Tag Archives: immunocompromised persons

Product Brand Names for Aspirin

aspirintabletAlthough aspirin is an old drug, we often mistakenly take its safety for granted; it can be a dangerous drug, especially for children.

You might be surprised at the number of medications that contain aspirin (salicylates).  To assist you in recognizing some of the medications that contain aspirin, we have provided some lists below.  These are all basic guides, and you must always read the labels.   And, of course, these products are not to be used with children under the age of 19! 

As with most medications, whether they be prescription or over the counter, you want to be careful that you are not ‘double-dosing’  because the recommended dosages are already just below the toxic level to human beings.

Aspirin Brand Names:

  • Acuprin®
  • Anacin® Aspirin Regimen
  • Ascriptin®
  • Aspergum®
  • Aspidrox®medicine_cabinet
  • Aspir-Mox®
  • Aspirtab®
  • Aspir-trin®
  • Bayer® Aspirin
  • Bufferin®
  • Buffex®
  • Easprin®
  • Ecotrin®
  • Empirin®
  • Entaprin®
  • Entercote®
  • Fasprin®
  • Genacote®
  • Gennin-FC®
  • Genprin®
  • Halfprin®
  • Magnaprin®
  • Miniprin®
  • Minitabs®
  • Ridiprin®
  • Sloprin®
  • Uni-Buff®
  • Uni-Tren®
  • Valomag®
  • Zorprin®

Brand names of combination products

  • Alka-Seltzer® (containing Aspirin, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • Alka-Seltzer® Extra Strength (containing Aspirin, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • Alka-Seltzer® Morning Relief (containing Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Alka-Seltzer® Plus Flu (containing Aspirin, Chlorpheniramine, Dextromethorphan)
  • Alka-Seltzer® PM (containing Aspirin, Diphenhydramine)
  • Alor® (containing Aspirin, Hydrocodone)
  • Anacin® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Anacin® Advanced Headache Formula (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Aspircaf® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Axotal® (containing Aspirin, Butalbital)
  • Azdone® (containing Aspirin, Hydrocodone)
  • Bayer® Aspirin Plus Calcium (containing Aspirin, Calcium Carbonate)
  • Bayer® Aspirin PM (containing Aspirin, Diphenhydramine)
  • Bayer® Back and Body Pain (containing Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • BC Headache (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Salicylamide)
  • BC Powder (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Salicylamide)
  • Damason-P® (containing Aspirin, Hydrocodone)
  • Emagrin® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Salicylamide)
  • Endodan® (containing Aspirin, Oxycodone)
  • Equagesic® (containing Aspirin, Meprobamate)
  • Excedrin® (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Excedrin® Back & Body (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin)
  • Goody’s® Body Pain (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin)
  • Levacet® (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine, Salicylamide)
  • Lortab® ASA (containing Aspirin, Hydrocodone)
  • Micrainin® (containing Aspirin, Meprobamate)
  • Momentum® (containing Aspirin, Phenyltoloxamine)
  • Norgesic® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Orphenadrine)
  • Orphengesic® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Orphenadrine)
  • Panasal® (containing Aspirin, Hydrocodone)
  • Percodan® (containing Aspirin, Oxycodone)
  • Robaxisal® (containing Aspirin, Methocarbamol)
  • Roxiprin® (containing Aspirin, Oxycodone)
  • Saleto® (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine, Salicylamide)
  • Soma® Compound (containing Aspirin, Carisoprodol)
  • Soma® Compound with Codeine (containing Aspirin, Carisoprodol, Codeine)
  • Supac® (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • Synalgos-DC® (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, Dihydrocodeine)
  • Talwin® Compound (containing Aspirin, Pentazocine)
  • Vanquish® (containing Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine)
  • TIP: It is important to keep a written list of all of any prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements, because many of these contain salicylates, too. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Other Over The Counter Medications that Contain Aspirin:

  • Kaopectate
  • Maalox
  • PamprinNo Aspirin Products for Children!
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Vanquish
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Doan’s

For lists of aspirin containing products, both prescription and over the counter, go to the Reye’s Syndrome website by clicking here.

