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  #1  
Old 03-09-2007, 05:48 PM
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Default FDA Strengthens Warning on Drugs prescribed for Anemia in Cancer Patients

Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) are prescribed to individuals who are anaemic, such as post renal (kidney) transplantation patients and patients on chemotherapies. The FDA has released a strengthened warning about dosing of ESAs. The drugs affected by the safety update are darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) and epoetin alfa (Epogen and Procrit).

The FDA and the manufacturer of these products have agreed on revised product labeling that includes updated warnings, a new boxed warning, and modifications to the dosing instructions. The new boxed warning advises physicians to monitor red blood cell levels (hemoglobin) and to adjust the ESA dose to maintain the lowest hemoglobin level needed to avoid the need for blood transfusions. Physicians and patients should carefully weigh the risks of ESAs against transfusion risks.

Recently completed studies describe an increased risk of death, blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks in patients with chronic kidney failure when ESAs were given at higher than recommended doses. In other studies, more rapid tumor growth occurred in patients with head and neck cancer who received these higher doses.

Here is a good brief historical and technical review of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and anemia.

[url]http://www.touchbriefings.com/pdf/1599/shelleckens_lr.pdf

Erythropoietin as an adjuvant treatment with (chemo) radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.

[url]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19588382

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-18-2013 at 08:07 AM. Reason: corrected url address
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:31 AM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default F.D.A. Warning Is Issued On Anemia Drugs' Overuse

A New York Times article states that the drugs, given by injection, have been heavily advertised, and there is evidence that they have been overused, in part because oncologists can make money by using more of the drug

According to Dr. John Glaspy, director of UCLA's Outpatient Oncology Clinic, one complicating factor, experts say, is that oncologists make significant revenue buying cancer drugs from manufacturers and charging patients a higher price for receiving the drugs in their offices. That profit motive could influence some doctors' decisions. However, patients with anemia, which can cause sluggishness in its early stages and can be fatal in advanced phases, can get blood transfusions, typically every few weeks, instead of using EPO.

Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the Atlanta-based American Cancer Society, told United Press International, "Probably more than a billion dollars is spent on erythropoietin each year, which makes it one of the most expensive cancer drugs." A six-month course of treatment can cost more than $10,000 per patient.

In panel discussion that highlighted the 12th annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Lee Newcomer, former chief medical officer and currently an executive with Minneapolis-based United Health Group, pointed out that in reviewing records of patients who were prescribed the drug erythropoietin, said that 44% of those patients had blood work-ups that would indicate they were not anemic.

U.S. Oncology takes a hit! Reports first-quarter net loss.

U.S. Oncology said a number of factors impacted the results, including reduced pre-tax income due to lower use of certain supportive care drugs used to treat cancer-induced anemia: and the discontinuation of the Medicare Demonstration Project.

[url]http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2007/04/30/daily82.html?from_rss=1

The Senate Finance Committee Chairman found that the value of the approximately $300 million-a-year Medicare Demonstration Project to report on a patient's level of nausea, vomiting, pain and fatigue was for nothing.

CMS paid chemotherapy providers $130 per report, per infusional-chemotherapy recipient, on a patient's level of nausea, vomiting, pain and fatigue. However, HHS' inspector general's office found these providers were being paid an extra $130 to simply forward the data that was already collected.

A continuance of the Medicare Demonstration Project would have exacerbated existing economic and clinical problems instead of resolving them by increasing the temptations for physicians to overuse injectable drugs and promise to aggravate the ecnomic problems Congress attempted to fix with the new Medicare law.

U.S. Oncology Under the Gun

U.S. Oncology reports two seeming unrelated bits in their latest SEC Form 10-K. One note say cancer patients are suddenly using a lot less anemia drugs, and as a result U.S. Oncology will bank $8-10 million a year less than expected. The second note says that in 2005 the company was subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice about contracts and relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

Coincidence?

