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2008 - The Year in Drugs

The year 2008 saw a number of advances in drug research and development, with many new drugs approved over a wide range of medical conditions. Below is a summary of the drugs that made their debut into the medical world in 2008.

Appearance Medicine

Eyelash Hypotrichosis

Latisse (bimatoprost ophthalmic) is a prostamide indicated for the treatment of hypotrichosis (or reduced amount of hair) of the eyelashes. Growth of the eyelashes is a well documented side effect of bimatoprost which is currently approved as Lumigan for the treatment of glaucoma.

Facial Wrinkles

Evolence (dermal filler) is a collagen-based structural dermal filler for the correction of moderate to deep facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.

Cardiovascular Conditions


Simcor (niacin ER and simvastatin) is a fixed-dose combination lipid therapy used along with diet to lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, and to increase HDL "good" cholesterol.

Trilipix (fenofibric acid) is a peroxisome proliferator receptor alpha (PPARa) activator indicated for use along with diet to help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and to raise HDL cholesterol in patients with lipid problems. Trilipix is the first and only fibrate to be approved for use in combination with a statin.


Cleviprex (clevidipine butyrate) is an intravenous, ultrashort-acting calcium channel blocker under development for the treatment of severely elevated blood pressure in the hospital setting when oral therapy is not feasible or desirable.

Tekturna HCT (aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide) is a single-tablet combination therapy for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Ventricular Fibrillation/Tachycardia

Nexterone (amiodarone HCl) Injection is a cosolvent free formulation of the antiarrhythmic agent Amiodarone IV, originally marketed in the US by Wyeth as Cordarone Intravenous. Nexterone is indicated for the treatment and prophylaxis of frequently recurring ventricular fibrillation and hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia in patients refractory to other therapy.


OraVerse (phentolamine mesylate) is a dental anesthetic reversal agent that accelerates the return to normal sensation and function following dental procedures.



Acanya (benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin phosphate) is a topical antibacterial and antibiotic combination for the treatment of acne.

Epiduo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) gel is a once-daily, topical acne treatment that combines the well-tolerated retinoid adapalene, and benzoyl peroxide, a well-known antimicrobial.


AdreView (iobenguane I 123) is a diagnostic radiopharmaceutical agent indicated for use in the detection of rare neuroendocrine tumors in children and adults.

Eovist (gadoxetate disodium) is a gadolinium-based contrast agent for intravenous use in T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the liver to detect and characterize lesions in adults with known or suspected focal liver disease.

Lexiscan (regadenoson) is an A2A adenosine receptor agonist indicated for use as a pharmacologic stress agent in radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), a test that detects and characterizes coronary artery disease, in patients unable to undergo adequate exercise stress.

Vasovist (gadofosveset trisodium) is a blood pool magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) agent used to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease.

Endocrine Conditions


PrandiMet (repaglinide and metformin) is a fixed-dose combination of the fast-acting secretagogue replaglinide (also known as Prandin) and insulin sensitizer, metformin, indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Growth Disorders

Accretropin (somatropin (rDNA origin)) is recombinant human growth hormone indicated for treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to an inadequate secretion of normal endogenous growth hormone, or treatment of short stature associated with Turner Syndrome in pediatric patients whose epiphyses are not closed.

Gastrointestinal Conditions


Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) is a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist indicated to treat opioid-induced constipation.

Crohn’s Disease

Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) is a PEGylated anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) biologic therapy for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease in adults.

Postoperative Ileus

Entereg (alvimopan) is a peripherally-acting mu opioid receptor antagonist used to help patients regain gastrointestinal (GI) function earlier following bowel resection surgery.

Ulcerative Colitis

Apriso (mesalamine) is a once-daily, locally-acting aminosalicylate indicated for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis (UC) in adults.

Gynecological Conditions

Birth Control

LoSeasonique (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel) is a low-dose, extended-cycle oral contraceptive indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.


SCE-A (Synthetic Conjugated Estrogens-A) Vaginal Cream is a plant-derived local estrogen product indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse, both of which are symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause.


Hemophilia A

Xyntha (antihemophilic factor (recombinant), plasma/albumin free) is a genetically engineered version of factor VIII, a protein essential for the clotting of blood. Xyntha is indicated for the control and prevention of bleeding episodes and for surgical prophylaxis in patients with hemophilia A.

Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Nplate (romiplostim) is a thrombopoietin mimetic peptibody for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Promacta (eltrombopag) is a thrombopoietin receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura.

HIV Infection

Intelence (etravirine) is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) which in combination with other antiretroviral agents is indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in antiretroviral treatment-experienced adult patients.


Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes

Arcalyst (rilonacept) is an interleukin-1 inhibitor for the long-term treatment of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS).

Hereditary Angioedema

Cinryze (C1 Esterase Inhibitor (Human)) is a C1-esterase inhibitor indicated for routine prophylaxis against angioedema attacks in adolescent and adult patients with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE).

Mental Health


Aplenzin (bupropion hydrobromide) is a once-daily formulation of bupropion hydrobromide indicated for the treatment of depression in adults.

