News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • September 28, 2009
    More than half a million U.S. children yearly have bad reactions or side effects from widely used medicines that require medical treatment and sometimes hospitalization, new research shows. Children younger than age 5 are most commonly affected. Penicillin and other prescription antibiotics are among drugs causing the most problems, including rashes, stomachaches and diarrhea. Parents should pay close attention when their children are started on medicines since “first-time medication exposures may reveal an allergic reaction,” said lead
  • September 22, 2009
    Written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs - Subcommittee on Health by William Ray Bullman, M.A.M. Executive Vice President, NCPIE
  • September 22, 2009
  • August 26, 2009
    A new brochure, Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely, has been posted.
  • August 16, 2009
    USA WEEKEND Magazine
  • August 11, 2009
    One in five have 'loaned' or 'borrowed' drugs, study found about 20 percent of U.S. teens exchange prescription drugs such as antibiotics and allergy medications with friends, a practice that can be dangerous and potentially deadly, warns a new study appearing online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. For example, a teen who’s taking the acne medication Accutane — which has been linked to birth defects — may give some to a friend who is pregnant but doesn't yet realize it, the researchers said. They interviewed 592 adolescents, aged 12 to 17, and asked them if they'd
  • August 7, 2009
    A survey of more than 12,000 U.S. high-school seniors found that 12.3% said they had used opioid-based prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, with 8% saying they had done so within the past year. Students said they used drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine and codeine to relax, relieve tension, get high, experiment, relieve pain, or have a good time with their friends. Those who used the drugs for reasons other than pain relief were more likely to use other addictive drugs and have signs of addictive disorders,
  • August 6, 2009
    Unsupervised children who get into the medicine cabinet at home account for 80% of accidental poisonings among youths, according to new CDC data. Medication errors by caregivers and drug abuse or misuse by teens and preteens accounted for an additional 14% of cases. Emergency department visits for unintentional poisoning involved prescription or over-the-counter medication in 68.9% of pediatric cases, according to Daniel S. Budnitz, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and colleagues. Children taking medications without supervision caused 10 times as many
  • August 4, 2009
    One in ten Americans over the age of six is taking antidepressants. That number has doubled in just one decade from just over 13 million to 27 million, according to a study released in the Archives of General Psychiatry (August 2009). This equates to nearly 10 percent of Americans — or 27 million people — taking antidepressants in 2005, the last year for which data were available at the time the study was written. That’s about twice the number in 1996. Notably, the majority of patients taking antidepressants weren't being treated for depression.
  • July 28, 2009
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a Public Health Advisory (PHA) warning consumers to stop using body building products that are represented as containing steroids or steroid-like substances. Many of these products are marketed as dietary supplements. The agency also issued a Warning Letter to American Cellular Laboratories Inc. for marketing and distributing body building products containing synthetic steroid substances. Although these products are marketed as dietary supplements, they are not dietary supplements, but instead are unapproved and misbranded drugs.