Follow NCPIE on Facebook

View our YouTube channel

Please consult a licensed health care professional with questions or concerns about your medication and/or condition.

Last Updated
October 17, 2016
NEWSROOM > Latest News > Current
Current | 2015 News | 2014 News | Prior to 2014

July 12, 2016
AHA Warns: Many Drugs Can Cause or Worsen Heart Failure
A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that  commonly used medications and 
nutritional supplements may cause or worsen heart failure. The statement provides guidance on avoiding drug–drug 
or drug–condition interactions for people with heart failure, including comprehensive information about particular 
drugs and "natural" treatments that could have serious unintended consequences for people with heart failure. 
AHA notes that, on average, heart failure patients have five or more separate medical conditions, and they take 
seven or more prescription drugs a day. "Since many of the drugs heart failure patients are taking are prescribed 
for conditions such as cancer, neurological conditions, or infections, it is crucial but difficult for health care providers 
to reconcile whether a medication is interacting with heart failure drugs or making heart failure worse," said Robert 
L. Page II, PharmD, chair of the writing committee for the new scientific statement published in the AHA journal 
Circulation.  Healthcare providers should discuss at every visit all prescription and OTC drugs as 
well as any nutritional supplements and herbs that patients with heart failure may be taking. Patients ahould keep a 
list of all medications and doses to show at every medical appointment, and inform a health care provider treating 
their heart failure before stopping or starting any medication.

NCPIE Related Resource:
July 1, 2016
Counsel patients about polypharmacy risks, adherence
NCPIE serves as co-editor for a monthly column in Pharmacy Today (American
Pharmacists Association) The column is entitled “One-to-One” and is intended to help develop
pharmacists’ medication communication and counseling skills to promote safe and appropriate
medicine use.
June 29, 2016
Nearly 1 in 3 on Medicare Receive Opioids
More bad news from the U.S. drug wars: Misuse of prescription opioid painkillers by American adults more than 
doubled from the early 2000s to 2013, a new government study says. Rates of addiction to powerful painkillers also 
swelled during that time, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  Survey 
results indicated more than 4 percent of adults reported nonmedical use of addictive opioids in 2012-2013.  This 
means they took the drug without a prescription or more of the drug than prescribed or for longer periods or more 
often. Ten years earlier, less than 2 percent of adults reported such risky behavior.  Moreover, the proportion of 
adults who reported nonmedical use of opioids at some point in their lives rose from 4.7 percent to more than 11 
percent during the study period. And 2.1 million Americans met the criteria for prescription opioid use disorder, or 
opioid addiction, in 2012-2013.
June 24, 2016
Nearly 1 in 3 on Medicare Prescribed Commonly Abused
Nearly 12 million Medicare beneficiaries received at least one prescription in 2015 for an opioid analgesic at a cost 
of $4.1 billion, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for HHS. Nearly one-third of 
Medicare beneficiaries received at least one prescription for commonly abused opioids in 2015, and those who did 
received an average of five such prescriptions or refills, the report finds. "We are concerned about the high 
spending and the number of people receiving opioids," said OIG's Miriam Anderson, who led the study, which was 
released Wednesday. "This raises concerns about abuse. This is a serious problem facing our country." Among all 
ages, there were nearly 19,000 fatal overdoses on prescription opioids in 2014, which was the most on record and 
the last year for which that data set was available. Medicare officials say they are reviewing the report closely. 
June 15, 2016
FDA strengthens drug safety warning for type 2 diabetes medicines
FDA has strengthened the existing warning about the risk of acute kidney injury for the type 2 diabetes medicines 
canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet—Janssen Pharms) and dapagliflozin (Farxiga, Xigduo XR—AstraZeneca). Based 
on recent reports, the agency has revised the warnings in the drug labels to include information about acute kidney 
injury and added recommendations to minimize this risk. From March 2013 to October 2015, FDA received reports 
of 101 confirmable cases of acute kidney injury, some requiring hospitalization and dialysis, with canagliflozin or 
dapagliflozin use. FDA recommends health care professionals consider factors that may predispose patients to acute 
kidney injury prior to starting them on canagliflozin or dapagliflozin. These include decreased blood volume; chronic 
kidney insufficiency; congestive heart failure; and taking other medications such as diuretics, blood pressure 
medicines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Read more at link above.