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) approved for the treatment for adult patients with major depressive disorder.


ZolpiMist (zolpidem tartrate) is an oral spray formulation of zolpidem, the drug contained in Ambien. ZolpiMist is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep initiation.


Huntington's Chorea

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) is a selective and reversible centrally-acting dopamine depleting drug indicated for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease.


Treximet (sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium) is a combination of sumatriptan (a migraine-specific triptan) and naproxen (an anti-inflammatory pain reliever) in a single tablet for the acute treatment of migraine.


Ryzolt (tramadol HCl extended release tablets) is a once-daily analgesic indicated for the management of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults who require around-the-clock treatment of their pain for an extended period of time.

Tapentadol is a centrally acting oral analgesic indicated for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain.


Banzel (rufinamide) is a triazole derivative antiepileptic drug for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Stavzor (valproic acid) is delayed-release valproic acid formulated in the EnteriCare enteric soft gelatin capsule delivery system designed to minimize GI adverse events. Stavzor is indicated for the treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, adjunctive therapy in multiple seizure types (including epilepsy), and prophylaxis of migraine headaches.

Vimpat (lacosamide) is an anti-convulsant drug for the treatment of partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy.


Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Sancuso (granisetron) is an anti-emetic transdermal delivery system indicated for the control of nausea and vomiting in patients receiving moderately and/or highly nausea-inducing chemotherapy.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Mozobil (plerixafor) is a small molecule CXCR4 chemokine receptor antagonist used in combination with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor to mobilize hematopoietic stem cells to the bloodstream for collection and subsequent autologous transplantation in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.


Oral Fludarabine (fludarabine phosphate) is an oral nucleoside analogue approved as a single agent for the treatment of adult patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride) is a purine alkylator hybrid chemotherapy agent indicated for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride) is a purine alkylator hybrid chemotherapy agent indicated for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Methotrexate Rescue

Fusilev (levoleucovorin) is a folate analog and the pharmacologically active isomer of calcium leucovorin. Levoleucovorin rescue is used after the administration of high-dose methotrexate in osteosarcoma. Levoleucovorin is also used to treat inadvertent overdosage of folic acid antagonists.

Prostate Cancer

Degarelix is an injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist indicated for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Potential trade names for degarelix are still under review with the FDA.


Akten (lidocaine hydrochloride) is a topical, ocular anesthetic formulation for use in ocular procedures that require a topical anesthetic agent.

Durezol (difluprednate) is an ophthalmic topical steroid for the treatment of postoperative ocular inflammation and pain.

Navstel (balanced salt ophthalmic solution with hypromellose, dextrose and glutathione) is a balanced salt ophthalmic solution for use as an intraocular irrigation during surgical procedures involving perfusion of the eye.

Trivaris (triamcinolone acetonide) is a glucocorticoid corticosteroid delivered via intravitreal injection for the treatment of sympathetic ophthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis, and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.


Allergic Rhinitis

Astepro (azelastine) is a nasal antihistamine spray for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Patanase (olopatadine hydrochloride) is an antihistamine nasal spray for the treatment of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in adults and adolescents twelve years of age and older.


Moxatag (amoxicillin) is a once-daily extended-release formulation of the penicillin antibiotic amoxicillin indicated for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis secondary to Streptococcus pyogenes (commonly referred to as strep throat).

Respiratory Conditions


Alvesco (ciclesonide) is an inhaled corticosteroid indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma and as prophylactic therapy in adult and adolescent patients aged 12 years and older.

Flo-Pred (prednisolone acetate) Oral Suspension is a cherry flavored oral liquid corticosteroid formulation which does not require refrigeration and does not require shaking prior to use. Flo-Pred is an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of asthma, certain allergic and dermatologic conditions, as well as a variety of other indications.



Lusedra (fospropofol disodium) is an intravenous sedative-hypnotic agent for monitored anesthesia care (MAC) sedation in adult patients undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.


Recothrom (Thrombin, topical (Recombinant)) is a recombinant form of human thrombin indicated as an aid to hemostasis whenever oozing blood and minor bleeding from capillaries and small venules is accessible and control of bleeding by standard surgical techniques is ineffective or impractical.

Skin Grafts

Artiss (fibrin sealant (human)) is a slow-setting fibrin sealant indicated for use in adhering skin grafts in adult and pediatric burn patients.


Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Rapaflo (silodosin) is an alpha(1)- adrenoreceptor antagonist for the treatment of the signs and symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.

Overactive Bladder

Toviaz (fesoterodine fumarate) is a competitive muscarinic receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency.


Kinrix (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine) is a combination vaccine for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio diseases in children.

Pentacel (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, Inactivated Poliovirus and Haemophilus b Conjugate (Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate) Vaccine) is a combination vaccine indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b in children 6 weeks through 4 years of age.

Rotarix (rotavirus vaccine, live attenuated) is an oral, two-dose, live attenuated vaccine for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children.

Posted: January 2009