PAIN MANAGEMENT – METHYLPREDNISONE INJECTIONS
From Maine, to Florida, and points as far West as the Mississippi River, Health Officials have reported an outbreak of Fungal Meningitis. This outbreak of Fungal Meningitis has been traced back to an estimated 70,000 units of injectable Methylprednisone (corticosteroid), manually compounded, and used in pain clinics to treat back pain. Often, the physician administering this type of injection, mixes the steroid with Vitamin B-12. The Vitamin B-12 is not the problem, the steroid, methylprednisone, a corticosteroid, has somehow been contaminated with a fungus.
If you have had ANY methylprednisone shots, anywhere, in your body, contact your physician immediately. Meningitis is a very bad thing to have, fungal meningitis is just as bad, if not worse, on other levels. The reason I am writing, if you had one of these shots ANYWHERE IN YOUR BODY, you should contact your doctor, is to err on the side of caution. Meningitis can be deadly. Additionally, I would go even one step further, and check with a physician, if you had one of these shots administered to you anywhere, in the United States.
This particular type of medication is compounded. Instead of being a product of mass production, these vials of injectable corticosteroid (methylprednisone) is compounded in a specialised compounding pharmacy. The chances of a compounded medication being sent cross-country is very real. The compounding pharmacy will say the chances of shipment, and use outside the warning area is small, but there is still a chance, nonetheless. Compounding pharmacies are not regulated, in the same way as other pharmacies, or medical supply companies. I would go so far as to say these types of pharmacies have been lucky to have not had larger problems prior to this. The FDA does not regulate these compounding pharmacies the same way mass production drug makers are regulated. Hopefully this will be the wake up call necessary to bring more scrutiny to these drug makers. They claim a policy of heightened internal surveillance will be the answer to preventing future problems, but I am not willing to risk my life, or the lives of others, on a self policing policy. Self policing is no more than the fox guarding the hen-house.
If I had one of these injections ANYWHERE in the United States, I would get checked out by my primary care doctor. This is solid, sound advice, so do not let any health care professional make you feel like an idiot for wanting, even demanding, to be checked out. I would rather have them make me out to be an idiot, than to be dead; furthermore, if they make you out to be some sort of idiot, find another doctor AFTER you are checked for Fungal Meningitis.
Take Care of Yourself, & Please Get Checked If You Had An Injection of Methylprednisone (corticosteroid),
P.S. I have a compounded medication infused into my bloodstream at least once a month. In the past, I had to have them once a night. Not all Compounding Pharmacies are bad, but they all should meet certain minimum standards, and not be allowed to self police only. There must be oversight from an outside entity, the FDA.
- US meningitis outbreak spreads (bbc.co.uk)
- Meningitis Outbreak 2012: Steroid-Related Fungal Meningitis Cases Rise To 47 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Clinics scramble in scare over meningitis (triblive.com)
- Compounding pharmacy may be to blame for fungal meningitis (medicationhealthnews.wordpress.com)
- Rare fungal meningitis outbreak tied to steroid shots; toll rises to 47 in 7 states (vancouversun.com)
- Fungal Meningitis Cases Increase (insidesurgery.com)
- Framingham pharmacy identified as possible source of fungal meningitis outbreak blamed for 4 deaths (boston.com)
- Clinics rush to warn patients of tainted steroid (cnsnews.com)
- Steroid-related meningitis cases rise to 47 (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Fungal Meningitis: Know the Subtle Symptoms (abcnews.go.com)