* The FDA has lifted its ban on the diabetes drug troglitazone (Rezulin), deciding that the benefits of the drug outweigh possible risks (Lancet, 1999; 353: 1161). They caution, however, that the controversial drug, which the Public Citizen's Health Research Group have petitioned to have removed from the US market, should not be considered as a first line in treatment. Troglitazone has been associated with irreversible liver damage in long term users.
* There are calls for better child proof caps and clearer warnings on bottles of mouthwash after a three year old was found comatose and hypothermic after drinking a bottle of "extra strength" mouthwash (BMJ, 1999; 318: 1078). The product, a supermarket own brand, contained 37 per cent alcohol. Seven other paediatric cases of coma after mouthwash ingestion have been recorded in medical literature, two of which were fatal.