News and Updates for Healthcare Professionals

FDA MedWatch - Opioid Pain Medicines: Drug Safety Communication

MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

A new MedWatch Safety Alert was just added to the FDA Drug Safety Communication webpage.

TOPIC: Opioid Pain Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - Harm to Patient Reported From Sudden Discontinuation of Opioid Pain Medicine

AUDIENCE: Patient, Health Professional, Pain Management, Pharmacy

ISSUE: FDA has received reports of serious harm in patients who are physically dependent on opioid pain medicines suddenly having these medicines discontinued or the dose rapidly decreased. These include serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, psychological distress, and suicide.

Rapid discontinuation can result in uncontrolled pain or withdrawal symptoms. In turn, these symptoms can lead patients to seek other sources of opioid pain medicines, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

[ Read recommendations ]

Women outlive men: where and why

Women outlive men everywhere in the world – particularly in wealthy countries. The World Health Statistics 2019 – disaggregated by sex for the first time – explains why. Our task is to use these data to make evidence-based policy decisions that move us closer to a healthier, safer, fairer world for everyone.

“Breaking down data by age, sex and income group is vital for understanding who is being left behind and why. Behind every number in the World Health Statistics is a person, a family, a community or a nation,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

[ Full article ]

Gout treatment may help prevent obesity-related type 2 diabetes, suggests small NIH study

Colchicine may potentially reduce complications accompanying metabolic syndrome.
[ Full article ]

AHRQ Evidence-Based Practice Update

Adverse Effects of Pharmacological Treatments of Major Depression in Older Adults
[ Full article ]

Seeking Primary Care Practices to Participate in Improving Opioid Management

Get resources and guidance on how to implement effective team-based opioid management strategies in primary care by participating in the AHRQ-funded “Six Building Blocks” project. Selected practices will implement the Six Building Blocks toolkit to improve opioid prescribing and collect metrics to monitor progress. An anticipated 15 participating practices will each receive the resources and a $2,500 honorarium/practice to offset costs of data collection for the evaluation. The estimated start date for practices is late April 2019. Learn more here.

Protecting the Health and Safety of all Americans

Despite stringent safeguards, alarming stories continue to be reported about people, including some of our most vulnerable individuals, who have experienced harm in healthcare settings that is devastating to these patients and their families. These include cases of :

[ Read more ]

MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

An Update to Three Recent MedWatch Safety Alert Recalls: on Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker Including Valsartan and Losartan.
  • Losartan Potassium Tablets and Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets by Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited: Recall - Due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of N-Methylnitrosobutyric Acid Found in an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) (03/01/19)
  • Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets and Valsartan Tablets by AurobindoPharma USA: Recall - Due to the Detection of NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine) Impurity (03/01/19)
  • Losartan Potassium Tablets by Camber Pharmaceuticals: Recall - Due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-amino Butyric Acid (NMBA) Impurity Found in the API (02/28/19)

[ Read more ]

NIH study of brain energy patterns provides new insights into alcohol effects

Study could help understanding of how the brain uses energy in health and disease.

[ Read more ]