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Weekly Drug News Round Up - January 14, 2015

AbbVie’s Duopa Approved for Parkinson’s Disease

Due to spontaneous stomach emptying, proper absorption of some medications can be problematic in PD patients Read More...

Motor fluctuations in advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), for example "off" times, or periods of poor mobility, slowness and stiffness can complicate treatment. In response, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Duopa (carbidopa and levodopa) formulated as an enteral suspension for the treatment of motor fluctuations in patients with advanced PD. Duopa is given via a portable infusion pump that delivers the medicine directly into the small intestine for 16 continuous hours via a procedurally-placed tube. This pump allows the medicine to bypass stomach absorption. In clinical trials, Duopa was shown to significantly reduce the amount of “off” time advanced Parkinson's disease patients experienced.

Savaysa Approved to Prevent Clots Leading to Stroke

No antidote is available to reverse the anticoagulant effect of Savaysa Read More...

Savaysa (edoxaban) is an oral, once-daily factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant approved for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Savaysa is also approved to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who have already been treated with an anti-clotting drug administered by injection or infusion for five to ten days. In atrial fibrillation clinical trials, Savaysa was found to be similar to warfarin for reduced stroke risk. Savaysa also demonstrated significantly less major bleeding compared to warfarin. However, bleeding - including life-threatening bleeding - is still the most serious risk with Savaysa.

Impax Pharmaceutical’s Rytary Approved for Parkinson’s Disease

In the U.S., 50,000 to 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed each year Read More…

Rytary (carbidopa-levodopa) is an extended-release (ER) oral capsule approved for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), post-encephalitic parkinsonism, and parkinsonism that may follow carbon monoxide intoxication and/or manganese intoxication. The ER formulation, which also contains immediate release beads, may help to reduce the amount of time during the day that PD symptoms are not well-controlled. In clinical trials, patients had improved activities of daily living and motors skills scores at study week 30 compared to placebo. Rytary also reduced the amount of “off” time and increased "on" time without troublesome dyskinesia compared to immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa.

Investigational Teixobactin May Address Rampant Antibiotic Resistance

Teixobactin kills bacteria by causing their cell walls to break down, similar to an existing antibiotic called vancomycin Read More...

New antibiotic developments are an area of strong need in medicine. Many dangerous forms of bacteria have developed resistance to current antibiotics, and top line antibiotic treatments are often rendered useless. A new antibiotic discovered at Northeastern University in Boston may address this issue. According to researchers, the new antibiotic, teixobactin, has proven effective against a number of bacterial infections that have developed resistance to existing antibiotic drugs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea. However, the new drug is still about three years out from human clinical trials.

Should You Be Taking Aspirin for Your Heart?

Talk to your doctor before starting on low-dose aspirin -- your risk for both heart attack and dangerous bleeding should both be weighed Read More...

As reported this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, many Americans are probably using a low-dose of aspirin inappropriately each day to help prevent a first-time heart attack or stroke. Researchers found that about 12 percent of nearly 69,000 U.S. adults prescribed aspirin long-term probably should not be taking it, as their risk for a future heart problem is not high enough. A daily low-dose aspirin may be appropriate in those who’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, but in those without a history of those conditions, the risk of stomach or brain bleeding with aspirin may outweigh the benefit.