Antihistamines Linked to Delayed Care for Severe Allergic Reaction: Study

MONDAY, Oct. 28, 2019 — Giving antihistamines to a child suffering a potentially fatal allergic reaction may do more harm than good if it causes a delay in emergency treatment, a new study warns.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of young patients, aged 8 months to 20 years, who were admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for treatment of anaphylaxis between July 2015 and January 2019.

The investigators found that 72% of patients who took antihistamines at home delayed seeking medical care, compared to 25% who didn’t take antihistamines.

“Anyone experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, which can constrict airways and circulation, should seek medical care immediately and use an epinephrine auto-injector if they have been prescribed one,” said lead author Dr. Evan Wiley, a pediatric resident at Jacobi Medical Center in New York City.

But many families first turn to antihistamines and wait to see if they might ease the allergic reaction, he said. That can be a risky mistake.

The findings were to be presented Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) annual meeting, in New Orleans. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“While the use of antihistamines might help some allergic symptoms such as rash or itching, those medications will not prevent death from anaphylaxis,” Wiley said in an AAP news release. “It is important for patients with anaphylaxis to seek immediate medical care, since the only proven lifesaving treatment is epinephrine, and any delay in receiving appropriate treatment can be fatal.”

The most common trigger for anaphylaxis is food allergies, which are on the rise in children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more on symptoms and causes of anaphylaxis.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Some May Be Vulnerable to Severe Skin Reaction While Using Gout Drug

TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 — Some gout patients with heart or kidney disease might be more susceptible to severe skin reactions while taking the gout medication allopurinol, researchers report.

“Our findings suggest that heart disease, like chronic kidney disease, is a risk factor for allopurinol-associated severe cutaneous adverse reactions that warrants adoption of precautionary measures against these reactions,” said researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, from the Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Gout is form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in joints and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.

An earlier study found a link between heart disease and an increased risk of hospitalization for people who had a severe skin reaction to allopurinol.

For the latest study, Canadian and U.S. researchers used data from nearly 5 million people in British Columbia. More than 130,000 of these people were on allopurinol. Of these patients, those with heart disease and chronic kidney disease had a higher risk of severe skin reactions than those without such conditions.

People with the genetic marker HLA-B*5801, which is more common in Asian and black people, have a significantly higher risk of this adverse reaction than people without the mutation.

The report was published Sept. 30 in the CMAJ.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned patients about the risk of cardiovascular events from the gout medication febuxostat, so the number of prescriptions for allopurinol will probably increase, the researchers noted.

But severe skin reactions are rare, and allopurinol plays an important role in managing gout, they added.

“Physicians who prescribe allopurinol should look for these risk factors so that they may consider initiating lower-dosage allopurinol and other precautions, which may prevent this rare but serious adverse reaction,” Choi and his co-authors concluded in a journal news release.

More information

For more on gout, see the Arthritis Foundation.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Trump’s half-cocked and loaded tweet draws barrage of reaction

A series of tweets written by U.S. President Donald Trump regarding a retaliatory attack on Iran are displayed on a computer screen in New York, U.S., June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump, whose Twitter malaprops often set off a deluge of social media criticism, was targeted on Friday for a linguistic misfire involving the phrase “locked and loaded.”

In a series of tweets on Friday morning Trump outlined why he said he had decided to call off a military strike on Iran he had planned in response to its having shot down a U.S. drone. He said he decided the estimated death toll of 150 would be a disproportionate response.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” wrote Trump, an outspoken supporter of gun rights and the beneficiary of $ 30 million in National Rifle Association campaign spending.

Instead of “cocked & loaded,” Trump probably meant “locked and loaded,” which means to prepare a gun for immediate firing. Critics swarmed the internet to correct the term, as well as to point out that Trump had meant to say “sites.”

“Trump: ‘We were cocked and loaded.’ Editors everywhere: ‘Pls delete or rephrase,’” tweeted Jeffrey Kluger of Time magazine.

Twitter user @CapeCod_Pete suggested “Cocked and Loaded” would be the title of Trump’s post-presidency memoir while Catherine Thompson of the culture website bustle.com thought it would make a good name for her trivia team.

Tweeter @Tommy_purpura used the term in a greatest-hits compilation of Trump’s Twitter errors: “I cocked and loaded as much covfefe and hamberders as I could find, and looked for the smocking sights.”

Trump did use the proper term “locked and loaded” in August 2017 in saying that “military solutions” were in place to use against North Korea when tensions were high with leader Kim Jong Un.

In 2015, Trump said he had a license to carry a gun and sometimes did so.

Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Extraction Reaction: Let’s Be Smart About Dabbing

A new scientific review of burn injuries in Colorado confirms what many of us have been saying for some time – that the popularity of dabbing (i.e., the use of hash oil) brings with it some real dangers and some potential political dangers.

I have previously written about my own preference for flowers, rather than concentrates or edibles, but that is largely the result of my age. I began smoking marijuana 50 years ago, when I was a freshman at Georgetown Law School, and back then one was lucky if you could establish a reliable source for good marijuana, and these more esoteric versions of marijuana were largely unheard of. Occasionally the dealer would have a little hash (allegedly imported from Lebanon or some other distant country, although one never really knew), but it was usually terribly expensive and treated more as something to be saved for a special occasion, like champagne. Most of the time it was difficult enough just to find good pot.

But it is clear that the culture has evolved over the decades, and many of those wanting to enjoy the marijuana experience today prefer something other than flowers. In the states that have legalized marijuana, many seem to prefer edibles or concentrates. Whether that trend will continue is uncertain, but so long as a significant segment of the consuming public wants to obtain edibles or concentrates, we should focus on ways to permit that without endangering the public.

Edibles

Regarding edibles, as our initial experience in Colorado has demonstrated, the key components to using edibles safely are:

  1. Proper labeling, to avoid accidental ingestion
  2. Proper dosage per unit, to avoid inadvertent overdosing (which is never fatal, but can be terribly unpleasant).
  3. Better educational outreach to novice users, so they understand the lag time between ingesting the marijuana before the full psychoactive effects are felt.

So the initial concern over a few mishaps involving edibles in Colorado seems to have abated. Informed consumers should experience no problems enjoying the marijuana experience from infused edibles.

Concentrates

With concentrates, the most serious issue is the risk of explosions by those who attempt to extract the THC using butane. Novice consumers need to be made aware of the increased strength of marijuana in this form, and concentrates, like edibles, must be kept safely away from children.

Hash oil is a potent marijuana concentrate that can be as strong as 90 percent THC, and is easily manufactured (the process is readily available on the Internet) using butane as a solvent. But the process is also highly volatile and can result in dangerous explosions that all too often cause serious, and sometimes deadly, burn injuries. The similarities with the rash of meth explosions a few years ago is difficult to avoid.

New Study Released from Colorado

A new study just published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, analyzed the incidents of burn injuries from butane hash oil extraction in Colorado from January 1, 2008 through August 31, 2014, comparing the two years prior to the legalization of medical use in the state; the period of medical use only in Colorado; and the first eight months of 2014, the first year of full legalization.

According to this study, there were no such incidents during the two years prior to the adoption of medical use; 19 cases during the medical use only phase lasting from October 2009 through December 2013; and 12 cases during the first eight months of 2014. So the total number of these explosions was small.

Those involved in these butane extraction explosions were largely white (72 percent), male (90 percent); and young (median age of 26). And the medium length of their hospital stay was 10 days.

The study’s authors concluded: “Hydrocarbon burns associated with hash oil production have increased since the liberalization of marijuana policy in Colorado. A combination of public health messaging, standardization of manufacturing processes, and worker safety regulations are needed to decrease the risks associated with BHO (butane hash oil) production.”

Potential Political Backlash

Another risk associated with these burn incidents is the possibility that the non-smoking public may be influenced to oppose further legalization proposals, because of the dangers presented by these explosions. Although the actual numbers of explosions are relatively low, each of them are scary, and most become major news stories, at least on the local and state level, thereby frightening large numbers of citizens, many of whom base their support for legalization on the premise that prohibition causes far more harm than the use of marijuana itself.

These incidents of butane burn injuries may well cause some of our supporters to re-evaluate their prior support. And there is no reason for us to incur this political baggage; we have an alternative production method that is safe.

An Alternative Method of Extraction

This is a risk that could be avoided by using a CO2 extraction method, instead of butane, to produce concentrates, and as a culture we need to get the word out that it’s time to bring an end to the use of butane extraction altogether. It’s dangerous to produce concentrates with butane, at least by amateurs, and it may well present a health risk to the consumer.

The CO2 extraction method is safe and non-volatile, avoiding any danger of an explosion. And consumers are further protected because bacteria, mildews and molds are destroyed, and there is no butane residue in concentrates made this way.

It’s a win-win solution, but we need to better inform those who produce and use concentrates. If consumers begin to demand CO2-extracted concentrates, and reject products made with butane, the industry will quickly fall into line.

It’s time we insisted on the responsible production and use of concentrates. Otherwise we may find ourselves facing significant limitations, or even total bans, imposed on the production and availability of these products. Let’s resolve this problem ourselves, so the authorities need not deal with it.

