Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Avoid codeine after tonsillectomy surgery

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Earlier this year the FDA issued a warning and changed the label on pain medications that contain codeine because of unpredictable serious adverse effects including death in children.

Codeine is metabolized into morphine and some children are genetically predisposed to be "ultra-rapid  metabolizers". Some of these children have had fatal or life-threatening morphine overdoses after taking typically safe codeine doses for post-op pain management after tonsillectomy. 
The most common codeine-containing medication is acetaminophen with codeine (aka Tylenol #3). 
The FDA now "strongly recommends" against codeine use in post-op tonsillectomy pain management.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flu vaccine common misconceptions

This March 2013 New York Times health blog entry does a good job summarizing and answering common myths about the flu vaccine.