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Oxcarbazepine/Trileptal epilepsy meds linked to SJS/TEN

The Guardian has updated a recent health story about the epilepsy treatment oxcarbazepine, also known as Trileptal. According to the report, two serious adverse reactions have been associated with the medication– Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and its more severe form, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). The reactions have occurred in both adults and children. SJS and TEN are hypersensitivity disorders that affect the skin and mucus membranes. It begins as a rash that blisters over, causing the skin to peel off in sheets. The mouth, eyes and other orifices can be affected with blisters as well. The condition can be life-threatening. ... Read More

Watchdog group founder plans second visit to Albert Lea

Wes Bledsoe, the founder of the watchdog group A Perfect Cause, returns to Albert Lea, Minnesota, this week to meet again with families of victims allegedly abused during the widely publicized “attacks for thrills” incident at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Star Tribune. While in town, Bledsoe also will attend the arraignments of two of the nurses charged with in the crimes. The town of Albert Lea was rocked last year when an investigation revealed that six nursing home aides at Good Samaritan Society were charged in connection to disturbing cases of abuse ... Read More

contaminated peanut butter sparks massive recall

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 485 people in 43 states and Canada have been sickened by an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, which has been traced to products containing contaminated peanut butter originating from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). Authorities also believe the contaminated peanut butter has lead to about 100 hospitalizations and may be responsible for six deaths. The FDA notified PCA on Monday that samples of peanut butter originating from the company’s facility in Blakely, Georgia, tested positive for the salmonella bacteria. The peanut butter was distributed under the King Nut brand name and sold wholesale ... Read More

SJS victim’s family helps raise funds for children’s hospice

Joe Way may have passed away in May, but he leaves behind a legacy that will touch lives in his community of Cornwall, England, forever. Joe was just 4 years old when he died. He contracted meningitis at one week old and eventually was diagnosed with Angelmans Syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder that can cause developmental delays, seizures and jerky movements. Those with Angelmans Syndrome appear to have a happy, joyful demeanor. Shortly after the diagnosis, Joe was put on Topiramate, an anticonvulsant to control his seizures. But the medication caused a severe adverse reaction called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). “We were ... Read More

Vytorin No. 3 on list of Top 10 medical stories of 2008

Vytorin has come in at the No. 3 spot on a list of the Top 10 Medical Stories of 2008 – and not in a good way. Dr. Kate Scannell, columnist for the Contra Costa Times, which serves the California Bay Area, listed the drug under the header “statin madness.” Dr. Scannell said the drug made her list as a result of two studies that revealed Vytorin, which is a combination of simvastatin (Zocor) and ezetimibe (Zetia), did not reduce artery-clogging plaque buildup, although tests showed it reduced “bad” cholesterol levels. However, she said Vytorin’s bad year wasn’t all bad ... Read More

FDA says approval of medical devices was rushed

A group of FDA scientists recently sent a six-page letter to Barack Obama’s transition team venting consternation over their agency’s corruption and mismanagement. It’s not the first time FDA scientists have sought the help of Washington, pleading for a shakeup, but the number of complaints and the overall tone of the latest letter indicate agency insiders are eager to grab some of the new President’s much promised change. And change is apparently what the FDA needs the most. On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that from 2003 to 2007, the FDA cleared 228 medical devices for the market ... Read More

California man injured in Rhino rollover sues Yamaha

A California man has filed a complaint against Yamaha Motor Corporation for severe injuries he sustained when his Rhino ATV rolled over. 44-year-old Troy Bithell, a father of four, was riding in the Rhino with his daughter during a family camping trip. The two were driving in a dry lake bed in Johnson Valley when the accident occurred. Heading back to his family’s campsite, Johnson turned the Rhino when it suddenly flipped. At some point during the accident Bithell’s left leg protruded from the vehicle. The half-ton vehicle flipped over onto the driver’s side, shattering the lower half of Bithell’s ... Read More

Ohio man sentenced for sexual abuse of nursing home patients

Joe Bilgen said the sexual abuse his father endured at the hands of Ohio nursing home night shift nurse John Riems was akin to child abuse because Riems victims had similar states of mind. The fiancé of another victim told the Associated Press that Riems was an, “ancient evil spirit of torment.” Last week, Riems entered an Alford plea to four counts of sexual battery and one count of gross sexual imposition. According to AP, an Alford plea is one in which the defendant does not plead guilty but does admit there is enough evidence against him for a conviction. ... Read More

FDA scientists say their agency is corrupt and broken

A group of scientists at the Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to President-elect Obama and his transition team, urging a clean-up of the government agency. The letter says that widespread mismanagement and incompetence in the agency have “placed the American public at risk.” The six-page letter alleges that FDA managers “have ordered, intimidated and coerced scientists to manipulate data in violation of the law,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. “The scientific review process for medical devices at FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at ... Read More

FDA approval of medical devices was rushed and incomplete

A group of FDA scientists recently sent a six-page letter to Barack Obama’s transition team venting consternation over their agency’s corruption and mismanagement. It’s not the first time FDA scientists have sought the help of Washington, pleading for a shakeup, but the number of complaints and the overall tone of the latest letter indicate agency insiders are eager to grab some of the new President’s much promised change. And change is apparently what the FDA needs the most. On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that from 2003 to 2007, the FDA cleared 228 medical devices for the market ... Read More