 

Marijuana

Drug Can Cause Dangerous Skin Reaction: FDA

FDA

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WebMD News from HealthDay

Dec. 12, 2014 — The antipsychotic medicine Geodon (ziprasidone) and generic versions of the drug can cause a rare, dangerous skin reaction that can progress to affect other parts of the body, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The agency has ordered that ziprasidone’s label carry a new warning about this condition, called Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS).

Patients who are taking ziprasidone and develop a fever with a rash and/or swollen lymph glands should seek immediate medical care. If DRESS is suspected, doctors should immediately take patients off the drug, the FDA said.

DRESS can lead to inflammation of the liver, kidney, lungs, heart or pancreas, and possibly death.

Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

WebMD Health

Far Cry 4: Ubisoft Pleasantly Surprised by Fan Reaction to Elephants

Developer Ubisoft Montreal was pleasantly surprised by the positive fan reaction to Far Cry 4‘s elephants, which players can not only ride, but also use as a weapon. Level design director Mark Thompson says controllable elephants are the latest example of how Ubisoft is pushing gameplay forward with Far Cry 4.

“We knew we had something cool with the elephant, but it’s caught us by surprise just how excited people are by the prospect of the elephant,” Thompson told GameSpot at E3.

“The fact that it’s part vehicle, part weapon … and it’s just generating so many more player stories than we thought, he added. “It’s great to see just how excited people get when they get hands on with that elephant.”

To ride elephants in Far Cry 4, you need to unlock a special skill. But once you do that, you’re given full control of the pachyderm, and are able to sprint and perform a mighty melee attack with the animal’s trunk. During a demo at E3, GameSpot editor Daniel Hindes used this melee attack to secure an outpost, and you can read more of his impressions right here.

Far Cry 4 launches November 18 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. Earlier this week, Ubisoft introduced players to the game’s protagonist, Ajay Ghale.

Gamespot’s Site Mashup

Your Summer Cold May Actually Be an Allergic Reaction

SATURDAY June 15, 2013 — Sneezing, watery eyes, scratchy throat? What you think is a summer cold may actually be allergies, an expert says.

“Contrary to popular belief, seasonal allergies don’t only strike in the spring and fall months,” Dr. Richard Weber, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), said in a college news release. “Allergies are also common in the summer and can even last year-round for some sufferers.”

Grass pollens and mold spores are the most common allergy triggers during the summer, and mold can be more of a problem than pollen. Mold spores are everywhere and commonly outnumber pollen grains in the air even during peak pollen season, research has shown.

Summer allergies (or hay fever) can develop even in adults who have never had allergies. In such cases, it’s easy to mistake allergies for a summer cold.

The ACAAI offers some tips on how to determine if you have a summer cold or allergies:

  • If symptoms last for two weeks or more, you likely have allergies.
  • If your symptoms become progressively worse, you likely have a cold.
  • Itchy eyes, throat and nose — along with sneezing — usually indicate allergies.
  • If you have asthma, you may be more likely to have an allergy than a cold. About 75 percent to 80 percent of people with asthma also have an allergy.

Although summer colds and allergies may not seem serious, both can progress and lead to other health problems, such as a sinus infection. If you have persistent symptoms, see an allergist for testing, diagnosis and treatment, the ACAAI advised.

There is no cure for seasonal allergies but avoiding triggers and getting treatment, such as medication or allergy shots, can provide relief and prevent progression.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about colds and seasonal allergies.

Posted: June 2013

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Iwata Says 3DS Price Partly Due to E3 Reveal Reaction

Nintendo 3DS


So we know that the 3DS won’t launch until early next year because of supply shortages. Now the next question: Why was it priced at $ 300 bucks? Evidently, we can partly blame our own inability to keep a strong poker face — or at least that’s what Nintendo president Satoru Iwata seems to be suggesting.

As you no doubt know by now, the 3DS was recently set for release in Japan on February 26 for 25000 yen, or roughly $ 300. There have been complaints that that’s a higher price than expected, and Bloomberg Japan reports that during a meeting with analysts, someone suggested to Iwata that the price might be too high. Iwata’s response (according to Andriasang’s translation): Nintendo simply priced the 3DS according to a “number of factors,” one of which being “reactions to the system’s E3 reveal.”

Certainly, when Nintendo revealed the 3DS at E3 and gave those in attendance their first chance to get their hands on the handheld, many came away impressed. The lesson, apparently, is for everyone to keep their damn mouths shut about it next time if they know what’s good for them.

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