[url]http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-03-2007/0004579964&EDATE

Federal laws bar drug companies from paying doctors to prescribe medicines that are given in pill form and purchased by patients from pharmacies. But companies can rebate part of the price that doctors pay for drugs, like the anemia medicines, which they dispense in their offices as part of treatment. The anemia drugs are injected or given intravenously in physicians’ offices or dialysis centers. Doctors receive the rebates after they buy the drugs from the companies. But they also receive reimbursement from Medicare or private insurers for the drugs, often at a markup over the doctors’ purchase price.

It's still your mother's chemotherapy drug concession. Although the new Medicare bill tried to curtail the drug concession, private insurers still go along with it. What needs to be done is to remove the profit incentive from the choice of drug treatments. Let's take physicians out of the retail pharmacy business and let them be doctors again!!!

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-21-2012 at 06:47 PM. Reason: correct url address
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2007, 01:11 AM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default Anemia Drugs May Make Cancer Itself Worse

New studies have raised questions whether these drugs might actually be harming them. Those study results suggest the drugs may make the cancer worse.

Dr. Eric Winer, director of the breast oncology center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute feels that these drugs are presumed to be entirely safe, given for supportive care and to improve quality of life, but not actually used to treat cancer. But the drugs may have been used in ways not approved on the labels.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last November found that patients treated aggressively with Procrit had a higher risk of heart problems or death than those treated less aggressively.

Amgen, the maker of Aranesp, announced late January that in one of its clinical trials, patients were more likely to die than those getting a placebo. The trial was testing the drug in patients whose anemia was caused by the cancer itself, not by chemotherapy. While a Danish study in patients with head and neck cancer had to be stopped early because the cancer seemed to recur more in patients being treated with Aranesp.

In February, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a paper describing a small Canadian trial in lung cancer patients had also been stopped early because those getting Eprex were dying sooner. While Roche suspended patient enrollment in a lung cancer trial comparing its Cera against Amgen's Aranesp because of greater than expected number of deaths in at least some of the arms of the trial.

It is not known why the drugs may cause these problems. It is known that raising hemoglobin levels too high increases the risk of blood clots. While most of these trials did aim to increase hemoglobin above the levels recommended in the drugs' labels, that was not the case with Amgen's own trial.

There is some evidence that clots were not the problem in the trials, but that Epo may spur tumor growth. Some studies suggest that certain tumor cells, such as those in head and neck cancer, have proteins on their surface that bind to Epo. When that happens, it sets off a cascade of reactions spurring growth.

Studies done by Dr. Jennifer R. Grandis, professor at the University of Pittsburgh, found enough biologic possibility that they can serve as a growth factor for the cancer cell.

Concerns about the safety of the drugs for cancer were first raised in 2003 by two studies that showed patients getting Epo had worse outcomes. Until then, these drugs had shown signs that they could improve the quality of life for cancer patients, even though their safety labeling has already been revised three times since 1997.

In panel discussion that highlighted the 12th annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Lee Newcomer, former chief medical officer and currently an executive with Minneapolis-based United Health Group, pointed out that in reviewing records of patients who were prescribed the drug erythropoietin -- an expensive agent that boosts blood supply in patients with anemia -- said that 44 percent of those patients had blood work-ups that would indicate they were not anemic.

Whiz bang therapies often get a pass on toxicities because they are just so darn cool. The problem is that few drugs work the way we think and few physicians/scientists take the time to think through what it is they are using them for.

Source: TherapeuticsDaily
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2007, 12:08 PM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default Growth Factor of Anemia Drugs

EPO is a natural substance made by the kidney. It stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells (it is literally a "growth factor"). Healthy adults are usually at about 15 grams a deciliter. When normal people take it, their blood gets too "thick" and they die of heart attacks and strokes.

But it now looks as if increasing the hemoglobin level above 12 is very risky with pharmaceutical EPO. Pharmaceutical EPO makes sludgy blood.

