ASK THE PHARMACIST…about FDA hand sanitizer warnings

Question:  I see hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere I go, from the grocery store to the bank.  I have heard that you can “over use” this type of hand washing, is that true? Answer:  The FDA supports the CDC’s recommendation to use plain soap and water to wash your hands.  When water is not readily available, a hand sanitizer may be a suitable alternative. The FDA is concerned about hand sanitizer’s ingredients and is undertaking a review of active ingredients used in over-the-counter antiseptic hand wash products.  They are also looking at the safety and effectiveness of the different brands.  There is growing concerns about the health risks of absorbing the anti-germ ingredients of ethanol, alcohol and a type of chloride into your body after repeated daily use. Regulators are also concerned about possible links between use of antiseptic chemicals and the emergence of superbug bacteria, which are resistant to antibiotics.  Go to this link to see the FDA’s option of hand sanitizers. To answer your question, skip the hand sanitizer dispensers and purell tubes and head to the closest sink.  Soap and water is not harmful and is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.  

ASK THE PHARMACIST…about national drug shortages

Question:  I have an IV antibiotic ordered and the pharmacy informed me that the drug is not available because of a national backorder, what does that mean? Answer:  From time to time there are national shortages on medications mainly due to manufacturing issues. The FDA website explains drug shortages like this: When one company has a problem or discontinues manufacturing a drug, it is difficult for the remaining drug companies to increase production quickly and a shortage occurs. Hospital pharmacies have priority and are the first to receive medications after production and other pharmacies are placed on a waiting list.  In nursing homes, communication is key to prevent adverse drug therapy or delay medical treatment. Upon admission to the nursing home it is important to review hospital records and the pharmacy can recommend alternative medications based on lab tests. (Culture & Sensitivity) to determine which antibiotics would be an acceptable. Share this link to educate your staff. Bookmark this FDA Website to check national shortages: