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Adverse Drug Reactions

Statin Side Effects: From Muscle Soreness to Rhabdomyolysis

By | Adverse Drug Reactions, Statins | No Comments

Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol. They are effective agents for treating high cholesterol, enabling your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood, which lowers your total cholesterol. Lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad”) cholesterol results in substantial reductions in cardiac events. Statins also help prevent other cardiovascular diseases, such as chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, and certain blood vessel problems (Pharmacy Times “Statins Provide Heart Benefits Besides Cholesterol Lowering” June 1 2017).

 

Statins approved for use in the United States include the following agents: atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor), and pitavastatin (Livalo).

 
One of the most common unwanted symptoms from taking statins is muscle pain, muscle soreness, muscle fatigue, and muscle weakness. People who take statins shouldn’t drink large quantities of grapefruit juice, as this is associated with the muscle pain side effects. Statins may affect specific enzymes present in muscle cells that are responsible for muscle growth. The muscle pain is located in skeletal muscle, and the side effects range from slight myalgia to severe rhabdomyolysis.

 

Rhabdomyolysis: Rapid Breakdown of Skeletal Muscle

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition in which the destruction of striated muscle tissue, or skeletal muscle, releases muscle enzymes such as myoglobin and electrolytes from inside the muscle cells. If you have too much myoglobin in your bloodstream it can cause kidney damage. If treated early, rhabdomyolysis may be stopped.   This condition is treated with fluids given in an IV drip. Some people may require dialysis or hemofiltration (therapy filtering bad waste and products from blood) to address the more severe cases.

 
Early symptoms of rhabdomyolysis may be vague as they are not specific and may mimic other conditions. The symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:

 

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Low urine output
  • Bruising/soreness
  • Dark or tea-colored urine
  • Infrequent urination
  • Fever
  • Malaise (discomfort)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Agitation

 
Although only a minimal number of people get rhabdomyolysis, many people take these medications and it is important to be aware of the risks.

 

Importance of Determining Muscle and Kidney Health

 
There are several tests to check muscle and kidney health. Creatine kinase levels should be tested, as it is an enzyme found in the skeletal muscles, the brain, and the heart. Myoglobin levels in the blood and urine should also be tested, as myoglobin is a protein that is a byproduct of muscle breakdown. Potassium is an important mineral that may leak from injured muscles and should be tested as well. Lastly, creatine in blood and urine should be tested, as creatine is a breakdown product created by muscle that is normally removed from the body by the kidneys.

 
Rhabdomyolysis can be successfully treated without long-term damage to the kidneys if it is treated early. Fluid recovery is essential and is the first and most important treatment.

 

Statin Muscle Side Effects and Pharmacogenetics

 
Although few patients experience muscle pain and the associated serious side effects, it has been suggested that the basis for this reaction is genetic. Once the human genome was sequenced and completed, the field of pharmacogenetics could advance its knowledge base. Pharmacogenetics is an important medical field that studies the genes that are responsible for drug metabolism and related events. Advances in the wider field of pharmacogenomics showed that in a genome wide study, muscle myopathy was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene SLCO1B1. Those authors identified common genetic variants in SLCO1B1 that are strongly associated with statin-induced myopathy.

 

Know Your Risks with the Rxight® Pharmacogenetic Test

 
Genotyping using the Rxight® pharmacogenetics test from MD Labs may help patients receive the benefits of statin therapy without the muscle-associated side effects. Pharmacogenetics testing with the Rxight® platform from MD Labs is an advanced, state-of-the-art method to test many gene variations in your individual genome that may be responsible for adverse effects with statins and over 200 other drugs on the market. This precision medicine approach to personalized care is now available by prescription.

 
Ask your physician to prescribe the Rxight® pharmacogenetics test from MD Labs. You and your physician may use these results over the lifetime of your care, as many genes are tested for variations that are responsible for adverse side effects not only in statins, but also in the majority of drugs on the market.

 
These results inform your physician about what drugs you may safely take, and what drugs are not recommended for you, in addition to giving dosing schedules that might be different from label instructions. Participating in this precision medicine advance may lead to lessened side effects over the course of your lifetime pharmaceutical treatments.

