For several years the drug Ritalin (methylphenidate) has benefited children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is estimated to afflict some 3-5% of American school-age children. But the drug needs to be taken 2-3 times a day, often necessitating a trip by the child to the nurse’s office at lunchtime to take the midday dose. Now a new formulation of methylphenidate has been approved by the FDA which only requires once-daily dosing.
For the 3-5% of menstruating women in the US who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, more commonly known as PMS), the FDA has officially approved the first drug that may help them: Sarafem (fluoxetine). Manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, fluoxetine has been marketed under the trade name Prozac for the treatment of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bulimia.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among people over the age of 50 in the western world. It is characterized by two forms: the “dry” form, as well as the more severe “wet” form. While the wet form of AMD – which afflicts about 500,000 people each year – is responsible for only about 15% of all AMD cases, it accounts for some 90% of the severe vision loss associated with AMD.
Ellence (pronounced el-LENCE) (epirubicin hydrochloride injection), marketed by Pharamacia &Upjohn, is an anthracycline antineoplastic antibiotic marketed as Farmorubicin(r) outside the U. S. and is currently used in more than 80 countries to treat a variety of cancers, including metastatic breast cancer.
To date patients with hemophilia A, the most common type, have had to rely on factor VIII products purified from human serum albumin. In March the FDA approved ReFacto (recombinant antihemophilic factor VIII), the first recombinant factor VIII product formulated without human serum albumin, for the control and prevention of bleeding episodes and surgical prophylaxis in patients with hemophilia A.
Among the most common and severe complications of diabetes mellitus is the development of topical skin ulcers. These often occur at pressure points and at the extremities, and infected diabetic foot ulcers often result in limb loss.
There’s a new prescription eyedrop available for the millions of Americans who suffer from itchy eyes during hayfever season: Optivar (azelastine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution). The FDA approved the drug — which is manufactured by ASTA Medica — on May 22, 2000.
A variety of types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are available for women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause, particularly hot flashes and vaginal atrophy. HRT has also been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. Now a new form of HRT has been approved with a once-a-day dosing schedule that will enhance patient compliance: Ortho-Prefest.
In the United States, infertility affects 6.1 percent of American women and their partners. Each year, about 2.7 million couples seek medical help for fertility problems.
Nearly 60 million Americans experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which if left uncontrolled can progress to stricture, hemorrhage, Barrett’s esophagus, or esophageal cancer. Proton pump inhibitors are a class of drugs introduced in the late 1980s that have vastly improved the treatment of GERD.
The most clinically advanced member of a new class of antihypertensive drugs continues to prove itself highly effective. Investigators who have conducted several different studies of the drug Vanlev (omapatrilat) presented their most recent findings at the Fifteenth Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) in New York City. Studies have shown that Vanlev offers promise for reducing systolic blood pressure (SBP).
Brand Name Drug: Zyvox Active Ingredient Drug: linezolid Indication: Treatment of nosocomial pneumonia, community-acquired pneumonia, complicated and uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections caused by indicated bacteria, in adults. Infections due to the bacteria Enterococcus faecium and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pose a particular problem in hospitalized patients and in those with depressed immune systems. These organisms are often resistant to multiple antibiotics.
Brand Name: Corvert Active Ingredient: ibutilide fumarate Indication: Corvert is used to rapidly convert atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter to sinus rhythm. Corvert (ibutilide fumarate), marketed by Pharmacia & Upjohn, is an antiarrythmic drug with predominantly class III characteristics. Class III antiarrythmic drugs prolong cardiac action potentials and increase atrial and ventricular refractoriness.
Tumor-induced hypercalcemia (TIH) most commonly develops in patients with advanced breast cancer, multiple myeloma, non-small cell lung cancer, and prostate cancer, and often occurs as a complication of bone metastases. TIH is potentially life-threatening, usually occurring late in malignancy and limiting survival. Signs and symptoms of tumor-induced hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, dehydration, renal insufficiency, mental confusion, and extremely high serum calcium levels (greater than 10.5 mg/dl).
It is estimated that each year in the US, there are about 16,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia and 1,400 cases of pneumococcal meningitis among children under age 5. Children under the age of 2 are at highest risk for infection.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a cancer of the T lymphocytes and afflicts between 16,000 and 20,000 people in the U. The cancer ordinarily manifests itself in the skin, but over time may progress to involve other organs. Skin lesions in CTCL patients can become deforming and culminate in ulceration, with secondary infection.
Doxil was previously approved for the treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma in patients with disease that has progressed in spite of prior chemotherapy or in patients who are unable to tolerate therapy. On June 28, 1999, Doxil was granted accelerated approval for a new indication, for treatment of patients with metastatic ovarian cancer who did not respond to paclitaxel- and/or platinum-based chemotherapy. Full approval is expected once the time to progression and survival endpoint data are obtained from an ongoing Phase III, 400-patient trial.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease. It is characterized by accelerated skin growth that leads to skin cells building up on the surface of the skin, forming red, raised scaly plaques. Psoriasis can involve large areas of skin and is often itchy and painful.
Brand Name: Remicade Active Ingredient: infliximab Indication: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when administered with methotrexate Company Name: Centocor, Inc. Remicade (infliximab), a drug approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, was recently approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when administered with methotrexate, the standard treatment for this inflammatory disease. The drug offers hope for patients with rheumatoid arthritis in whom methotrexate does not offer adequate relief of symptoms.
Ferrlecit is used to increase the total body content of iron in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis who are receiving supplemental erythropoietin therapy. Iron is crucial for normal hemoglobin synthesis and an important component of DNA metabolism and synthesis and many enzymatic processes. Erythropoietin therapy increases the production of red blood cells and iron utilization.