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Weekly Drug News Round Up - July 1, 2015

SSRI Antidepressants May Boost Fracture Risk in Menopausal Women

The study suggests the longer you use the SSRI, the greater your risk for fracture Read More…

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), medications such as citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft), are a class of drugs used by millions. Besides being used to treat depression, SSRIs are often prescribed as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to tackle hot flashes, night sweats and other problems that can accompany menopause. However, new research suggests these drugs may boost fracture risk over time in women using the drugs for non-psychiatric conditions like menopause. Women in the SSRI group had a 76 percent higher risk for fracture after a single year, compared with the non-SSRI group.

FDA Reviews Codeine Safety In Pediatric Cough and Cold Meds

Caregivers should review medications to determine if they contain codeine and talk with their child’s healthcare provider if they have questions Read More…

Based on recent recommendations made at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), FDA is reviewing the safety of codeine-containing medicines to treat coughs and colds in children under 18 years because of the potential for slowed or difficult breathing. In April 2015, the EMA announced codeine should not be used for cough and cold in children under 12 years, and recommended against its use in those 12 to 18 years with asthma or other chronic breathing problems. Parents and caregivers who notice any signs of difficult breathing, confusion, or unusual sleepiness in their child should stop giving their child codeine and seek medical attention immediately.

Outcomes Improved With Statins After Lung Surgery: Study

A larger study is needed to evaluate the potential benefits of statins in lung surgery before changing practice standards Read More...

According to an early study published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, patient outcomes after lung surgery appear to be improved when patients are given a statin, a common class of medicine used in the U.S. for heart disease. Researchers randomly assigned 160 study participants to atorvastatin (Lipitor) or an inactive placebo before and after lung resection, a removal of part of the lung. Complications such as pneumonia, heart attack and respiratory failure were reported in 22 percent of patients receiving placebo, compared with 12 percent taking statins. Post-surgery rates of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) were reduced by half.

FDA MedWatch: Unapproved Prescription Ear Drop Products

Consumers who believe they are using unapproved prescription ear drops should contact their doctor to discuss alternatives Read More…

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will take action against companies that manufacture and/or distribute certain unapproved prescription ear (otic) drop products used to relieve ear pain, infection, and inflammation. The unapproved ear drops contain active ingredients such as benzocaine, hydrocortisone, antipyrine, and pramoxine, and have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness and quality. The labels on these products do not disclose that they lack FDA approval. Today’s action does not affect FDA-approved prescription otic products, or legally marketed otic products sold over-the-counter.

Amoxicillin: How Well Do You Really Know This Drug?

Amoxicillin is a safe and affordable antibiotic. However, it is not the right antibiotic for all infections Read More...

Most of us (and our kids) have had the antibacterial drug amoxicillin at one time or another. From painful ear infections, a tooth abscess or respiratory illness, amoxicillin is a common, safe, and affordable treatment. But are we seeing resistance with this common antibiotic? And what about appropriate use, dosing, and side effects? Can you take amoxicillin if you’re allergic to penicillin? How does amoxicillin affect birth control, and can you take it with alcohol? In this original slideshow, follow along to learn more about this medicine you thought you knew.