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headache 28 articles

Black mold fungus from tainted steroid shots can be difficult to treat

Months ago, before hundreds of people became infected with a black mold fungus called Exserohilum rostratum from contaminated steroid shots, only 33 human infections had ever been reported. And those were mostly eye or skin infections in people with weak immune systems. Exserohilium rostratum, commonly found in dirt and grasses, has never before been known to cause meningitis. Yet, floating in vials of steroid shots injected directly into the spine of people being treated for back or neck pain, the fungus can slowly grow. It sits quietly until enough accumulates for it to burrow a tiny hole, or abscess, into ... Read More

Symptoms of fungal meningitis linked to outbreak can be mild or appear suddenly

News of infections and deaths linked to contaminated steroid shots commonly used to treat back pain put Walter Ward on edge. The 78-year-old Ocala, Fla., man had received an epidural steroid shot in August and worried he might be infected. His worry escalated when he received a letter from the Florida Department of Public Health saying he had received a shot from a suspect batch. His family, however, tried to put his mind at ease. He wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. But Monday night Walter developed a headache that got increasingly worse. “Maybe five minutes later he said, ‘I’m in trouble’ ... Read More

Number of fungal meningitis cases continues to climb, death toll holds steady at 23

The number of cases of fungal infections linked to contaminated steroid injections has climbed to 308, and the death toll holds at 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The total number of infections includes 304 cases of fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis, or other central nervous system-related infection meeting the outbreak case definition. The four other cases are peripheral joint infections (such as knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, etc.). No deaths have been associated with peripheral joint infections. Case definitions include any person who received a methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injection, or a custom ... Read More

Fungal meningitis patient files lawsuit against makers of tainted steroid shots

Back pain from a traffic accident in January sent Vilinda York to the Marion Pain Clinic on August 16, where she received two steroid shots. A week later the pain was still there, but she also had a headache, was nauseous, and felt dizzy. Headaches can be a side effect with any epidural shot, so she thought nothing of going back on August 28 and having a third shot. That’s when her symptoms went from bad to worse. “I couldn’t walk well, I couldn’t see good, and I could wipe the sweat off my arms,” she told NBC News. Her ... Read More

Nine dead, more than 100 infected by tainted steroids for back pain

It took more than a month for doctors to diagnose 67-year-old Lilian Cary with fungal meningitis and begin treatment. The Michigan woman was responding to the medication, and her fever had broken, but her frail body ultimately lost its battle with the infection. A week later she was dead. It was a staggering loss for her husband, George. But the bad news kept coming. Just days after his wife died he was told that Lilian’s death was linked to a batch of contaminated steroid injections she had received at a clinic that regularly treated her back pain. And, the doctor ... Read More

Steroid possibly linked to deadly fungal meningitis outbreak

Four people have died and more may perish from an outbreak of a rare fungal meningitis that has been traced back to a specialty pharmacy that distributes a steroid injection commonly used to treat back pain. To date, 26 people in five states have been infected. The cases include 18 people in Tennessee, one in North Carolina, two in Florida, three in Virginia, and two in Maryland. Two deaths were reported in Tennessee and both Virginia and Maryland reported one death each.Investigators say it is possible the product was shipped to many more states, and that the number of people ... Read More

Artificial joint maker recalls defective metal hip implant

Orthopedic joint maker Stryker Orthopaedics is recalling its Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular neck hip stems because the parts may fret or corrode at the neck junction, which may cause pain and/or swelling. Some patients may even suffer from blood poisoning and require painful revision surgery to remove and replace their devices. Blood poisoning from corroding artificial hip implants was thought to be a problem only associated with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems. However, the newly recalled Stryker hip implant is not made from all metal parts, but does have metal components. It is being recalled because it is causing similar ... Read More

FDA approves new medication for erectile dysfunction

Move over Viagra and Cialis, there’s a new erectile dysfunction drug in town, and it’s name is Stendra. The new drug, made by Vivus, got a nod from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just last week. It works in much the same way as its competitors, by inhibiting the same enzyme to increase blood flow to the penis. The drug will provide another option to the nearly 30 million men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, a condition in which men have difficulty getting or keeping an erection. Stendra, also known as avanafil, will come with the same side effect ... Read More

Dr. Oz show investigates risks, benefits of new diet drug

An investigational diet drug is getting media attention from celebrity doctor Dr. Oz as the “New Silver Bullet for Weight Loss,” but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the drug based on health concerns including heart problems and birth defects. The new drug, made by Vivus, is Qnexa, a combination of phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is a stimulant that is FDA approved as a diet pill to aid in weight loss. It was once part of the wonder drug fen-phen, which was banned in 1997 for damaging heart valves. Tropiramate, also known by the brand Topamax, ... Read More

Man undergoes six surgeries as result of defective metal hip

Eric Mets expected relief from pain after having hip replacement surgery in 2008, but his symptoms only got worse. It was puzzling not only to Eric, but to his doctors as well. Eric had been fitted with a newer hip implant, made with all metal parts and designed to be more durable. Traditional artificial hips are made with plastic or ceramic parts. Eric soon learned that his hip replacement had failed and he had to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the implant. Revision surgeries for hip replacements are more invasive and require longer recovery than initial hip surgery. ... Read More