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FDA Probes Deaths Linked to Long-Acting Zyprexa

From MedPage Today:

Two patients died 3-4 days after injections with the long-acting antipsychotic drug olanzapine pamoate (Zyprexa Relprevv), prompting an FDA investigation.

The agency has not determined whether the drug caused the fatalities. "At this time, FDA is continuing to evaluate these deaths and will provide an update when more information is available," it said in a statement Tuesday.

Both patients received intramuscular injections of the drug at appropriate doses, the FDA said, but tests showed "very high olanzapine blood levels after death."

High doses are known to induce delirium, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, and impaired consciousness ranging from sedation to coma.

Posted: 6/18/2013 12:08:00 PM

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Police: Flesh-eating drug may have hit Baldwin County

From GulfCoastNewsToday.com:

In an area where junkies turn to cheaply made methamphetamines as the drug of choice, dealers may be cooking up a new synthetic opiate in central Baldwin County that causes rotting flesh, according to area law enforcement.

The agency, which asked not to be named due to its ongoing investigation, has received reports in recent weeks claiming that a “lab” in the area is producing a designer drug commonly called “krokodil.” Locals have also called the drug “gator,” according to police.

The manmade drug, also known as desomorphine, is cheaply made and comes with horrifying side effects. It earns its reptilian nomenclature because its toxic ingredients quickly turn the skin grey and scaly. As junkies continue to inject the opiate, skin begins to corrode and peel away to expose bone and sinew as the user literally rots to death.

The drug originated in Russia as an answer to rising costs of heroin, first appearing less than five years ago but rising in popularity in 2011. The home-brewed heroin replacement is highly addictive, and area users may become hooked before they know about the skin-peeling side effects, police said.

Desomorphine is a schedule I drug, falling into the same category as heroin, marijuana, and LSD, meaning the drug has high abuse potential and is illegal to possess or use, according to the DEA.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office also has no information on the drug, according to officials. Police are trying to learn more about “krokodil” before the abuse and side effects cause an epidemic, according to area law enforcement.

“You know if it’s here, it’s somewhere else as well,” a police officer said.

Posted: 6/10/2013 1:21:00 PM

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New trend of 'smoking' booze worries drug abuse expert

From cnews (Canada):

A man who appears to be in his early 20s and wearing a backwards baseball cap pours a Budweiser into an empty plastic bottle while sitting on the couch.

Next to the bottle is a bicycle pump with its needle piercing a cork at the end.

He describes himself as "L.A. Beast," and on the video he's uploaded on YouTube -- "Dude Gets Drunk Without Drinking 1 Drop of Alcohol" -- he shows viewers how to vapourize booze.

This emerging trend of "smoking alcohol" -- or Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) -- is becoming popular among university and college students who say a quick hit of liquor is more intense than slowly sipping a few beers during a night out.

But a Toronto drug awareness organization is concerned the concentrated vapours could rapidly increase the risk of alcohol poisoning.

"The main concern is because it's new, there's no research to show you how much is too much," said Seth Fletcher, manager of programs for the Council on Drug Abuse.

"You can do it so fast and it's just bypassing your body's natural elimination functions to say, 'We've had too much alcohol.' Your body's natural fight is to throw up to reduce alcohol poisoning. There isn't that check and balance when you're inhaling it."

Posted: 6/10/2013 12:45:00 PM

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