News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • March 2, 2010
    In her latest column, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), highlights for consumers information on two common medicines used to treat high blood pressure, and explains the steps individuals can take to find the medicine that works best for them.
  • February 18, 2010
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received five reports of serious medication errors involving consumers who used Maalox Total Relief, the upset stomach reliever and anti-diarrheal medication, by mistake, when they had intended to use one of the traditional Maalox liquid antacid products. Due to the potential for serious adverse events from product confusion, the maker of Maalox brand products has agreed to:
    • Change the name of Maalox Total Relief to one that will not include the name “Maalox” and revise the graphics and information displayed on the front
  • February 17, 2010
    Medicines are safe and effective only if used as directed, said Margaret Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor-health for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. “There are more than 100,000 drug products on the market,” she said. Each has at least one active ingredient that works with your body to relieve symptoms. “With more than 1,000 active ingredients on the market, overdosing, drug interactions and drug abuse of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are growing increasingly common." With the number of over-the-counter and prescribed medicines that might be in a
  • February 16, 2010
    The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a recent new member of the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), is actively seeking resource support to develop a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program for pharmacists and pharmacist technicians that will educate about celiac disease and the identification of gluten in medication. NFCA current educational programming, the Gluten-free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) programs, provides comprehensive information for food service and
  • January 25, 2010
    Wondering what the side effects are for your new prescription? Go to Mobile MedlinePlus while you’re waiting for the pharmacist to fill your order. Or, instantly look up the symptoms of H1N1 flu if you’re at the supermarket and your child’s school calls you to tell you he doesn't feel well. The National Library of Medicine’s Mobile Medline Plus builds on the NLM’s MedlinePlus Internet service, which provides authoritative consumer health information to over 10 million visitors per month. Visitors access
  • January 15, 2010
    McNeil Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily recalling certain lots of OTC products including some batches of Tylenol caplets and geltabs along with Motrin IB, Benadryl allergy tablets, and children’s Tylenol and Motrin products following an investigation of consumer reports of an unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like odor that, in a small number of cases, was associated with temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal events. These include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. This precautionary action is voluntary and has been taken in
  • January 6, 2010
    In December 2009, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) reached a scary milestone in its ongoing review of Web sites selling prescription medications. NABP now lists more than 5,000 Internet drug outlets as “Not Recommended.” These sites 96% of the total number of sites reviewed have been found to be out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards established in the United States to protect the public health. NABP researches Web sites selling prescription drugs and reports its findings to
  • January 5, 2010
    About one in every six adults experiences depression at some point in his or her life. The good news is that depression can be treated to give you a better quality of life. But finding the right treatment that fits your needs can sometimes be tricky. The most common treatments are antidepressant medicines, counseling, or a combination of the two. Finding the right antidepressant can be confusing and frustrating. To help you work with your doctor or nurse to select the right medicine, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), developed a guide on antidepressants