 

 

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Overview of Alprazolam (Xanax) Uses and Side Effects

By | Adverse Drug Reactions, Antianxiety Medications, Other | No Comments

Alprazolam, commonly referred to by its brand name Xanax, is the one of the most common benzodiazepine used. Benzodiazepines like alprazolam are anxiolytics (antianxiety drugs) used in the treatment of a number of diseases including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorders. Occasionally the drug is used for nausea and vomiting symptoms associated with chemotherapy. (PubMed Health “Alprazolam” May 2017).

 

Alprazolam Mechanism of Action

Alprazolam, like all benzodiazepines, binds nonspecifically to benzodiazepine receptors at the BDZ site. This bind tightens the connection of GABA with the receptor and results in increasing hyperpolarization of neurons. This mechanism is the base for the drug’s antianxiety effects.

 

Alprazolam Side Effects

 
Alprazolam has a significant effect on a major neurotransmitter which results into psychiatric and nervous system side effects. According to the FDA label on Xanax, the most common adverse effects include (occur in more than 1% of patients):

 

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  •  Depression
  •  Confusion
  •  Derealization or alteration of perception
  •  Dream abnormalities
  •  Fear
  •  Disinhibition
  •  Drowsiness (77% of patients)
  • Impaired coordination (40% of patients)
  •  Memory impairment
  • Lightheadedness
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  •  Cognitive disorder
  •  Dysarthria
  •  Ataxia
  •  Balance disorders
  •  Nasal congestion
  •  Hyperventilation
  •  Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Fatigue/tiredness (49%)
  •  Weakness
  •  Edema (swelling)
  •  Decreased libido (14%) and increased libido
  •  Micturition difficulties (inability to urinate etc)
  •  Menstrual disorders (in females)
  •  Sexual dysfunction
  •  Sweating
  •  Rash
  •  Allergies
  •  Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  •  Chest pain
  •  Palpitations
  •  Hypotension
  •  Increased appetite (33%)/ decreased appetite (28%)
  •  Weight gain (27%)/ loss (23%)

The Xanax label from the FDA reports Alprazolam has rare side effects, which are anger, self-harm and irregular menstruation. These occur in less than 1% of patients

 
Risk of Suicide

 
Research has shown that the use of benzodiazepines can influence suicide risk.  A literature review evaluated studies that involved the relationship between benzodiazepines and concluded there was a significant relationship between increased suicide risk and benzodiazepines (The Primary Companion for CNS Disorders “Prescribed Benzodiazepines and Suicide Risk” March 2017). The results were consistent in different populations and methods used.  The review also found that possible suicidal warnings may include “increases in impulsivity or aggression, rebound or withdrawal symptoms, and toxicity in overdose.”

 
Alprazolam and Pharmacogenetic Testing

 
Some patients do not develop any side effects when taking Alprazolam and some do.  This interpatient variability may be due to differences in patients’ genetics. Polymorphisms in the genes that code for enzymes and receptors that interact with Alprazolam have been shown to account for a significant proportion of this inter patient variability.

 
Alprazolam is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes, namely isoenzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2C9. Polymorphisms in these enzymes have been shown to alter the blood plasma concentrations of the drugs they metabolize. Alleles may alter the probability of individual developing side effects when taking Alprazolam.

 

Understand Your Genetic Risks for Side Effects with the Rxight Test

Identifying these polymorphisms can aid in clinical decision-making. Knowing a patient has a given polymorphism can result in a clinician altering the starting dose of a medication like Alprazolam, potentially reducing their probability of developing side effects.

 
MD Labs provides a genetic testing service, Rxight®.  Accurate, reliable, and easy to understand, Rxight® sequences 18 genes to establish how a patient is likely to respond to hundreds of clinically relevant medications (including Alprazolam).

 
As a key component of precision medicine, Rxight® allows your healthcare provider and pharmacist to see if Alprazolam is right for you and create the best possible treatment for you.  With a simple cheek swab done at your pharmacy, Rxight® will provide you with a DNA Blueprint that minimizes drug’s side effects and proper course for present and future treatments.

 
Contact us for more information about how Rxight® can benefit you through phone at 1-(888) 888-1932 or email at support@Rxight.com.

