Archive for September, 2006

Air Travel Contributes to the Spread of Influenza

Air travel contributes to the spread of the fluThe sudden decrease in air travel after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 significantly slowed the spread of the seasonal flu in 2001-2002,  according to Harvard researchers.  This dramatic change in air travel turned out to be a natural study on the effect of flight restrictions on disease spread.

The researchers suggest that travel restrictions might be a way to help control the spread of a future influenza pandemic. The study also found that domestic air travel in November is an especially strong predictor of flu spread and that Thanksgiving is when new flu strains often spread across the country.

Source: John Brownstein, Ph.D., of Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, PLoS Medicine, September 2006

FDA Alert: Use of Both Aspirin and Ibuprofen at the Same Time

Ibuprofen (Advil) has been found to interfere with the anti-platelet effect of low dose aspirin (81 mg per day), potentially rendering aspirin less effective when used for cardioprotection and stroke prevention. Patients who use immediate release aspirin (not enteric coated) and take a single dose of ibuprofen 400 mg should dose the ibuprofen at least 30 minutes or longer after taking aspirin, or more than 8 hours before aspirin ingestion to avoid attenuation of aspirin’s effect.

Other nonselective OTC NSAIDs, such as Aleve, should be viewed as having the potential to interfere with the antiplatelet effect of low-dose aspirin as well.  

Source: FDA, September 2006