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Prof. Cheuk-Chun Szeto, Dr. Winston W. S. Fung, 25 Jan 2018
A 65-year-old lady with a background of type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and chronic immune thrombocytopenia presented to us with a 2-week history of generalized malaise and myalgia. Shortly after the onset of myalgia, she was noted to have reduced urine output and the urine was described as dark in colour. Her regular medications included prednisolone, danazol, simvastatin, metformin, and human insulin. Upon further questioning, the patient admitted that her compliance to simvastatin and danazol used to be poor. However, she recently started to take both medications regularly after repeated education.
Pearl Toh, 30 Jan 2018
Use of statins may not be neuroprotective, in contrast to findings from previous observational studies. On the contrary, fungus-derived or lipophilic statins appeared to be associated with a slightly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared with synthetic and hydrophilic statins, suggests a new study based on real-world clinical practice data.
26 Dec 2017
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in combination with rosuvastatin may yield significant reductions in triglycerides and nonhigh-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol as compared with rosuvastatin monotherapy, according to data from the ROMANTIC (rosuvastatin-omacor in residual hypertriglyceridemia) trial.
Rachel Soon, 21 Feb 2018

MIMS Pharmacist sits down with pharmacist researcher Dr Mai Chun Wai to find out more about his work in drug discovery, including his investigations of Antarctic soil microorganisms.

Pregnancy warning needed on hydroquinone-containing OTC products

14 Sep 2017

There appears to be a lack of pregnancy warning on hydroquinone-containing over-the-counter (OTC) dermatologic products, highlighting the need for improved labelling, according to a study.

Researchers obtained data from the Food and Drug Administration National Drug Code Directory and Label Repository and identified 112 OTC dermatologic products containing hydroquinone, an ingredient potentially harmful to foetus. Products were grouped into two, based on the presence or absence of pregnancy or general warning. Product characteristics including hydroquinone concentration, presence of external packaging, indication and warning statements were compared between the two groups.

Of the products studied, 21 had a pregnancy warning and three included a general warning against use. External packaging was more common in the warning-present group than in the warning-absent group (62.5 vs 29.5 percent; p=0.004).

Pregnant women deal with the challenge of choosing OTC drugs and personal care products (eg, cosmetics) that should not pose a safety threat to their foetus, researchers said. This underscores the importance of labelling OTC products for use by women of childbearing age, and the labels should communicate caution if a potentially harmful ingredient in the product should be either avoided or used in limited amounts during pregnancy.

There are a number of OTC products commonly used for conditions during pregnancy (eg, constipation, acne, dark spots and melasma), and these products may contain harmful ingredients that are potentially harmful to the foetus (eg, retinoids and hydroquinone). [J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;70:401; Coll Antropol 2008;32:139–141]

“Topical application of harmful ingredients may achieve percutaneous absorption into systemic circulation and reach foetal circulation. However, quantification of blood levels has not been performed for many topical agents to identify potential risk,” researchers noted.

Findings of the present study serve to increase awareness of OTC labelling limitations and call for action to protect pregnant women and their foetus, they added.

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Most Read Articles
Prof. Cheuk-Chun Szeto, Dr. Winston W. S. Fung, 25 Jan 2018
A 65-year-old lady with a background of type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and chronic immune thrombocytopenia presented to us with a 2-week history of generalized malaise and myalgia. Shortly after the onset of myalgia, she was noted to have reduced urine output and the urine was described as dark in colour. Her regular medications included prednisolone, danazol, simvastatin, metformin, and human insulin. Upon further questioning, the patient admitted that her compliance to simvastatin and danazol used to be poor. However, she recently started to take both medications regularly after repeated education.
Pearl Toh, 30 Jan 2018
Use of statins may not be neuroprotective, in contrast to findings from previous observational studies. On the contrary, fungus-derived or lipophilic statins appeared to be associated with a slightly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared with synthetic and hydrophilic statins, suggests a new study based on real-world clinical practice data.
26 Dec 2017
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in combination with rosuvastatin may yield significant reductions in triglycerides and nonhigh-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol as compared with rosuvastatin monotherapy, according to data from the ROMANTIC (rosuvastatin-omacor in residual hypertriglyceridemia) trial.
Rachel Soon, 21 Feb 2018

MIMS Pharmacist sits down with pharmacist researcher Dr Mai Chun Wai to find out more about his work in drug discovery, including his investigations of Antarctic soil microorganisms.