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heart rhythm abnormalities 37 articles

Study: Children prescribed antipsychotics should first have their hearts checked

Children should be given a baseline electrocardiogram (ECG) to check for heart abnormalities before starting treatment with antipsychotic medication, specifically patients who are also taking medication to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and who have a family or personal history of heart disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Prompted by the lack of clinical data looking at ECG changes in children and adolescents taking antipsychotics, researchers from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit of the Psychiatry Department at Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda University Hospital in Madrid, Spain, set out to investigate heart rhythm irregularities and possible ... Read More

Family says defective metal-on-metal hip implant caused mother’s brain cancer

A woman who had filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for its defective metal-on-metal hip implant has died of an aggressive brain cancer, a disease her family believes was caused by blood poisoning from her corroding artificial hip. Bharucha had broken a hip when she suffered a fall and in 2007 was fitted with Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR hip replacement system. The surgery did not relieve her pain or help her regain her mobility. In fact, she grew increasingly worse. By 2011, a year after the device was recalled due to premature failures, Bharucha had revision surgery to ... Read More

Life threatening liver damage, adrenal gland problems, harmful drug interactions with anti-fungal drug

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking several actions to limit the use of the oral, anti-fungal medication Nizoral (ketoconazole) tablets, warning that the drug can cause potentially fatal liver injuries and adrenal gland problems, and advising that it can have harmful interactions with other medications. The FDA is advising that Nizoral oral tablets not be a first-line treatment for fungal infections. The drug should be used for certain fungal infections, known as endemic mycoses, only when alternative anti-fungal therapies are not available or tolerated by the patient. Nizoral tablets are indicated for the following systemic fungal infections: candidiasis, chronic ... Read More

Researchers study abnormal heart rhythm, sudden cardiac death among dialysis patients

A group of researchers from the University of Cincinnati is hoping that an implantable device can identify undetected heart rhythm abnormalities in patients undergoing hemodialysis. These patients are at high risk for sudden cardiac death, which doctors say may be linked to large shifts in electrolytes and volume in the blood during regular dialysis sessions. The study could help establish a link between heart rhythm abnormalities and different electrolyte levels in patients’ blood and in the solution used during dialysis. People with end-stage renal disease rely on dialysis to replace kidney function. The process involves a machine that filters waste ... Read More

Reversal agent for blood thinner Pradaxa currently in development


A highly specific and selective antidote designed to reverse the blood thinning effects of Pradaxa (dibigatran) is currently in development, drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim announced at the 2012 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles. The antidote, if approved, could be used during critical care situations or where existing reversal strategies may not be sufficient. Pradaxa was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 for the prevention of strokes in patients with a common heart rhythm abnormality known as atrial fibrillation. It was one of the first drugs to be approved for the indication since the ... Read More

Doctor warns of possible serious complications from antidepressant use during pregnancy

What if there were a virus affecting 5 percent of all pregnant women that caused significant pregnancy complications? More than 10 percent of those infected miscarry, as many as 20 percent deliver their babies preterm, and 30 percent of babies are born with birth defects, have difficulty breathing, or experience a seizure shortly after birth. “If this were to occur it would be considered a public health emergency and a tremendous effort would be put forth to address it,” writes Dr. Adam Urato, a maternal-fetal medicine physician at Tufts Medical Center and guest commentator on Common Health. “Yet, this epidemic ... Read More

Anti-nausea drug possibly linked to potentially fatal heart rhythms

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting doctors and patients that Zofran (ondansetron), a medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, may cause potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities and should not be used in patients with specific heart problems or electrolyte abnormalities. Zofran is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. They work by blocking the action of serotonin, a natural substance that may cause nausea and vomiting. It is available as 4mg and 8mg tablets, 4 mg and 8 mg orally disintegrating tablets, and oral solution (4 mg/5mL). ... Read More

Higher doses of SSRI Celexa linked to heart rhythm abnormalities

The antidepressant Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) has been linked to potentially life threatening abnormal heart rhythms when used in higher doses, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned this week. Celexa is used to treat major depression and is also used off-label to treat various anxiety disorders. The drug is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The FDA’s safety communication on Celexa notified doctors and patients that the drug should no longer be used at doses greater than 40 mg per day because it can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the ... Read More

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against makers of Darvocet

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the makers of the newly banned painkiller Darvocet by a woman who claims the drug caused her mother to suffer a fatal heart attack. Peggy Oniate, individually and as a representative of the estate of her mother, Elizabeth Houlihan, filed the suit against Eli Lilly and Co., Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vintage Pharmaceuticals Inc., Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Endo Pharmaceuticals in federal court in New Orleans. Houlihan reportedly began taking Darvocet or its generic version sometime in 2009 and continued to take the drug until her fatal heart attack in May 2010. The ... Read More

Dangerous diabetes drug following same path as Darvon, Darvocet

Another drug appears to be going down a similar path as the painkiller propoxyphene, known by the brand names Darvocet and Darvon, in the annals of banned drugs. Last week, German and French drug regulators banned the type 2 diabetes drug piogliazone (Actos) after reviewing data from a French study that suggested the drug put users at greater risk for bladder cancer. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Japanese drug authorities, opted to gather more data before deciding the fate of the drug. The FDA officially banned the popular prescription ... Read More