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Weekly Drug News Round Up - July 22, 2015

Galderma Receives FDA Approval for Epiduo Forte for Acne

Clinical trials showed improvements as early as the first week Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved antibiotic-free Epiduo Forte (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) gel, 0.3%/2.5%, for the once-daily, topical treatment of acne vulgaris. Adapalene is a retinoid, and benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect. Epiduo Forte is a higher retinoid strength of 0.3%, while the original Epiduo contains 0.1% adapalene. Clinical trials showed improvements as early as the first week, with over 50% of patients treated with Epiduo Forte Gel reporting a marked improvement in their severe acne. Epiduo Forte Gel, which comes in a pump, will be available by prescription in early September 2015.

Medwatch Alert: Reports of Infant Pulmonary Hypertension With Diazoxide

Diazoxide raises blood sugar by slowing the release of insulin from the pancreas Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that a serious lung condition called pulmonary hypertension, which is high pressure in the blood vessels leading to the lungs, has been reported in infants and newborns treated with Proglycem (diazoxide) for low blood sugar. FDA identified 11 cases of pulmonary hypertension in infants and newborns treated with diazoxide. In all cases, the pulmonary hypertension resolved or improved after Proglycem was stopped. Health care professionals should closely monitor babies receiving Proglycem, especially those with risk factors for pulmonary hypertension. FDA is continuing to investigate this safety issue.

Ipsen’s Dysport Approved for Upper Limb Spasticity

Symptoms of upper limb spasticity may include bent elbows or wrists, and hands clenched into fists Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of upper limb spasticity in adult patients. Dysport is an injectable form of botulinum toxin type A, an acetylcholine release inhibitor and neuromuscular blocking agent also approved for the treatment of cervical dystonia and for the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar (eye furrow) lines. Upper limb spasticity most frequently occurs after a stroke, but may also occur after spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy (CP).

JAMA Study: Antibiotic May Lower Effect of Some Blood Thinners

Drug levels of some blood thinners, like warfarin, are monitored with regular lab blood tests Read More...

Coumadin (warfarin) and similar blood thinners lower the risk of blood clots, a potential cause of strokes and heart attacks, by thinning the blood so blockages don't form in vessels. The antibiotic dicloxacillin may lessen the effects of some blood-thinners, new research in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows. Researchers found that blood-thinning in 61 percent of patients became less effective within 2 to 4 weeks after treatment with dicloxacillin, leaving them insufficiently protected against clotting and stroke. They also noted that Eliquis, Xarelto and Pradaxa, the newer generation of blood thinners, work differently and would not be expected to have the same interaction.

Latest Study Results Suggest Solanezumab May Slow Alzheimer’s Disease

Solanezumab may help keep brain cells alive by attacking deformed proteins in the brains of Alzheimer's patients Read More...

While more studies are ongoing, the investigational Alzheimer’s disease drug solanezumab may be the first to demonstrate a disease-modifying effect in the memory-robbing disease. The drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, suggests that the drug may slow disease progression by about one-third. In 2012, an 18-month study seemed to end in failure; however, Eli Lilly asked roughly 1,000 of the patients in that trial with mild Alzheimer's to continue taking the drug for another two years. The results from that extension of the original trial suggest that solanezumab can significantly slow the progression of Alzheimer's among patients in the earliest stages of the disease.