Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September:Back Pain sufferers; Steroid Injections - Link to Recall Lots?

There is news that a Massachusetts company has recalled three lots of a steroid injection because of a possible link to a rare form of meningitis. 

The medication was sent to more than twenty according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta. The specialty pharmacy that made the steroid is known as New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass. There were three recalled three lots of the drug last week.

The lots are:

  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013

From the Meningitis Foundation:

Fungal Meningitis

Fungal meningitis, also known as Cryptococcus neoformans, is yeast found in soil throughout the world that usually strikes people with compromised immune systems. 


General:Fungal meningitis is contracted by inhaling airborne yeast cells. The infection is uncommon and not easily spread to others, but serious and requires immediate medical attention. In the United States, 85% of the cases occur in HIV positive patients. Fungal meningitis patients who receive treatment are still at risk of death, brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, speech complications, seizures, and paralysis.

There is no current vaccine available to prevent anyone from developing fungal meningitis. 

  • Irritability
  • Fever (below normal)
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Sensitive to light
  • Hallucinations

MFA urges anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately! 

All types of meningitis are diagnosed by growing bacteria from a sample of the infected person's spinal fluid, which is collected by performing a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Results show whether or not the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) stains show yeast, culture grows cryptococcus, or it's positive for cryptococcus antigen. A blood test, also known as the serum cryptococcal antigen test, can be sensative to HIV positive patients.

Amphotericin B, an intravenous therapy, is the most common treatment for patients with fungal meningitis. Intrathecal medication is given to patients through the spinal cord who don't respond positively to intravenous therapy. Antifungal medications are also used for treatment. Fluconalzone, an oral medication, may be effective in high doses.