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Friday, August 08, 2008

FDA Late on Drug Interaction Warning

Drug interaction problems are serious. Just this week I did several interaction workups, a service I provide to clients, some of whom are other health care providers contracting me to do this for their patients.

The profile I provide includes interactions, side effects and warnings and nutrient depletions. In some cases additional units are selected that add suggestions for natural alernatives to prescription medication. Another unit may be review of lab work to pin point body system weaknesses and suggested nutritional support, or general body systems analysis that confirms the lab analysis review.

I have developed this system over a decade or more. The lab report review is based on a system of biochemistry rather than quantified actuarial machine values. It is a very unique way of evaluating human health, especially when it shows problems missed by the narrow, lineal, Newtonian model known as mainstream medicine.

It does not surprise me that in six years the FDA has failed to make a point to doctors, to the level that quite a few people have suffered needlessly.

The surprise isn't there either when I think of the FDA bureaucrat who told me earlier this year that if a doctor doesn't tell pateints about the issues related to drugs they prescribe, people should complain to the state medical board.

And of course many of us know how ineffective such attempts can be.
FDA: Some cholesterol and heart drugs don't mix
Fri Aug 8, 2008

Patients taking some common medications for high cholesterol and irregular heart beats can suffer severe muscle damage because of a problem in the way the drugs interact, the government warned on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said doctors should use extra care when prescribing Zocor, generic Zocor, or Vytorin to patients who are also taking amiodarone, a heart rhythm drug marketed as Cordarone or Pacerone. The danger is higher for patients taking more than 20 milligrams a day of the cholesterol drugs, the agency said.

The generic name for the cholesterol medications is simvastatin.

Muscle injury is a risk with any of the cholesterol drugs known as statins, including Lipitor, particularly for the elderly. Although the risk of such injuries is low overall, they can be serious because they can lead to kidney failure and even death.

The FDA urged doctors to consider switching patients who are taking the heart rhythm drug to other statins for controlling cholesterol. The heart medication is mainly used to treat irregular rhythms in the ventricles, the heart chambers that pump blood to the lungs and body.

A previous warning dating back to 2002 about the drug interaction apparently has not put an end to the problem. The FDA said since that time it has received 52 reports of serious muscle injury to patients taking the combination of medications, and almost all the patients had to be hospitalized.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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