Thursday, June 16, 2011

Medical News: FDA Warns of MI, PAD Risk With Varenicline - in Primary Care, Smoking & Tobacco from MedPage Today

Medical News: FDA Warns of MI, PAD Risk With Chantix - in Primary Care, Smoking & Tobacco from MedPage Today

WASHINGTON -- The FDA warned today that smokers with a history of heart attack or stroke who use the smoking cessation drug varenicline (Chantix; Champix in Canada) may increase their risk of a second heart attack or new onset peripheral vascular disease.

The agency said an additional warning will be added to the drug's label and prescribing information describing a small, but measurable increase in the risk of cardiovascular events including nonfatal myocardial infarction, angina, and need for coronary revascularization.

Additionally, the label will warn that use of varenicline may increase the risk for a "new diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease or admission for a procedure for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease" among persons with a history of cardiovascular disease.

In its announcement, the FDA noted that smoking significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular events, so it advised physicians and patients to weigh the known benefits of varenicline treatment "against its potential risks when deciding to use the drug in smokers with cardiovascular disease."


Vandetanib Has Risk of Causing Torsades de Pointes

Update from ArizonaCERT QT Drug Lists by Risk Groups:

"...on June 6, 2011, we added Vandetanib to the list of Drugs with a Risk of Causing Torsades de Pointes. Keep in mind that whenever a drug is added to any of our lists, it is also automatically included on our list of Drugs to be Avoided by CLQTS (congenital Long QT Syndrome) Patients.

Vandetanib, which will be marketed under the brand name Zactima®, is an anti-cancer drug of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor class. It was approved in April 2011 for use in adults with medullary thyroid cancer for whom surgery is not an option."

Ref:  1. “FDA approves new treatment for rare form of thyroid cancer” Retrieved 6/14/2011


Friday, June 10, 2011

Medical News: Cancer Risk Forces Actos Off French, German Markets - in Endocrinology, Diabetes from MedPage Today

Medical News: Cancer Risk Forces Actos Off French, German Markets - in Endocrinology, Diabetes from MedPage Today


Drug regulators in Germany and France have ordered doctors to stop prescribing the type 2 diabetes drug pioglitazone (Actos) following a French study suggesting a heightened risk of bladder cancer.

But the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the FDA, and their Japanese counterpart have withheld action pending additional review of the data.

The French study, conducted by the nation's health insurance agency, examined cancer rates in some 155,000 people taking pioglitazone in France from 2006 to 2009 and 1.3 million other diabetics who were not receiving the agent.

The researchers found an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.22 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.43) for bladder cancer among those on pioglitazone.

There also appeared to be a dose effect, with a higher risk (HR 1.75, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.50) among patients receiving a cumulative dosage of 28,000 mg or more during the study period.

The study was completed on Tuesday. France's regulatory agency officially suspended sales of pioglitazone on Thursday, and Germany followed suit early Friday.

Both agencies recommended that patients currently taking the drug continue to do so until they talk to their doctors about alternative medications.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Radiology Tutorials Website

Radiology Masterclass is a growing resource in medical imaging education.

Interpreting x-rays takes time to learn. Many medical students (and other healthcare professionals may find beneficial) find they don't get enough formal teaching in radiology, and feel under-prepared when it comes to being a junior doctor. These tutorials will help you develop a structured approach, to avoid the many pitfalls.

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About Onco-PRN

Welcome and thanks for visiting Onco-P.R.N. - The oncology website with a focus on all things oncology pharmacy/pain/palliative care-related. It is intended to be an information resource for those pharmacist and relevant health care professionals involved in whatever fashion with cancer and palliative care. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest links and information with respect to: oncology medications, continuing education, pharmaceutical care initiatives, pain and symptom control, supportive care topics, and whatever else that might fit into the theme.

*Note: This website is not affiliated with Alberta Health Services (AHS) or CAPhO and the opinions expressed herewithin are that of the author(s).

Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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