- Making Rash Decisions in Epilepsy: Evaluating Hypersensitivity Reactions to Anti-seizure Medications. [Journal Article]Epilepsy Curr 2019 Mar-Apr; 19(2):96-98EC
- CONCLUSIONS: Although allergic reactions to AEDs are rare, they are of significance because they can cause life-threatening severe cutaneous drug reactions. Therefore, patients receiving AEDs, especially aromatic AEDs, must be monitored closely. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis With Antiepileptic Drugs: An Analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System Borrelli EP, Lee EY, Descoteaux AM, Kogut SJ, Caffrey AR. Epilepsia. 2018;59(12):2318-2324.Although AEDs as a class were associated with 9 times the risk of SJS/TEN compared with non-AEDs, there were 6 AEDs with risk estimates greater than 20. Increased awareness of this risk among both prescribers and patients, particularly variations in risk among different AEDs, along with education on early recognition of SJS/TEN signs/symptoms, may help mitigate the number and severity of these adverse events.
- StatPearls: Prescription of Controlled Substances: Benefits and Risks [BOOK]StatPearls Publishing: Treasure Island (FL)BOOK
- One of the single most difficult challenges for any prescriber is to distinguish between the legitimate prescription of controlled substances versus the prescription potentially used for illegitimate purposes. To discern the difference prescribers need to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment of acute and chronic pain as well as the signs and symptoms of patients using controlled substanc…
One of the single most difficult challenges for any prescriber is to distinguish between the legitimate prescription of controlled substances versus the prescription potentially used for illegitimate purposes. To discern the difference prescribers need to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment of acute and chronic pain as well as the signs and symptoms of patients using controlled substances for non-legitimate purposes. A common reason people seek the care of medical professionals is pain relief. While many categories of pain medications are available, opioid analgesics are FDA-approved for moderate to severe pain. As such, they are a common choice for patients with acute, cancer-related, neurologic, and end-of-life pain. The prescribing of opioid analgesics for chronic pain is controversial and fraught with inconclusive standards. In the 1990s, due to the chronic failure of health professionals to undertreat severe pain, opioid analgesic prescribing was expanded. Unfortunately, this led to increased overuse, diversion of drugs, opioid use disorder, and overdose. The "Catch-22" seems to be either health professionals undertreat, and there is needless suffering, or they overtreat, with a potential to cause adverse effects like increased opioid analgesic use disorder and potential overdose. The prescription of opioid analgesics peaked in 2011, since then both prescribing and overdose has been declining; yet as a society, in both the lay and scientific literature, there are grave concerns that we are still in the middle of an opioid crisis. Perhaps the biggest challenge of caring for patients with pain is that individuals have different levels of tolerance and require variable opioid doses to obtain adequate pain relief. Patients may have a range of behavioral, cultural, emotional, and psychologic responses to pain versus a substance use disorder; often it is challenging to tell the difference. All health professionals engaged in pain management need an understanding of the treatment recommendations and safety concerns in prescribing opioid analgesics. Appropriate opioid prescribing requires a thorough patient assessment, short and long-term treatment planning, close follow-up, and continued monitoring. All providers need to be aware of not only appropriate patient assessment and treatment planning but also the possibility of use disorder, diversion, and potentially dangerous behavioral responses to controlled substances, e.g., opioid analgesics differ from pseudo-addiction and physical dependence. It is unfortunately clear that many clinicians know little about opioid use disorder; they do not understand it is a disease, and many believe opioid dependence is the same as opioid use disorder. Lack of a clear understanding results in clinicians confusing a chronic non-use disorder pain patient from the one who is misusing their prescribed opioid. Lack of training and educational deficits often interferes with the appropriate prescription of opioid analgesic agents. To prevent misuse of controlled substances, providers that prescribe controlled substances should learn prescribing practices that minimize or prevent adverse consequences. Definitions Addiction - according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) - "Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biologic, psychologic, social, and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward or relief by substance use and other behaviors." Addiction is now termed "use disorder," and is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain, craving, impairment in behavioral control, diminished ability to recognize significant problems with one's behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, use disorder often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, use disorder is progressive and can result in disability or premature death." Appropriate opioid prescribing - providing pain control while minimizing use disorder or risk of same, and toxicity; and implementing safeguards to reduce drug diversion. Inappropriate opioid analgesic prescribing - non-, inadequate, excessive, or continued prescribing despite evidence of the lack of effective opioid treatment. Controlled substances - drugs or medications that possess the potential for being misused and are considered to be substances that have a substantially high risk of resulting in substance use disorder. Narcotics - comes from the Greek word for stupor and originally referred to drugs that dulled the senses and relieved pain, e.g., morphine. Also, narcotics were any drug that induced sleep. A more precise term for this class of drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is opioid analgesics. Please note that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, USA) uses the term narcotic to refer to drugs that are opioid analgesics. Five Characteristics of Addiction/Use Disorder (ASAM): 1. Craving for drug or reward. 