FDA Warns About Mixups Between Drugs With Similar Names

FDA Warns About Mixups Between Drugs With Similar Names

Here’s a scary thought: dangerous medication mixups could begin at your doctor’s office. The FDA put out a warning today that they’ve received reports of mixups between similarly-named drugs that do very different things. The FDA urges patients and caregivers to know what the drug they’re supposed to be taking looks like, and alert medical providers if the drug that they receive looks different. [More]

The warning labels for Advil and other ibuprofen-containing drugs will soon be updated to more accurately reflect concerns about heart attack and stroke risks.  (photo: frankieleon)

FDA Requiring Stronger Heart Attack & Stroke Warnings For Many Common Painkillers

The Food and Drug Administration is looking to make consumers more aware of potential risks for heart attack and stroke associated with a popular class of painkillers that many of us use on a frequent basis for everyday aches and soreness. [More]

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Find Shipping Container Full Of Cocaine-Stuffed Shrimp

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Find Shipping Container Full Of Cocaine-Stuffed Shrimp

We are fairly certain that cocaine-stuffed shrimp is not a Guyanese delicacy. That’s how 268 kilograms of cocaine arrived in a shipping container at a port in Brooklyn, though. Law enforcement followed the delivery to a warehouse in Queens and arrested a man in the seafood business, who claims that he had nothing to do with the shipment. [More]

(Adam Gerard)

FDA Closer To Approving Twice-Rejected Female Libido Drug

Yesterday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that the agency approve a new drug, flibanserin, which would be marketed under the brand name Addyi. In headlines and in news reports, you see references to the drug as a “pink Viagra” or “Viagra for women.” Yet the drug works on the brain, not the genitals, and critics say that its side effects may not be worth its proven benefits. The FDA has already rejected the drug twice. [More]

We Know How To Read Over-The-Counter Drug Labels, But We Don’t Always Understand The Potential Dangers

(Amy Adoyzie)

When you buy some Tylenol or NyQuil, you probably know — or find out easily from looking at the label — that these products contain acetaminophen. But knowing the names of active ingredients in an over-the-counter drug isn’t the same as knowing how those ingredients will interact with other drugs or what could happen if you take too much. A new study looks at the apparent disconnect between reading a label and understanding the potentially dangerous implications of what you’re taking. [More]


Oakland Airport Baggage Handlers Accused Of Participating In Marijuana Smuggling Ring

Federal officials say they’ve uncovered an alleged marijuana smuggling ring that involved three baggage handlers working at Oakland International Airport. Because airport workers can go behind the scenes where others can’t, investigators say the baggage handlers used their security badges to access off-limits areas and get pot from one point to another. [More]

(pimento of doom)

Potent New Brand Of Synthetic Marijuana Linked To 120 NYC Hospitalizations In One Week

Lest you think health officials have been overreacting to the dangers of synthetic marijuana, a recent spate of hospitalizations may change your mind: In New York City area, one particular new brand of potent synthetic cannabis has sent 120 people to the hospitals in the last week. [More]

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

When you think of Florida and the Drug Enforcement Administration, your head might be filled with images of cocaine-packed speedboats or propeller planes sneaking in pallets of marijuana. But in recent years, the DEA has also been focused on major drugstore chains that looked the other way as stores filled massive numbers of questionable painkiller prescriptions. Nearly three years after shutting down a pair of CVS pharmacies in the Orlando area, the company has agreed to pay $22 million to put the matter behind them. [More]

(KSAT News)

Investigators Stumped After Woman Finds “High-Quality” Cocaine In Her Granola Bar Wrapper

Finding prizes in your food can be fun when you’re expecting them, but one San Antonio grandmother says she certainly wasn’t expecting to shake her Nature Valley granola bar wrapper and have a baggie filled with cocaine and covered in dollar signs fall out. [More]

These are four of the 16 supplements the FDA has targeted in its latest crackdown of dietary supplements with potentially dangerous ingredients.

FDA Continues Crackdown On Dietary Supplement Ingredients, Notifies Makers Of 16 Products To Stop Sales

A week after the Food & Drug Administration heeded calls for action by scientists and health advocates by demanding that dietary supplement makers stop selling products with a speed-like ingredient, the agency sent another warning to 14 manufacturers asking them to cease the sale of several products with another possibly harmful stimulant. [More]

(Meneer Dijk)

Health Officials Issue Warning Over Uptick In Hospitalizations Linked To Synthetic Marijuana

One of the biggest dangers involved with using so-called designer drugs? One tweak to one chemical and something that’s illegal and potentially unsafe could slip past regulators and into the hands of consumers. Such is the case for a form of synthetic marijuana known as “spice,” that’s been linked to an uptick in illnesses and hospitalizations that has health officials and experts around the country worried. [More]

FDA Warns Makers Of Diet Supplements Containing Speed-Like Ingredient

These are four of the eight products cited in the FDA warning letters.

Following calls for action from scientists and consumer health advocates, the FDA has sent warning letters to a handful of diet supplement makers demanding that they cease selling products that contain a speed-like ingredient. [More]

FDA Warns That Chantix May Decrease Users’ Alcohol Tolerance

FDA Warns That Chantix May Decrease Users’ Alcohol Tolerance

Smokers using the prescription drug Chantix (varenicline) to help them through the quitting process may want to sip their beers slowly, as this week the FDA approved new warnings that the drug can change the way users react to alcohol. [More]


Town Opens Washington State’s First Government-Run Recreational Marijuana Shop

The times are certainly changing in Washington State, where it recently became legal to buy and use recreational marijuana. Joining bake sales and other fundraisers as ways to give back to the community, a small town in Washington has opened the state’s first recreational marijuana store that’s run by the local government. [More]

(D O'Quinn)

FDA Approves First “Biosimilar” Drug. Could Drive Down Cost Of Most Expensive Medications

Biotech drugs — which are generally derived from a living organism, as opposed to traditional purely chemical medications — are currently among the most expensive medicines available. But today, the Food and Drug Administration issued its first approval of a drug that is “biosimilar” to an existing biotech medication; a development that could possibly result in billions of dollars in savings. [More]

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

In Canada, you can buy a tube of brand-name prescription cold sore cream Zovirax for around $50. Its generic equivalent (acyclovir) is half that price. And even here in the states you can find generics acyclovir pills and ointments for a reasonable price, so why does what is effectively the same product sell for more than $2,500 in the U.S.? [More]

FDA Warns: If Your “Low T” Is Just From Getting Older, Don’t Use Prescription Testosterone

FDA Warns: If Your “Low T” Is Just From Getting Older, Don’t Use Prescription Testosterone

In recent years, makers of prescription testosterone treatments like AndroGel began throwing around the term “Low T” in TV ads, blaming low levels of the hormone for various problems — sex drive, flagging energy, moodiness — that have long been associated with simply growing older. But the FDA is now acknowledging that these drugs pose “a possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke” and are warning against their use for the treatment of anything other than very specific medical conditions. [More]

(Brett Levin Photography)

Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal In Alaska — With Some Restrictions

Alaska became the third state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana as of today — but only if you can figure out a way to get your hands on some without actually buying it from someone else. Smoking, growing and owning marijuana is all cool under the new law, but handing over money for the stuff or smoking it in public places is still illegal. [More]