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The Possible Connection Between Antianxiety Drug Lorazepam (Ativan) Use and Suicide

By | Adverse Drug Reactions, Antianxiety Medications | No Comments

Lorezapam, also known as the brand name Ativan, is a common antianxiety drug prescribed by psychiatrists. According to Pharmacy Times, it is the 48th most used drug in the United States (Pharmacy Times “Top 200 drugs of 2012,” July 2013). It has received attention in the media recently for its possible implication in the suicide of American rock/grunge musician Chris Cornell (CNN “Chris Cornell Used Prescription Before Death, Toxicology Report Says,” June 2017).

 
Ativan is a benzodiazepine, which are CNS (central nervous system) depressants that aid in slowing and calming down the central nervous system and thus reducing anxiety. (PubMed Health “Lorazepam” May 2017).

 
Ativan is also commonly used for insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. In addition, Ativan is used to treat continuous seizures, agitation, irritability, mania, and schizophrenia, and used as medication before anesthesia. (Stanford Medicine “Lorazepam,” 2017).

 
Ativan is only intended for short-term use. According to Stanford Medicine, if misused, it can cause serious side effects such as acidosis (excess amount of acid in the body), drug dependence, and unusual and dangerous behavior. Moreover Ativan, like other benzodiazepines, is highly addictive causing physical and psychological dependence.

 

How Ativan is Associated with Suicidal Behaviors

 
Medical experts report that benzodiazepine could cause anterograde amnesia. Those with anterograde amnesia can exhibit dangerous behaviors, such as intoxicated driving, committing crimes, and attempting suicide. (PubMed “Anterograde Amnesia Linked to Benzodiazepines” October 1992).

 
A toxicology report recently released showed that seven drugs, including a significant dose of Ativan, were found in Cornell’s system. However, the medical examiner said drugs did not contribute to Cornell’s death, but that instead Cornell committed suicide. (CNN “Chris Cornell Used Prescription Before Death, Toxicology Report Says,” June 2017).

 
According to experts, long-term use of Ativan can cause depression and negative mood in those with a history of depression and suicidal ideation. However, they advised that if someone was to die of an Ativan overdose or blackout, underlying mental health issues could have also played a role. (American Addiction Centers “The Dangers of Long-Term Use of Ativan” 2017).

 

Research Confirms Benzodiazepines Use Connected with Self-Harm

 
Research has shown an association between self- harm and suicide and benzodiazepine usage (The British Journal of General Practice “Self-harm and Suicide Associated with Benzodiaepine Usage” May 2007).

 
The case report found that a patient self-inflicted stab wounds twice in a month after his benzodiazepine dosage was changed. The researchers also examined another study that showed a significant correlation between benzodiazepine and suicide in the elderly. The report concludes that although these effects are rare, prescribers should be aware of how a strong dependence on benzodiazepine is developed quickly.

 

Know Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

If you are taking or plan to take Ativan (lorazepam) and are concerned about side effects such as these, consider the Rxight® genetic test to analyze your genetic risks. Rxight® is a pharmacogenetic program made just for you. Your doctor and pharmacist work together to create an accurate, reliable, and easy to understand treatment plan to minimize harmful drug effects and get you on the right medications.

 
Contact us for more information about how Rxight® can benefit you through phone at 1-(888) 888-1932 or email at support@Rxight.com.

Uses, Side Effects and Pharmacogenetics of Antihypertensive Drugs

By | Adverse Drug Reactions, Antihypertensives | No Comments

An antihypertensive drug is any agent that reduces blood pressure. There are many different classes and are used in certain situations. They are prescribed for hypertension and help prevent events like transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), strokes, and myocardial infarction.
 
Classes of antihypertensive drugs include:

  • Diuretics
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • ACE inhibitors – used to treat hypertension but act by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme. This reduces activity of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system and reduces blood pressure. One example is ramipril.
  • Angiotensin II receptor antagonists
  • Adrenergic antagonists
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Renin inhibitors
  • Aldosterone receptor antagonists
  • Endothelin receptor blockers
  • Thiazide diuretics – used to treat hypertension and edema. They work by inhibiting the sodium chloride symporter. The increase in fluid loss decreases blood volume and reduced blood pressure. An example is bendroflumethiazide.