2. Diminished recognition of significant problems in one's behavior. 3. Dysfunctional emotional response. 4. Impairment in behavioral control. 5. Inability to consistently abstain Drug Schedules of Controlled Substances All providers should be familiar with the guidelines and laws for each schedule which have as their basis the purpose of the drug and the risk of use disorder. In the United States, controlled substances are under strict regulation by both federal and state laws which guide their manufacture and distribution. Controlled substances have a high risk of resulting in an addiction and substance use disorder. As the schedules decrease, I-V, the drugs listed within each category have a lower potential to cause a substance use or addiction disorder. Controlled Substance Act In the United States, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was passed in 1970, and it included the Controlled Substance Act. The Controlled Substance Act covers drug: Classification and regulation, according to their content and purpose. Manufacturing. Distribution. Exportation and sale. The Controlled Substance Act established five drug schedules and classified them to control their manufacture and distribution. Part of regulation requires providers that prescribe scheduled drugs and pharmacists that fill them to obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Health professionals licenses include specific license numbers allowing controlled substance prescriptions to be tracked and linked to a particular provider or distributor. Of the five schedules, each has parameters based on their medical value, the risk of addiction, and ability to cause harm. The schedules range from schedule I (most potential for addiction and use disorder) to schedule V (least potential for addiction/use disorder). Schedule I: Schedule I drugs possess the highest potential for use disorder and misuse. They have no medical use and are illicit or “street” drugs. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide, mescaline, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and methaqualone. Marijuana, which is legal in some states, is still classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level as of this writing. Schedule II : Schedule II drugs have a reduced potential for use disorders than I. They are high risk for both physical and psychological dependence. They have a high capacity for both use disorder and misuse. They are typically prescribed to treat severe pain, anxiety, insomnia, and ADHD. Examples of Schedule II substances include fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, methamphetamine, pentobarbital, and secobarbital. They previously had to be prescribed only via paper prescription, but now are permitted to be electronically transmitted. (Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances or EPCS). No refills are allowed. Schedule II drugs have the tightest regulations when compared to other prescription drugs. Schedule III : Schedule III drugs are those with a lower misuse potential than I and II. Drugs in this category may cause physical dependence but more commonly lead to psychological dependence. Medications in this category are often used for pain control, or anesthesia or appetite suppression. Examples of Schedule III substances include benzphetamine, ketamine, phendimetrazine, and anabolic steroids. Opioid analgesics in this schedule include products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit, and buprenorphine. Schedule III drugs are prescribable verbally over the phone, with a paper prescription, or via EPCS. Within a six-month time frame, refill requirements are such that the drug can only have five refills. Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs have an even lower misuse potential than I, II, or III. They have a limited risk of physical or psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule IV substances include: alprazolam, carisoprodol, clonazepam, clorazepate, diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, temazepam, tramadol, and triazolam. Drugs in this class may be utilized for pain control as long as the provider deems the drug to be medically necessary and that the patient would benefit. Schedule IV drugs are prescribable verbally over the phone, with a paper prescription, or via EPCS. Refills are permitted up to five times in a six-month timeframe from the issuance date. Schedule V: Schedule V drugs are the least likely controlled substances to be misused. They result in very limited physical dependence or psychological dependence. Examples include cough medicines with codeine, antidiarrheal medications that contain atropine/diphenoxylate, pregabalin, and ezogabine. Schedule V drugs despite their low abuse potential, still need to be managed appropriately and administered with care. When they contain codeine, it must have less than 200 mg of codeine per 100 mL. Partial prescription fills cannot occur more than six months after the date of issue. When a partial fill occurs, it is treated in the same