News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • September 8, 2015
    The use of e-cigarettes by U.S. high school students tripled and the use of hookahs doubled from 2013 to 2014, according to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. The percentage of U.S. high school students reporting past month e-cigarette use increased from 4.5% to 13.4%, while the percentage reporting hookah use increased from 5.2% to 9.4%. Similar results were found for middle school students—e-cigarette use increased from 1.1% to 3.9% and hookah use from 1.1% to 2.5%. At the same time, past month cigarette and cigar use decreased.
  • September 4, 2015
    Winter is the peak season for full-time college students to start non-medical use of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers and stimulants, indicates a new study by SAMHSA. The study, which tracks initiation by month, reveals that in the past year, approximately 251,000 full-time college students started the non-medical use of pain relievers, with an average of 700 initiates a day. However, this rate rises to 850 initiates a day during December, according the study. Further, more students start non-medical use of stimulant medications in November,
  • September 2, 2015
    Some consumers seeking to change their skin color are turning to injectable products marketed to whiten or lighten their complexion. These products are potentially unsafe and ineffective, and might contain unknown harmful ingredients or contaminants. FDA has not approved any injectable drugs for skin whitening or lightening. Beyond the potential harm from the product itself, improper or unsafe injection practices may transmit disease, cause infection and result in serious injury. What Consumers Should Do
  • September 1, 2015

    APhA Pharmacy Today

  • August 25, 2015
    FDA is warning consumers about children’s cough-and-cold medicine with codeine, the risks of nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), unapproved prescription ear products and drugs from Moses Lake Professional Pharmacy.
  • August 21, 2015
    The website, launched by Purdue Pharma, LP, aims to educate healthcare providers and patients about abuse- deterrent opioid-based painkillers. Purdue markets two of the three opioid formulations available with the abuse- deterrent properties. The site features sections about why it’s critical to deter abuse and how all the members on the healthcare team can make a difference. It also outlines the 2015 Food & Drug Administration’s Guidance on Abuse-Deterrent Opioids — Evaluation and Labeling, which informs drug developers about FDA’s current thinking on
  • August 20, 2015
    Pharmacists in one study made a significant impact in helping heart patients stick to their medication regimens, report researchers. A multidisciplinary team at the US Department of Veterans Affairs talked to patients from a previous study who adhered to their medications after suffering an acute coronary syndrome, or an episode when blood is blocked from the heart, reports Pharmacy Times. These patients cited “supportive and concerned” pharmacists who called to remind them to take their medicine as a key factor in actually doing so. The study
  • August 18, 2015
    In a Guidance to industry document issued August 4, the FDA endorsed the use of flow restrictors for over-the- counter (OTC) pediatric oral liquid drug products containing acetaminophen. “OTC pediatric oral liquid drug products containing acetaminophen have been associated with overdoses due to medication errors that resulted in serious adverse events, including severe liver damage and death, the FDA notes in the Guidance. This guidance is designed to help “drug manufacturers, packagers, and labelers minimize the risk to consumers of acetaminophen-related liver
  • August 13, 2015
    Adverse drug events (ADEs) are the largest contributor to hospital-related complications and account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits each year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention (ADE Action Plan), which targets opioids as a significant contributor to ADEs. The new, interactive training, “Pathways to Safer Opioid Use,” teaches health care providers how to implement
  • August 13, 2015

    NCPIE’s Talk Before You Take campaign launched earlier this year. A recent article published in the Washington Post, “The Risky Business of Taking Antibiotics,” highlighted the story of a patient named Barbara Odanaka, who experienced fluoroquinolone toxicity after being prescribed an antibiotic called levofloxacin while she was hospitalized with severe pneumonia. Odanaka noted in the article that levofloxacin’s potential adverse effects were not properly explained to her. Pharmacy Today/