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Weekly Drug News Round Up - February 25, 2015

Avycaz Wins FDA Approval as New Antibacterial

Avycaz designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) to treat serious or life-threatening infections Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Avycaz (ceftazidime-avibactam), a new antibacterial drug product, to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections, in combination with metronidazole, and complicated urinary tract infections, including kidney infections, who have limited or no alternative treatment options. Ceftazidime, a cephalosporin antibiotic, has long been approved by the FDA, and avibactam, a beta-lactamase inhibitor, is used to help extend bacterial resistance. The most common side effects include vomiting, nausea, constipation and anxiety. Decreased efficacy, seizures and other neurologic events were seen in patients with poor kidney function.

FDA Approves Farydak for Multiple Myeloma

Farydak's label includes a boxed warning of the potential for fatal or severe heart problems, and severe diarrhea Read More...

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Farydak (panobinostat), the first histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor for the combination treatment of multiple myeloma. HDAC inhibitors slow or kill the excess development of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell, in the bone marrow. Farydak is indicated for those who have received at least two prior regimens, including bortezomib (Velcade) and an immunomodulatory agent. People who received Farydak, plus bortezomib and dexamethasone saw a delay in disease progression of about 10.6 months, compared with 5.8 months among people who received bortezomib and dexamethasone alone.

Revlimid Label Expanded to Include Multiple Myeloma

Revlimid can now be used as a first-line treatment for multiple myeloma Read More...

Another approval for multiple myeloma was acquired at the FDA this week: Revlimid (lenalidomide) plus dexamethasone was okayed for patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Revlimid plus dexamethasone was previously approved in June 2006 for use in multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. Median progression-free survival (PFS), the length of time a patient lives from study randomization to disease progression or death was the primary endpoint of the study. In clinical trials, PFS for patients receiving Revlimid plus dexamethasone was 25.5 months compared to 21.2 months in those receiving melphalan, prednisone and thalidomide.

Giving Babies Foods With Peanuts May Lessen Risk of Allergy

Babies who have a high risk of developing a peanut allergy are those who have severe eczema and/or an allergy to eggs Read More...

Allergic kids at school are constantly at risk for severe peanut anaphylaxis and may need to constantly carry epinephrine auto-injectors (Auvi-Q, EpiPen). Now, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests giving peanut products to infants at high risk for peanut allergy may reduce the risk of developing the allergy by 80 percent. Also reported in an early study this week, an investigational wearable patch called the Viaskin peanut patch gradually exposes the body to small amounts of peanut allergen and appears to be effective in easing peanut allergies.

NSAIDS Should Be Avoided After Heart Attack: Study

Since 2007, the American Heart Association has recommended avoiding the use of NSAIDs in at-risk heart patients Read More...

NSAID drugs are taken all too often by the American public for muscle discomfort, headache, and arthritis pain. A new study in JAMA shows that common NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen and Celebrex may raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and serious bleeding among heart attack survivors taking blood thinners like clopidogrel (Plavix) or aspirin. The study found that there was no safe window of time to take an NSAID, as bleeding risk rose quickly. Common NSAIDs used in the U.S. include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), and the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex).