* Hair loss may well be another side effect of the antidepressant fluoxetine (marketed as Prozac). Writing in The Lancet (4 December, 1993), Dr Alan Ogilvie of St John's Hospital, Livingston, England, reports two recent cases of significant hair loss, although this side effect was not included in the latest reference work Data Sheet Compendium. The manufacturer confirmed to him that 498 cases of alopecia had been reported by 1991.
* The antiarthritic drug indomethacin, used for 20 years to stop premature birth, can increase the risk of serious complications in newborn babies born before 30 weeks. N E J Med, 25 November, 1993. A separate study has discovered that babies, delivered by vacuum, can suffer moderate to severe eye hemorrhage Ob Gyne 1993; 81:688-94 as reported in J of the Amer Med Assoc, 8 December, 1993.
* Chorionic villus sampling can cause massive loss of blood from the womb, which may lead to the death of the fetus. This discovery, from the Erasmus University in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, counters an earlier view that the fetus could survive such a loss of blood. The Lancet, 18-25 December, 1993.
* Parents of children with fever should be helped through the process, rather than giving the child medication such as diazepam, argue doctors at the Pediatric Associates of Connecticut. Up to 30 per cent of children given diazepam (Valium), in a recent study were irritable or lethargic. N E J Med, 30 December, 1993.