December 31st, 2012
04:05 PM ET
It's not the color, but what's inside that counts when it comes to medication. However, doctors suspect that's not exactly how patients see it.
According to a study published Monday in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine, changes in pill color significantly increase the odds that a patient will fail to take their medication as prescribed by their doctor.
First, the basics
Generic drugs are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Generic Drugs. These off-brand alternatives must be “bioequivalent” to the brand-name version, meaning they must be identical in terms of dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, intended use, and clinical efficacy. But the FDA does not require that the two versions look alike. FULL POST
April 19th, 2012
06:50 PM ET
Children explore their worlds by touching and tasting items within their reach. That can cause deadly results when the object of their curiosity contains a potentially lethal drug like pain relieving fentanyl.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer advisory Thursday, reminding parents, caregivers, and medical personnel of the deadly consequences posed to children from accidental contact with, or ingestion of fentanyl patches, which are marketed under the brand name Duragesic.
The patches are prescribed for patients experiencing constant pain - for example, cancer patients. They contain a strong synthetic opiate that relieves pain for three days. But when a child swallows a patch or applies it to his or her skin, the drug can slow breathing and result in death.
An advisory on the FDA website says "Young children are at particular risk of accidental exposure to fentanyl patches. Their mobility and curiosity provide opportunities for them to find lost patches, take improperly discarded patches from the trash, or find improperly stored patches, all of which may result in patches being placed in their mouths or sticking to their skin. Additionally, young children are at risk of exposure when being held by someone wearing a partially detached patch which can then transfer to the child. "
According to the FDA warning, there have been 26 incidents of accidental fentanyl exposure since 1997, resulting in ten deaths and 12 cases requiring hospitalization. Most of the cases involved children.
“This reinforces the need to talk to patients and their families," says Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., deputy director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a written statement, "to make sure that these patches are stored, used and disposed of carefully.”
April 4th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
Forty-five tests and procedures routinely performed on patients are often unnecessary, according to a report released Wednesday by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.
“Many of the things that are routinely done are things that patients have come to expect and doctors have routinely ordered,” said Dr. Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “These are not things that should never be done, but they are things that are often overused.”
It's more ammunition to ask your doctor whether your tests and treatments are necessary, especially given that patients request many of them.
March 20th, 2012
02:01 AM ET
It’s a stunning statistic: Each day roughly four school busloads of U.S. children – about 165 young kids – are seen in emergency rooms after getting into medications - and each visit is preventable.
Those are the findings revealed in a report by Safe Kids Worldwide, which unveiled a new initiative Tuesday called “Safe Storage, Safe Dosing, Safe Kids." The campaign calls on caregivers, medical personnel, pharmacists, drug makers and government groups to work to reduce accidental poisonings of children from medications.
September 26th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
There is nothing quite as momentous as bringing a new baby home. There are smiles, kisses and sometimes tears, especially for families who have waited a long time for the moment to arrive. For parents who adopt children from abroad, arriving home is often extra special. The investment of time, money and travel has resulted in a homecoming for a special little person who is finally sleeping safely in Mom and Dad's arms.
In the past, experts have told parents who travel internationally to adopt children to get vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics is supporting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that other people who may have close contact with the children in the months after they arrive in the United States also get vaccinated.
June 20th, 2011
01:13 PM ET
Warm summer weather means pool time for children and adults. And while most parents are aware of the potential dangers of in-ground swimming pools, they may not be aware of the dangers posed by portable pools, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.
Drowning was the second leading accidental cause of death among children aged 1 to 15 in the United States according to CDC data for 2006. The highest risk for drowning is among boys younger than age 5, and more than half of the drowning deaths reported in 2006 occurred at home.
Portable pools - which include movable wading pools, inflatable pools, and “soft sided, self rising” pools can be found in home improvement stores, variety stores, toy stores, and even at the grocery store.
June 13th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
Spending time in child care may help protect children of depressed moms from developing behavioral and psychological problems, according to new research in the journal Pediatrics.
Experts know that when mothers are depressed it can be difficult or challenging for them to parent and that their children often show signs of distress. Some young people act out, perhaps showing anger and aggression, others internalize their feeling taking on their mother's sadness or depression.
This new study looked at more than 400 mothers and their children in Australia, and found that at age 2, as little as half a day of child care a week appears to protect infants and toddlers from exhibiting behavioral problems at age 5.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.