Birth Control, A Drug for PKU, and COPD Help

January 3, 2008 10:22:24 AM PST
A new type of contraception; the first drug for a serious disorder, and help for COPD

Breakthrough Drug for PKU:

For the first time ever, there's a drug to treat a serious disorder called PKU.

In PKU, the body can't break down a protein found in meat, eggs, nuts, dairy and bread products.

If levels of the protein get too high, a person can suffer several neurological problems, including mental retardation.

Restricted diets help, but don't always control the problem.

The FDA has just given the OK to a drug called Kuvan, to help keep protein levels under control.


Guidance for the nation's 4th leading killer:

New guidelines are out for dealing with COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The American College of Physicians says any patient with COPD and lower oxygen levels should definitely receive oxygen - something that isn't standard now.

And they should also receive medication to keep airways open.

Smoking is the biggest cause of COPD.


Implanted birth control gains popularity:

The latest form of long-term birth control is beginning to gain a following.

Planned Parenthood is the latest medical center for offer Implanon, a small, thin rod which contains the hormone progesterone.

Dr. Joel Lebed, the medical director of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, says, "It's inserted in the arm..... Takes me about a minute to insert it."

It lasts up to 3 years, and is more than 99 per cent effective.

Implanon offers pregnancy protection, with convenience.

Dr. Lebed believes, "This certainly eliminates the risk of failure from misuse or inappropriate use, so that will decrease the amount of unplanned pregnancies here in the United States."

Zakia Pugh, of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, says Implanon gives her more peace of mind in her very busy life. "I work 2 jobs, I'm a mother and a homeowner. So it's not always easy to take the pill."

Even though she's afraid of needles, Zakia says getting Implanon inserted was a breeze.

She recalls, "It took about 2 minutes, it was painless, and it's been a year and a half now."