The anemia drugs, which boosts patients' counts of hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen in the blood), raise the danger of heart attacks, strokes and death at "high" doses. The FDA has said there is "serious" cardiovascular risks for patients who took "higher than recommended" doses of these drugs. Also, patients who don't respond well to initial anemia therapy (hyporesponders) are exposed to the highest heart risks.

These anemia drugs are approved to treat patients whose weakness and fatigue is caused by chronic kidney disease or by the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. They stimulate production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which can boost patients' energy and strength. The issue is over the drugs' safety on how big a dose to use to boost concentrations of hemoglobin. The FDA-approved level is doses sufficient to increase hemoglobin to a maximum of 12 grams a deciliter.

Blood transfusions are generally needed when patients slip to less than 8 grams. The adage of some physicians was that if some improvement in hemoglobin was good, higher levels of hemoglobin would even be better. However, clinical trials have shown the drugs can reduce the need for blood transfusions and improve the quality of life when used within the "original" dosing range.

New studies have raised questions whether these drugs might be harming patients. Those study results suggest the drugs may make the cancer worse. One such study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients treated aggressively with Procrit had a higher risk of heart problems or death than those treated less aggressively.

And now there is emerging evidence that pharmaceutical EPO can feed the growth of tumors in cancer patients (it IS a "growth factor" afterall).

A “growth factor” is about twenty small proteins that attach to specific receptors on the surface of stem cells in bone marrow and promote differentiation and maturation of these cells into morphotic constituents of blood. And blood is a circulating tissue composed of fluid plasma and cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). Problems with blood composition or circulation can lead to downstream tissue (which is made up of cells) dysfunction.

The problem is that few drugs work the way oncologists think and few of them take the time to think through what it is they are using them for.

Source: Cell Function Analysis

[url]http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1634/stemcells.2007-0229/full

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-18-2013 at 08:10 AM. Reason: corrected url address
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2007, 05:51 PM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default FDA Sides With CMS in EPO Battle

The FDA backed CMS' National Coverage Decision (NCD), which limited use of the drugs because they have been shown to spur tumor growth.

The FDA has stated that the health risks associated with the use of pharmaceutical EPO (ESAs) for cancer patients include: Promotion of tumor growth in patients with advanced breast, head and neck, lymphoid, and non-small cell lung malignancies in studies adminstered EPO to target a hemoglobin of >12 g/dL, and have not been excluded with lower target hemoglobin levels.

The FDA believes that the approved labeling and CMS's National Coverage Decision are generally consistent in their recommendations regarding the use of pharmaceutical EPO in patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

FDA's approved labeling recommends use of the lowest dose necessary to avoid the need for blood transfusions and transfusions are not normally given to patients whose hemoglobin is 10 g/dL or higher. The recommendation in the approved labeling that the hemoglobin not exceed 12 g/dL in cancer patients "is intended as an upper safety limit, not a target for therapy."

If ASCO has a complaint about CMS payment policy, it should provide evidence to the physicians at that agency who made the decision. There is no evidence that pharmaceutical EPO results in improved survival, "TUMOR CONTROL," health-related quality of life at any hemoglobin level in cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy.

Federal laws bar drug companies from paying doctors to prescribe medicines that are given in pill form and purchased by patients from pharmacies. But companies can rebate part of the price that doctors pay for drugs, like the anemia medicines, which they dispense in their offices as part of treatment.

The anemia drugs are injected or given intravenously in physicians’ offices or dialysis centers. Doctors receive the rebates after they buy the drugs from the companies. But they also receive reimbursement from Medicare or private insurers for the drugs, often at a markup over the doctors’ purchase price.

It's still your mother's chemotherapy concession. Although the new Medicare bill tried to curtail the drug concession, private insurers still go along with it. What needs to be done is to remove the profit incentive from the choice of drug treatments. Let's take physicians out of the retail pharmacy business and force them to be doctors again!!!

