Taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase one’s risk of developing an enlargement of and potential tears in the aorta, the heart’s main artery. New research has found that taking drugs such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin) or Levaquin (levofloxacin) is associated with an increased risk for aortic aneurysm and dissection, and that risk increases the longer a person takes the medication. The two conditions are normally slow to develop, but researchers noted fluoroquinolones may speed up that process. Researchers analyzed records of around 1,200 patients that were hospitalized for aortic aneurysm and dissection and compared them to 1,200 control subjects. An editorial accompanying the study said that doctors should be careful in prescribing fluoroquinolones in those that have risk factors for aortic aneurysm, such as older age, smoking and hypertension. Posted September 12, 2018. Via American College of Cardiology.
The HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine is safe and effective with hardly any risk of serious adverse events, according to a new analysis. Some people have expressed concerns that the vaccine, which is used to prevent cervical cancer, can cause paralysis, chronic pain, neurological disorders and anaphylaxis. Researchers examined reports of adverse events associated with the vaccine made to the FDA between 2009 and 2017. Over that time, around 720,000 doses of the vaccine were distributed. The FDA received only 241 adverse event reports and 95.8% were classified as not serious. Posted September 19, 2018. Via British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Drug companies that manufacture immediate-release opioids will need to offer training to healthcare providers about the risks associated with the drugs and appropriate pain management. Immediate-release opioids are the most commonly prescribed opioids. The FDA has required what is known as an Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for long-acting and extended-release opioids since 2012. The new REMS must also be made available to other people involved in a patient’s pain management, such as nurses and pharmacists. In addition, the education must cover alternatives to opioids. The agency is also updating the labeling of immediate-release opioids to reflect the education available through the REMS. Posted September 18, 2018. Via FDA.