For many people, back pain goes away on its own or with nonsurgical treatments. Epidural steroid injections shouldn't typically be used as a first-line therapy for back pain relief, but that doesn't mean they can't play a role in treating pain. But injections won't cure the underlying cause of back pain, and they provide only temporary relief. Unfortunately, in many cases, chronic back pain can't be cured, but must instead be managed, like other chronic conditionsand patients must have realistic expectations of what epidurals can do.
Drug compounding centers are not regulated by the high standards that drug producers must meet. Most compounding centers are regulated by state agencies and not by the stricter FDA rules that are applied to drug producers. This current outbreak of fungal meningitis, joint infections, and other infections such as epidural abscesses related to products used to treat patients is likely to change this "oversight or regulation" situation. Currently, several high-ranking politicians are demanding stricter regulations be set up for drug-compounding companies. The FDA commissioner, the NECC cofounder, and the director of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy are scheduled to meet with a congressional panel on Nov. 14, 2012. Confidence in compounded drugs can be brought back to the many doctors and patients who need to use them only if such incidences of contaminated drugs from compounding centers are substantially reduced or eliminated.