Today, the FDA posted a number of videos on YouTube today. It is worth noting that the agency is utilizing YouTube to educate patients. Right now, the FDA has only 61 subscribers and has had a YouTube account since September of last year and they are just posting video from reports generated in May, but nevertheless, it is worth watching the development of viable patient instruction video and its role in future risk management.
First FDA is aware of cases where patients have used LifeScan OneTouch Ultra test strips with their Abbott Precision Xtra blood glucose meters.
As a result, the meters recorded lower-than-expected blood glucose levels, which can have serious clinical consequences. This problem is not limited to just these two products. Using the wrong strip in any brand of blood glucose meter could result in erroneous readings, or no readings at all.
Instruct diabetic patients who use blood glucose meters to use only the strips recommended for that particular meter. The owner’s manual for each meter specifies which strips are suitable. As an additional check, the instructions with the test strips identify the meters that are compatible with those strips.
Secondly,FDA has issued an advisory about the danger of mistakenly swallowing Spiriva (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) and Foradil (formoterol fumarate inhalation powder) inhalation capsules. These capsules are intended to be used with inhalation devices to treat patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
FDA and the American Association of Poison Control Centers have received many reports of patients swallowing these capsules. This may occur because the capsules resemble those taken by mouth. Not many patients have suffered side effects from swallowing the capsules, but their respiratory problems will not be treated if the drugs are taken orally rather than inhaled.
Warn patients not to swallow Spiriva or Foradil capsules. Remind them that the capsules should be removed from the blister pack and placed in the inhalation device – for Spiriva, it’s the HandiHaler, and for Foradil, the Aerolizer. Advise them to follow the instructions that come with the prescription. And if the breathing condition of patients using Spiriva or Foradil does not improve, ask whether they are swallowing the medicine rather than inhaling it.