[url]http://www.house.gov/stark/news/110th/letters/20071012-esa.pdf
[url]http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01582.html
[url]http://www.healthyskepticism.org/news/2007/Jun.php

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-21-2012 at 06:48 PM. Reason: correct url address
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2007, 12:09 AM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default More Anemia Drug Issues

EPO manufacturers and cancer societies have at least two lawmakers in their pocket in reference to anemia drugs. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) introduced legislation that would overturn a decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to limit the circumstances under which Medicare will pay for anti-anemia treatments of cancer patients using pharmaceutical EPO. Legislation takes the form of a Congressional Review Act joint resolution, a rarely used tool that allows Congress to overturn regulatory decisions made by federal agencies.

The lawmakers allies in Congress, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology and the cancer treatment center company US Oncology also are participating in the effort. The CMS policy affects the use of the drugs only for cancer patients, hence the fraternal organizations' involvement. The resolution is meant to serve as a reminder that special interests with a stake in Medicare coverage have friends in Congress.

Congress has been intensifying its scrutiny of Medicare spending on pharmaceutical EPO, which represents the single largest drug expense for the program. Some other key lawmakers view the manufacturers of EPO skeptically, citing Medicare's rising spending on the drugs. Earlier in the year, U.S. Oncology reported in their first quarter SEC Form 10-K report that cancer patients are suddenly using a lot less anemia drugs and as a result U.S. Oncology will bank $8-10 million a year less than expected.

Groups Ask Congress Not To Intervene In CMS Decision On Anemia Drugs

A coalition of consumer groups led by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Consumers Union on Tuesday in a letter asked Congress not to intervene in a recent decision by CMS that will limit Medicare coverage for use of anemia medications -- Aranesp, manufactured by Amgen, and Procrit, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson -- in cancer patients, The Hill reports (Young, The Hill, 10/18).

According to a 61-page "national coverage determination" announced in July, Medicare will cover the medications, synthetic forms of the protein erythropoietin, to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy but not anemia caused by cancer. Under the decision, Medicare will cover the medications to treat anemia in cancer patients whose hemoglobin levels decrease to less than 10 grams per deciliter of blood. The decision will allow local Medicare contractors to determine whether to cover the medications to treat patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition that can lead to leukemia (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/17).

Last month, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) introduced a Congressional Review Act joint resolution (HJ Res 54) that would require CMS to reverse the decision. Amgen, J&J, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, patient advocacy groups, and for-profit cancer and kidney dialysis centers support the legislation.

Letter Details

In the letter, the coalition -- which includes the National Research Center for Women and Families, the National Women's Health Network, the TMJ Association and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group -- wrote, "Congress should set broad policy objectives and standards for Medicare, but congressional intervention regarding coverage policies for specific medical products would set a terrible precedent" (The Hill, 10/18).

The letter added, "It would encourage companies making medical products as well as medical specialty organizations to constantly ask members of Congress to override scientific evidence and spend taxpayer dollars needlessly on products whose sale would benefit those companies or specialties more than they benefit patients" (Edney, CongressDaily, 10/18).

Citation: Kaiser. "Groups Ask Congress Not To Intervene In CMS Decision On Anemia Drugs." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 19 Oct. 2007

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-18-2013 at 08:00 AM. Reason: spelling errors
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2007, 10:37 PM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default Anemia Drugs Carry More Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved revised boxed warnings and other safety-related product labeling changes for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which treat certain types of anemia.

For patients with cancer, the new boxed warnings emphasize that ESAs caused tumor growth and shortened survival in patients with advanced breast, head and neck, lymphoid and non-small cell lung cancer when they received a dose that attempted to achieve a hemoglobin level of 12 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or greater.

The boxed warnings also emphasize that no clinical data are available to determine whether there is a similar risk of shortened survival or increased tumor growth for patients with cancer who receive an ESA dose that attempts to achieve a hemoglobin level of less than 12 g/dL. This is the hemoglobin level commonly achieved in clinical practice.

