Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Purple Pill for Infants?

AstraZeneca, makers of Nexium, America's favorite and best selling purple pill is applying for a dosage appropriate pill for infants from birth to 1 year old with chronic GERD (gastroesopheagal reflex disease).

The treatment would be for up to 6 weeks.

Although physiologic non-painful regurgitation is normal in the first year of life, some infants may have persistent symptoms diagnosed as GERD that could require treatment with an acid-suppressive drug to help resolve the problem.

Blogger's note:
What next? Baby-strength Lipitor?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Heartburn Drugs Cause Bone Fractures

You have got to take pity on the poor woman or man who has been prescribed Nexium or Prilosec for chronic heartburn.

Why?

Studies have shown that long-term use of drugs such as Nexium or Prilosec for more than a year increased the likelihood of hip fracture by more than 40 percent. Patients on high-dose heartburn medication were more than twice as likely to break a hip than those not taking such drugs.

What's the cause? Perhaps the reduction of stomach acid decreases calcium absorption and increases bone loss.

You have got to wonder what the drug makers were thinking about and when did they know about the bone loss?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Drug Cocktails: Nexium and Plavix Don't Mix

Did you know America's favorite purple pill for heartburn (Nexium) doesn't mix with Plavix, the drug prescribed for people who have stents?

Patients who took both drugs were significantly more likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack, stroke, chest pain, or a coronary artery bypass operation than those who took Plavix alone.

It sounds like Nexium is not for the faint of heart.

There's got to be a safer solution for heartburn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Color Purple, Fear the Purple Pill

Ask your doctor about the purple pill.

It appears that we are a nation of dutiful people who take suggestive comments made by TV and online commercials because a study revealed that AstraZeneca’s website – purplepill.com –aka Nexium for heartburn, generated the most traffic. It's actually brilliant marketing because everyone can remember purple pill rather than a odd sounding pharmaceutical name.

It could also be that we’re a nation of heartburn sufferers. The website generated more than one million unique visitors during the second quarter of 2008.

We’re also a nation of diabetics because Actos ranked second with 855,000 unique visitors and insomniacs ranked third with Ambien CR.

AstraZeneca aggressively marketed Nexium running approximately twice as much online display advertising in the second quarter as either of its major competitors, Prevacid and Aciphex.

Also, Pfizer ramped up marketing and public relations efforts for Lyrica since the third quarter of 2007, when the product received FDA approval to be marketed for the treatment of fibromyalgia. lyrica.com had a 36-percent increase in unique visitors.

Have you suffered serious side effects or life threatening injury caused by the purple pill and other heartburn related pharmaceutical drugs?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Osteoporosis - Hip Fractures Can Be Fatal

It's hell getting old.

The drug companies bombard us with a million ways how our bodies and minds will fail us and how we need to take more drugs to be saved.

If that is the case, I don't think I want saving.

Yet, I don't want a hip fracture either. My dear maternal grandmother died from a hip fracture. She really died from hospital error but it was the hip fracture that landed her in the hospital.

So what should the millions of us in the aging population be doing to reduce the risks of hip fractures?

Most people want to take a magic pill instead of eating right, exercising, practicing good habits, taking calcium, etc. Try a dose of common sense instead.

Have you taken pills like Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec and suffered from hip fractures? If so, you may be eligible for a lawsuit. You are not alone. Pharmaceutical drugs are not always the solution; sometimes they're the problem.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yearly Osteoporosis Drug Approved for Men

Europe—The once-yearly Aclasta® an osteoporosis drug for men who are at risk of fractures was recently approved. Men have previously been under the radar for osteoporosis concerns but one in five men over 50 years old have suffered some kind of osteo fracture.

Data from more than 2,100 patients, showed that once-yearly Aclasta reduced the risk of new clinical fractures by 35% in men and postmenopausal women who have recently had a low-trauma hip fracture from a fall from standing height or less. Hip fractures can be a potentially life-threatening consequence of osteoporosis.

A 2-year head-to-head trial compared Aclasta with weekly oral alendronate provided additional data on the treatment of male osteoporosis.

Aclasta, which is administered by once-yearly infusion, was approved in the Europe Commission in October 2007 for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Aclasta/Reclast is the only treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis approved in the EU and US to reduce the risk of fractures including the hip, spine and non-spine. Aclasta is also approved in more than 80 countries for the treatment of Paget's disease of the bone, the second most common metabolic bone disorder.

The most common adverse events associated with Aclasta were transient post-dose symptoms such as fever and muscle pain. Most of these symptoms occurred within the first three days following Aclasta administration and resolved within three days.

Blogger's Note: The drug is in its infant stages. It's too early to know longterm side effects. Patient beware.

If you have had serious life-threatening side effects from taking any osteoporosis related drugs, please contact an unsafe drug law firm with experience pursuing these kinds of cases.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Osteoporosis Drug is Russian Roulette

According to the AP article, the FDA panel of experts* voted 9 to 3 that the benefits of the experimental osteoporosis drug Fablyn** far outweigh the risks of blood clots, vaginal bleeding, and hastening cancer of the uterus.

Government regulators already rejected Fablyn in 2005, citing concerns it could hasten cancer of the uterus lining. While those specific problems didn't show up in more recent studies, FDA noted higher rates of overall death among women taking the drug.

Pfizer said that the increased deaths were due to chance***.

Comments by the blog poster:

*...FDA panel of experts - That phrase sounds like an oxymoron. I wonder if the panel of experts would, if there are any that are women, take the osteoporosis drug? Or would they let their mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives take the drug Fablyn? I wonder if there was a gender breakdown as far as pro and con?

**Fablyn - Word association: No way should the drug be thought as fab, fabulous, fabu, or fabulosity. It seems the more risky the drug, the more the drug companies try to glam up the name. Remember Fabian? He is alive and well and most likely was a hearthrob to the female osteoporosis generation. Do not confuse the two.

***Pfizer said that the increased deaths were due to chance.
Women: Most likely you have less chance of blood clots and cancer of the uterus if you don't take this Fablyn drug. Wait 15 years to see if people taking it get sick and there is increased death.

Don't be Pfizer's guinea pigs.

They have deep pockets. You have an increased chance of death if you try to beat a train at a railroad crossing or wear a blindfold while hiking. Fablyn sounds like Russian roulette to me.

The saddest thing about this osteoporosis drug situation is that they already know it's risky but are going to approve it anyway. After being approved, Pfizer's stock rose...

Do you need a good lawyer?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Can Acid Reflux Drugs Increase the Risk of Fractures?

What did the study show? A recent study from Canada suggest that certain drugs, called PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors), can cause a loss in bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.

... And not a small increase. The study showed that the risk can be 450% greater for those who were on a PPI for more than 7 years. (And a 150% increase for those on the drugs for 5 years or more). So somewhere after 5 years, the risk becomes very significant according the the findings.

Which drugs are PPI drugs? Drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, Aciphex, Protonix, and Prevacid.

How much are these drugs used? Last year, sales for these drugs topped $14 billion. That is billion with a "B". There were over 180 million prescriptions.

Why are these drugs given? For bleeding ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn.

Sources:
Targownik, L. CMAJ, Aug. 12, 2008; vol 179: pp 319-326.
Richards, J. CMAJ, Aug. 12, 2008; vol 179: pp 306-307.