Comtan: A Drug in the Parkinson’s Disease Arsenal

Levodopa has remained the standard treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, one of the major problems with this drug is “wearing off,” a situation that arises after several years of levodopa therapy when some of the drug begins to be metabolized before it has had a chance to cross the blood-brain barrier to do its work. The result: patients’ symptoms return, including disruption of motor function and impairment of the activities of daily living.

Rapamune for the Prevention of Acute Kidney Rejection Following Transplantation

Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Subcommittee of the Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee on Immunosuppressive Drugs voted unanimously 27 July 1999 that Rapamune(R) (sirolimus) is safe and effective for the prevention of acute kidney rejection following transplantation. If final approval is ultimately given by the FDA, Rapamune would be the first of a new class of immunosuppressive agents developed to treat transplant patients.

Aggrenox: An Anticlotting Drug for Prevention of Recurrent Stroke

Some 800,000 people in the US experience a stroke each year, with about 160,000 dying from the illness. About 80% of strokes are caused by a blockage of an artery in the neck or brain.

Mylotarg Recommended for Older Patients with Leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common type afflicting adults, with some 9,700 new cases predicted to be diagnosed in the US this year. Current treatment regimens center on non-specific combinations of chemotherapeutic drugs, as well as bone marrow transplants in some patients.

Fragmin Prevents Deep-Vein Thrombosis After Surgery

Fragmin (dalteparin) is a low-molecular-weight heparin marketed by Pharmacia & Upjohn. It has proven to be beneficial in preventing thromboembolic complications in patients undergoing abdominal surgery or hip replacement surgery when administered once before surgery and for a week after the procedure.

Sustiva – Drug for HIV Treatment

Although several different types of drugs are used by patients with AIDS to treat their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (usually in combination), until recently no drug has received full approval from the FDA based on long-term results. In February 2000, Sustiva (efavirenz), manufactured by DuPont Pharmaceuticals, became the first anti-HIV drug to receive full FDA approval based on long-term data supporting its effectiveness in fighting HIV infection.

AndroGel for Low Testosterone

Brand Name: AndroGel Active Ingredient: testosterone Indication: Topical testosterone replacement for men with low testosterone Company Name: Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. An estimated 4 to 5 million men experience the effects of low testosterone – also known as hypogonadism – including a diminished interest in sex, impotence, reduced lean body mass, decreased bone density, and low mood and energy levels.

Drug Welchol for Hypercholesterolemia

Brand Name Drug: Welchol Active Ingredient Drug: colesevelam hydrochloride Indication: For the reduction of elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia, as an adjunct to diet and exercise Company Name: GelTex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. An estimated 52 million people in the US have at least mild hypercholesterolemia and would benefit from lipid-lowering therapy.