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Weekly Drug News Round Up - April 1, 2015

FDA Approves Novartis’ Jadenu Tablets for Chronic Iron Overload

Jadenu oral tablets can be taken in a single step, with or without a light meal, simplifying administration Read More...

Iron chelating agents like Exjade bind to and remove excessive iron from the blood. This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Jadenu (deferasirox) tablets, a new form of Exjade tablets for oral suspension. Jadenu is used in the treatment of chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients 2 years of age and older, and chronic iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia syndromes (NTDT) - a genetic disorder - in patients 10 years of age and older. Jadenu is the only once-daily oral iron chelator that can be swallowed whole.

FDA: Feraheme Label Updated With Boxed Warning

All IV iron products carry a risk of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions Read More...

Feraheme (ferumoxytol) is in a class of medicines called IV iron replacement products. It is used to treat iron-deficiency anemia. FDA is strengthening an existing warning that serious, potentially fatal allergic reactions can occur with Feraheme. FDA approved a Boxed Warning, FDA’s strongest type of warning, and added a new Contraindication, a strong recommendation against use of Feraheme in patients who have had an allergic reaction to any intravenous (IV) iron replacement product. Serious reactions, including deaths, have occurred despite the proper use of therapies to treat these reactions. New prescribing and administration guidelines are found in the labeling.

Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines Released

New guidelines for targeting blood pressure goals leave flexibility for the doctor and patient Read More...

Newly updated blood pressure (BP) guidelines, from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Hypertension are meant for people who also have heart disease. For those at risk of heart attack and stroke, a BP of less than 140/90 is recommended, and 130/80 for those with heart disease who have already had a heart attack, stroke or a ministroke, or who have had a narrowing of their leg arteries or an abdominal aortic aneurysm. In addition, four drug classes that improve outcomes are recommended: beta-blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) or angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), and diuretics.

Need for Iron Supplements in Pregnancy Unclear: Study

Recommendations regarding the use of prenatal vitamins in pregnancy is unchanged Read More...

The U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that there isn't enough evidence to recommend that pregnant women, infants and children receive iron supplements or be screened for iron deficiencies. But, they also noted there isn't enough evidence to recommend against either practice. Iron supplements are relatively safe, but they may not be needed if there are no symptoms of low iron. The study provided evidence from 11 trials on pregnant women routinely taking iron supplements. It found that supplements didn't affect women's quality of life or rates of C-sections, underweight newborns, preterm birth or infant death. The Institute of Medicine recommends 27 mg per day of iron for healthy pregnant women.

Slideshow Advice: All Eyes on Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen may be readily available, but you should know these warnings before you stock up Read More...

Ibuprofen (brand name Advil or Motrin) belongs to a group of drugs known as NSAIDs. It is cheap, effective, and readily bought from supermarkets and drug stores, and is one of the most frequently used pain relievers on the U.S. market. But is it really safe? Recent concerns have risen over the widespread use of ibuprofen and its toxic potential. Follow along with this slideshow to learn more about this common pain reliever and warnings related to your stomach, heart, or blood pressure. Learn the questions to ask of your doctor or pharmacist, and be safe when taking this popular OTC drug.