Health care providers determine whether a patient is anemic and decide on ESA dosing by measuring how much of the protein known as hemoglobin is present in a patient's red blood cells.

An earlier boxed warning, approved in March, described the results of six studies demonstrating that survival was shorter and tumors progressed faster when ESAs were used to achieve hemoglobin levels of 12 g/dL or greater in cancer patients.

Today's new boxed warning also clarifies that ESAs should only be used in patients with cancer when treating anemia specifically caused by chemotherapy and not for other causes of anemia. Moreover, it states that ESAs should be discontinued once the patient's chemotherapy course has been completed.

Health care professionals need to consider the risks of increased tumor progression and decreased survival in patients with cancer when prescribing ESAs. ESAs should be used in patients with cancer only when their anemia is due to chemotherapy and only at the lowest dose necessary to avoid the need for blood transfusions.

[url]http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/RHE/default.htm

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-21-2012 at 06:51 PM. Reason: correct url address
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2008, 08:02 PM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default More Data on Risks of Anemia Drugs

The FDA received new data on risks of anemia drugs, which is consistent with previous data on tumor growth and death. Two more studies provide further evidence of the risks of anemia drugs. The studies show that patients with breast or advanced cervical cancers who received EPO drugs to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy died sooner or had more rapid tumor growth than similar patients who didn't receive the anemia drug. The two studies were not among the six studies that were described in revised labeling approved by the FDA November 8, 2007.

[url]http://www.fda.gov:80/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01769.html

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-21-2012 at 06:52 PM. Reason: correct url address
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2008, 01:01 AM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Gee, could it be that increased numbers of red cells deliver more oxygen to the tumor cells and thereby increase their activity across the board, including with respect to invasion, proliferation, and metatstasis?

On one hand we're developing drugs to halt and reverse angiogenesis while on the other hand we're helping the tumor to obtain more oxygen with existing vasculature.

And nobody in charge foresaw that?

At the 12th annual NCCN conference last year, an executive with United Health Group, pointed out that in reviewing records of patients who were prescribed the drug erythropoietin, 44% of those patients had blood work-ups that would indicate they were not anemic.

Amazing how they can apply differing standards for proof or benefit when profit is involved! The profit motive did influence some doctors' decisions.

Federal laws bar drug companies from paying doctors to prescribe medicines that are given in pill form and purchased by patients from pharmacies. But companies can rebate part of the price that doctors pay for drugs, like the anemia medicines, which they dispense in their offices as part of treatment. The anemia drugs are injected or given intravenously in physicians’ offices.

Doctors receive the rebates after they buy the drugs from the companies. But they also receive reimbursement from Medicare or private insurers for the drugs, often at a markup over the doctors’ purchase price.

"It's clear that these drugs were overused because we've seen sales drop so dramatically in the past year without seeing reports of people dying in the streets," said Dr. Charles Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University, who authored the most recent analysis of anemia drug risks.

[url]http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8V8LIK00.htm

The problem is that few drugs work the way oncologists think and few of them take the time to think through what it is they are using them for.

It's still a chemotherapy concession. Although the new Medicare bill tried to curtail the drug concession, private insurers still go along with it. What needs to be done is to remove the profit incentive from the choice of drug treatments.

When are they going to take physicians out of the retail pharmacy business and force them to be doctors again!!!

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-21-2012 at 06:53 PM. Reason: correct url address
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:31 AM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
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Default Anemia may be adaptive to the body

A study, published in the Canadian Medial Association Journal, suggests patients with anemia due to chronic disease are being dangerously overtreated. Anemia may actually help heal the body rather than harm it, says the new study.

Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, the study's co-author and a scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, feels that doctors have been taught for generations that anemia is bad and they want to help their patients by treating it. However, they failed to consider that anemia may be adaptive and may be exactly the response that the body needs at that time.

Tired blood (anemia) involves a shortage of healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body tissues. In the past, blood transfusions were the only way to treat anemia, until a drug derived from erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that stimulates bone-marrow cells to produce red-blood cells.

