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Can probiotics zap VAP?

In an effort to reduce healthcare-associated infections, researchers looked at the efficacy of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in reducing the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). In a blinded, randomized, controlled trial of 146 mechanically ventilated patients at high risk for developing VAP, an enteral probiotic (L. rhamnosus GG) or an inert placebo was randomly administered twice a day in addition to routine care. The researchers found that the patients treated with L. rhamnosus GG were significantly less likely to develop microbiologically confirmed VAP compared with patients taking the placebo.


Patients treated with the probiotic also had fewer days of antibiotics prescribed for VAP and for Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. No adverse reactions related to the probiotic were identified. The study authors concluded that L. rhamnosus GG is safe and effective in preventing VAP in a select, high-risk ICU population.


Source: Morrow LE, Koller MH, Casale TB. Probiotic prophylaxis of ventilator-associated pneumonia: a blinded, randomized, controlled trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 June 3. [Epub ahead of print]



Join the FDA's "Bad Ad" campaign

In an effort to ensure truthful advertising and promotion of prescription drugs, the FDA has launched an educational outreach program encouraging healthcare providers to report any misleading drug advertisements and promotions they see. The goal of the Bad Ad Program is to protect public health by ensuring prescription drug information is truthful and balanced, and to guard against false and misleading advertising through surveillance, enforcement, and educational programs.


Examples of common violations include omitting or downplaying of risk, overstating effectiveness, and promoting off-label or unapproved uses. The FDA is asking healthcare providers to report any messages that seem inaccurate or deceptive via a toll-free hotline (877-RX-DDMAC) or by e-mail ( For more on what constitutes a "bad ad," visit


Source: Food and Drug Administration. Truthful drug advertising and promotion (bad ad program).