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Weekly Drug News Round Up - October 8, 2014

Hydrocodone Combos Are Now Schedule II: What Does This Mean?

No refills are allowed for a schedule II drug; now a patient must visit their doctor to receive a new prescription Read More...

This week the Drug Enforcement Agency's final rule went into effect, which means hydrocodone combination products are now rescheduled from schedule III to schedule II. Previously, a prescriber could authorize up to 5 refills in a period of 6 months. Now, a written prescription is required; a phone order is only permitted in an emergency situation. The new rule is meant to help curb abuse and encourage patients and prescribers to consider alternative ways to deal with pain. These drugs contain both hydrocodone and some other substance, like acetaminophen or a cough/cold product. Well-known brand names include Vicodin, Lortab and Tussionex.

Planes, Trains, or Automobiles? These OTC Drugs May Affect Your Driving

Over-the-counter medicines are also known as OTC or nonprescription medicines Read More...

We all know that some prescription medications can make us drowsy, but what about drugs we buy over-the-counter? Can they pose a risk while driving? According to experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the answer is yes. For example, some OTC antihistamines, anti-diarrheals or nausea medications can impair driving skills due to drowsiness. It is important to read the Drug Facts labels on all OTC drugs. Look for statements like “marked drowsiness will occur,” or “Be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.” Medications that cause drowsiness combined with alcohol can make driving especially dangerous; avoid this combination.

Draft Proposal on Diabetes Screening Issued by U.S. Task Force

Three major risk factors for diabetes include age over 45, being overweight or obese, and a family history of type 2 diabetes Read More...

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a draft recommendation that all adults over 45 years of age and younger adults with diabetes risk factors be screened for high blood sugars and type 2 diabetes. Screening will allow detection of diabetes at an earlier stage and help to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Recent research has suggested that diagnosing prediabetes can lower a person's chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 47 percent if the person eats more healthfully and exercises. In 2012, 12 percent of adults had diabetes and 37 percent had prediabetes, and obesity was at epidemic levels.

New Guidelines Veto the Use of Testosterone in Healthy Women

Testosterone in women can lead to side effects such as high cholesterol, acne, and hair growth Read More...

Due to a lack of research and too many unanswered questions, a new clinical practice guideline published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism states that testosterone should not be used in an otherwise healthy woman. Healthy menopausal women should not be diagnosed with testosterone deficiency and should not be prescribed testosterone therapy to boost sex drive, according the Endocrine Society. The only time a woman might be prescribed testosterone therapy is if she is diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which occurs when a woman has no interest in sex and that lack of interest causes her distress.

12 Things You Should Know About Prednisone

Follow along with this slideshow to learn about the benefits as well as risks of prednisone therapy Read More...

If you’ve ever had a severe allergy, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, you’ve probably taken the corticosteroid medication prednisone. While prednisone is an important medication, it can have side effects you need to be aware of, too. Stomach upset, withdrawal-like symptoms, infections, weight gain, and high blood sugar are just a few of the side effects that might occur. It’s also best avoid prednisone in combination with NSAIDs or aspirin due to a risk for stomach ulcers and bleeding. Be sure to check for other drug interactions, too, and view our slideshow on prednisone.