Dr. Zarychanski pointed to evidence that suggests anemia is an evolutionary response to illness occuring in humans. The body has adapted over thousands of years to be anemic at times of stress because it needs to conserve energy. It needs help to fight infection. And when you're anemic, bacteria doesn't grow so well in the blood (an evolutionary response to infection before antibiotics).

In general, healthy adults have red blood cell levels of 14 grams or more per 100 millilitres of blood, while patients are considered to need treatment if their levels are below 10 grams. Patients with mild to moderate anemia (those with levels between 10 and 14 grams) would be better off not being treated.

What Dr. Zarychanski argues is that we should exercise some caution when thinking the best treatment is to automatically transfuse or give drugs to correct anemia.

Source: Ottawa Health Research Institute

Ironically, this is on parallel with the fever-reducing medication issue.

Contrary to popular belief, fever-reducing medication may inadvertently cause more harm than good.

Research from McMaster University has discovered that the widespread use of medications that contain fever-reducing drugs may lead to tens of thousands more influenza cases, and more than a thousand deaths attributable to influenza, each year across North America. These drugs include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and acetylsalicylic acid.

"When they have flu, people often take medication that reduces their fever. No-one likes to feel miserable, but it turns out that our comfort might be at the cost of infecting others," said lead author David Earn, an investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) and professor of mathematics at McMaster University.

"Because fever can actually help lower the amount of virus in a sick person's body and reduce the chance of transmitting disease to others, taking drugs that reduce fever can increase transmission. We've discovered that this increase has significant effects when we scale up to the level of the whole population."

The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was co-authored with McMaster professors Ben Bolker, of the departments of mathematics & statistics and biology and the IIDR, and Paul Andrews of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.

"People often take -- or give their kids -- fever-reducing drugs so they can go to work or school," Earn said. "They may think the risk of infecting others is lower because the fever is lower. In fact, the opposite may be true: the ill people may give off more virus because fever has been reduced."

The researchers assembled information from many sources, including experiments on human volunteers and on ferrets (which are the best animal model for human influenza). They then used a mathematical model to compute how the increase in the amount of virus given off by a single person taking fever-reducing drugs would increase the overall number of cases in a typical year, or in a year when a new strain of influenza caused a flu pandemic.

The bottom line is that fever suppression increases the number of annual cases by approximately five per cent, corresponding to more than 1,000 additional deaths from influenza in a typical year across North America.
"This research is important because it will help us understand how better to curb the spread of influenza," said David Price, professor and chair of family medicine for McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

The family physician agrees with the researchers' conclusions. "As always, Mother Nature knows best. Fever is a defence mechanism to protect ourselves and others. Fever-reducing medication should only be taken to take the edge off the discomfort, not to allow people to go out into the community when they should still stay home."

"People are often advised to take fever-reducing drugs and medical texts state that doing so is harmless," added Andrews. "This view needs to change."

The research findings echo previous research that has shown how the widespread use of medication can have unwanted effects on the transmission of disease. For example, it is now well accepted that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has driven the emergence of life-threatening antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Bolker said: "Parents and health care professionals alike have focused on making their children or patients feel better by reducing fever, without being aware of potentially harmful side effects at the population level.
"Although we have put together the best available estimates for each parameter in our model, we have a long way to go before we can make concrete policy proposals.

"We need more experiments to determine precisely how much reducing fever increases viral shedding in humans, and to estimate how much more people spread disease because they are more active in the community when they alleviate their symptoms by taking medication."

Source: McMaster University

Journal Reference: D. J. D. Earn, P. W. Andrews, B. M. Bolker. Population-level effects of suppressing fever. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2014; 281 (1778): 20132570 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2570

Citation: McMaster University. "Fever-reducing meds may help spread the flu." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014.

Last edited by gdpawel : 01-28-2014 at 11:29 AM. Reason: additional info
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