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side effects 601 articles

Anti-abuse drug sickens hundreds of children each year

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Medical safety specialists are concerned at the growing number of young children who are sickened or die from accidentally swallowing a relative’s prescription for a medication used to treat opioid drug addiction. For every 100,000 patients who are prescribed buprenorphine, 200 children are hospitalized – a rate more than four times higher than the second-most accidentally ingested medication, blood pressure mediation. The research is published in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics. Buprenorphine is a narcotic much like the drugs it is designed to help patients wean off, such as heroin or prescription painkillers. While it can produce typical ... Read More

FDA recalls potassium chloride injection due to labeling error

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Baxter International, Inc., is recalling one lot of potassium chloride injection because the drug packaging may contain units of gentamicin sulfate instead. Potassium chloride injection is used to treat potassium deficiency. Gentamicin sulfate is an antibacterial drug. This labeling error could result in a medication error or delay in therapy for patients who require high concentration of potassium chloride, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. The recall involves Lot #P318220, NDC # 0338-079-48 of potassium chloride Injection 10mEq per 100mL, with the product code 2B0826. Shipping cartons labeled for this specific lot number of potassium chloride injection may contain units ... Read More

FDA approves new diet pill Contrave

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A new prescription diet pill has been given clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing in the United States. Contrave, made by Orexigen Therapeutics, is a combination of bupropion, an antidepressant that is also used for smoking cessation, and naltrexone, a drug used to treat drug and alcohol dependence. Contrave is approved for overweight or obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, as well as people with a BMI of 27 or higher with at least one other health issue such as diabetes. Patients treated with Contrave lost an average of 4.2 ... Read More

FDA to reassess appropriateness, usefulness of testosterone replacement drugs

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold an advisory panel meeting Sept. 17 on the safety and usefulness of testosterone replacement drugs, which a number of pharmaceutical manufacturers are promoting and selling aggressively to men who may be stricken with low testosterone levels, or “Low T.” FDA officials added briefing documents to the agency website earlier this month, acknowledging that while testosterone levels commonly drop in men as they age, studies indicate that lower levels of the hormone do not necessarily lead to serious health problems, such as testicular and pituitary disease. Still, as the agency notes, testosterone ... Read More

Hospira recalls heparin vials due to contamination with human hair

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Hospira, Inc., is recalling one lot of its blood thinner Heparin after confirming that a piece of human hair was found floating in a sealed vial. The nationwide user-level recall involves one lot of Heparin Sodium, 1,000 USP Heparin Units/500 mL (2 USP Heparin Units/mL) in 0.9 percent Sodium Chloride Injection, 500 mL, NDC 0409-7620-03 Lot 41-046-JT with expiration date of 01NOV 2015. The injection of particulate material, such as human hair, may cause local inflammation, phlebitis, and/or low-level allergic response. Capillaries, which may be as small as the size of a red blood cell, approximately seven microns in diameter, ... Read More

FDA to consider new single-dose anti-viral drug to fight seasonal flu

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Peramivir, a new once-daily injectable drug, appears to be a safe and effective at alleviating most flu symptoms if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to Dr. Rich Whitley, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researcher who led the study on the new drug. “If we don’t get immunized and we get influenza or if we get immunized and we still get influenza, we need to have anti-viral drugs available for the purposes of therapy and the goal is to keep people out of the hospital and to keep people from dying,” Whitley said. Each year ... Read More

British Columbia refuses to cover some type 2 diabetes drugs

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The British Columbia Medical Beneficiary and Pharmaceutical Services Division has delisted all sitagliptin drugs, including Januvia and Janumet, from its Pharmacare Benefits Program and will adjust its coverage of all other diabetes drugs in the class by February 2015. The agencies gave no reason for this action but experts speculate that it may be because sitagliptin has been linked to serious pancreatic side effects. Merck, maker of Januvia and Janumet, is fighting the action, saying the move limits therapeutic options for patients. Januvia works by enhancing the body’s own ability to control blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production when ... Read More

Statin side effects may not be worth the benefits for some people

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Kailash Chand admitted he dismissed complaints of muscle pains, weakness, fatigue and memory problems he heard from patients he put on cholesterol-lowering statins. Then his own doctor discovered he had high cholesterol, and put him on statins to lower his risk of heart attacks, strokes and death. It wasn’t long before Chand, too, started experiencing problems. “My regular exercise was curtailed. I was feeling tired and exhausted,” Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, told Web MD. A stabbing pain in his back sent him to a specialist. When blood tests, X-rays and MRI scans showed no signs of ... Read More

Antipsychotic drugs considered as alternative treatment for MS

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The antipsychotic drugs clozapine and risperidone may help improve symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to a study conducted by researchers with Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is unpredictable and often disabling, leading to impaired vision and coordination and paralysis. Medications approved to treat symptoms of the disease work through traditional immune pathways and don’t work on all populations of patients with MS. Researchers found that clozapine and risperidone target a very different set of pathways that work to reduce inflammation ... Read More

FDA orders recall of mole, wart and skin tag remover

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Dermatend Original and Dermatend Ultra, products used to remove moles, warts and skin tags, are being recalled by the manufacturer, Solace International, because the products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thus have not been shown to be safe and effective. Moles should be removed under the supervision of a dermatologist, the FDA warned, and using these products instead of seeking medical attention could result in delayed diagnosis of conditions such as cancer. Dermatend Original and Dermatend Ultra are sold online and at retail stores. They are packaged in flexible plastic tubes with the product’s ... Read More