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Weekly Drug News Round Up - October 31, 2012

Synribo Approved for Leukemia

In chronic phase CML, 18.4% of patients had a reduction in percent of cells with Philadelphia chromosome genetic mutation Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Synribo (omacetaxine mepesuccinate) for treatment of adults with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) when their cancer has progressed despite treatment with two tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Synribo was approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval program that provides earlier patient access to promising drugs while the company conducts additional studies to confirm the drug’s benefit and safety. Synribo is the second drug approved to treat CML in as many months, with Bosulif (bosutinib) also approved in September 2012.

OTC Eye Drops and Nasal Sprays: Accidental Ingestion by Children

Children may suffer serious side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, fast heart rate and coma Read More...

Over-the-counter eye drops or nasal decongestant sprays such as Visine, Dristan and Mucinex, as well their generic counterparts contain active ingredients such as tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline that can lead to serious side effects in young children who inadvertently swallow the medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that 53 children were hospitalized between 1985 and 2012 due to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, fast heart rate and coma due to these substances. Parents should be aware that if a child swallows eye drops or nasal sprays, they should call the National Capital Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) and seek emergency medical care.

Second Compounding Pharmacy Shut Down in Massachusetts

Questions continue to arise about the safety, sterility of pharmacy compounding clean-rooms Read More...

A public health department inspection has resulted in the closing of the doors of another Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. Inspectors found “significant environmental issues” and evidence that patients were receiving intravenous injections at the pharmacy, which is against state law. Based on the inspection, Massachusetts-based Infusion Resource voluntarily surrendered its license. This inspection is on the heels of the death of at least 28 people due to fatal fungal meningitis from mold-contaminated epidural steroid injections prepared by another compounding pharmacy, New England Compounding Center.

Got the Flu? You Didn’t Get it From the Flu Vaccine

Flu shot myths that are exactly that, so protect yourself and your family with a flu shot Read More...

One of the most common myths that float around during flu season is that you can catch the flu from the vaccine. But that is not possible - the flu shot contains inactivated (killed) flu virus and the nasal spray contains a weakened live virus - neither vaccine has enough active virus to result in the flu caused by influenza virus. The small amount of virus in the flu vaccine does allow your body to mount an immune response and create antibodies that can be effective against the full-fledged flu if you are exposed. Each year you can start getting the flu shot as early as August, and it’s really never too late.

Storm Evacuation Tips: Preparation is Key

Thinking about medical needs ahead of time makes disaster preparation easier Read More...

Life-threatening storms, whether they are hurricanes, snow storms or other natural disasters, can leave patients at a loss if they have special medical needs. Experts suggest preparation is key - have a one to two week supply of prescription medicines, especially insulin and diabetic supplies and other chronic medications, such as high blood pressure, seizure, or pain medications. Store insulin or any liquid antibiotics on ice or cold packs during power failures. Patients who use CPAP machines for sleep apnea should have a CPAP battery pack, and everyone should keep a list of their doctor contact information at hand.