Recalls

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: Safety Communication – Increased Risk of Ruptures or Tears in the Aorta Blood Vessel in Certain Patients

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[Posted 12/20/2018]

AUDIENCE: Health Professional, Infectious Disease, Cardiology, Patient

ISSUE: FDA review found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta.  These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death.  They can occur with fluoroquinolones for systemic use given by mouth or through an injection.

BACKGROUND: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are approved to treat certain bacterial infections and have been used for more than 30 years.  They work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause illness.  Without treatment, some infections can spread and lead to serious health problems (see List of Currently Available FDA-Approved Systemic Fluoroquinolones).

RECOMMENDATION:
Healthcare professionals should:

  • Avoid prescribing fluoroquinolone antibiotics to patients who have an aortic aneurysm or are at risk for an aortic aneurysm, such as patients with peripheral atherosclerotic vascular diseases, hypertension, certain genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and elderly patients. 

  • Prescribe fluoroquinolones to these patients only when no other treatment options are available. 

  • Advise all patients to seek immediate medical treatment for any symptoms associated with aortic aneurysm. 

  • Stop fluoroquinolone treatment immediately if a patient reports side effects suggestive of aortic aneurysm or dissection.

Patients should:

  • Seek medical attention immediately by going to an emergency room or calling 911 if you experience sudden, severe, and constant pain in the stomach, chest or back. 

  • Be aware that symptoms of an aortic aneurysm often do not show up until the aneurysm becomes large or bursts, so report any unusual side effects from taking fluoroquinolones to your health care professional immediately. 

  • Inform your health professional before starting an antibiotic prescription,  if you have a history of aneurysms, blockages or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, or genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. 

  • Not stop the antibiotic without first talking to your health care professional.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[12/20/2018 – Drug Safety Communication – FDA]







https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm628960.htm

Gilenya (fingolimod): Drug Safety Communication – Severe Worsening of Multiple Sclerosis After Stopping the Medicine

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[Posted 11/20/2018]

AUDIENCE:
Patient, Health Professional, Neurology, Pharmacy

ISSUE: FDA is warning that when the multiple sclerosis (MS) medicine Gilenya (fingolimod) is stopped, the disease can become much worse than before the medicine was started or while it was being taken. This MS worsening is rare but can result in permanent disability.

BACKGROUND: Gilenya is one of several medicines approved to treat a form of MS called relapsing MS, which are periods of time when MS symptoms get worse. The medicine was approved in the United States in 2010.

RECOMMENDATION:

Healthcare professionals should:

  • Inform patients before starting treatment about the potential risk of severe increase in disability after stopping Gilenya.

  • Patients should be carefully observed for evidence of an exacerbation of their MS and treated appropriately when Gilenya is stopped.

  • Patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they experience new or worsened symptoms of MS after Gilenya is stopped.

  • Test for new or enhancing lesions by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if an increase in disability occurs and begin appropriate treatment as needed.

  • Encourage patients to read the patient Medication Guide they receive with their Gilenya prescriptions, which explains the benefits and risks of the medicine.

Patients who have been instructed to stop Gilenya, should contact your health professional immediately if you experience new or worsened symptoms such as:

  • weakness

  • trouble using arms or legs

  • changes in thinking, eyesight or balance.

Patients should not stop taking the medicine on their own and should speak to their health professional first, as stopping treatment can lead to worsening MS symptoms.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report

  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[11/20/2018 – Drug Safety Communication – FDA]







https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm626264.htm

Implanted Pumps: Safety Communication – Use Caution When Selecting Pain Medicine for Intrathecal Administration

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[Posted 11/14/2018]

AUDIENCE: Patient, Caregiver, Health Professional, Pain Management, Pharmacy, Neurology, Surgery

ISSUE: The FDA is aware that patients undergoing treatment or management of pain are commonly given pain medicines in the spinal fluid (intrathecal administration) that are not FDA approved for use with the implanted pump. While individual patients may experience some relief from using pain medicines not approved for intrathecal administration in their implanted pumps, such use may create additional risks including dosing errors, pump failures, and other safety concerns. The FDA wants to ensure that patients, caregivers, compounders, pharmacists, and health care providers are aware of these risks to make informed treatment decisions.

BACKGROUND: Implanted pumps are medical devices that are surgically implanted under the skin, typically in the abdomen. They are connected to an implanted catheter and are used to deliver prescription medicines and fluids within the body, including the intrathecal space (into the spinal fluid), to treat pain, muscle spasticity, and other diseases or conditions. Implanted pumps are periodically refilled with medicines or fluids by a health care provider.

They are often used to treat or manage pain after other treatments, such as oral medicines, physical therapy, or surgery, are unsuccessful.

The FDA-approved implanted pump labeling identifies which pain medicines are approved for use with each pump. Pain medicines approved by FDA for delivery into the spinal fluid must meet additional safety standards because the spinal cord and brain tissue are highly sensitive to preservatives or infectious organisms such as bacteria or viruses. The implanted pump’s current labeling should be reviewed to determine which pain medicines are approved for use in each pump. The table below includes examples of medicines approved and not approved for intrathecal use with implanted pumps to treat or manage pain.

RECOMMENDATION: When considering a medicine for use in an implanted pump:

  1. Review the implanted pump labeling to identify the medicines and medicine concentrations approved for use with that specific pump.

  2. Be aware that the following medicines are NOT currently approved for use with implanted pumps for intrathecal infusion of pain medications:

    • Medicines not FDA approved for intrathecal administration or intrathecal implanted pump use (for example, hydromorphone, bupivacaine, fentanyl, clonidine)

    • Any mixture of two or more different kinds of medicines

    • Any compounded medicine (for example, to achieve higher concentration or different formulation of an FDA approved medicine)

  3. Be aware that while individual patients may experience some relief from using medicines not approved for intrathecal administration in their implanted pumps for pain management, such use may pose additional risks including pump failures, dosing errors, and other potential safety issues.

  4. Health care providers, patients, and caregivers are encouraged to consider and discuss both the benefits and risks of using implanted pumps for the intrathecal infusion of medications for pain management in order to make informed treatment decisions.

  5. Report adverse events to the FDA if you suspect an implanted pump is having problems:

    • User facilities must comply with the applicable Medical Device Reporting (MDR) regulations.

    • Health care providers employed by facilities that are subject to the FDA’s user facility reporting requirements should follow the reporting procedures established by their facilities.

  • Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report

  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[11/14/2018 – Medical Device Safety Communication – FDA]







https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm625862.htm

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