manner and with the same rules as a refill of the drug. Drug Use Disorder, Abuse, and Misuse Use disorder of a drug differs from abuse and misuse of a drug. The drugs taken may be illicit street or stolen drugs or obtained via a legal prescription. Misusing a drug usually involves taking the drug in a harmful or detrimental way that results in personal, professional, or social problems. A patient that is abusing an opioid analgesic may no longer be appropriately interacting with their family, friends, or be able to perform their duties at work. Misuse of a controlled substance refers to the use of a prescribed drug in a way that was not intended. It may be deliberate or accidental. A negative result may or may not occur. Examples of misuse include taking too much of a drug, using an incorrect dose route, or using prescription drugs written for another person. Controlled substances include both prescription drugs and illicit drugs with no recognized medical value. Both have the potential to be abused or misused. While schedule I drug use is illegal, prescription drugs found in schedules II-V are also commonly abused and misused, and their misuse is a challenging problem that has increased over the last several years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions. The CDC believes that absent checks and balances on the prescription and distribution of controlled substances, including those prescribed for medical use, the potential for abuse and misuse will continue to increase. Pill Shopping Unfortunately, a common practice among those that deliberately misuse controlled substances is to seek out multiple sources of drugs. They do this by seeing different health care providers, and they present with a different list of complaints that are often fictitious and different for each provider. The patient may be able to obtain multiple prescriptions and then fill them at different pharmacies. Many states have enacted systems that allow providers to see all of the prescriptions written for each patient. Use of these systems is gradually curbing "pill shopping." Diversion Some prescription drugs will sell on the street for as much as $50 a tablet. Diversion is when a patient sells their drugs as a method of earning money. Drugs may also be sold to buy food, pay expenses, or purchase more potent street drugs. Worse, in some cases, healthcare providers may divert drugs from patients for the providers own personal use or sell them to someone else. Some individuals use controlled substances in ways for which they were not originally intended. Rather than pain control, they may be used to stay awake, induce sleep, or get "high." Before the popularity of prescription drug diversion, the only method to obtain illicit drugs was to import from other countries or manufacture them in private labs. Today, law enforcement agencies have the tremendous challenge of dealing with prescription drugs sold by diversion as well as illicit drugs imported or manufactured. In both instances, these drug sales and usage result in increased criminal activity as well as dangerous overdoses and death. Methods of Obtaining Prescription Drugs A review of multiple studies demonstrates a variety of means individuals obtain prescription drugs. The following summarizes the studies' findings. 55% free from a friend or relative. 20% from a prescriber. 10% purchased from a friend or relative. 5% stolen from a friend or relative. 5% purchased from a drug dealer. 2% from multiple doctors. 1% from theft from medical practice or pharmacy. Less 1% from internet. Studies also reveal the source of the majority of these drugs was a single legal prescriber.
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis with antiepileptic drugs: An analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System. [Journal Article]Epilepsia 2018; 59(12):2318-2324E
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are rare and potentially fatal adverse skin reactions that are most commonly triggered by certain medications. One class of medications that has been highly associated with SJS/TEN reactions is antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). We sought to quantify the risk of SJS/TEN associated with AEDs as a class, as well as individual AEDs, in the…
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are rare and potentially fatal adverse skin reactions that are most commonly triggered by certain medications. One class of medications that has been highly associated with SJS/TEN reactions is antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). We sought to quantify the risk of SJS/TEN associated with AEDs as a class, as well as individual AEDs, in the United States.
- Intellectual Disability and Psychotropic Medications. [Journal Article]J Dev Behav Pediatr 2018; 39(7):591-593JD
- Andrew is a 17-year-old male with trisomy 21, commonly known as Down syndrome, and accompanying severe intellectual disability who presents to your primary care office with his father for the first time to establish care and assistance with transition. Andrew has a history of a complete atrioventricular canal that was repaired as an infant and poorly controlled infantile spasms. Currently, he str…
