ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Run for Your Life
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel

TUESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- American women who turn to cosmetic treatments called dermal fillers to ease wrinkles must be better informed about the health risks these products pose, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended Tuesday.

The panel of independent experts urged the agency to revise product labeling to warn of potential reactions to the fillers, including bumps, blotching and scarring.

While side effects are relatively rare, the FDA has also received reports of allergic reactions, including some that were life-threatening, such as anaphylactic shock, the agency said.

"The labeling should be modified to reflect what we're learning further about the products" in various post-marketing studies and elsewhere, panel member Mary McGrath, a professor of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, told Bloomberg News.

According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, almost 1,449,000 procedures involving fillers were performed in the United States last year.

The FDA is not bound to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, although it typically does so.

As part of their review, the group reviewed a variety of reports to see if stronger warning labels were needed for the injectable products. Some fillers are made from natural substances, while others come from synthetic materials. Brand names for some of these products include Restylane, Juvederm, Artefill, and Perlane.

The FDA has also asked the panel to make recommendations on testing the dermal fillers, post-approval follow-up and informing consumers about potential risks. The meeting was spurred by reports of 823 injuries caused by dermal fillers that included allergic reactions, swelling, sores, pain, blisters and cysts.

Overall, 638 patients needed additional medical treatment. Nineteen patients were seen in emergency rooms with life-threatening allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing. Twelve patients had to be admitted to hospitals due to infections, the FDA said.

Medications used to treat problems ranged from topical steroid creams to multiple courses of oral antibiotics, topical steroids, anti-inflammatory or antihistamine drugs, and intra-lesion steroid injections. Ninety-four of the 823 reported injuries required surgical intervention, ranging from opening an abscess for drainage of pus, to biopsy of lesions, the FDA said.

One of the FDA's concerns is that some of the products are being used in ways that they weren't approved for -- called "off-label use."

"The trouble is that once this material is in the hands of physicians, there's really not much control over how it's used and where it's placed," Dr. Scott Spear, a Washington plastic surgeon, told the AP. "That creates the potential for a certain amount of mischief."

There's limited data on how darker-skinned people may react to the dermal filler treatments. Hispanic, black and Asian patients may develop blotches and other complications, the FDA said.

"Off-label" use of these products may be the cause of some of these problems. Lip enhancement is a common off-label use, the FDA said.

Another concern is what happens to the fillers as they break down and circulate throughout the body. Most of the products appear to cause no problems, but one contains small plastic balls that aren't absorbed by the body, the FDA has noted.

One group representing the nation's plastic surgeons agreed that more study is needed.

"We are going to convene a consensus conference early next year to look at the research priorities, to study long-term, post-market safety and effectiveness of these products," said Dr. Richard D'Amico, immediate past president, American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The conference will include members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as well as representatives from the FDA and manufacturers and other professional groups, he added.

D'Amico, who testified at the meeting Tuesday, believes that post-market studies are essential. "We think it's important to keep looking at products to see how they perform over time," he said. "We are going to continue to monitor these products."

"Right now, their safety and effectiveness is excellent," D'Amico added. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep monitoring to make sure things don't come up."

-Steven Reinberg

More information

For more on cosmetic surgery, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.



SOURCES: Richard D'Amico, M.D., immediate past president, American Society of Plastic Surgeons; U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Nov. 18, 2008, Associated Press, Bloomberg News

Last Updated: Nov. 18, 2008

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