 

Antihypertensive Drugs Side Effects

 
Thiazide diuretics like bendroflumethiazide cause a number of side effects. These include:

  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Glaucoma
  • Gastric irritation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash

 
Calcium Channel Blockers include drugs like isradipine and verapamil. Side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat)
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Rash
  • Scalp irritation
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypersensitivity
  •  
    ACE inhibitors are also associated with a number of side effects. These include:

    • Hypotension
    • Angina pectoris (chest pain)
    • Postural hypotension
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal discomfort
    • Dyspepsia
    • Fatigue
    • Asthenia
    • Vertigo
    • Bronchitis
    • Cough
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Nervousness
    • Restlessness
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Syncope (fainting)
    • Muscle spasm
    • Myalgia (muscle pain)


     
    Angiotensin II receptor antagonists include drugs like losartan (Cozaar). Common side effects include:

    • Nasal congestion
    • Sinusitis
    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Dyspepsia (indigestion)
    • Back pain
    • Myalgia (muscle pain)
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Vertigo
    • Chest pain
    • Hyperkalemia (high blood concentration of potassium)
    • Insomnia
    • Anemia

     
    Adrenergic receptor antagonists are also used as antihypertensives. Common side effects include (these occur in more than 1% of patients):

    • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
    • Raynaud’s syndrome (can result in cold extremities)
    • Fatigue
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Nightmares
    • Sleep disorder
    • Agitation
    • Somnolence (lack of energy)
    • Irritability

     
    Antianxiety medications such as benzodiazepines can be used to lower blood pressure. Side effects can include:

    • Irritability (33% more)
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Confusion
    • Disinhibition
    • Derealization
    • Dream abnormalities
    • Fear
    • Drowsiness (77%)
    • Impaired coordination
    • Memory impairment
    • Lightheadedness
    • Insomnia
    • Headache
    • Cognitive disorder
    • Dysarthria
    • Abnormal involuntary movement
    • Somnolence
    • Ataxia (loss of control of body)
    • Balance disorder
    • Nervousness
    • Syncope (fainting)
    • Agitation
    • Paresthesia (pins and needles)
    • Tinnitus
    • Hypersomnia
    • Lethargy
    • Fatigue
    • Blurred vision
    • Decreased libido
    • Micturition difficulties (issues urinating)
    • Menstrual disorders
    • Increased libido
    • Decreased salivation
    • Constipation
    • Allergies
    • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
    • Chest pains
    • Rigidity
    • Tremor
    • Muscular twitching
    • Increased/decreased appetite
    • Weight gain/loss

     

    Know Your Risks for Side Effects from Anihypertensive Medications with the Rxight® Genetic Test

     
    Most patients do not suffer adverse reactions when taking antihypertensives. However some patients may suffer from many side effects. This inter patient variability is explained by pharmacogenetics. Polymorphisms (variations) in the enzymes and receptors that interact with antihypertensives can increase the probability of patients developing side effects.
     
    Most antihypertensives are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes (the specific isoenzymes will vary on class and drug). Polymorphisms in these enzymes have been shown in studies to increase the probability of developing side effects (Clinical Biochemist Reviews, “The Influence of Cytochrome P450 Pharmacogenetics on Disposition of Common Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Medications,” Feb 2006).
     
    Identifying these alleles can aid clinicians in prescribing antihypertensives and could reduce the risk of developing adverse reactions. MD Labs provides a genetic testing service, Rxight®, which sequences a number of genes to establish how patients are likely to respond to hundreds of medications, including most antihypertensives.

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    Drug Sensitivity and Your Genetics

    By | Adverse Drug Reactions, Drug Metabolism | No Comments

    Drug sensitivity is broadly defined as an exaggerated response to a drug in a patient in comparison to the expected response in the general population. Drug sensitivity can range from increased side effects to complete drug intolerance, whereby patients exhibit severe side effects or death. These side effects are often irreversible, as in aspirin induced Tinnitus.

     

    Why Do Some People Suffer from Drug Sensitivity?

     
    Drug sensitivity should not be confused with drug hypersensitivity. Drug hypersensitivities are caused by a patient’s body mounting an immune response to a drug. These can also be severe, but are different to drug sensitivities. Drug sensitivity results solely from genetic differences in a patient. How can your genetics impact drug metabolism and action? Through polymorphisms of genes coding for enzymes or receptors that directly affect how the body responds to the drug.
     