Andrew is a 17-year-old male with trisomy 21, commonly known as Down syndrome, and accompanying severe intellectual disability who presents to your primary care office with his father for the first time to establish care and assistance with transition. Andrew has a history of a complete atrioventricular canal that was repaired as an infant and poorly controlled infantile spasms. Currently, he struggles with constipation, esophageal strictures, medullary nephrocalcinosis, urinary retention, sleep dysregulation, G-tube dependency, and hip dysplasia.Andrew walked at 11 to 12 years of age. Currently, he ambulates on his feet at home and in a wheelchair out in the community. He is nonverbal but can imprecisely sign for "more" and understands a few words. His father reports that his main concern is long-standing nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and aggression. His self-injury consists of head banging against hard objects such as concrete floors and biting or scratching himself to the point of bleeding. Over the past 13 years, he has been prescribed over 10 different psychotropic medications, including various typical and atypical antipsychotics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers, and alpha agonists, all of which were discontinued because of the perception of undesirable side effects or lack of efficacy. His current medications include aripiprazole, olanzapine, levetiracetam, clorazepate, and trazodone. To rule out causes of irritability, you order a brain and spine magnetic resonance imaging, metabolic testing (for causes of NSSI such as Lesch-Nyhan), an autoimmune workup (for causes of pain or inflammation such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis), and hearing/vision testing, which are all normal. Previous testing by subspecialists (he is followed by gastroenterology, sleep medicine, orthopedics, nephrology, neurology, cardiology, and psychiatry) included normal renal ultrasound and no clear sources of gastrointestinal pain. However, key providers are spread among multiple institutions and do not regularly communicate.Andrew lives with his parents, who are highly educated and very dedicated to his health and wellness. His mother travels frequently for work, and his father is Andrew's full-time caregiver. Despite remaining ostensibly positive, his father reports significant caregiver burnout and fatigue.Over the next several months, Andrew continues to experience worsening NSSI necessitating medication changes despite active involvement in applied behavior analysis therapy. During this time, he presents to the emergency department multiple times for irritability and self-injury. On examination, he is aggressive, irritable, has bruises on his forehead and scratches on his skin, and has intermittent vertical gaze deviation that was noticeable to parents. The rest of his physical and neurological examination was unremarkable and revealed no asymmetry, clonus, hyperreflexia, or changes in muscle tone. While examining his extremities, joints, and abdomen, there was no obvious source of pain.What are your next steps? How would you support this family, both in the immediate management of his self-injury and long-term care needs for this medically and behaviorally complex adolescent?
- Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed): Clorazepate [BOOK]National Library of Medicine (US): Bethesda (MD)BOOK
- Clorazepate is excreted into breastmilk and appears to accumulate in the serum of breastfed infants. Because the half-life of clorazepate and its active metabolite are long, timing breastfeeding with respect to the dose is of little or no benefit in reducing infant exposure. Other agents may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.
Clorazepate is excreted into breastmilk and appears to accumulate in the serum of breastfed infants. Because the half-life of clorazepate and its active metabolite are long, timing breastfeeding with respect to the dose is of little or no benefit in reducing infant exposure. Other agents may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.
- Tamper-resistant prescription forms for narcotics in France: Should we generalize them? [Journal Article]Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2018; 32(5):571-577FC
- In France, prescription of narcotics must be written on a tamper-resistant prescription form with specific technical particularities. Dosage and daily dose of medicines shall be written out entirely in letters. These prescription forms are also mandatory for buprenorphine, clorazepate, clonazepam, tianeptine, buccal midazolam and zolpidem owing to traffic, abuse or diversion. In 2012, to assess t…
In France, prescription of narcotics must be written on a tamper-resistant prescription form with specific technical particularities. Dosage and daily dose of medicines shall be written out entirely in letters. These prescription forms are also mandatory for buprenorphine, clorazepate, clonazepam, tianeptine, buccal midazolam and zolpidem owing to traffic, abuse or diversion. In 2012, to assess the use of standard and tamper-resistant prescription forms and the acceptability of the generalization of the latter to all medicines, a national opinion survey was performed, with a postal questionnaire, within three randomized samples of 1500 prescribers (physicians, dentists and midwives). Of the 403 participating prescribers (participation rate of 26.8%), 373 were physicians, 14 dentists and 16 midwives. Tamper-resistant prescription forms were used by 76.2% of prescribers, but only by 5.1% in a computerized version, whereas for standard prescription forms, 61% used computer assisted prescription software. The main reason was the inability of the prescription software to print these forms or to respect the mandatory prescription rules for narcotics. Theft and falsification of prescriptions had ever occurred (working life). Most prescribers (62.5%) were against the generalization of tamper-resistant prescription forms. Those in favour were for a generalization to all medicines (65%) and not only to psychotropic agents. Generalization of tamper-resistant prescription forms is not a consensual solution to prevent medicines' diversion. Some prescribers alluded to the possibility of dematerialization and electronic transmission of prescription forms, which could avoid theft, forgery or falsification.