Symptoms of aspirin overdose may include:

  • burning pain in the throat or stomach
  • vomiting
  • decreased urination
  • fever
  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • talking a lot and saying things that do not make sense
  • fear or nervousness
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • confusion
  • abnormally excited mood
  • hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that are not there)
  • seizures
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness for a period of time
Symptoms for Reye’s Syndrome include:
Stage I Symptoms Stage II Symptoms Stage III Symptoms Stage IV Symptoms
Persistent or continuous vomiting
Signs of brain dysfunction:
Listlessness
Loss of pep and energy
Drowsiness
Personality changes:
Irritability
Aggressive behavior
Disorientation:
Confusion
Irrational behavior
Combative
Delirium
Convulsions
Coma

NOTE: The symptoms of Reye’s Syndrome in infants do not follow a typical pattern. For example, vomiting may be replaced with diarrhea and infants may display irregular breathing.

Suspect Reye’s in an Infant with:

  • * Diarrhea, but not necessarily vomiting
    * Respiratory disturbances such as hyperventilation or apneic episodes, seizures and hypoglycemia are common
    * Elevated SGOT-SGPT (SAT-ACT) [usually 200 or more units] in the absence of jaundice
Reye’s Syndrome should be suspected in a person if this pattern of symptoms appear during, or most commonly, after a viral illness. Not all of the symptoms have to occur, nor do they have to be displayed in this order. Fever is not usually present. Many diseases have symptoms in common. Physicians and medical staff in emergency rooms who have not had experience in treating Reye’s Syndrome may misdiagnose the disease.
The NRSF has compiled an enormous amount of aspirin information, including non-aspirin products, and aspirin products, in lists in an Android app available in the google play store:  Aspirin Sense and Sensitivity.
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Shingles; The Varicella Zoster Virus

Shinglesshingles

Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster. There are an estimated 1 million cases each year in the United States. Anyone who has had the chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles. The risk of the disease increases as a person gets older. About half of all cases occur among men and women 60 years old or older.  There are many reports, however, of shingles showing up in children and in the 20 year old to 40 year old range.

People who have medical conditions that keep their immune systems from working properly, such as certain cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation, are also at greater risk of getting shingles.

People who develop shingles typically have only one episode in their lifetime. In some cases, however, a person can have a second or even a third episode.

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Herpes zoster is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

Shingles usually starts as a painful rash on one side of the face or body. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7–10 days and clears up within 2–4 weeks.

Before the rash develops, there is often pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will develop. This may happen anywhere from 1 to 5 days before the rash appears.

Most commonly, the rash occurs in a single stripe around either the left or the right side of the body. In other cases, the rash occurs on one side of the face. In rare cases (usually among people with weakened immune systems), the rash may be more widespread and look similar to a chickenpox rash. Shingles can affect the eye and cause loss of vision.

  • Other symptoms of shingles can include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset stomach

Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the virus that causes shingles, the varicella zoster virus, can be spread from a person with active shingles to a person who has never had chickenpox. In such cases, the person exposed to the virus might develop chickenpox, but they would not develop shingles.

The virus is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters, not through sneezing, coughing or casual contact.

A person with shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. A person is not infectious before blisters appear. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious.

Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox and the risk of a person with shingles spreading the virus is low if the rash is covered.

  • If you have shingles:
  • Keep the rash covered.
  • Do not touch or scratch the rash.
  • Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of varicella zoster virus.
  • Until your rash has developed crusts, avoid contact with pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine; premature or low birth weight infants; and immunocompromised persons (such as persons receiving immunosuppressive medications or undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, and people with HIV infection).

The most common complication of shingles is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up.

The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months in most patients. PHN can, however, persists for many years in some persons.

As people get older, they are more likely to develop PHN, and the pain is more likely to be severe. PHN occurs rarely among people under 40 years of age but can occur in up to half (and possibly more) of untreated people who are 60 years of age and older.

Shingles may lead to serious complications involving the eye. Very rarely, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.

Several antiviral medicines—acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir—are available to treat shingles. These medicines will help shorten the length and severity of the illness. But to be effective, they must be started as soon as possible after the rash appears. Thus, people who have or think they might have shingles should call their healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

Analgesics (pain medicine) may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching.

The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain that can follow shingles is to get vaccinated. A vaccine for shingles is licensed for persons aged 60 years and older.

The shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2006 to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people age 60 years and older.

Your risk for developing shingles increases as you age. The Shingles Prevention Study involved individuals age 60 years and older and found the shingles vaccine significantly reduced disease in this age group. The vaccine is currently recommended for persons 60 years of age and older. Even people who have had shingles can receive the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

Shingles vaccine is available in pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about shingles vaccine.

At this time, CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in persons 50 through 59 years old. However, the vaccine is approved by FDA for people in this age group.

Some people should NOT get shingles vaccine.

