Monthly Archives: May 2007

Contact Lens Solution Withdrawn from Market after Being Linked to Acanthamoeba

One year after Bausch & Lomb’s Renu contact lens solution was pulled from the market because of an ineffective disinfectant alexidine, another company has withdrawn its products. Adavanced Medical Optics of Santa Ana California has pulled its AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution from the market after the product was linked with a rare but very dangerous infection causing amoeba known as acanthamoeba keratitis. Advanced Medical Optics withdrew its contact lens solution after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identified 138 laboratory confirmed cases of the infection Acanthamoeba keratitis that have occurred throughout the country since January 2005. The CDC had not determined how the infection occurred but they did say that the risk of developing infection was at least 7 times greater for those people who used the AMO product thant for those who did not.

Avandia Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk

Avandia, the diabetes drug manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline, has been found to increase heart attack risk by 43% and death by 64%. The study which will be published in June in the New England Journal of Medicine. Since the Food and Drug Administration approved Avandia in 1999 doctors have written tens of millions of prescriptions for the drug. The drug study was deemed important enough by the Journal that it was posted to its website prior to the June publication. Glaxo Smith Kline spokesmen have disagreed with the study’s findings.

Effects of Food Borne Illnesses Can be Permanent

The recent spat of contaminated foods such as spinach, peanut butter, and lettuce has given rise to watchdog groups as well as the FDA and the CDC to call for closer monitoring of our food supply. In spite of this, the rise of listeria, salmonella, and e.coli are on the rise. Once the initial symptoms of these bacterial infections wane, the problems may persist and cause permanent harm. Exposure to the enterohemmorrhagic E.coli can result in death. In addition to the most common symptoms of acute infection such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, malaise, nausea, and headache, more serious cases can progress to hemmorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The long term effects of such infection can lead to such conditions as atherosclerosis, reactive arthritis, stroke, seizure, blindness, coma, pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, pleural and pericardial effusions, cholelithiasis, colonic stricture, and cognitive impairment.

Drug Coated Stents Used for Off Label Procedures

In an article published in the Wall St. Journal, drug coated stents are being used for procedures which are not approved by the FDA. Obviously, with off-label use the risk to the patient is greater since the potential consequences are unknown or harmful. The Food and Drug Administration has approved two coated stents for straightforward cases, one by Johnson & Johnson and the other by Boston Scientific Corp. However, the stents have not been approved for the more complicated cases.

Deputies Taser and Kill Man in Largo

A 33 year old man was killed after being tasered 3 times by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies over the weekend. According to police reports, deputies received reports from neighbors that a man was wandering around the neighborhood taking off his clothes. When the deputies arrived, the man was speaking incoherently, shedding his clothing, picking up trash cans and leaving personal items in planters. The paramedics transported Young to Largo Medical Center, were he was pronounced dead at 3:13 a.m.

Florida Auto Insurance Legislative Update

The Florida Senate has passed Senate bill 1880. The bill would mandate a 4 year extentsion requiring auto insurance coverage for every insurance holder. The Florida House has proposed an alternative plan (HB 7215) that would get rid of PIP and instead would require $15,000 for coverage in emergency rooms and hospital-owned clinics immediately following an accident. Lawmakers have one week to negotiate a compromise.

FDA Puts Stronger Warnings on Anti-Depressants

The FDA will expand its black box warning on certain anti-depressant drugs due to heightened suicidal risks for those up to age 24. The new warning is different from the previous one because it specifies an age limit. According to an article published in the Wall St. Journal, “Before that panel meeting, the FDA first proposed updating the black-box warnings on antidepressants after reviewing data from 372 clinical studies involving 11 antidepressants, including GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Paxil, Pfizer Inc.’s Zoloft and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Prozac. More than 77,000 patients were involved in the studies.” According to the FDA, the review found a greater risk of suicidality among those taking anti-depressants in the 18-24 age category.