Bristol-Myers' Kenalog Steroid Still Used for Epidural Steroid Injections Despite Warning

Pain Management

Although Bristol-Myers changed the label on its Kenalog steroid seven months ago to say that it's "not recommended" for injection into the epidural space near the spine, the steroid is still being used that way, according to a Bloomberg report. The label was changed after the company received reports of serious medical events, including death, after the steroid was injected into the epidural space near the spine. Kenalog and Pfizer drug Depo-Medrol are the most frequently used steroids for epidural injections. The procedure is common, and more than eight million such injections were given in the U.S. in 2010.

Physicians who spoke to Bloomberg said the warning is either being ignored by physicians or they aren't aware of it. The report said Bristol-Myers and the FDA are not required to publicize the revision, and no announcement was made.

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