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News You Can Use: Health & Drug Safety Updates

2020

Some medications, driving are dangerous duo

FDA is reminding consumers that some medicine labels warn to not operate heavy machinery while taking them, which includes driving a car. These prescription and OTC products can cause adverse effects such as drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, slowed movement, fainting, inability to focus, nausea, and excitability.  Some common drugs that can affect one's ability to ...
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Many Americans Take Antibiotics Without a Prescription

Many Americans use antibiotics without a prescription, according to an analysis of 31 prior studies conducted between 2000 and 2019 published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study found patients have a variety of ways to obtain antibiotics without a prescription, including saving leftovers from a prior valid prescription, obtaining them from family or friends ...
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76 billion opioids: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic

Washington Post - Newly released data show that drug companies shipped billions of doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone across the United States as the nation's drug epidemic skyrocketed. The data, which comes from a DEA database, reveals that companies distributed 8.4 billion doses of the opioids in 2006 and 12.6 billion in 2012, for a ...
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Few supplements have proven heart benefits

Reuters - A new study indicates that few nutritional supplements appear to be effective in protecting people from developing or dying from cardiovascular disease. Researchers examined data from 277 trials with a total of almost 1 million participants to evaluate the effects of 16 different nutritional supplements and 8 dietary interventions related to heart problems ...
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New Resource on Parkinson’s Provides a Comprehensive Look at the Human and Economic Burden of the Disease

The Alliance for Aging Research released The Silver Book®: Parkinson’s Disease factsheet at a Capitol Hill briefing with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The new resource highlights leading statistics about the disease that affects close to one million Americans, including data on the toll of the disease and the value of innovation and public policy ...
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Consumers’ Knowledge of Acetaminophen Safe Use Remains High

A nationwide benchmark survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation shows that consumer awareness of how to use products containing acetaminophen safely and effectively, while avoiding the risks of accidental overdose and liver damage, remains high.  BeMedWise is a member of the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition which sponsors the Know YourDose educational campaign ...
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Meeting the Medicine Information Needs of Americans with Vision Loss

More than 3.4 million (3%) Americans aged 40 years and older are either legally blind (having visual acuity [20/200 or worse or a visual field of less than 20 degrees) or are visually impaired (having VA of 20/40 or less).
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Doctors can estimate patient adherence by simply asking about medication routine

A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine says physicians were as likely to accurately estimate patients' adherence to medication from their descriptions of their medicine routines as by patients' direct reports of missed medication. A visit to the doctor's office typically begins with a series of questions, including one about medications. An Iowa State University researcher ...
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FDA Warns Against the Use of Unauthorized Devices for Diabetes Management

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning patients and health care professionals of risks associated with the use of unapproved or unauthorized devices for diabetes management, including continuous glucose monitoring systems, insulin pumps and automated insulin dosing systems. In the safety communication issued today, the agency noted that the use of unapproved or unauthorized devices ...
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HHS Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations

On May 10, the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, voted on its final recommendations and published the Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations,  which emphasize the importance of providing balanced, individualized, patient-centered pain management to ensure better clinical outcomes for pain that improve quality of life and functionality for patients ...
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FDA requires stronger warnings about rare but serious incidents related to certain prescription insomnia medicines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the agency is requiring a new boxed warning – the agency’s most prominent warning – on certain prescription insomnia drugs to better ensure patients and their health care professionals have the information they need when considering use of these medicines.  The boxed warning follows several reports of rare, ...
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Opioid Prescriptions to Teens, Young Adults Still Common

Opioid prescriptions were written at nearly 57 million visits to doctors' offices between 2005 and 2015 according to a study published in Pediatrics. The study found the drugs are often prescribed to teenagers and young adults for tooth and back pain. HealthDay.
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Medicine Safety: A Key Part of Child-Proofing Your Home

Safe Kids Worldwide, recently released the research report, Medicine Safety: A Key Part of Child-Proofing Your Home. This new report reviews trends in medicine poisoning for children and reveals findings from recent focus groups with parents of children under age 6, which provide insights into why, when most parents know they need to store medicine ...
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Improving Opioid Misuse Health Literacy Among Older Adults

SAMHSA - This webinar features discussion among opioid misuse health literacy experts about effective prevention strategies, approaches, and resources that can advance an understanding and a dialogue between older patients and their health care providers about opioid use. Presenters include prevention leaders from SAMHSA, the National Council on Aging, United Hospital Fund, and the Johns ...
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A Deep Data Dive: Opioid-Related Hospital Care for Seniors

From 2010 to 2015, the rate of opioid-related hospital stays increased between 27 and 39 percent among patients age 65 and older, depending on the age group. Non–opioid-related hospital stays decreased 17 percent for patients age 65 and older during the same period. (HCUP Statistical Brief #244 – updated September 2018) Healthcare Cost and Utilization ...
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Alliance for Aging Research Study Finds that Alzheimer’s Disease Is Not Bankrupting Medicare, But It Is Taking a Huge Toll on State Medicaid Programs and Family Caregivers.

The Real-World Medicare Costs of Alzheimer Disease: Considerations for Policy and Care” findings published in the July issue of Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, demonstrate the importance of better diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s, which could lead to more favorable patient outcomes and improved costs for state Medicaid programs and caregivers.
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Many with Opioid Addiction Don’t Get Meds that Can Help

HealthDay - Most people struggling with an opioid addiction do not have access to medications that could help them, including methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The study found only 6% of treatment facilities offered all three of the drugs in 2016, while ...
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ScienceDaily – Inactive ingredients in some meds may not be so inactive

Many of the most frequently prescribed oral medications in the U.S. contain at least one ingredient that could cause an adverse reaction, new research shows. The study, reported in Science Translational Medicine, looked at more than 42,000 oral medications and identified more than three dozen inactive ingredients that have been described in medical literature to cause ...
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Google Maps Providing Drug Disposal locations

USA Today - Google is partnering with the DEA, HHS, CVS, Walgreens and state governments to display local drug disposal locations in Google Maps. By entering searches such as “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal near me," consumers will be able to find permanent disposal spots at local pharmacies, hospitals or government buildings ...
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