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FDA finds more bacteria in New England Compounding drugs

The Food and Drug Administration has reported finding bacteria in two other drugs that are now involved in the current outbreak of fungal meningitis. Betamethasone, an injectable steroid and cardioplegia, used during heart surgery, were also created by the New England Compounding Center. The New England Compounding Center out of Framingham, Massachusetts is responsible for distributed three lots of methylprednisolone acetate, an injectable steroid, to 23 states in the nation. There was a fungus found in the vials shipped out that are causing patients to develop fungal meningitis. Currently there are over 300 cases that have been reported and 28 deaths.

The New England Compounding Center has recalled all of its products and stopped production while under investigation. Specialty pharmacy Ameridose, sister company to the New England Compounding Center, has also recalled their products as well. Both pharmacies were investigated for issues concerning sterility.

Fungal meningitis is when a fungus enters the body and affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord lining. Symptoms like fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, pain and swelling at the site of the injection, numbness, weakness, stiff neck, slurred speech and changes in vision have all been reported by patients. Symptoms appear one to four weeks after an injection and seem to be milder than the symptoms associated with other types of meningitis.

Patients may also be at risk for peripheral joint damage. Those who received shots in their shoulders, knees and joints could also develop long term joint damage and possibly the need for joint replacement surgery.

Read the full story here. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/02/fda-finds-more-bacteria-in-new-england-compounding-drugs/

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