Summer is here! Concerts, county fairs and parties are back after more than a year of social distancing and isolation. For some people, the recreational use and misuse of prescription medications is part of the summer party experience. Unfortunately, if you get a pill online or from a friend of a friend, it is likely … more
I was going to title this “Vaping THC for Dummies,” but I thought it may be offensive to some and instructional to others. Frankly, until people started getting sick from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awkwardly termed “E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use Associated Lung Injury” (EVALI), I never really gave … more
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you have heard about the new Illinois Medical Marijuana bill. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (what a mouthful) was approved on August 1, 2013 making Illinois the 20th state to allow medical marijuana use.
The Illinois Poison Center received 7,709 calls regarding medication errors in 2012. That’s over 10% of our total calls. It can happen to anyone. It has happened to me, in fact. I’ve been a pharmacist for over 10 years, and I work at the poison center—I should be immune to medicine mistakes, right? Wrong!
If you are a babysitter/sitter/nanny, or ever entrust your precious progeny to one of them, then this article is for you. About half of the IPC’s 80,000 exposures every year involve kids age 5 and under, and more than 90% of all exposures happen in the home. I think we all would agree that keeping … more
Over the next 4 weeks the IPC staff will contribute some of their most compelling cases from the call center that often start with three words, “my child ate…” We hope you enjoy this blog series, and we encourage you to share your own “My Child Ate…” stories or your poison center experience. There is a burgeoning fascination with … more
Making sense of new voluntary dosing guidelines on acetaminophen containing products: Minimizing liver damage associated with a common medicine. Acetaminophen is one of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) medications, appearing in over 600 OTC products. It is an effective pain reliever and fever reducer when used as directed, though it can cause severe liver damage … more
23 percent of teens report taking prescription pain relievers not prescribed to them. As a medical toxicologist, I see the effects of prescription pain medication abuse in teens and young adults on a daily basis. As a parent of a 10 and 12 year old, I worry about their future, peer pressure, and possibly their … more
The fun of being outdoors on a hot summer day can often be rudely interrupted by the ultimate party pooper, poison ivy. No, we’re not talking about Batman’s Poison Ivy that could stop a man’s heart with one kiss. We’re talking about the good ol’ green plant. So in order to make sure your last remaining … more
New Pediatric Acetaminophen Dosing Guidelines and Formulation Changes If you are in tune to healthcare and medical news stories, you probably already know that overdosing or chronically using too much of the popular non-aspirin product called acetaminophen may cause serious and possibly even fatal liver damage.
Everyday millions of people are bombarded with radio commercials, TV infomercials, internet ads, and aggressive sales pitches touting the health benefits (many of them unproven) of nutritional supplements. Warnings about potential adverse reactions, toxicity, food/drug interactions, and other precautions are often under-emphasized or absent. It is important to note that dietary supplements are not regulated … more
Antidotes are sexy. We see it in James Bond and Indiana Jones movies: the hero has been slipped a lethal poison (usually, while wearing a tuxedo) and just in the nick of time swallows a vial of mysterious liquid that allows him to continue to save the day. (Watch the poisoning scene in James Bond … more
I can bet most of us have probably cursed and moaned while struggling to open a container with a “child-resistant” cap. Have you ever wondered how these enclosures came to be and if they’re really beneficial in preventing child poisonings? Since March is Illinois Poison Prevention Month, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to educate … more
Hopefully you’re not home reading our blog with thermometer in mouth, feet soaking in hot water, lemon tea brewing on the stove, fighting off the nasty bug that you or your kids picked up at work or school – but it is indeed winter, the time of year when so many of us suffer the … more
By Tony Burda, DABAT and Grazina Janeliauskaite, Pharm.D. Student In 1999, while I (Tony) was training a brand new specialist who had just starting working at the Illinois Poison Center, he listened to one of my calls from a nervous parent whose child ate something which was not poisonous. The parent kept repeating the same … more
A Grandparent’s Guide to Poison Prevention By Tony “Grandman” Burda and Grazina Janeliauskaite Two recent developments have spurred us to address the importance of diligent poison prevention by grandparents of small children. On September 9 2010, the PEW Research Center released a report entitled “Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by … more
Male enhancement, dietary supplements and the risk of heart arrhythmias I don’t know if I chose this subject because it would allow me the opportunity to write about ‘male enhancement’ as I approach the recommended age of my first colonoscopy; or if it is it because the authors of an article implicating Enzyte as a source of … more