Medtronic is warning patients and doctors about several problems with the company's SynchroMed implantable medication pumps.
The pumps deliver drugs to treat chronic pain and muscle tightness. The problems include potential overdosing when the pumps are primed. The company is warning doctors to watch for that possibility. Electrical shorts may also cause pump motors to stall and reduce or halt drug delivery.
According to Medtronic, since 2004 there have been shorts in 380 -- or less than 1 percent -- of more than 180,000 pumps. The company is also urging patients to stop using certain pump catheters that are prone to clogging. The FDA has classified the warning as a recall of the most serious type.
Medtronic did not respond to requests for an interview, but a statement from the company reads that patients should maintain regular appointments with their physicians, and should contact a doctor immediately following a change or return of symptoms or a device alarm.