- Medical prescriptions falsified by the patients: a 12-year national monitoring to assess prescription drug diversion. [Journal Article]Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2018; 32(3):306-322FC
- Diversion of prescription drugs is difficult to assess in quality and quantity. This study aimed to characterize diversion of prescription drugs in France through a comparative analysis of falsified prescriptions collected during three periods from 2001 to 2012. The data recorded in a national program which records all falsified prescriptions presented to community pharmacies were studied. Includ…
Diversion of prescription drugs is difficult to assess in quality and quantity. This study aimed to characterize diversion of prescription drugs in France through a comparative analysis of falsified prescriptions collected during three periods from 2001 to 2012. The data recorded in a national program which records all falsified prescriptions presented to community pharmacies were studied. Included data regarded: subjects, prescription forms, and drugs. Description of the dataset in three periods (2001-2004, 2005-2008, and 2009-2012) was completed with clustering analyses to characterize profiles of prescriptions and subjects associated with the most reported drugs. The 4469 falsified prescriptions concerned most often females (51.6%). Average age was 46.5 years. Zolpidem, bromazepam, and buprenorphine were the most frequent drugs. Alone, 13 drugs (1.7%, 13/772) represented more than 40% of the total reports (3055/7272). They were associated with three diversion profiles: (i) buprenorphine, flunitrazepam, and morphine were mentioned on overlapping secure prescription forms presented by young men; (ii) alprazolam, bromazepam, zolpidem, codeine/acetaminophen were mentioned on simple prescription forms presented by experienced women; and (iii) acetaminophen and lorazepam were mentioned on modified prescription forms presented by elderly subjects. Clonazepam, clorazepate, dextropropoxyphene, zopiclone moved between those profiles. The patterns of falsified prescriptions provided in this study contribute to enhance the scientific knowledge on the most diverted prescription drugs. The latter follow distinct trajectories across time depending on their pharmacology (including their abuse/addiction potential) and on their regulation's history. The close and continuous analysis of falsified prescriptions is an excellent way to monitor prescription drug diversion.
- PLDT (planarian light/dark test): an invertebrate assay to quantify defensive responding and study anxiety-like effects. [Journal Article]J Neurosci Methods 2018; 293:284-288JN
- CONCLUSIONS: Our data identify the PLDT as a cost-effective, invertebrate assay for quantifying the effects of practically any water-soluble substance on defensive responding and for studying and teaching anxiety-like responses in a living organism.
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- Development and validation of a fast ionic liquid-based dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction procedure combined with LC-MS/MS analysis for the quantification of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like hypnotics in whole blood. [Journal Article]Forensic Sci Int 2017; 274:44-54FS
- To date, thorough clean-up of complex biological samples remains an essential part of the analytical process. The solid phase extraction (SPE) technique is the well-known standard, however, its main weaknesses are the labor-intensive and time-consuming protocols. In this respect, dispersive liquid-liquid microextractions (DLLME) seem to offer less complex and more efficient extraction procedures.…
To date, thorough clean-up of complex biological samples remains an essential part of the analytical process. The solid phase extraction (SPE) technique is the well-known standard, however, its main weaknesses are the labor-intensive and time-consuming protocols. In this respect, dispersive liquid-liquid microextractions (DLLME) seem to offer less complex and more efficient extraction procedures. Furthermore, ionic liquids (ILs) - liquid salts - are emerging as new promising extraction solvents, thanks to their non-flammable nature, negligible vapor pressure and easily adaptable physiochemical properties. In this study, we investigated whether ILs can be used as an extraction solvent in a DLLME procedure for the extraction of a broad range of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like hypnotics in whole blood samples. 1.0mL whole blood was extracted using an optimized 30-min IL-based DLLME procedure, followed by LC-ESI(+)-MS/MS analysis in scheduled MRM scan mode. The optimized analytical method was successfully validated for 7-aminoflunitrazepam, alprazolam, bromazepam, clobazam, clonazepam, clotiazepam, diazepam, estazolam, ethyl loflazepate, etizolam, flurazepam, lormetazepam, midazolam, oxazepam, prazepam, temazepam, triazolam, zolpidem and zopiclone. The method showed good selectivity for endogenous interferences based on 12 sources of blank whole blood. No benzodiazepine interferences were observed, except for clorazepate and nordiazepam, which were excluded from the quantitative method. Matrix-matched calibration curves were constructed covering the whole therapeutic range, including low toxic plasma concentrations. Accuracy and precision results met the proposed acceptance criteria for the vast majority of compounds, except for brotizolam, chlordiazepoxide, cloxazolam, flunitrazepam, loprazolam, lorazepam and nitrazepam, which can only be determined in a semi-quantitative way. Recoveries were within the range of 24.7%-127.2% and matrix effects were within 20.0%-92.6%. Both parameters were tested using 5 sources of whole blood and coefficients of variance were below 20%. Overall, the applicability of ILs as promising solvents for the extraction of benzodiazepines in whole blood samples has been proven. Moreover, a fast and easy IL-based DLLME procedure was developed for the quantification of 19 benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like hypnotics.