Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

2 new drugs tied to meningitis, fungal infection in multi-state outbreak

The investigation of the drugs linked to the current outbreak of fungal meningitis now has two more that are being looked at. The Food and Drug Administration is now investigating another injectable steroid and a cardioplegic solution, a drug used during open heart surgery. One patient has developed fungal meningitis symptoms after receiving a lower back injection of the other steroid being used and two patients have after getting heart transplants. Officials stated that it is too early to determine whether or not they are related to the current outbreak, but the two new drugs were also distributed by the New England Compounding Center.

The New England Compounding Center has recalled all of its products and shut down production while under investigation after finding a fungus in vials of an injectable steroid, methylprednisolone acetate. 23 states confirmed receiving a shipment of the steroids from the company. It is believed that 14,000 patients may have come into contact with the tainted drugs.

Symptoms have been reported one to four weeks after receiving a shot of steroids and include nausea and vomiting, fever, pain and swelling at the injection site, stiff neck, weakness, headache, numbness, slurred speech and changes in vision. Although the symptoms are similar to the other types of meningitis they appear milder at first.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a list of the states, clinics and offices that received the contaminated vials of steroids from the New England Compounding Center. Officials are urging anyone who received an injection that could be at risk for fungal meningitis to consult a health care professional immediately.

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