Monthly Archives: June 2009

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Colon hydration offers alternative to OSP for bowel prep

Some hospitals across the country are choosing an alternative method of prepping the bowel before colonoscopies that does not require patients to drink a gallon of liquid laxatives the day before the procedure, according to EndoNurse. The new procedure is called colon hydrotherapy and involves infusing the colon with warm, filtered, chemical-free water to effectively clear it. The colon hydration is administered by a trained technician in a private room at a spa and takes about 45 minutes. During that time, the patient lies on a table on his back and sides. The method offers a more soothing environment than ... Read More

FDA warns about qualaquin use for restless leg syndrome

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to health care professionals to use extreme caution when prescribing Qualaquin (Quinine Sulfate), according to the Postmarket Reviews section of the Volume 2, Number 2 2, 2009 issue of its quarterly online newsletter, Drug Safety News (DSN). Qualaquin is approved by the FDA for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, a disease rarely found in the U.S. However, drug use data indicates that many prescriptions written for quinine sulfate in the U.S. are for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps or Restless Leg Syndrome, both of which are off-label ... Read More

Families of nursing home abuse victims speak out using social media

It was almost unbelievable, the reports of patients being physically and sexually abused by nursing home aides at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea in Minnesota. The aides said they didn’t mean any harm when they held down patients, shoved their fingers and hands in their mouths and noses to quiet their cries and screams, rubbed and hit their breasts and genitals, and sexually “humped” them. They simply called it, “work fun, or to get a good laugh.” But no one was laughing when the reports went public and lit up news media across the country. Two aides now face ... Read More

C.B. Fleet wants to put recalled products back on market

Maker of bowel cleansing products and laxatives C.B. Fleet wants to sell its over-the-counter oral sodium phosphate (OSP) solutions to consumers even though the company recalled them six months ago after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued black box warnings on prescription OSPs and raised serious concerns over the over-the-counter OSP products. The FDA had received numerous reports of a serious form of kidney injury known as acute phosphate nephropathy following the use of OSP. Currently, C.B. Fleet faces 38 lawsuits that allege the pharmaceutical company did not do enough to warn consumers and health care providers of the ... Read More

Pain pump makers may be liable for injury after shoulder surgery

For a long time, physicians didn’t know why patients who had shoulder surgery began suffering from a painful condition known as chondrolysis, in which the patient loses the cartilage in the shoulder. “This goes all the way back to about the year 2000. People who had surgery seven or eight years ago who thought they would recover are now seeing that they have lost their cartilage and they don’t know why,” says Frank Woodson, shareholder with Beasley Allen Law Firm. “However, now that the literature is expanding and more and more doctors are finding out about this and they’re telling ... Read More

Investigators still baffled over cookie dough contamination

Food safety authorities and microbiologists arrived at Nestle’s Danville, Virginia plant to investigate the likely presence of E. coli bacteria in refrigerated cookie dough products. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been baffled by the bacteria’s presence in the cookie dough because it is a type of food unlikely to contain E. coli. The E. coli outbreak has sickened 70 people in 30 states since March 2009. Thirty of the reported illnesses led to hospitalization. While some of the E. coli infections have led to serious kidney damage, no deaths from renal ... Read More

Clinical trials seek treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia

Three clinical trials seeking treatments for a neurological disorder known as Tardive Dyskinesia are currently seeking volunteers. The studies – Efficacy of Docosahexaenoic Acid on Tardive Dyskinesia, Safety and Efficacy of Avastrem (Pryidoxal 5’ –Phosphate) in the Treatment of Tardive Dyskinesia, and Aripiprazole for Neuroleptic-Induced Tardive Dyskinesia – are supported by ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Tardive Dyskinesia is a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs generally prescribed for psychiatric disorders, and some gastrointestinal disorders, such as metoclopramide, commonly known by the brand name Reglan. The condition causes repetitive, involuntary movements that may ... Read More

Pregnant women beware: Some medications can be lethal to fetus

In 2005, GlaxoSmithKline informed health care professionals that it was updating the Pregnancy subsection of the PRECAUTIONS section of the labels for its popular antidepressant medication Paxil to indicate the risk of possible side effects based on a study conducted by the drug maker. The study revealed a greater risk of birth defects in infants born to woman taking antidepressants during the first trimester. An even greater risk was found associated with the use of Paxil over other antidepressants in the study. Sometimes drugs are essential for the health of the pregnant mother. In those cases, it is imperative for ... Read More

Researchers working on safer synthetic HRT for menopause

Researchers in Ottawa, Canada are hoping to ease women’s fear of hormone replacement drugs by creating and testing synthetic hormones to combat aggravating symptoms of menopause, according to Canada.com. The research follows an earlier grant from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to explore the re-engineering of estrogen estradiol, which is one of the components of the popular hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Premarin. The new grant, funded by a $267,000 research grant from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, seeks to evaluate those compounds of synthesized molecules on the liver, cardiac and other types of cells. The goal is that it must ... Read More

Cancer drug linked to serious skin condition SJS/TEN

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Genetech has announced that new safety information has been added to the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS sections of the prescribing information for the cancer drug erlotinib, known by the brand name Tarceva. The new labeling warns health care professionals of the risk of sometimes fatal conditions of gastrointestinal perforations, and bullous, blister and exfoliative skin conditions including cases suggestive of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and its most serious form, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), during the use of Tarceva. The safety information comes from routine pharmacovigilance activities of clinical study ... Read More