Quick Hits: Autism and Antipsychotics, Online Opioids & More

Kids with autism taking antipsychotics are more likely to experience side effects, according to a study from Swansea University. Researchers examined 3,028 children from birth up to 18 years old from the UK’s National Health Service who had been prescribed an antipsychotic. Analysts discovered that 2.8% of children with an intellectual disability or autism were more likely to be given an antipsychotic drug, and 75% of them had autism. Their evidence indicated that all of the young people on antipsychotics had higher rates of epilepsy, diabetes and respiratory infection requiring hospitalization. The results, which are published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, indicated that antipsychotics were being prescribed to younger children with an intellectual disability or autism for a longer period of time, compared to those without autism. Posted April 4, 2018. Via Swansea University.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has called on Internet service providers to rid the Internet of firms selling Rx opioids, such as fentanyl. “Internet firms simply aren’t taking practical steps to find and remove these illegal opioid listings,” Gottlieb said during a speech on April 4. “There’s ample evidence of narcotics being advertised and sold online.” Gottlieb shared some insight on a congressional investigation that identified just how easy it is to locate and purchase the powerful opioid fentanyl online. According to the commissioner, the drug can be purchased through online payment systems such as PayPal, and can also be received easily through the US Postal Service. This investigation pinpointed 500 transactions that were worth $230,000 with 300 people in 43 states, Gottlieb said. Alarmingly, they also identified 7 people who died of overdoses after receiving drugs online. There may soon be talks of requiring mandatory drug prescription and pain management training for healthcare professionals. Posted April 5, 2018. Via The Washington Post.

The FDA ordered a rare mandatory recall after a kratom manufacturer resisted a voluntary recall following reports their products were tainted with salmonella. The mandatory recall stemmed from “the imminent health risk posed by the contamination of this product with salmonella,” according to the agency. After many attempts to encourage Triangle Pharmanaturals to voluntarily recall their product, the FDA took matters into their own hands since the company failed to cooperate. All consumers are being advised to throw away any products that may contain kratom, including supplements such as Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Emerald Green, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ivory White, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ruby Red and any other kratom products made or handled by Triangle Pharmanaturals. Posted April 3, 2018. Via FDA.

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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