Meningitis Outbreak: 2 More Drugs From Lab Suspected

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Two more drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center, or NECC, seem to be implicated in the fatal meningitis outbreak that has now claimed the lives of 15 people, the FDA said Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating one case of possible meningitis associated with an epidural injection of triamcinolone acetonide, and two reports of a fungal infection after Aspergillus fumigatus was found in two transplant patients who were given a cardioplegic solution made by the company, ABC reports.

The solution is used to paralyze the cardiac muscle during open-heart surgery.

The FDA said it "has not confirmed that these three infections were, in fact, caused by an NECC product," but "in an abundance of caution," it is advising doctors to contact all eye-surgery or heart-surgery patients who received injections of the pharmacy's drugs, USA Today reported.

The new cases bring the total to 214, an increase of nine since Sunday, the agency said. Most of the cases are fungal meningitis, but two involve peripheral joint infections, ABC said.

"The sterility of any injectable drugs ... and cardioplegic solutions produced by NECC are of significant concern," the FDA warned. "Patients who received these products should be alerted to the potential risk of infection."

So far, there have been no cases of infection linked to any NECC eye drug that is either injectable or used in surgery, "but FDA believes this class of products could present potentially similar risks of infection," the agency said.

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