For Friday, Sept. 29, WGN’s Lourdes Duarte has new medical information, including:

Exxua approved to treat major depressive disorder

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the medication Exxua to treat major depression. 

The maker of Exxua says, unlike many anti-depressants, it doesn’t have side effects like sexual dysfunction and weight gain.   

The FDA had previously rejected the drug’s approval twice, reportedly because of some failed studies. 

But drugmaker Fabre-Kramer Pharmaceuticals says recent studies were conducted on over 5,000 patients and Exxua proved safe. 

The anti-depressant is expected to be available in pharmacies next year. 

Spider venom may treat erectile dysfunction

A Brazilian spider may hold the key to curing erectile dysfunction. 

A pharmaceutical company created a synthetic version of the wandering spider’s venom and says it’s getting good results in early testing. 

The following testing phase will focus on patients who have had prostate removal. 

If successful, the treatment could provide an alternative for those not responding to current medications. 

But there’s a caution. A bite from the spider can cause pain and high blood pressure. 

And to put it delicately, it may be too effective against erectile dysfunction. 

CDC study shows COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women protects newborns from virus

Another benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially for pregnant women: 

A CDC study shows that when expecting women get the shot, it helps protect their newborns from the virus. 

The study says antibodies crossed the placenta and were found in the cord blood after vaccination. 

Maternal vaccination was 54 percent effective against hospitalizations in infants younger than three months old. 

Study shows addiction to marijuana can lead to cardiovascular disease

A new study shows people addicted to marijuana are more likely to experience cardiovascular issues. 

The addiction is also known as cannabis use disorder. 

Researchers looked at data from Canada and found that people addicted to pot were 60 percent more likely to experience a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event. 

The research was published in the medical journal Addiction.

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