Friday, June 26, 2009

Pms - Phenobarbital (60 mg) Being Recalled in Canada due to Risk of Accidental Overdose

I came across this press release from Health Canada. Important information if you take pms-phenobarbitol:

June 26, 2009
For immediate release

OTTAWA - Health Canada is warning consumers that all lots of the prescription drug pms - Phenobarbital tablets in the 60 milligram (mg) format (DIN 00178810) are being recalled because some oversized tablets were recently found on the Canadian market. The oversized tablets were found to contain more Phenobarbital than the label indicates, exposing patients to the potential risk of accidental overdose. The Canadian distributor, Pharmascience Inc. of Montreal Quebec, has initiated a recall of all lots presently on the market.

Phenobarbital is widely used as an anticonvulsant for the treatment of seizure disorders, and it is also used to treat anxiety and sleep related disorders as it has sedative and hypnotic properties.

Health Canada advises consumers currently using pms -Phenobarbital 60mg to return this product to their pharmacist for a replacement. Consumers should not stop taking their medication without consulting a health care professional, as abrupt discontinuation of this medication can cause symptoms of withdrawal (such as irritability, headache, dizziness, sweating, tremors, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, weight loss or anorexia, nightmares, insomnia) and, if used to treat seizures, can result in an increase in seizures.

The oversized tablets may contain significantly more phenobarbital than the 60mg indicated on the label. Symptoms of an overdose may include uncontrolled eye movements, lack of muscle coordination, impaired speech, extreme drowsiness, decreased breathing and heart rate and may begin within 1-2 hours after taking a Phenobarbital overdose. An overdose may be life threatening and can result in a coma and/or cardiac arrest.

In the event of an overdose or if experiencing serious side effects consumers are advised to contact emergency services. Consumers who have used this product and are concerned about their health should contact their health care practitioner for advice. Consumers requiring more information about this advisory can contact Health Canada’s public enquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.

To date, no adverse reactions from the use of pms - Phenobarbital 60mg tablets have been reported to Health Canada.

You can report any adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to the Canada Vigilance Program by one of the following three ways:

To have postage pre-paid, download the postage paid label from the MedEffect™ Canada Web site. The Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and the adverse reaction reporting guidelines may also be obtained via this website.

Do we have to know? Michael Jackson "investigation"

Well, it's been just a little over 24 hours now since the music world was rocked by the news of Michael Jackson's death. Whether you thought him odd or a genius, there's not taking away his musical talent and the many ways he changed and helped grow the music scene since the 70s and 80s.

But now, the reports are abounding about what may have caused his death, his alleged addictions, his illnesses, his private doctor. In the car just now, I heard a report that the L.A. police want to speak with the physician who was with Michael when he died - problem is, they can't find him.

What does concern me is the report that this supposed doctor was doing CPR, according to the 9-1-1 call that was made available. But he was doing it *on the bed*, not on a hard surface like you're supposed to to make the heart compressions effective.

I can understand a non-medical professional stressing out and forgetting that detail, but a doctor? It's one of the first things you're taught about resuscitation in a hospital. That's why "crash carts" have boards on them, so you can slide it underneath the patient between the patient and the soft mattress.

To me, this is important information to know because if it is true, then maybe more people need education regarding the importance of doing CPR properly. But, my desire to know is left at that. Whether he died of an overdose, illnesses, or the result of his body breaking down after years of abuse - that's for his family, not for us. The man is dead. I think we should also let him go.