Quick Hits: Imodium Abuse, Polypharmacy and Hospitalization & More

The FDA is requesting that the over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine Imodium (loperamide) be packaged differently to prevent abuse. There have been numerous reports indicating that people have intentionally misused and abused high doses of the treatment as a substitute for opioid drugs. In some cases, this has led to serious heart problems and death. In order to rectify this problem, the agency sent a letter to manufacturers asking that they limit the amount of drug per package for short-term use. For instance, a package could contain 8 2-milligram capsules, which would be enough for about 2 days. Posted January 30, 2018. Via FDA.

Taking 5 or more drugs increases hospitalization risk among older adults both with and without HIV. Yale researchers collected data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study and analyzed adults with and without HIV who received at least 1 medication in 2009. The research team analyzed the patients, who were around 50 years old, over the course of 6 years. The results of the study indicated that older people — both with and without HIV — who took multiple drugs simultaneously had a greater risk of being hospitalized or dying. Posted January 30, 2018. Via AIDS.

The boxed warning on 2 classes of asthma medications has been removed. The warning on long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) that cautioned consumers about asthma-related death was removed after the FDA reviewed 4 large clinical trials and found that treating asthma with LABAs in combination with ICS does not cause more serious asthma-related side effects (such as hospitalization, the need for a breathing tube, or asthma-related deaths) than treatment with ICS alone. Posted December 20, 2017. Via FDA.

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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