• Beware a recent Digoxin recall. AS Medication Solutions, LLC, a drug repackage company, announced recently that it was voluntarily recalling all tablets of Caraco brand Digoxin, USP, 0.25 mg, distributed prior to March 31, 2009, which are not expired and are within the expiration date of August 2011, according to a Food & Drug Administration safety alert. The company is recalling the tablets because they may differ in size and therefore could have more or less digoxin in them. Look for: “a scored round biconvex white tablet imprinted with “441”, with an NDC number of 54569-5758-0 (30- count).” Healthcare providers who have the product should return it to their place of purchase, states a press release from AS Medication Solutions.
• Atrial fibrillation and Alzheimer’s disease may be linked.
That’s according to researchers at Intermountain Medical Center who found:
Patients with atrial fibrillation were 44 percent more likely to develop dementia than patients without the heart disorder.
Patients who had both atrial fibrillation and dementia were 61percent more likely to die during the study period than dementia patients without the heart rhythm problem.
“Now that we’ve established this link, our focus will be to see if early treatment of atrial fibrillation can prevent dementia or the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said cardiologist John Day, MD, director of heart rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Center and a co-author of the study, in a press statement.
Question: We’ve found residents taking herbal remedies that could interfere with their medications. How should we go about managing these potential resident safety issues?
Answer: The facility and its healthcare professionals have a duty to meet the standard of care.
And that involves doing a comprehensive history on the patient, including a medication history where you ask about traditional OTC medications, as well as herbal and nontraditional medications, says Mardy Chizek, RN, FNP, BSN, MBA, AAS, CLNC, a legal nurse specialist in Westmont, Ill. Also ask the right questions, such as “Do you take anything that you or someone buys at a health food store?” or “Do you take over-thecounter medications that you buy at the drugstore or anything that anyone else gets for you?”
“The facility staff also has to research or consult with someone to determine the side effects and drug interactions that the OTC or herbal remedies might cause,” adds Chizek. The facility itself cannot prohibit the resident from taking an OTC med or supplement, says Joseph Bianculli, an attorney in private practice in Arlington, Va. “But make sure that the MD and/or pharmacist counsels the resident/representative about any contraindicated medication or substance. The MD or pharmacist should document the counseling.”
Also: The facility “absolutely” should have a policy requiring families to inform staff of any over-the-counter medication or supplement they are bringing the residents, adds Bianculli.