Skip to Content

Weekly Drug News Round Up - March 20, 2013

FDA Investigates Pancreatic Risks Associated with Incretins

Incretin mimetics stimulate insulin release and are used to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes Read More...

FDA is evaluating unpublished new findings by researchers that suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous cellular changes in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with a class of drugs called incretin mimetics. Incretin mimetics include commonly used drugs such as exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza), and sitagliptin (Januvia). FDA has not reached any conclusions about this safety issue, but will communicate an update when available. Patients should continue to take their medicine as directed until they talk to their health care provider, and providers should continue to follow the labeled prescribing recommendations.

FDA Approves Lymphoseek to Map Lymph Nodes in Cancer

Lymphoseek is the first new agent for lymph node mapping to be approved in more than 30 years Read More ...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lymphoseek (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept) Injection, a radioactive diagnostic imaging agent that helps doctors locate lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer or melanoma who are undergoing surgery to remove tumor-draining lymph nodes. Lymphoseek is an imaging drug that helps locate lymph nodes; it is not a cancer imaging drug. Other FDA-approved drugs used for lymph node mapping include sulfur colloid (1974) and isosulfan blue (1981).

Recall: Mold Detected in More Pharmacy Compounded Products

Administration of an IV product contaminated with mold could result in a fatal infection Read More...

Med Prep Consulting, Inc. notified the public that it is recalling all lots of all products compounded at its facility due to lack of sterility assurance. A hospital has detected particulate matter in intravenous (IV) solutions of magnesium sulfate 2 gram in dextrose 5% in water, 50 milliliters for injection from this facility. The particulate matter was confirmed to be mold. The products are used for a wide range of therapeutic uses for hospitalized inpatients and clinic outpatients. None of these products were dispensed directly to patients from retail pharmacies or to home care patients.

More Parents Turning Children Away From HPV Vaccine

In the U.S., roughly 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, primarily linked to HPV Read More...

A new study published in Pediatrics finds that parents are increasingly worried about their daughters receiving the HPV vaccine due to “safety concerns.” Persistent infection with certain human papillomavirus (HPV) strains can eventually lead to cervical cancer in some women. Due to this risk, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that girls ages 11 and 12 receive the HPV vaccine (Cervarix, Gardasil), and that teenagers and young women up to age 26 get a "catch-up" vaccination. Experts say the findings are both worrying and puzzling, because the vaccine has not been linked to any serious side effects.

Experts Urge Not to Give ADHD Treatment Unnecessarily

Prescriptions for ADHD drugs for children and adolescents have increased 10-fold in the last 2 decades Read More...

A position paper published by the American Academy of Pediatrics criticizes the practice of using ADHD medications -- for example, methylphenidate (Ritalin) -- in healthy students solely to improve their ability to improve test or school grades. The paper notes that recent parent surveys show about a 22 percent increase in ADHD diagnosis, and a 42 percent rise in the disorder among older teens and a 53 percent increase among Hispanic children. Although some of the diagnosed cases are appropriately diagnosed, authors note that the numbers suggest a problem of overdiagnosis and overmedication, especially among older adolescents.