    For instance, an article in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics “VKORC1 Pharmacogenomics Summary” (Oct 2011) states that polymorphisms in the gene VKORC1, which codes for the enzyme Vitamin K epoxide reductase, regulates a patient’s sensitivity to the common anti-coagulant drug Warfarin. The enzyme is the limiting step in the vitamin K cycle and Warfarin acts to inhibit this enzyme, inhibiting Vitamin K’s downstream coagulation effects. Variants 1639A and 1173T require a lower Warfarin dose whereas patients with allele 9041A need a higher dose.
     

    Drug Intolerance and Severe Side Effects 

     
    Drug intolerance can cause severe side effects in a patient. These are usually rare but in some instances are reasonably common. For instance, Tinnitus is a drug intolerant side effect to the drug Aspirin. At higher doses, aspirin is nown to cause tinnitus according to a study Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience “Salicylate toxicity model of tinnitus” (April 2012), but some patients experience the symptom after a normal dose of the drug.
     
    Other examples of drug intolerance include liver failure to Paracetamol, fatal poisoning in infants who breastfeed on mothers who are taking the pain relief drug codeine, hypotension (low blood pressure) in patients taking heart drug Enalapril and hallucinations in patients taking codeine, according to research in Australian Family Physician, “Adverse drug reactions” (Feb 2013).
     
    The number of genes that might cause drug sensitivity is massive and many are still not known. At Rxight® we sequence VKORC1 and a panel of other genes to identify how patients will react to more than 200 clinically relevant medications. Genetic testing for drug sensitivity is a faster, cheaper and far safer alternative than watching patients undergo adverse drug reactions and adjusting the dose accordingly.

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    FDA Warns of Psychiatric Adverse Events from ADHD Medications

    By | ADHD Medications, Adverse Drug Reactions | No Comments

    Medications commonly used for ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) may carry an increased risk of triggering some of the same psychiatric symptoms as those seen in schizophrenia and mood disorders, even in patients who did not have previous psychiatric problems. These psychiatric symptoms include psychotic episodes marked by auditory or visual hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and mania.
     
    ADHD is a condition that affects approximately 10 percent of the pediatric population in the U.S., according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The primary symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty functioning in work or school, and suffer with issues of low self-esteem or depression.

     
    On February 21, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration issued a requirement that ADHD drug manufacturers inform patients about the associated adverse psychiatric symptoms (FDA Asks Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Drug Manufacturers to Develop Patient Medication Guides). The FDA warned about psychotic events from the use of ADHD medications in its 2006 briefing “Adverse Events Associated with Drug Treatment of ADHD: Review of Post marketing Safety Data,” presented to the Pediatric Advisory Committee: “The most important finding of this review is that signs and symptoms of psychosis or mania, particularly hallucinations, can occur in some patients with no identifiable risk factors, at usual doses of any of the drugs currently used to treat ADHD.”

     
    Stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD include Focalin (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride), Adderall (amphetamine), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride). All these ADHD medications are tested as part of the Rxight® genetic testing panel, which is designed to analyze your body’s ability to metabolize these and over 200 other common prescription and over-the-counter medications.

     
    The Rxight® pharmacogenetic test is grounded in the analysis of a set of genes and their alleles to determine how you will metabolize different medications and assimilate them into the body based on your unique genotype. If you are a so-called “fast metabolizer” of a particular medication, you process the drug and therefore may require a higher than normal dose to achieve therapeutic benefit. Conversely, if you are a “slow metabolizer” you are prone to toxic effects from the medication and its metabolites building up in your system and causing potentially serious adverse reactions, such as a stimulant intoxication in the case of ADHD medications.

    Amphetamines for ADHD: Side Effects, Dangers and Addiction

    By | ADHD Medications, Adverse Drug Reactions | No Comments

    Amphetamines are a distinct class of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system producing an increase in awareness, alertness and wakefulness. This class of stimulant drugs is sometimes used in the treatment of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) as well as obesity and narcolepsy, but they are not widely accepted for use due largely to the risks of addiction and the resulting withdrawal symptoms that ensue when amphetamines are abruptly stopped.  Some of the common amphetamines that are prescribed include Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) used for ADHD, and Ephedrine (ephedrine sulfate) for use as a bronchodilator. Other amphetamines on the market include: Dextrostat, Concerta, Levoamphetamine, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Focalin and Vyvanse.

     

    Amphetamine Side Effects

     
    Amphetamines have many adverse side effects on the brain, the central nervous system, and the user’s body.  The neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine are released from nerve endings within the brain when amphetamines are used and the ability of the neurotransmitters to reuptake is inhibited.  This causes an influx of the neurotransmitters at the synapses or the nerve endings of the brain which can lead to various side effects.  When the nerve cells within the brain and the spinal cord are activated by the use of amphetamines, there is an increase in mental alertness and the ability for the user to stay awake. Increased focus and the ability to concentrate are also present.  That is why amphetamines are sometimes used in the treatment of ADHD, to help those with focus disorders and in the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.

     

    Addiction and Serious Adverse Reactions to Amphetamines

     
    The FDA has reported that amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. Untoward effects of amphetamines include the risk of hypertension, particularly with a higher than recommended oral dose.  Insomnia is a common side effect.  Unrecognized underlying cardiovascular disease may cause serious results.  Excessive or prolonged use of amphetamines can have several negative side effects including ulcers, psychosis, and damage to the central nervous system.  Long term use of amphetamines can lead to an increased physical dependence on and tolerance to the drugs.

     
    Immediate side effects of ADHD medications can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Amphetamines can also lead to heart attack, stroke or death caused by increased strain on the heart.  Blood pressure increases with increased doses of amphetamines put the user at even greater risk for heart attack or stroke. Amphetamines are highly addictive drugs and should never be used recreationally. If you want to more know more information about how the drug will react to your body before taking the drug, genetic testing will provide you with information about how it will react to your genome. Talk to your provider about any prescription for these medications, and carefully monitor the patient while taking these medications.

     

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    Amphetamine Side Effects

    By | ADHD Medications, Adverse Drug Reactions | No Comments

     

    Amphetamines are chemically related to the parent chemical compound amphetamine. They define central nervous system stimulant-type medications. Amphetamines are a distinct class of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system producing an increase in awareness, alertness and wakefulness. This class of drugs is sometimes used in the treatment of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) as well as obesity and narcolepsy, but they are not widely accepted for use due largely to the risks of addiction and the resulting withdrawal symptoms that ensue when amphetamines are abruptly stopped.  
     
    Amphetamine given orally raises both systolic and diastolic blood pressure but not usually the heart rate. Some of the common amphetamines that are prescribed include Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) used for ADHD, and Ephedrine (ephedrine sulfate) for use as a bronchodilator. Other amphetamines on the market include: ProCentra, Dextrostat, Concerta, Strattera, Levoamphetamine, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse.

     

    How Amphetamines Work

     
    The neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine are released from nerve endings within the brain when amphetamines are used and the ability of the neurotransmitters to reuptake is inhibited.  This causes an influx of the neurotransmitters at the synapses or the nerve endings of the brain which can lead to various side effects.  When the nerve cells within the brain and the spinal cord are activated by the use of amphetamines, there is an increase in mental alertness and the ability for the user to stay awake. Increased focus and the ability to concentrate are also present.  That is why amphetamines are sometimes used in the treatment of ADHD, to help those with focus disorders and in the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.

     

    High Addiction Potential

     
    Amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. Untoward effects of amphetamines include the risk of hypertension, particularly with a higher than recommended oral dose.  Insomnia is a common side effect.  Unrecognized underlying cardiovascular disease may cause serious sometimes fatal results.  Excessive or prolonged use of amphetamines can have several negative side effects including ulcers, psychosis, and damage to the central nervous system.  Long term use of amphetamines can lead to an increased physical dependence on and tolerance to the drugs. 

     

    Danger of Cardiac Issues from Amphetamine Use

     
    Amphetamines have many adverse side effects on the brain, the central nervous system, and the user’s body. Amphetamine use can also lead to heart attack, stroke or death caused by increased strain on the heart.  Blood pressure increases with increased doses of amphetamines put the user at even greater risk for heart attack or stroke. Amphetamines are highly addictive drugs and should never be used recreationally.
     

