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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: January 13, 2016

MedWatch: OTC Cough Syrups Recalled Due to Dose Cup Error

No reports related to overdose have been received to date Read More...

Perrigo has initiated a voluntary recall of two batches of it's over-the-counter (OTC) children's guaifenesin grape liquid (100 mg/5 mL) and three batches of its children's guaifenesin DM cherry liquid (100 mg guaifenesin and 5 mg dextromethorphan HBr/ 5 ml) sold in 4 oz. bottles with dosage cup in a box under various store brands, including Rite-Aid, CVS and Kroger. Guaifenesin is an expectorant to loosen mucus and dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. This recall is due to some packages containing an oral dosing cup with incorrect dose markings that may lead to overdose. See the press release for affected label and lot numbers.

Popular Heartburn Meds Tied to Kidney Disease

Proton pump inhibitors were used by more than 15 million Americans in 2013 Read More...

In a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers looked at self-reported data on proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use. Researchers report that use of the common heartburn medications can lead to a 20 to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared to nonusers. PPIs include familiar drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, available by prescription or OTC. Using a PPI once a day was associated with less risk of kidney impairment (15%) than using them twice a day (46%). Although an association was seen, this type of study does not prove cause and effect.

Dementia Drug May Help Prevent Falls in Parkinson’s Patients

About 70 percent of Parkinson's patients fall at least once a year Read More...

Parkinson’s disease patients are at a greater risk of falls, possibly leading to bone fractures and hospitalization. A recent study in The Lancet Neurology suggests that the dementia drug rivastigmine (Exelon) may help to steady the walking, speed and balance in Parkinson’s disease patients. The study included 130 people with Parkinson's disease who had fallen in the past year. Half took the drug Exelon, while the other half took a placebo. After eight months, those who took Exelon were much steadier when walking and 45 percent less likely to fall than those who took the placebo, according to the researchers.

Statins Boost Outcome in Heart Bypass Surgery: Study

Heart bypass surgery uses other blood vessels to 'bypass' a blocked heart artery and increases oxygen to the heart tissue Read More…

A recent study suggests that cholesterol-lowering statins are beneficial for patients undergoing heart bypass surgery. Researchers at the University of Florida reviewed studies on the use of statins (such as Lipitor or Zocor) before and after the bypass surgery. Statins lowered the incidence of atrial fibrillation by 58 percent and reduced the risk of dying in the hospital by 43 percent, possibly due to lowered heart inflammation. However, research also reveals many patients are not prescribed statins before bypass surgery. The researchers recommend that if a patient is not taking a statin before bypass surgery, they should start one and then continue it after the operation.

Infant Medication Errors Often Due to OTCs

Ibuprofen and cough/cold products were common in infant poisonings, even though they aren’t recommended at this age Read More...

Research published in the journal Pediatrics this week describes common medication errors in infants less than 6 months of age. Looking at Poison Control Center records from over a decade, acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) was the most common medication error for infants. Out of more than 270,000 infant exposures, 37 percent were related to mistakes in giving the medicine, such as with dosing, giving the medicine again too soon, or giving the wrong drug. Other drugs with a high possibility of errors include H2-blockers (for acid reflux), gastrointestinal medications, combination cough/cold products, antibiotics and ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil).