News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • September 9, 2015
    The number of children who end up in the emergency room due to accidental medication poisoning is declining, according to a new government study. Approximately 640,000 children age 5 and younger were treated in emergency rooms for ingesting drugs between 2004 and 2013. Of these children, 70 percent were 1- or 2-year- olds, the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Almost one-fifth were hospitalized. During the early 2000s, the number of children’s ER visits increased, peaking at about 76,000 in 2010. The visits decreased to about 59,000 visits in 2013.
  • September 9, 2015
    For the first time since data has been collected, college students’ use of marijuana has surpassed cigarette smoking, according to a new national survey. In 2014, 5.9 percent of college students were smoking marijuana daily or near-daily. That compares with 3.5 percent in 2007. Researchers conducting the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study theorized that much of the increase may be due to the fact that public perception of the dangers of marijuana use have shifted dramatically in recent years with its legalization in a growing number of
  • 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