Monkeypox IV Drugs; Salt Substitutes; Beer Good for the Gut

US to Buy IV Drug to Help With Monkeypox Outbreak

The United States will buy $26 million worth of the intravenous (IV) version of TPOXX, an antiviral drug, to treat monkeypox, according to the drug’s manufacturer, SIGA Technologies, Inc.

Expanded access: The oral and IV versions of TPOXX are approved for the treatment of smallpox but not for monkeypox yet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidance for use under “expanded access” as an experimental drug.

Important option: The IV version of the drug is an important option for patients who cannot swallow the pill version because of the oral rashes and blisters that monkeypox can cause.

When: The product will be delivered in 2023.

The contract and funding of a study for IV TPOXX “highlight the growing importance of a broad-based response to the substantial risks posed by the orthopox family of viruses, including smallpox and monkeypox,” said Phil Gomez, PhD, CEO of SIGA.

More Evidence That Salt Substitutes Lower Risk for CVD and Death

Dietary salt substitutes not only lower blood pressure but also lower risk for myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and death, according to a new meta-analysis.

What they do: Salt substitutes replace a proportion of sodium chloride with potassium chloride.

Major impact: Roughly 1.28 billion people experience high blood pressure globally.

“These findings are unlikely to reflect the play of chance and support the adoption of salt substitutes in clinical practice and public health policy as a strategy to reduce dietary sodium intake, increase dietary potassium intake, lower blood pressure, and prevent major cardiovascular events,” study researchers said.

Good News! A Beer a Day May Boost Your Gut Microbiome

A beer a day improves the diversity of gut microbiomes, according to new research from Portugal.

Diverse microbiome benefits: A more diverse microbiome is linked to lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, and severe COVID.

Standout findings: Researchers compared drinking alcoholic vs nonalcoholic lagers once daily for 4 weeks. The findings stand out amid increasing evidence that no level of alcohol consumption is good.

Nonalcoholic beer boost: Nonalcoholic beer also boosted microbial diversity but not as much as alcoholic beer did. For now, that means nonalcoholic beer is likely the better bet for gut health, though more research is needed.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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