  • A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • A person who has a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system, treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids, cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • Women who are or might be pregnant

Some people who get the shingles vaccine will develop a chickenpox-like rash near the place where they were vaccinated.  As a precaution, this rash should be covered until it disappears.

The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal (a preservative containing mercury).

What are the risks from shingles vaccine?

A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. However, the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

No serious problems have been identified with shingles vaccine.

Mild Problems:

Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection (about 1 person in 3).
Headache (about 1 person in 70).

Like all vaccines, shingles vaccine is being closely monitored for unusual or severe problems.

What about taking aspirin during a Shingles episode? We don’t know yet, but we are monitoring this closely and will keep you updated.  Never give a child aspirin during a shingles episode, as shingles is a dormant chickenpox virus!

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Chickenpox Parties; Just Don’t Do It!

Just Don't Do It!

Just Don’t Do It!

The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation Does Not Condone Chicken Pox Parties! They can be Deadly!

Sharing body fluids from other children puts your child at great and deadly risk, not to mention this is a Federal Offense according to Homeland Security.

The intentional spreading of any virus, or viral infection, and the mailing or transporting of such, falls under Bio-Terrorism Laws and the FBI and Homeland Security are going to want to talk to those involved. You have no idea what other conditions exist in that swab or sucker. Just don’t do it!

For the sake of your child’s life, and the lives of other children, pregnant women, and Immunocompromised Persons, just don’t do it!

We have seen places on the Internet that offer chickenpox parties, and we know the FBI gets involved. Some people do this as a ‘scam’, charging unsuspecting and uneducated parents more than $100.00 for a swab, or sucker, and parents have no idea what they are really getting. Is that swab or sucker HIV contaminated? Herpes contaminated? Some other disease contaminated? And you are going to risk giving it to your precious child?

Risks of Chicken Pox Parties:

  • * A child will often get 300 to 500 blisters during the infection, but can have up to 1500; these crust over and fall off in one to two weeks.
    * Varicella can be severe and even fatal in otherwise healthy children (but less than 1 out of every 10,000 cases).
    * Chickenpox can cause pneumonia (23 out of every 10,000 cases).
    * Bacterial infections of the blisters (usually impetigo) occur commonly (up to 5% of cases).
    * Chickenpox is an important risk factor for severe invasive group A streptococcal disease, which can be fatal.
    * Other complications of varicella include decreased platelets, arthritis, hepatitis, and brain inflammation.
    * In immunocompromised persons of all ages, varicella may be fatal.
    * The virus which causes chickenpox remains in the body for life and may reappear as shingles, particularly in the elderly.
    * A woman who contracts chickenpox in early pregnancy can pass the virus to her fetus, causing abnormalities in 2% of cases.

Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella are 4 common childhood diseases caused by measles virus, mumps virus, rubella virus, and varicella virus, respectively. These diseases may be associated with serious complications and, or, death. For example, measles can be associated with pneumonia and encephalitis; mumps can be associated with aseptic meningitis, deafness, and orchitis; rubella occurring during pregnancy can cause congenital rubella syndrome in the infants of infected mothers; and wild-type varicella can be associated with bacterial superinfection, pneumonia, encephalitis, and Reye’s Syndrome.

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It spreads easily from infected people to others who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.

Chickenpox spreads in the air through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters.

While staph infections of the skin are common in infants and young children, they usually are mild. However, chickenpox blisters can provide a place for staph bacteria to enter the skin, and a serious infection can develop quickly. It’s common for chickenpox blisters to be close together and when the staph infection penetrates the skin, the skin around the infected area simply dies and falls off.

Download our ChickenPox Party Handout

Most children with chickenpox completely recover. But it can be serious, even fatal, for babies, adolescents, and adults.

Signs & Symptoms

Anyone who hasn’t had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine can get the disease. Chickenpox most commonly causes an illness that lasts about 5-10 days.

The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs.

Other typical symptoms that may begin to appear 1-2 days before rash include:
* high fever

* tiredness
* loss of appetite
* headache

Children usually miss 5 to 6 days of school or childcare due to their chickenpox.

NEVER give a child aspirin, or any aspirin containing product who has the chickenpox, or who might be exposed to chicken pox!

Vaccinated Persons:

Some people who have been vaccinated against chickenpox can still get the disease. However, the symptoms are usually milder with fewer blisters and mild or no fever. About 25% to 30% of vaccinated people who get chickenpox will develop illness as serious as chickenpox in unvaccinated persons.

