Tag Archives: Prescription

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Following Wall Street Journal Report on Birth Injury From Prescription Medications, RX Birth Defects Releases New Resources for Alleged Victims of Topamax


(Vocus/PRWEB) April 12, 2011

On March 29, 2011 the Wall Street Journal covered the growing concern surrounding birth defects related to prescription medications taken by women during pregnancy. The article, entitiled “Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt The Baby?” examines the history of drug approval in the United States, as well as the lack of appropriate measures to determine dangers to pregnant women and unborn children (Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt the Baby, March 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal).

The article was spurred by the fact that in March of 2011, the FDA released a new MedAlert Safety Update regarding the pregnancy category classification of the popular migraine drug Topamax (also known as Topiragen or topiramate). (Topamax (topiramate): Label Change – Risk For Development of Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate in Newborns, March 4, 2011, fda.gov). This alert followed a troubling February 2011 annoucement that certain antipsychotic drugs including Haldol, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify, could cause significant withdrawal symptoms after birth if a child is exposed en uteri. (Antipsychotic Drugs Used During Pregnancy Could Harm Newborn, February 2011, fda.gov).

A drug classification change for Topamax means that the drug is now placed in a drug category that indicates “there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans”. (Chart of FDA Pregnancy Categories, fda.gov) The FDA strongly advises that all other options be explored before a woman uses a category D drug during pregnancy and that the drug only be used if the risk to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

The specific Topamax re-classification was encouraged by evidence presented by the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry suggesting that oral-facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate may be linked to the use of Topamax during pregnancy. Specifically, the NAAED cites that the existence of major malformations was 3.8% in the topiramate-exposed group of infants versus 1.3% in the unexposed reference group. The prevalence of cleft lip was 0.69% versus the expected rate of .07% in the normal population. (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010).)

Topamax is part of a class of drugs known as “anticonvulsants” or “anti-epileptics”, a class of drugs at the center of the birth defect debate. Numerous other anticonvulsant drugs, including the epileptic and seizure medication Depakote, have been linked to potential birth defects. Depakote, specifically, has been linked to serious neural tube malformations that cause the debilitating condition of spina bifida (Source: The Teratogenicity of Anticonvulsant Drugs, Lewis B. Holmes, M.D., N Engl J Med 2001; 344:1132-1138, April 12, 2001).

Currently, no comprehensive testing of potential drug risks for pregnant or breastfeeding women or unborn children exists. The ethical issues surrounding testing on these demographic groups prevents organized studies for this population. As a result, many of the birth defects that may be related to prescription drugs are not discovered until after the drug is released to the public and physicians or drug registry programs begin reporting a pattern of birth injuries.

RXBirthDefects.com is part of the family of resource websites created by the Consumer Justice Foundation, an online consumer watchdog agency. Following the Wall Street Journal article and the FDA classification change for Topamax, RXBirthDefects.com added a resource section dedicated to providing information about potential birth defects related to Topamax use during pregnancy.

The Topamax birth defect information covered on RXBirthDefects.com includes detailed information about the oral-facial malformations and genital malformations that may be related to the drug use. This includes facial clefts such as cleft lip, cleft palate and the male genital deformation of hypospadias (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010)).

Families seeking legal recourse for birth injuries related to Topamax taken during pregnancy can find more information about how to file a Topamax lawsuit and updated news on the status of ongoing Topamax litigation in the United States. Families can connect immediately with reputable Topamax attorneys and legal representation via the free case evaluation form available online at RXBirthDefects.com.

About RXBirthDefects.com:

RXBirthDefects.com provides comprehensive information and resources regarding the use of prescription medication during pregnancy. The information on RXBirthDefects.com currently covers the prescription anticonvulsants Topamax, Dilantin, Depakote and Tegretol as well as the common antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac and Zoloft. The website provides an online resource center and free claim review form for women and families seeking more information about the specific birth defects that may be related to these drugs when used during pregnancy.

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Recent Reports State That 19 Million Americans Abuse Prescription Drugs; FDA and Novus Medical Detox Agree That Education is Needed


New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 46 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdose, which adds up to about 17,000 deaths annually. The reports also state that poisonings by drug overdose have tripled over the past 30 years. (1) Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, states that the reason behind the high number of fatalities lies in inadequate drug education.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries this same belief, and has responded by implementing a new drug education program. The program seeks to educate doctors who prescribe these highly-addictive painkillers, as well as the patients who are taking them. The program’s mission is “to teach doctors about proper opiate prescribing for pain patients to minimize the risks of diversion and addiction.” (4)

The United Nation’s World Drug Report 2014 stated that in 2012, 6.1% (19 million) of Americans abused prescription opioids, including morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin. This figure categorizes the United States as a country that abuses prescription drugs more than any other country in the world. (2) In an effort to lower the number of people harmed by these drugs, Novus warns Americans to exercise caution when receiving a new prescription from a physician, and to ask questions related to its side effects.

“Intentionally or not, Americans may be underestimating the highly addictive nature of drugs such as opioids,” stated Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon. “It may start as nothing more than filling a prescription for legitimate pain, but overdose may result when a patient seeks to elicit a stronger high from these drugs.”

Novus recommends that the following steps be taken when being prescribed a new medication (3):

●    Be sure that the prescription comes from a trusted physician;

●    Only use the medication as prescribed;

●    Ask the physician about the medicine and its effects;

●    Conduct your own research about the drug’s effects; and

●    Be prepared—ask your doctor what to do if one becomes addicted.

All of these tips are important to heed before a patient starts to take a medication, because addiction may begin with the patient being unaware of a medication’s initial effects. This patient may begin to take pills more liberally than prescribed, and the dangers of addiction do not lie far behind.

Runyon maintains that comprehensive drug education, starting in grade school and continuing throughout adult life to physician visits, can help to significantly reduce the number of Americans addicted to such drugs.

While new preventative measures are being taken, Novus recommends looking out for the following symptoms or behaviors (but not limited to), if someone suspects that a loved one is abusing pain reliever prescription drugs (5):

●    Nausea, drowsiness;

●    Mood swings and anxiety;

●    Slowed reactions, movement and breathing;

●    Jittery or secretive; and/or

●    Neglect of work/school responsibilities.

Runyon advises those who are dependent upon any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television, and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.Hutchins, Sarah. “Drug Overdose: Prescription Painkillers Poison 46 Americans Every Day.” Liberty Voice, 20 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. guardianlv.com/2014/07/drug-overdose-prescription-painkillers-poison-46-americans-every-day/.

2.Blake, Matthew. “Extent of US Dependency on Prescription Drugs Revealed: UN Report Shows 6% of American Adults Hooked on Pills.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683318/Extent-US-dependency-prescription-drugs-revealed-UN-report-shows-6-American-adults-hooked-pills.html.

3.Winkel, Bethany. “Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse—Treatment Solutions.” Treatment Solutions. N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 July 2014. treatmentsolutions.com/avoiding-prescription-drug-abuse/.

4.Sack, David. “FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits—and Misses—the Mark—Addiction Recovery.” Addiction Recovery with David Sack, M.D. Psych Central.com, 7 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/07/fda-prescription-drug-abuse-plan-hits-and-misses-the-mark/.

5.“Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.” Narconon International, n.d. Web. 22 July 2014. narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-pain-relievers.html.







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Teen Rehab Center CEO Releases Answers to Top Five Questions on Prescription Drug Abuse


Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 02, 2014

Prescription drugs are the second-most abused type of drug, after marijuana. The abuse of prescription drugs has risen by 33 percent since 2008, putting more and more teens in danger. Yet, due to a lack of education, this issue is continually overlooked.

Eighty percent of parents talk with their teens about the dangers of common street drugs, but only 15 percent address the dangers of prescription drug abuse with their kids. In order to help parents better understand the prevalence of prescription drug abuse among teens, Johnny Patout, CEO of New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has answered the five most common questions posed by parents.

1. How dangerous is prescription drug abuse? “In short, extremely,” said Patout. “More teens die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined. Prescription drugs are just too easy for teens to access. Sixty percent of teens who abuse these drugs have free access to them via friends and relatives. Parents must realize the commonality of this issue and learn how to take the proper precautions against it.”

2. Which prescription drugs are commonly abused? “Prescriptions for opioid painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and morphine have skyrocketed in the last decade,” said Patout. “According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 5 million of the 7 million people who reported abusing prescription drugs said they were abusing a pain reliever. Additionally, Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are also massively overprescribed and stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD have escalated in use greatly. Many of these drugs are prescribed unnecessarily for small problems. The excess of these drugs in the hands of teenagers leads to abuse of them.”

3. What if my teen is prescribed a pain reliever or ADHD medication? “The key to dealing with these drugs is monitoring them when they are in the home,” said Patout. “Parents need to keep track of the pills as the teen takes them and not leave extras in the house. It is a good idea to lock up all prescription drugs in the home, even those prescribed to kids. If a parent feels their teen is falsely claiming to be suffering from pain in order to obtain a pain reliever, they should consult a medical professional immediately.”

4. What are “pill parties? “Pill parties are gatherings where teens each bring an assortment of pills,” said Patout. “The pills are then piled together and attendees help themselves. Also called ‘skittles parties’ or ‘pharm parties,’ these gatherings are incredibly dangerous. Teens don’t know what they are taking and could be ingesting lethal combinations of drugs. Sometimes, they will mix alcohol with the drugs, only serving to increase their risk of an overdose. These parties point to the rampant amount of prescription drugs available today.”

5. What should I do if I discover my son or daughter abusing prescription drugs? “The first step is for parents to know the signs of prescription drug abuse so they can keep an eye out for them,” said Patout. “These include changes in appetite, grades, sleeping patterns, mood, personal hygiene and energy level. Side effects will vary depending on what they are taking. If a parent confirms their teenager is abusing prescription drugs, they should explain that prescription drugs are not safe just because a doctor prescribed them. If they believe the drug use is habitual and becoming destructive, it is important to consult a health professional or a teen rehabilitation center. Prescription drug abuse should not be ignored or taken lightly.”

For more information on teen drug addiction and recovery, please visit http://www.newbeginningsshc.com/ or contact a New Beginnings representative at 888-706-1870.

About New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center

New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has been helping teens overcome addiction for more than 30 years. New Beginnings offers a continuum of care for inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs, and works with private insurance providers to find the lowest costs for their patients. For more information, visit http://www.newbeginningsteenhelp.com.