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Weekly Drug News Round Up - August 12, 2015

FDA Approves Taro’s Keveyis

Periodic paralysis is estimated to affect roughly 5,000 people in the U.S. Read More...

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Keveyis (dichlorphenamide), an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of primary hyperkalemic (high potassium) and hypokalemic (low potassium) periodic paralysis, a group of rare hereditary disorders that cause episodes of muscle weakness or paralysis. Keveyis is the first medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of primary periodic paralysis. In clinical studies, the most common side effects of Keveyis were a burning or pricking sensation, difficulty thinking and paying attention, changes in taste, and confusion. Taro expects Keveyis will be available for patients during the third quarter of 2015.

New Zubsolv Use for Induction of Maintenance Therapy

Orexo also plans on launching two new strengths of Zubsolv, 2.9 milligram (mg) and 11.4 mg, later this year Read More...

Zubsolv induction is when a patient is transitioned from the opioid he or she is dependent on to Zubsolv for long-term maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. This week, the FDA approved Zubsolv (buprenorphine/naloxone CIII sublingual tablet) for induction of buprenorphine maintenance therapy in patients with opioid (narcotic) dependence. The approval expands on the current indication for Zubsolv as an effective treatment for opioid dependence. Common side effects reported with Zubsolv include headache, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, constipation, and insomnia.

Confused About Vaccines? FDA Sheds Some Light

If individuals or their children are not vaccinated, some rare or nonexistent diseases may resurface in the U.S. Read More...

It’s easy to take getting vaccinated for granted when so many devastating infectious diseases, like polio and smallpox, have been eradicated from the U.S. Successful immunization programs of the 20th century mean many parents have not seen some vaccine-preventable diseases and don't realize that the diseases could actually re-emerge. As a new school year rolls around, parents should consider reviewing the FDA’s online resource, Vaccines for Children, A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, which describes in detail the types of routinely administered vaccines available for children, and answers many of the questions posed by parents and caregivers.

SSRIs In Pregnancy Linked to Benefits and Risks: Study

The decision whether to prescribe an SSRI during pregnancy should be made in conjunction with a healthcare provider Read More...

A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looks at safety of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressants in pregnancy. Results suggest women with depression who take this class tend to have fewer delivery complications, such as a lower risk of preterm birth and cesarean section, but a higher risk for several neonatal problems such as breathing issues that result in longer hospital stays for the newborns. Researchers state that the lower risk of preterm birth with SSRI use is a new finding. Some widely used SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluoxetine (Prozac).

Adding a Pharmacist to Your Doctor Visit Is Heart-Healthy: Study

The study demonstrated a sustained, positive effect on blood pressure control in diverse, minority populations Read More...

Pharmacists are seen in various healthcare settings in the community - in the local pharmacy and at hospitals, most often. However, having a pharmacist as a part of the local medical clinic is not commonplace. A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension showed that nine months after starting high blood pressure treatment, patients cared for by medical teams including a clinical pharmacist had a 6.1 mm Hg greater decline in systolic blood pressure than those who saw doctors only. That difference would reduce the risk of death from stroke by 23 percent, the researchers reported.