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Entries in Medication (32)

Wednesday
Dec012010

Dangerous Dose? Kids' Meds Are Hard to Measure

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dosing directions for children's over-the-counter medications are misleading and hard for parents to understand, according to a study from the New York University School of Medicine.

Researchers sampled 200 of the top-selling cough/cold, allergy, analgesic and gastrointestinal over-the-counter (OTC) liquid medication for children and found that inconsistencies between labeled dosage and the provided measuring device could increase the likelihood of mis-dose when medicine is administered by caretakers in the home.

One-in-four OTC medications didn't even include a measuring device, despite guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration that recommend all children's medications to include them.

In response to growing concerns over accidental drug overdose in OTC children's medications, the FDA released new guidelines on how to create clear and easy-to-use dosing directions in November 2009.

The study examined over-the-counter products around the time the guidelines were released and documents the widespread inconsistencies in dosing directions and packaging that spurred the action by both the FDA and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents the makers of 95 percent of all OTC consumer medications.

"This study is intended to establish baselines.  The plan is to take another look in a year or so to see if changes have been made," says Dr. H. Shonna Yin, lead author on the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine.

According to the CHPA, all member manufacturers are voluntarily participating in revisions to bring pediatric medications up to the new guidelines, though the results of these changes will not be reflected in the products immediately.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Some Supplement-Medication Combinations Make Dangerous Mix

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Long before prescription medications, our ancestors relied solely on certain plants, perhaps even a combination of herbs, anecdotally known to cure what ailed them. While many of us still swear by the natural ingredients, commonly used in the unnatural form of supplements, our modern impulses may tell us to trust the best of both worlds -- combining prescription medications and supplements.

But too much of a good thing may be bad for you. Certain combinations of supplements with medications might decrease the chance the medication will work, but many patients don't know it, Jennifer Strohecker, a clinical pharmacist at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah said Monday at the American Heart Association annual scientific meeting.

Strohecker and her colleagues surveyed 100 patients on the blood thinner warfarin and found more than two-thirds used supplements, some of which may decrease the effects of the medication and put them at higher risk for internal bleeding or stroke. Yet, only one-third told their doctor they were taking supplements.

Some of the supplements patients reported taking included glucosamine, chondroitin and coenzyme Q10, which could interfere with warfarin, Strohecker said.

It signals a major communication gap between patients and physicians, she said. In fact, according to the survey, 92 percent of those taking supplements may not have thought to share the information but would have told their doctor, had they only been asked.

According to a 2009 Nielsen study, 44 percent of Americans say they use supplements every day -- helping to create the $25 billion industry. But many don't understand why they take them or whether they need to take them at all. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate safety of supplements as rigorously as foods or medications.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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