People at Risk for Severe Chickenpox:

Some people who get chickenpox may have more severe symptoms and may be at higher risk for complications. Complications from chickenpox can occur, but they are not as common in otherwise healthy people who get the disease.

People who may have more severe symptoms and may be at high risk for complications include:

* Infants
* Adolescents
* Adults
* Pregnant women
* People with weakened immune systems because of illness or medications; for example,
o People with HIV/AIDS or cancer
o Patients who have had transplants, and
o People on chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications, or long-term use of steroids.

People at High Risk for Complications:
* Immunocompromised Persons
* People with HIV or AIDS
* Pregnant Women

Immunocompromised Persons

Immunocompromised persons who get varicella are at risk of developing visceral dissemination (VZV infection of internal organs) leading to pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. They can have an atypical varicella rash with more lesions, and they can be sick longer than immunocompetent persons who get varicella. The lesions may continue to erupt for as long as 10 days, may appear on the palms and soles, and may be hemorrhagic.

People with HIV or AIDS

Children with HIV infection tend to have atypical rash with new crops of lesions presenting for weeks or months. HIV-infected children may develop chronic infection in which new lesions appear for more than one month. The lesions may initially be typical maculopapular vesicular lesions but can later develop into non-healing ulcers that become necrotic, crusted, and hyperkeratotic. This is more likely to occur in HIV-infected children with low CD4 counts.

Some studies have found that VZV dissemination to the visceral organs is less common in children with HIV than in other immunocompromised patients with VZV infection. The rate of complications may also be lower in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy or HIV-infected persons with higher CD4 counts at the time of varicella infection. Retinitis can occur among HIV-infected children and adolescents.

Most adults, including those who are HIV-positive have already had varicella disease and are VZV seropositive. As a result, varicella is relatively uncommon among HIV-infected adults.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women who get varicella are at risk for serious complications; they are at increased risk for developing pneumonia, and in some cases, may die as a result of varicella.

If a pregnant woman gets varicella in her 1st or early 2nd trimester, her baby has a small risk (0.4 – 2.0 percent) of being born with congenital varicella syndrome. The baby may have scarring on the skin, abnormalities in limbs, brain, and eyes, and low birth weight.

If a woman develops varicella rash from 5 days before to 2 days after delivery, the newborn will be at risk for neonatal varicella. In the absence of treatment, up to 30% of these newborns may develop severe neonatal varicella infection.

Some people should not get chickenpox vaccine or should wait:

* People should not get chickenpox vaccine if they have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of chickenpox vaccine or to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.
* People who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting chickenpox vaccine.
* Pregnant women should wait to get chickenpox vaccine until after they have given birth. Women should not get pregnant for 1 month after getting chickenpox vaccine.
* Some people should check with their doctor about whether they should get chickenpox vaccine, including anyone who:
o Has HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
o Is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids, for 2 weeks or longer
o Has any kind of cancer
o Is getting cancer treatment with radiation or drugs
* People who recently had a transfusion or were given other blood products should ask their doctor when they may get chickenpox vaccine.

Ask your health provider for more information.

Treatments at Home for People with Chickenpox

There are several things that can be done at home to help relieve the symptoms and prevent skin infections. Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching. Keeping fingernails trimmed short may help prevent skin infections caused by scratching blisters.

Use non-aspirin medications, such as acetaminophen, to relieve fever from chickenpox.

Do not use aspirin or aspirin-containing products to relieve fever from chickenpox. The use of aspirin in children with chickenpox has been associated with Reye’s Syndrome, a severe disease that affects the liver and brain and can cause death.

When to Call the Health Care Provider:

For people with chickenpox at risk of serious complications, call a health care provider if the person:
* is older than 12 years of age

* has a weakened immune system
* is pregnant
* develops any of the following:
o fever that lasts longer than 4 days
o fever that rises above 102°F (38.9°C)
o any areas of the rash or any part of the body becomes very red, warm, or tender, or begins leaking pus (thick, discolored fluid), since these symptoms may indicate a bacterial infection
o extreme illness
o difficult waking up or confused demeanor
o difficulty walking
o stiff neck
o frequent vomiting
o difficulty breathing
o severe cough

Treatments Prescribed by Your Doctor for People with Chickenpox:

Your health care provider can advise you on treatment options. Antiviral medications are recommended for people with chickenpox who are more likely to develop serious disease including:
* otherwise healthy people older than 12 years of age

* people with chronic skin or lung disease
* people receiving steroid therapy
* some groups of pregnant women

Other Sources: CDC | Wikipedia Kids Health.Org |Download our ChickenPox Party Handout

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