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Rocephin bites the dust, too

No, I haven’t been watching the movie “Conspiracy Theory” too much.
No, I don’t believe that Big Pharma is coming to get me (yet).
But within the past week, I’ve received two warnings via e-mail about how I should stop using medications I’ve used all my career. Suddenly, they’re a threat to the life and well-being of my patients.
First, it’s an FDA ALERT about haloperidol (Haldol). After 18 years, now we must put all Haldol patients on an EKG monitor. I was thinking about that during one of my rant manic phases. Does that also mean that we can bill the government more for taking care of these patients since we are providing a higher level of care?
The latest warning is another FDA ALERT regarding ceftriaxone (Rocephin). If Rocephin is given within 48 hours of anything containing calcium, it can form a Rocephin-calcium complex in the lungs and could KILL YOU! There are case reports that prove this, you know. At least that’s what the FDA says. So I went to PubMed and looked for them.

One small study from 2004 stated that Rocephin may cause small sized asymptomatic renal stones when administered in children.
Another small study from 2000 stated that Rocephin can cause transient biliary stones in children that typically disappear in less than 2 months.
Another case report from 2000 showed a 5 year old girl that developed symptomatic pseudolithiasis during treatment with “Rocephalin” (maybe it was another medication – Rocephin’s evil isomer). The symptoms disappeared within a few days after changing antibiotics.
Several studies from 1990, 1992, and 1991 discuss how Rocephin can complex with calcium and cause biliary sludge. One patient allegedly developed pancreatitis from Rocephin.

But I’ll be darned if I can find one case of a patient developing the dreaded lung Rocephin complex. And no case reports I found had anyone dying from Rocephin – at least in any of the studies published on PubMed. Maybe these are top secret government studies that are off limits to the public. Secret Squirrel, we need your help.

But now, if your kid drinks milk, you better not give him Rocephalin for 48 hours because he could develop kidney stones in his lung and could die. And whatever you do, if you’re taking Rocephin, DON’T HYPERVENTILATE. You could increase the ionized calcium in your system, it could bind with Rocephin and you could kill yourself.

What’s my beef?
First, why did the FDA wait for 18 years to now suddenly declare this drug a threat to human life? If kids really did die from receiving Rocephin and calcium together, these rocket scientists at the FDA should be held responsible for delaying their FDA ALERT for so long.
Second, Rocephin went off patent in July 2005. Another FDA attack on a generic drug. Ceftazidime and cefotaxime are two other generic injectables in this class of antibiotics. I’m just waiting to see how long it takes before these medications get FDA ALERTS, too. Then physicians will be pushed into prescribing the high-priced but “safe” brand name injectable antibiotics.
Third, what’s so magical about 48 hours between calcium and Rocephin? Has the FDA not heard about protein binding? Or does that only occur with drugs that are off-patent?

I’m going to go take a couple of aspirin, now. But I’m only taking them with water. Filtered water. From a spring in a small town in northern France.

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  1. Yeah. I wonder about government and big pharma. My current beef is the HPV vaccine up here in Canada. There is a huge hullaballoo about how it will prevent 300 cases of cervical cancer a year. And yet there is no hullaballoo about women getting their pap smear on a regular basis. could it be because big pharma doesn’t make money off the pap smear?

  2. Ridiculous. The FDA and JCAHO should give each other whopping big shots of Haldol, Inapsine, and Rocephin mixed with Calcium Chloride. If neither of them die, then they should be required to have a Propulsid ingesting contest until one or both of them succumb.

  3. thanks for bringing this to the attention of all :)

  4. *ahhhh*

    It makes me tingly all over when you talk all smart-like and stuff; doubly tingly when you’re angry.

  5. Good points. Am I right that the fact they’re picking on off-patent drugs is because they no longer make deal money with the said drug? And so want to port you over to a patented one that does? I’m slow tonight…It’s 12:43am in England!

    18 years is an awful long time and in those years you wouldn’t have needed an investigation as it would be evident. Lots of people consume calcium often and as you said everyone hasn’t suddenly developed this symptom and died when taking Rocephin.

    This isn’t dissimilar to big brand statin companies advising doctors to not let their patients use generic statins (they’re off-patent now too) because of a risk of death in changing…I never knew different packaging and subtle differences in a supposedly safe drug (without prescription in UK) could be so fatal?!

    Anyway, I’ll end as I could unload a machine gun clip worth of bullets on why statins are a farce.

  6. I’ve been tagged and I’ve generously passed it on to you! Please link on my name to check it out.
    I’m too technically challenged to embed my URL in a link in the comment section.


  7. Insanity. If I get one more call from a pharmacist asking if I know how dangerous it is to give tricor and lipitor to the same patient, ill plotz.
    And JCAHO, don’t even get me started. It now takes me about an hour and a half to d/c a patient, because of the friggin medication reconciliation process, the forms for which are incomprehensible to patients.

  8. Sounds like deals were made on golf courses and someone gets a job when he retires from government service. That, at least, is what my friend says. The corporate practice of medicine.

  9. I hope this is not the case as my son got a shot of Rocephin today for his persistent ear and sinus infection. He drinks Carnation Instant Breakfast every single day as well as milk for lunch and supper. We love milk in our family. So let’s pray that nothing happens….

  10. Great, I got two shots of Rocephin today, one in each hip….and of course I took my calcium suppliment today as well.

  11. I think the FDA and FEMA have been talking to each other again – they’re both big loser organizations run by wankers! Rocephin is a life-saver for many patients, when I was in California we had pulmonary bugs that would ONLY respond to Rocephin…maybe the FDA would just prefer to let those patients die… But yes it’s off patent now, so the FDA needs to have their pockets lined by a new drug they’re going to help peddle.

    Now I’m in Central Europe (surgeon) and I still use ceftriaxone. Suddenly after 18 years of being used, the FDA thinks something up. In 15 years I’ve never even heard of a “calcium issue”!!! I carry a bottle of Haldol (we called it Vitamin H in California we used it so much) with me in my labcoat, and I have for years – I use it on the wild ones in the ER.

    We have got to get these administrators out of positions of power and put them back to work where they came from – digging underground tunnels in California over earthquake fault lines!! What are they gonna think up next…. maybe aspirin is bad??? I agree, I won’t even go into JCAHO or Statins….I’ll need the Haldol…..

  12. My son recieved two doses of rocephin in 2009 had massive seizures that could not be stopped. To this day he has permenant neurological damage. The fda as well as the cdc should be shut down. The day is coming parents are getting more educated. I think these people check there common sense at the door when they recieve their degrees.

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