The following are excerpts from the newsletter
- Infant's death reinforces need
for medications to be dispensed in ready-to-use form
- Benchmarking - when is it dangerous?
- Safety Briefs:
- We appreciate your response to the recent subscriber's
survey. Based on your input we will make some changes
to improve readability of the fax and e-mail versions.
- Caution! With the marketing of CELEXA (citalopram),
a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for
treatment of depression, comes the possibility of confusion
with the dibenzapine antipsychotic ZYPREXA (olanzapine).
Both are oral dosage forms with names that sound very
similar. Doses of Zyprexa above 20 mg daily should cause
- Good journal ad: Novartis Pharmaceuticals currently
is running an ad to help reduce medication errors resulting
from dispensing the wrong cyclosporine formulation.
- Bad journal ad: PRANDIN (repaglinide) is a non-sulfonylurea
hypoglycemic agent used in the management of non-insulin-dependent
diabetes mellitus. An advertisement for Prandin, currently
appearing in professional journals, depicts a handwritten
prescription for the drug without designating the product's
- FDA has posted a Dear Doctor letter on the Internet
about a recent article in British Medical Journal that
calls into question the medical benefit of albumin or
plasma protein fraction (PPF) administration to seriously
- FDA scientists have confirmed the presence of impurities
in some 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) products currently
marketed and widely promoted as dietary supplements.
- An executive summary of the January 8, 1998 "FDA Workshop
on Minimizing Medical Product Errors - A Systems Approach"
- Accidental administration
of IV meds intrathecally
- Report adverse events involving herbal products
- Safety Briefs
- Caution: We've noticed that AMPHOTEC, a lipid-based
amphotericin B product, is sometimes referred to in
texts and drug databases as "amphotericin B colloidal
dispersion" rather than by its official name, amphotericin
B cholesteryl sulfate complex for injection.
- At a September 8, 1998, FDA Health Professional Organization
Meeting, William Zellmer, Senior Vice President for
Professional, Scientific, and Public Affairs of the
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP),
discussed recurring critical issues that contribute
to medication errors.
- INTEGRILIN (eptifibatide) injection is a new antiplatelet
agent marketed by COR Therapeutics and Key Pharmaceuticals.
The drug may be useful in preventing adverse thromboembolic
phenomena in patients with unstable angina or acute
myocardial infarction (non-Q-wave), or patients undergoing
percutaneous coronary intervention. Be careful with
the dosing calculations.
- There is new evidence (Behringer, W et al. Cumulative
epinephrine dose during cardiopulmonary resuscitation
and neurologic outcome. Ann Intern Med 1998;129:450-56)
that the use of high dose epinephrine during cardiopulmonary
resuscitation may have a deleterious impact on patient