People taking the diabetes medication Invokana may be at risk for leg and foot amputations. The FDA is alerting the public about interim safety results from an ongoing clinical trial that found an increase in the amputations, mostly affecting the toes, in patients taking Invokana (canagliflozin). The FDA has not determined whether the drug increases the amputation risk, but is currently investigating the issue and will update the public when they have more information. Posted May 18, 2016. Via FDA.
The use of benzodiazepines is tied to adverse drug events and increased mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers from Harvard Medical School aimed to determine whether prescribing of benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety drugs, was associated with risk factors for adverse effects. Of the 65,912 patients in the study, clinicians prescribed at least 1 benzodiazepine to 15%, of which 5% of those received high doses. Those who received benzodiazepines were more likely to be diagnosed with depression, substance abuse, tobacco use and osteoporosis, among others. Posted May 17, 2016. Via MPR.
British researchers will investigate the risk of muscle pain associated with statins thanks to a £1 million ($1.46 million) grant from the UK government. The trial, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, comes after doctors have warned that the side effects of the drugs, which include severe muscle pain, depression, fatigue, diabetes and impaired memory and stroke, outweigh the benefits in some patients. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will coordinate the study and will enroll 200 patients who have stopped or want to stop using statins due to muscle pain or fatigue. They will also assess whether muscle problems are more common in statin users than those taking a placebo. Posted May 15, 2016. Via The Express.
Fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics, are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that can occur together when used systemically (via tablet, capsule or injection), according to the FDA. These side effects can impact tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. While fluroquinolones are usually prescribed to treat acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options, the FDA suggests that other antibiotics be used except in cases where there are no other treatment options. The FDA is requiring the drug labels and Medication Guides for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs, such as Avelox (moxifloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) to be updated to reflect this new safety information. Posted May 12, 2016. Via FDA.
Many people on anti-psychotic drugs are not properly informed about their side effects, which can lead to serious consequences, according to a British charity. A poll conducted by Rethink Mental Illness found that 62% of those who are on, or caring for someone on, anti-psychotic medication said the risks, benefits and side effects were not adequately explained to them. Also, half of the 200 people polled said they had not received a physical health check before their medication was prescribed. Posted May 17, 2016. Via BT.
Alanna McCatty is a recent graduate of Pace University with a degree in communications. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs.