Meningitis Outbreak Grows as More Potentially Contaminated Drugs are Recalled

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Meningitis Outbreak Grows as More Potentially Contaminated Drugs are RecalledOverview: The fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections has escalated, as the number of patients affected jumps from 35 to 47. Although the outbreak was originally only attributed to steroid injections of Methylprednisolone Acetate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released an updated list of recalled drugs manufactured by the New England Compound Center in Framingham, Mass.

  • A outbreak of fungal meningitis has been linked to tainted steroid injections manufactured by the New England Compound Center
  • On Friday, the FDA released a list of 34 drugs that have been recalled due to possible contamination
  • Currently, 47 cases, including 5 deaths, have been documented; 23 states may be affected

FDA Recalls 34 Drugs

On Friday, the New England Compound Center recalled 34 drugs due to the possible risk of contamination with fungal meningitis. The outbreak originally only implicated preservative-free preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml), which is commonly administered to relieve back pain. Now, the recall list includes epidural anesthetics used to block pain during pregnancy and other medications. The agency said that the measure was taken  “due to the potential risk of contamination, and in cooperation with an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy.”

Meningitis Affects 47 Patients, 23 States

According to a report in the Examiner, the tainted products affect 23 states, including: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.

Previous reports stated that 35 cases of fungal meningitis were linked to the tainted drugs. Now, the FDA says that 47 people have been affected. Patients who have received an epidural injection since July 1st are advised to watch for symptoms of meningitis, such as

  • Worsening headache
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Trouble walking
  • Progressing back pain