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3 Dead in Santa Barbara DUI Accident

Author Jarod Cassidy

Three people were killed Monday morning after a white Ford Mustang collided with a flipped over car.

Driver of Mustang Arrested on DUI

According to ABC News, a red Mazda carrying two high school students and their boyfriends flipped over on the 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara and, seconds later, was struck by a white Ford Mustang.

Police believe that the driver likely fell asleep behind the wheel and struck a section of the guardrail, causing the car to overturn and block the #2 lane. The Mustang then struck the overturned vehicle, ejecting two of the Mazda’s occupants.

Police have confirmed that 17-year-olds Danielle Murillo and Jessica Leffew and 20-year-old Brian Lopez were killed in the collision. The driver of the Mazda, Erick August, 20, suffered serious injuries and is listed in critical condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The four were reportedly returning home from a concert when the accident occurred.

The driver of the Mustang, 52-year-old Kimberly Ann Kries, was arrested for suspected DUI and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

National Auto Accident Statistics

  • According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33,561 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2012 – up from 32,479 in 2011.
  • 2,362,000 people were injured in traffic accidents marking an increase of 145,000 from 2011.
  • Of those killed in auto accidents:
  • Alcohol was determined to be a contributing factor in 30.7 percent of all fatal crashes in 2012.

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New Warnings for Epidural Steroids

Author Jarod Cassidy

According to Medscape, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered that injectable corticosteroids carry a new label warning addressing serious adverse events, including death, stroke, and permanent blindness and paralysis.

About the Label Change

Epidural injections of corticosteroids have seen widespread, off-label use as a treatment for pain, but the FDA is now warning that such uses can result in severe side effects.

In an announcement, the FDA warned anesthesiologists and pain management physicians that it has not yet established the effectiveness and safety of epidural corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone and hydrocortisone.

The agency also said that it began investigations into possible neurological risks at the request of concerned clinicians. Upon reviewing data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), the agency noted reports of temporary side effects, as well as more serious adverse events from which patients did not recover.

As a result, the FDA is now advising that clinicians discuss both the benefits and risks associated with epidural corticosteroid injections and inform patients of alternative therapies.

Additional Side Effects of Corticosteroids

According to DrugCite, the following adverse events have also been reported to the FDA:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in extremity
  • Insomnia
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Hemorrhage
  • Respiratory failure
  • Renal Failure

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Five Drugs Added to FDA Watch List

Author Jarod Cassidy

Medscape reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added four cancer drugs and a generic drug that treats attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on its quarterly list of products to be monitored.

Four Cancer Drugs Linked to Deadly Skin Reactions

Based on reports received through the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) over the last three months of 2013, the FDA has decided to add four cancer treatments to its watch list:

  • Lapatinib (Tykerb, GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Pazopanib (Votrient, GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer)

The FAERS data suggested that the kinase inhibitor products may be linked with bullous skin conditions, including Steven-Johnsons syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).

These painful skin reactions can be fatal are marked by flu-like symptoms followed by a purplish rash that spreads and blisters. The top layer of the skin then dies and begins to shed. Both SJS and TEN can be fatal.

ADHD Facing Quality Concerns

The FDA also added generic versions of methylphenidate hydrochloride (Concerta, Janssen Pharmaceuticals) to its watch list due to a possible lack of therapeutic benefit and concerns of product quality.

The agency is now studying whether there is a causal risk associated with the drug. If one is established, the FDA may then consider a regulatory response.

Reponses could include changes to the drug’s label or mandating a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy.

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