Drug Safety

Use of potentially lethal drug combinations increases in the elderly

Use of potentially lethal drug combinations increases in the elderly

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The rates of dangerous drug combinations, supplement use, and polypharmacy are increasing among older adult patients.

Off-label prescription use leads to high rates of adverse events, serious side effects

Off-label prescription use leads to high rates of adverse events, serious side effects

Research shows that off-label drug uses puts patients at high risk for potentially serious side effects.

FDA issues warning for two hepatitis C drugs

FDA issues warning for two hepatitis C drugs

Hepatitis C drugs Viekira Pak and Technivie have been recently linked to serious liver damage in patients with advanced liver disease, said the FDA.

Improved prescribing practices needed to curb opioid abuse

Improved prescribing practices needed to curb opioid abuse

A comprehensive approach is needed to improve prescribing practices and ultimately reduce opioid abuse and related overdose death rates across the country.

Grapefruit contraindicated with increasing numbers of drugs

Grapefruit contraindicated with increasing numbers of drugs

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Take thorough dietary histories to be sure patients are not taking medications that adversely interact with the fruit.

Experts question safety of acetaminophen

Experts question safety of acetaminophen

Heavy use of acetaminophen is associated with kidney disease and bleeding in the digestive tract.

Missed drug side effect turns toxic

Missed drug side effect turns toxic

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One clinician misdiagnoses an adverse effect of a drug prescribed by another.

Fumaric acid esters effective psoriasis treatment in Germany

Fumaric acid esters effective psoriasis treatment in Germany

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The long-term safety profile of continuous fumaric acid esters treatment is favorable.

More oversight needed for compounded drugs, says OIG

More oversight needed for compounded drugs, says OIG

The report suggests CMS consider requiring more than 50 practices for accreditors to use to oversee compounded sterile preparations (CSPs).

Patients may be mixing medications with alcohol

Patients may be mixing medications with alcohol

Nearly 42% of patients considered current drinkers reported taking a medication that can interact with alcohol.

Nearly 50% of hospitalized kids exposed to potentially dangerous drug combos

Nearly 50% of hospitalized kids exposed to potentially dangerous drug combos

Opioids such as morphine and oxycodone were drugs most often involved in potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Test patients for penicillin allergy before prescribing costly alternatives

Test patients for penicillin allergy before prescribing costly alternatives

Majority of patients reporting penicillin allergy showed no evidence in skin tests.

Dabigatran linked to higher bleeding risks compared with warfarin

Dabigatran linked to higher bleeding risks compared with warfarin

In black patients and those with chronic kidney disease, the risk of major bleeding was especially high.

Dietary supplements containing banned substances still on shelves

Dietary supplements containing banned substances still on shelves

Supplements used to enhance sports performance, weight loss, and sexual performance that contain FDA-banned substances are still being sold in stores.

Hydrocodone combination products reclassified as schedule II

Hydrocodone combination products reclassified as schedule II

Pharmacies will be prohibited from filling hydrocodone prescriptions delivered over the phone or via fax. eScripts can only be used in states where they are permitted.

Simplified approach to aspirin for heart risk prevention

Simplified approach to aspirin for heart risk prevention

Recommend aspirin for all high-risk patients without an increased risk of bleeding.

Azithromycin pros beat cons in pneumonia

Azithromycin pros beat cons in pneumonia

Although azithromycin is usually first-line treatment, recent evidence has linked the drug with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Opioid prescribing rates vary drastically by region

Opioid prescribing rates vary drastically by region

The CDC noted a positive trend in decreasing overdose deaths, but urges clinicians to continue safe prescribing habits.

Benzodiazepines linked with worse COPD

Benzodiazepines linked with worse COPD

New users of benzodiazepines were 45% more likely to experience an exacerbation of respiratory symptoms.

Minnesota bans triclosan in hygiene products

Minnesota bans triclosan in hygiene products

An estimated 75% of anti-bacterial soaps and body washes sold in the United States contain triclosan.

CDC: Nearly half of all Americans use prescription drugs

CDC: Nearly half of all Americans use prescription drugs

Overall prescription use has increased in kids, adults and the elderly, but access disparities still exist for uninsured.

Marijuana linked to heart issues in young adults

Marijuana linked to heart issues in young adults

Association not strong enough to establish causality, but important as more states consider legalizing the drug.

Benzodiazepine rxs up in primary care

Benzodiazepine rxs up in primary care

Patient visits involving opioid prescriptions more likely to also have benzodiazepine prescriptions.

Multiple-provider opioid Rxs common in Medicare

Multiple-provider opioid Rxs common in Medicare

More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries with four or more providers have concurrent opioid prescriptions, suggesting fragmented care.

Bodybuilding supplements may contain tamoxifen

Bodybuilding supplements may contain tamoxifen

The breast cancer drug has been identified in three of four samples of the dietary supplement Esto Suppress without clear labeling on the bottle.

Celexa cuts Alzheimer's agitation, but safety questionable

Celexa cuts Alzheimer's agitation, but safety questionable

Cognitive and cardiac adverse effects may limit the antidepressant's use for this purpose.

Saxagliptin may pose heart failure risk

Saxagliptin may pose heart failure risk

The FDA will investigate possible links between the diabetes drugs Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR and heightened risk for heart failure among users.

FDA: No heart advantage with naproxen

FDA: No heart advantage with naproxen

In a 16 to 9 vote, committee members did not find enough evidence to put naproxen ahead of other NSAIDs in terms of heart risk.

FDA revisits heart risks with NSAIDs

FDA revisits heart risks with NSAIDs

Studies suggest naproxen may pose less cardiovascular risks than other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

FDA warns against high-dose acetaminophen

FDA warns against high-dose acetaminophen

Agency recommends physicians cease prescriptions of drugs containing acetaminophen in excess of 325 mg.

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