Outbreak spotlights safety of custom-mixed drugs

by Marilynn Marchione

Custom-mixed medicines like the steroid shots suspected in a meningitis outbreak have long been a source of concern, and their use is far wider than many people realize.

These medicines are made in private and hospital pharmacies and used to treat everything from cancer to menopause symptoms to .

Often these products are name-brand medicines split into smaller doses, or mixed from ingredients sold in bulk. That can easily lead to contamination if aren't maintained. The germ suspected in the current outbreak can spread in the air.

A shortage of many drugs has forced doctors to stretch supplies and seek custom-made alternatives if the first-choice treatment was not available.

The meningitis outbreak has killed four and sickened at least two dozen in five states.

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.