Medication Safety Articles

 

FDA has followed up on previous warnings on this website regarding cases where consumers accidentally swallowed a Benadryl (diphenhydramine) over-the-counter (OTC) product meant to be applied to skin, never ingested. The packaging and labeling of BENADRYL ITCH STOPPING GEL has been contributing to dangerous confusion.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the increased risk of birth defects in babies if their mothers are taking valproate and related medicines, such as valproic acid and divalproex sodium (brand names include Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkle, Depacon, Depakene, and Stavzor) during their pregnancy.

Depakote (divalproex sodium) ER is a medicine used to treat seizure disorders, migraine headaches, and certain mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. The "ER" part of the name stands for "extended release," meaning the contents of the medicine are released slowly, not all at once, after you take the medicine. So, Depakote ER should be taken just once a day.

As we listen to the news, it is clear that the current recession has impacted nearly every sector of the economy. According to 848 respondents to a survey we conducted in September through November 2009, healthcare is likely no exception. Our survey findings support conclusions drawn from an earlier 2009 survey by the American Hospital Association (AHA), which found that the economy has taken a toll on the patients and communities that hospitals serve.

We have notified the FDA about a potentially dangerous situation due to a couple of drug names that are way too similar. DUREZOL (difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05% (click here) is a steroid eye medication used to treat inflammation after eye surgery. DURASAL is a solution containing 26% salicylic acid that is used to treat common and plantar warts (click here). If someone accidentally places Durasal in the eye, it could cause severe burns and possibly permanent blindness.

Regulators are investigating children’s charm bracelets and pendants imported from China that have been shown to contain cadmium. As a heavy metal, cadmium ranks seventh on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s toxic substances priority list right behind arsenic, lead, mercury and PCBs.

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by business columnist Jeff Gelles explained how health insurers and their contracted pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) make it financially attractive for you to get your prescriptions filled by mail-order pharmacy (usually owned by the insurer or PBM) rather than your local community pharmacy. For example, you may be able to get a 90-day prescription for one co-payment vs. only a 30 day supply at a local pharmacy.

A 67-year-old man went to an emergency department because he was dizzy and had blurred vision. The doctor found he also had low blood pressure and a fast heart rate. The doctor admitted him to the hospital and prescribed medicines to raise his blood pressure and lower his heart rate.

Coming up with a name for a new medicine isn’t as easy as you think. Drug companies look for names that scream ‘take me’ to fix what ails you. The name also needs to stick in your doctor’s mind so it is easy to remember.

Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance found in your blood and cells. Your body makes about 75% of the cholesterol it needs. You get the other 25% from the food you eat. However, too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Everyone 20 years of age and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years.

Medication Safety Alerts

FDA Safety Alerts

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