Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in United States Tied to Injectable Methylprednisone

HEALTH ALERT

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),

mark

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.

Cheers,

armyveteran

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Health

2 responses to “Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in United States Tied to Injectable Methylprednisone

  1. critterdok

    Greetings Soldier, and thank you for your service.

    The compounding factor illuminates the danger of the bean-counter mentality in selection of high volume pharmaceutical inventories. Other than critical back order states, I cannot otherwise imagine how one could righteously choose to administer a much less rigorously controlled and much shorted dated compounded version of the same injectable brand name chemical (Depo-Medrol) that is manufactured by one of the world’s largest research-based ethical pharmaceutical companies which is otherwise known as Pfizer, Inc, which is shipped by Pfizer with a multiyear expiration date.
    See http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/rx_product_depo_medrol.jsp

    While compounding pharmacies are of value, there is in my mind a very significant difference between brand name or reference listed (RLD), generic, and compounded versions of similar drugs.

    On another topic, I would submit to you that repository (long acting) suspensions such as methlyprednisolone for injection are extremely valuable when used with discretion but they should not be diluted or mixed with other pharmacoactive agents, vitamin B-12 or otherwise, except perhaps under extraordinary circumstances.

    • Thanks for your well thought out comment. It seems we would be able to get past compounding this agent, since it has been made into many different forms over the past 60 years. JFK had to administer cortisone pellets under his skin for his Addisons, and colitis for many, many years, even while in the Navy, until the pill became available. The production of the pill form of corticosteriods made it much easier to know how much he was truly getting. Quite remarkable he really never was over the line with it as there is only one photo of him with a mooning face (facial roundness is a sign of high dose steriods). He had to have it. He would have died without it. He only had a few afrenal gland cells in his kidneys at his autopsy.

      I have more on that for another time. Thanks for your interest.

      mark

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s