Health Highlights: Aug. 30, 2013
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Actress Valerie Harper's Brain Cancer Is Close to Remission, Doctor Says
A doctor treating Valerie Harper said the actress' brain tumor is close to remission.
Harper, 74, announced in March that she had an incurable form of brain cancer and had only a few months to live, the Associated Press reported. However, speaking to NBC's "Today" show on Thursday, her physician, Dr. Jeremy Rudnick, said that the star of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda" has beaten the odds. He stressed, however, that Harper's prognosis could change at any time.
Harper continues to work and has been hired for a TV movie that filmed in August, the AP said.
Tylenol to Come With New Warning
Caps on bottles of the popular pain reliever Tylenol that are sold in the United States will soon come with warnings alerting consumers to the potential for liver failure and even death, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The warning will state that Tylenol's active ingredient is acetaminophen, the nation's leading cause of sudden liver failure. The new cap is designed to alert consumers who may not read similar warnings that already appear in small print on the product's label, the AP said.
In addition to Tylenol, acetaminophen is contained in more than 600 over-the-counter products used by nearly one in four American adults every week. Those other products include such popular brands as Nyquil cold formula, Excedrin pain tablets and Sudafed sinus pills, the AP reported.
Tylenol's maker, Johnson & Johnson, said the warning will appear on the cap of each new bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol sold in the United States starting in October, and on most other Tylenol bottles in coming months, the news service said.
Overdoses from acetaminophen send an estimated 55,000 to 80,000 people to U.S. emergency rooms every year and kill at least 500 people, according to the federal health officials.
NFL, Former Players Agree to Settle Concussion Lawsuit
The National Football League has agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit brought by more than 4,500 former players with dementia and other health problems. The recipients will also include families of ex-players who died from what the families claimed were the effects of head injuries, The New York Times reported Thursday.
U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said Thursday that she was told by Layn Phillips, a court-appointed mediator, that the money would be used for medical exams, concussion-related compensation and medical research for retired players and their families, the Times reported.
Brody still must approve the settlement, which has yet to be filed.
The Times said the money, which may not be dispersed for months, will be available to all eligible retired players, not just those who filed the lawsuit. The players will have an opportunity to opt out of the deal.
The plaintiffs include Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowler Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year.
Individual awards would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer's disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain; and $3 million for players with dementia, The Associated Press reported.