Blog Posts in 2009

  • Radiation Exposure from CT Scans More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

    Recently, it was reported that radiation overexposure from CT scans may be more severe than health care professionals previously thought. Research from two new studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has found that patients may be exposed to four times more radiation than estimated by prior studies. The studies caution against the overuse of CT scans, as well as other medical ...
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  • Psychotropic Drugs Prescribed to Foster Children Without State Consent

    Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that powerful medications known as psychotropics were being prescribed to hundreds of Illinois foster children without the mandatory consent of state child welfare officials. During 2007, as many as 240 foster children received these strong medications without consent. Some medical centers, including one of Illinois’ largest psychiatric centers, Streamwood ...
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  • Consumer Advocacy Group Points to Risks of Meridia and Urges an FDA Ban

    The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is petitioning the government to ban the popular weight loss pill Meridia. A recent 10,000 patient study, also known as the SCOUT study, showed that a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and death are associated with the drug. Meridia is used by about 250,000 people, and it is prescribed to treat obesity by acting as an appetite suppressant. The FDA had ...
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  • FDA Reminds Health Professionals of Serious Risks of Birth Defects from Depakote

    The FDA recently reminded healthcare professionals and patients about the increased risk of severe birth defects, including spinal defects, severe facial defects, and heart defects, associated with the drug Depakote. Depakote is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, and has also been used to treat epilepsy, major depressive disorder, and migraine headaches. The FDA letter to healthcare ...
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  • Gadolinium-based MRI Drugs Pose Serious Health Risks

    BusinessWeek recently reported that some drugs used for MRI imaging may be riskier for patients with pre-existing kidney issues than previously believed. These drugs are all gadolinium-based, and include Omniscan, Magnevist, and Optimark. Some major hospitals had already ceased use of Omniscan when reports came out in 2006 that its use may lead to an increased risk of developing a condition called ...
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  • Thousand File Suit Against Bayer for Increased Risks of Taking Yaz

    The Washington Times reported recently that Bayer, the maker of the popular birth control Yaz, is currently facing thousands of lawsuits regarding the safety of the drug. The lawsuits were filed due to Yaz'sincreased risk of blood clots to users. This increased risk has led to serious injuries such as heart attacks, strokes and gallbladder disease for many women. In August, a study published in ...
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  • Recall of Dangerous Drop-Side Cribs

    On November 23, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs. The recall occurred due to the growing concern about a defect in the crib’s drop-slide feature, which allows the crib’s gate to slide up and down. This defect can lead to the plastic hardware of the drop-side breaking, which may cause one of the corners of the crib to detach. Due to ...
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  • Label Changes Mandated for Pain Pumps Due to Dangers of Permanent Cartilage Damage

    A recent report from the Wall Street Journal stated that the FDA is seeking to change labels on pain pumps that deliver pain medication to patients after surgery. Pain pumps are small plastic tubes that deliver and regulate pain medication, usually for a couple of days. The proposed label changes come in the wake of many reports of irreversible cartilage damage from patients who had the medication ...
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  • FDA Warnings against Simultaneous Use of Plavix and Prilosec or Nexium

    Millions of Americans take the blood thinner Plavix to reduce their risk of blood clots, which may lead to heart attack or stroke. Since Plavix can lead to an upset stomach, doctors often prescribe Prilosec and Nexium to treat this symptom. However, the FDA recently issued warnings that these medications may decrease the anti-clotting benefits by Plavix by almost half. This can be very dangerous, ...
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  • Recall of 2010 Volvo XC60 Due to Seatbelt Defects

    Volvo recently announced that it was recalling over 9,000 of its 2010 XC60s, because of potential seat belt defects. Last month, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety conducted a side-impact test to determine which cars would be included in its "Top Safety Pick" awards. Unexpectedly, during the crash test, the driver's seat belt in the Volvo XC60 came undone. A Volvo spokesman reported the ...
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  • Chicago Psychiatrist has Troubling Record with Clozapine

    The Chicago Tribune recently reported that Dr. Michael Reinstein, a doctor who frequently gives psychiatric care in Chicago-area nursing homes and mental health facilities, has developed a troubling record. This record involves providing care with an extremely risky drug: Clozapine. Clozapine is a very powerful drug that carries five FDA black box warnings, the strongest warnings the FDA can ...
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  • Accutane and Increased Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    In June of this year, Roche Holding quietly pulled the drug Accutane from the market. Accutane is prescribed to treat moderate to severe cases of acne. The drug has had an extensive history of leading to adverse effects since its approval in 1982, such as suicidal behavior and birth defects. The removal of the drug from the market came in the face of increasing proof that Accutane leads to another ...
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  • Federal Investigation into Marketing Practices of Depakote

    The Chicago Tribune recently reported that Abbott Laboratories is under investigation for their sale and marketing practices of Depakote. Depakote is prescribed primarily to treat bipolar disorder. In certain cases, it is also used to treat major depressive disorder, epilepsy, chronic pain associated with neuropathy, and migraine headaches. The federal probe was initiated to find out if Abbott ...
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  • Pending Mass Tort Status for Yaz and Yasmin Claims

    The New Jersey Judiciary is currently considering a request for mass tort status for an increasing number of lawsuits against the popular birth control drugs Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella. The lawsuits allege that use of these contraceptives results in serious health effects, such as stroke and heart attacks. The New Jersey Law Journal reports that this consideration for mass tort status is due to a ...
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  • Taking Aranesp Increases Your Risk of Suffering a Stroke

    A new study published last week pointed to an increased risk of stroke for patients taking the medication Aranesp . Aranesp is part of a class of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells. ESAs are primarily used to treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, cancer patients who became anemic through chemotherapy, ...
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