    The Utility of Genetic Testing for Amphetamines

     
    If you want to more know more information about how the drug will react to your body before taking the drug, genetic testing with Rxight® will provide you with information about how it will react to your genome. Over 200 other medications are tested, including many commonly prescribed ADHD medications.
     

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    Focalin Side Effects and Warnings

    By | ADHD Medications, Adverse Drug Reactions | No Comments

    Focalin is a mild central nervous system (CNS) stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and is usually accompanied with psychological, behavioral, educational, or other forms of treatment. Stimulants help ameliorate the symptoms of ADHD by making it easier for the user to concentrate, avoid distraction, and control behavior.

     

    Warnings for Patients with Cardiac Issues

     

    Children, adolescents and adults, who are candidates for treatment with stimulant medications should have family background checkup (to look for cases of ventricular arrhythmia) and a physical exam to assess for the presence of cardiac disease, and should receive further cardiac evaluation if findings suggest such disease (e.g., electrocardiogram and echocardiogram) exist.

     

    Patients who have symptoms such as exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope (temporary loss of consciousness due to low blood pressure), or other symptoms suggestive of cardiac disease during stimulant treatment, should undergo a prompt cardiac evaluation.

     

    Focalin Psychiatric Adverse Effects: Psychosis

     

    There are a number of potential psychiatric adverse events from ADHD medications such as Focalin that should be discussed with your provider. Conditions such as pre-existing psychosis may be exacerbated with Focalin, and new psychiatric symptoms may emerge. A thorough discussion with your provider is appropriate.

     

    Common Side Effects of Focalin

     

    Common side effects of Focalin include: insomnia, dry mouth, sore throat, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, headache, anxiety, loss of appetite, or weight loss. If any of these effects continue or worsen, tell your physician promptly. This medication might raise your blood pressure. Tell your physician if the results are high. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects such as: signs of blood flow problems in the fingers or toes, unusual wounds on the fingers or toes, or irregular heartbeat.

     

    Know Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

     

    For optimal safety in dosing and frequency, ask your provider about Rxight® pharmacogenetic testing from MD Labs, that is available from your pharmacist through a simple cheek swab. This test will tell your provider what genetic variabilities you have that may require adjustment of dose or frequency of your medication.

     

    Recent advances in medicine has shown that genetic variability in genes that are responsible for making the enzymes that metabolize drugs, can alter the way a patient responds to medications. The Rxight® test will inform your provider about your ability to metabolize over 200 prescription and over-the-counter medications.

     

    This area of study is called pharmacogenetics and is instrumental in bringing precision or individualized medicine to the patient. By elucidating your specific genetic variation in the genes that metabolize medicines, you may benefit from reduced side effects to Dexmethylphenidate and many other drugs. Ask your physician about Rxight® from MD labs to help bring precision medicine to your individual care.

    Related Post

    PPI side effects

    PPIs May Cause “Silent Damage” to Kidneys, Research Suggests

    By | Adverse Drug Reactions | No Comments

    Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are a very popular class of medications generally regarded as safe. PPIs are used to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease and include drugs such as Nexium and Prevacid. While adverse reactions to the drugs (such as kidney failure) are rare, those who do suffer will not experience any signs of kidney failure until the damage is severe.
     
    A recent study in Kidney International (Feb 2017) that examined 125,000 users of PPIs found that those who did suffer from chronic or kidney failure did not have acute kidney problems prior. The findings suggest that patients need to be far more careful when using the medications that previously thought. Routine doctor check-ups should be the norm, even when using over-the-counter PPIs, according to the article.
     

    Pharmacogenetics and PPIs

     
    In addition to kidney failure, other adverse reactions from PPIs can occur in susceptible patients. Genetic variations of CYP2C19 give rise to poor and extensive metabolizer phenotypes. Rxight® genetic testing measures patients’ genotypically determined ability to metabolize proton pump inhibitors and 200 other clinically relevant medications across 50 pharmacological classes. The results of the Rxight® test will be reviewed in detail to guide you and your prescribers in finding the safest and most effective treatment for you.
     

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