt-boosting procedures have sent other women to the hospital in recent years as well. Cosmetic surgeons said the occurrence of such procedures is evidence that much of the public remains uneducated about the difference between the risky, unapproved practice and legitimate cosmetic surgery.

"This is a real problem, especially with the slow economy," said Dr. Julius Few, commissioner of cosmetic medicine for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

"More people are trying to achieve an enhancement, all over the body, the 'easy way,' and large volume silicone injections to the buttock is an example. It seems easy, you see the change right away, and it is cheap because industrial-grade material is used, not medical."

Buttock augmentation was up 37.5 percent in 2009 from the previous year and buttock lifts were up 34.6 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio