I hope everyone has a healthy, happy, peaceful New Year!
Gary S. Firestein, MD, of UC San Diego Medical Center speaks about innovative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis including promising new findings with inhibitors of signal transduction. It is good to know that there are new treatment options on the horizon for those whose current therapy is unsuccessful. There is not a one size fits all remedy for this disease. I think that it is important to have choices and options.
Friday January 15, 2010, Johnson & Johnson issued a massive recall of several of their over the counter drugs because of consumer complaints of a mold like smell that was associated with nausea, vomitting, stomach pain and diarrhea. The recall includes some batches of Regular and Extra Strength Tylenol, Eight-Hour Tylenol Arthritis, Tylenol PM, Motrin, Motrin IB, Children’s Motrin, Benedryl, Rolaids, Simply Sleep and St. Joseph’s Aspirin. This is the second such recall in less than a month because of the sickening smell. The exact number of bottles recalled is not known, however the products were sold in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates and Fiji. The products are in both caplet and geltab form.
According to the press release from US Food and Drug Administration and McNeil Consumer Healthcare:
“Based on this investigation, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has determined that the reported uncharacteristic smell is caused by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA). This can result from the breakdown of a chemical that is sometimes applied to wood that is used to build wood pallets that transport and store product packaging materials. The health effects of this chemical have not been well studied but no serious events have been documented in the medical literature. ”
Consumers who purchased product from the lots included in this recall should stop using the product and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on a refund or replacement. For these instructions or information regarding how to return or dispose of the product, consumers should log on to the internet at www.mcneilproductrecall.com or call 1-888-222-6036 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time). Consumers who have medical concerns or questions should contact their healthcare provider. Any adverse reactions may also be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Program by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, by mail at MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787, or on the MedWatch website at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For a complete listing of all the TYLENOL lots included in the recall click HERE.
For the complete listing of all the MOTRIN lots included int the recall click HERE.
For the complete listing of all the BENEDRYL lots included in the recall click HERE.
For the complete listing of all the ROLAIDS lots included in the recall click HERE.
For the complete listing of alL the SIMPLY SLEEP lots included in this recall click HERE.
For the complete listing of all the ST. JOSEPH’S ASPIRIN lots included in this recall click HERE.
After researching for this post I checked my own medicine cabinet to find two of the recalled items. One of which I have given to my children. I would recommend that everyone check their own homes for any of these products just to be safe.
As the end of this year approaches I can’t help but look back and reflect on all that has happened. I have experienced some highs and quite a few health related lows this year. I would much rather focus on the good things that 2009 brought.
This was the year that LivingRheum.com was born in earnest.
LivingRheum.com has enriched my life in ways that I never could have expected. I am still in awe that anyone found my blog to read it in the first place. The fact that so many people have come here and read my words and shared their experiences has been such a blessing. I am so grateful to have met so many amazing people.
Just knowing that there are so many good people in this world who completely understand how it really feels to have rheumatoid arthritis and the challenges that I face with this disease, has made me feel so less alone in this challenging journey. I hope that in some way I have been able to give back all that I have gained.
I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy new year filled with much happiness and mobility. I am looking forward to what the new year will bring. I plan to use my energy to focus on the joy. I find the more I focus on the joy, the less I focus on the joints.
As of December 18, 2009 all lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets 100 count bottles with the red EZ Open Cap have been recalled. This recall has been expanded from an earlier recall of 5 lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets in November, 2009. The caplets were recalled after consumer complaints that there was an unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like odor that was associated with nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. As a precautionary measure, all lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets 100 with the red EZ OpenCap have been recalled.
The recall is being expanded, as a precaution, to include all TYLENOL® Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP.
For a complete list of all lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets 100 recalled click HERE
Every time I turn around lately someone is talking about the swine flu (H1N1). There have been outbreaks on college campuses around the United States and with kids back to school everyone is a little nervous about what germs they may bring home. The vaccine for the H1N1 Swine flu won’t be available until October and the seasonal flu vaccine has only been available to selected clinics and doctors so far. It is entirely possible that even with the vaccine, many people will catch the flu.
Let’s face it even if you do everything right there is a chance that you can get swine flu or the seasonal flu. Hand washing seems to be the best line of defense and my kids tell me that there are hand sanitizer dispensers in every classroom. The local schools seem to be doing everything they can to prevent an outbreak, but unless you are living in a bubble there is still that chance that you or the people that surround you will become sick. It is entirely possible that many will come down with swine flu before the proper agencies are even able to get the vaccine to the people that would benefit from it most. So I thought I would talk about what to do if you actually come down with this strain or any other strain of flu.
Firstly, you are not going to know if you have H1N1 or the regular seasonal flu. The symptoms of this and any other strain of flu virus are sudden onset of cold like symptoms. Fever (over 100 degrees), chills, headache, dry cough, runny nose, lethargy, body aches are the most common symptoms but sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. If you or anyone that you are living with is experiencing these symptoms, get to the doctor right away.
The sooner you see a doctor the better. Anti-viral medications such as Tamiflu must be taken within 12-48 hours of the onset of symptoms to be effective. Tamiflu can help to reduce the duration of the symptoms of the flu up to 30%. Tamiflu is also prescribed for the prevention of the flu if you have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with the flu. This is particularly important if you have a compromised immune system.
If you are unfortunate enough to catch the swine or seasonal flu, there are many over the counter flu remedies that may ease your symptoms. Make sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any over the counter remedy because it may interact with any prescription drugs you are taking.
The most important thing you can do for yourself when sick with the flu is get plenty of rest. Having experienced the flu first-hand I can tell you that your body isn’t really going to want to do anything but rest. Make sure to get plenty of fluids when dealing with the flu because dehydration will only make you feel worse and may slow down the healing process.
If your symptoms do not improve or start to get worse, see a doctor right away. Many people with autoimmune diseases have a more difficult time fighting the flu because of the treatments for their disease often weakens their immune system. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, having difficulty breathing, experiencing chest pains as a result of coughing or are coughing up yellow, green or bloody phlegm get to a doctor right away. These may be symptoms of a much more serious condition.
Secondary infections as a result of the flu include sinus infections, bronchitis, ear infections and pneumonia. Some secondary infections may result in hospitalization. It is vitally important to listen to your body and if there is any indication that you are not improving call the doctor.
It can take up to two weeks for a healthy adult to get over the flu. If your immune system is compromised it probably will take longer. Most people with the flu recover completely within a reasonable amount of time, but there may be lingering symptoms such as a cough and general weakness. It is important that if you are unsure about any symptoms that you are experiencing that you contact your doctor and do not hesitate. It is much better to ask to see the doctor and have it be a relatively small issue than hold off and wait to see a physician and have it be much more serious and harder to treat.