Sunday November 17, 2019

Indian-origin Doctors in the US Link Bladder Pill to Retinal Damage

The research was presented on Saturday at "AAO 2019", the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Moscone Center in San Francisco

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Among the various retinal disorders, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are the major types that account for about 8.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent of blindness in the world respectively.
The doctors took detailed images of the back of their eyes. Pixabay

A team of Indian-origin doctors in the US has found that a drug widely prescribed for a bladder condition for decades globally, now appears to be toxic to the retina.

After an initial report last year that Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) may be associated with retinal damage, three ophthalmologists conducted a review of patients at Kaiser Permanente in northern California.

They found that about one-quarter of patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed definite signs of eye damage.

This medication toxicity could masquerade as other known retinal conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy.

“It’s unfortunate. You have a patient with a chronic condition like interstitial cystitis, for which there is no cure and no effective treatment.

“They get put on these medications because it’s thought to have few side effects and few risks, and no one thinks about it again. And year after year, the number of pills they’re taking goes up and up,” said Robin A. Vora from Kaiser Permanente.

Interstitial cystitis causes chronic pain in the bladder and pelvis area.

Elmiron is the only FDA-approved pill to treat it and is being prescribed in India too for years.

As a mainstay of treatment for decades, hundreds of thousands of people have likely been exposed to the drug.

Last year, Nieraj Jain of Emory Eye Center in Atlanta, Georgia, reported that six patients who had been taking Elmiron for about 15 years had developed unusual changes in their macula, the central part of the retina responsible for delivering clear, crisp, central vision.

Dr. Jain and his colleagues raised a warning flag that long-term use of Elmiron may damage the retina.

Switching mice destined to develop glaucoma to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet protects the cells of the retina and their connections to the brain from degeneration.
Of those 140 patients, 91 agreed to come in for an exam. Pixabay

Vora, Amar P. Patel, and Ronald Melles, ophthalmologists at Kaiser Permanente, heeded that warning and looked at their database of patients.

They found 140 patients who had taken an average of 5,000 pills each over the course of 15 years.

Of those 140 patients, 91 agreed to come in for an exam.

The doctors took detailed images of the back of their eyes.

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Twenty-two of the 91 patients showed clear signs of drug toxicity.

The rate of toxicity rose with the amount of drug consumed, from 11 per cent of those taking 500 to 1,000 grams to 42 per cent of those taking 1,500 grams or more.

Because it’s unclear how much medication is too much, Dr Vora recommended patients who show no signs of toxicity be screened for retina damage at least once a year.

For those who do show some signs of damage, he recommended that they speak with their urologists about discontinuing the medication.

If identified early, the damage may be mitigated by stopping the medication, the doctors said.

The research was presented on Saturday at “AAO 2019”, the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Moscone Center in San Francisco. (IANS)

Next Story

Google Gives Up on US Carriers, will Roll Out its Own RCS Chat System

Plus, you'll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven't seen the latest messages

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Google, US, RCS
With RCS on Android, when you and your friends message each other with new chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages. Pixabay

Tired of dilly-dallying at the end of US telecom carriers, Google has announced to roll out its own Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android that will replace the traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features.

“To make your conversations more seamless, we’ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services),” Google said in a statement on Thursday.

With RCS on Android, when you and your friends message each other with new chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages.

“Plus, you’ll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven’t seen the latest messages,” informed Google.

Google, US, RCS
To make your conversations more seamless, we’ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services). Pixabay

Earlier this year, Google enabled the ability for anyone in the UK, France, and Mexico to get chat features in Messages.

Users of Google’s app will eventually see a notification to “Do more with Messages,” and then they’ll be able to “enable chat features” which is RCS.

Chat features are already available for some in Google Messages, and are being broadly rolled out in the US.

“If you already have Messages, you’ll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don’t have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the US by the end of year,” said the company.

Also Read- India Second to US in Demanding Facebook User Data, Requests Up by 37%

Google said it is committed to working with its partners, including carriers and device makers, to provide a consistent and interoperable experience for everyone on Android.

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is richer and can transmit in-call multimedia. (IANS)