Clinical Category

Posted On March 13, 2018By Brandon NapolitanoIn Clinical, News

Ask Patients in Pain About Ibuprofen Use

New data published in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety remind us about the dangers of pain medications—not opioids this time, but over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. After acetaminophen, it’s the second-most used drug in the U.S., and the most commonly used nonaspirin NSAID. Many patients are using excessive dosages, however, putting themselves at risk for dose-related side effects (eg, upper gastrointestinal bleeding and acute renal injury) that can be quite severe or even fatal. The P&DS research reflects the medication diaries of 1,326 people, 15% of whom exceed the maximum recommended dailyRead More
Over 1.8 million emergency room visits related to a diagnosis of eczema took place between 2006 and 2012, costing patients hours of waiting and their insurance providers millions of dollars. What’s more, the trend indicates the number will continue to rise. The question is, why? The likely answer—besides the fact that it takes forever to secure an appointment with a dermatologist—is that too many people are unfamiliar with the full capabilities of their closest urgent care center. Laura Kwa, BA and Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH of the FeinbergRead More

Posted On March 6, 2018By Brandon NapolitanoIn Clinical, News

CDC Says Flu Season Has Peaked—but More Deaths Are Likely

Though 45 states still report “widespread cases” of influenza, the total number of new cases in the United States is down for the second week in a row, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare that flu season has peaked. Only 5% of people visited providers complaining of flu symptoms last week, down from 6.4% the previous week. The agency cautioned that this does not mean it’s time to be less vigilant to prevention, or to presume there’s won’t be new patients who need immediate care toRead More
In the Midst of a Bad Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended use of the FluMist Quadrivalent nasal spray influenza vaccine in the next influenza season. Starting 2 years ago, healthcare providers have been urged to not use that vaccine because the CDC said there was a lack of efficacy in preventing influenza. However, the new ACIP recommendation comes on the heals of a U.S. study in young children that found vaccines containing a 2017–2018 strain of H1N1 influenza virus performed better than the 2015–2016 strain. WhetherRead More

Posted On January 12, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Clinical

FDA Orders Label Changes for Opioid Cough and Cold Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will order changes to labeling information for opioid cough and cold medications to limit their use to adults aged 18 years and older. It will also require that new safety information be added to highlight the risk for addiction, abuse, overdose, and other dangerous potential side effects for all patients. Codeine-containing products like Tuxarin ER and Tuzistra ER, as well as products that contain hydrocodone (eg, Flowtuss, Rezira) will no longer be indicated for use in any pediatric population. The FDA says it’s takingRead More

Posted On January 12, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Clinical

‘Raw’ is Healthy—Except When It’s Potentially Deadly

Celebrities and some nutrition gurus have touted the benefits of a raw diet for years. The latest ‘raw’ trend goes way beyond fruits and vegetables, though, and has the potential to drive consumers to your urgent care center. It’s water. Raw water is untreated and unfiltered; it’s literally drawn from the earth, bottled, and sold for upwards of $15 a gallon. The problem, health-wise, is that it could be tainted with pesticides, animal waste, and parasites and infect patients with E coli and cholera. Further, like many unprocessed items, rawRead More
It’s well established (though not accepted by all patients) that getting a flu shot is the best way to reduce risk for influenza infection, and that the need to do so is especially great for older patients. New research out of Spain shows that seniors who get a flu shot every year see a cumulative benefit that helps keep them out of the hospital. The authors of the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, report that repeating vaccination every year is 74% effective in preventing intensive care unitRead More
As Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, and New York and other states report higher incidence of flu compared with previous years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that A(H3N2) viruses are predominating this season, and has issued a summary of antiviral drug treatment recommendations. According to the agency, previous seasons in which A(H3N2) viruses were predominant were associated with more hospitalizations and deaths among older adults and young children vs other age groups. Vaccine effectiveness has also been lower against A(H3N2) viruses than against other strains, historically. Therefore, in additionRead More
The Food and Drug Administration unveiled a new tool designed to give urgent care physicians and other providers more timely access to updates on antibiotics and antifungal drugs this week. The overarching aim is to help clinicians anticipate when bacterial or fungal infections are likely to respond to a specific drug. Under the new approach, FDA can simultaneously update the breakpoints for multiple drugs that have the same active ingredient and share that information transparently through a dedicated FDA website that will list FDA-recognized breakpoints. Companies that disagree with theRead More
It’s relatively early in the season, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that influenza activity is already rising—and several markers are higher than normally seen this early. Four children have already died this season, and four of the CDC’s 10 regions are at or above their regional baselines. Another bad sign: Australia, whose data are often a predictor of flu severity in the U.S., just completed its worst flu season on record. So far, influenza A has accounted for 83.4% of positive flu specimens. This information isRead More