While no cases of meningitis linked to a contaminated batch of pain medication have been reported in Pennsylvania, an Altoona pain clinic has returned all suspect pharmaceutical products as a precautionary move.
Officials from Allegheny Pain Management pulled all products from New England Compounding Center after learning of the company's recall of a pain medication on Sept. 27, Medical Director Dr. Michael Drass said Friday.
During a news conference, Allegheny Pain Management officials reiterated that no patients had been treated with the recalled medicine, methylprednisolone.
All 50 vials of the medicine at the clinic were unused and returned to the Massachusetts-based manufacturing company. Additionally, the clinic pulled every medication from New England Compounding Center as a precautionary measure, he said.
Batches of methylprednisolone medication dated from June 11 to Sept. 27 were recalled by the company after being linked to a type of fungal meningitis, Drass said.
"As far as we know, the recalled batch from Allegheny Pain Management was not from the contaminated lot, but rather a precautionary move," Drass said.
The medication is used to treat chronic pain and is injected near the spinal cord or into joints or muscles.
An alternative source of methylprednisolone will be used by the clinic, Drass said.
"Sigh of relief," when officials learned the medicine had not been used, Practice Administrator Lisa McElheny said.
The clinic has been contacting patients to inform them of the situation, but the clinic has been "inundated" with calls from concerned patients, Drass and McElheny said.
Officials stressed that no individuals in Pennsylvania have reported symptoms or been diagnosed with the fungal meningitis.
The first cases of fungal meningitis in connection with the contaminated medication were reported in Tennessee. The medication was shipped to 23 states and thirty-four cases and five deaths have been reported, according to information from the Allegheny County Health Department.
Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.