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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: June 15, 2016

FDA Approves Vaxchora to Prevent Cholera in Travelers

Vaxchora is the only FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of cholera Read More...

Vaxchora (cholera vaccine, live, oral) is a vaccine indicated for active immunization against disease caused by Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 in adults traveling to cholera-affected areas, such as Africa, Asia, India, and Mexico. Cholera, which can be rapidly fatal and requires treatment with fluids and antibiotics, is acquired by ingesting contaminated water or food and causes a watery diarrhea. In studies, Vaxchora was 90 percent effective among those challenged with the bacteria 10 days after vaccination and 80 percent among those challenged 3 months after vaccination. Common side effects include tiredness, headache, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, lack of appetite and diarrhea.

FDA Approves GoNitro Sublingual Powder for Angina

Short-acting nitrates are the current standard of care for acute relief of an angina attack Read More...

More than 8 million U.S. patients suffer with stable angina due to coronary artery disease (CAD). In response, this week FDA approved Espero Pharmaceuticals GoNitro (nitroglycerin) Sublingual Powder, a nitrate vasodilator indicated for acute relief of an attack or prophylaxis of angina pectoris due to coronary artery disease. GoNitro is available as a 400 microgram, single dose packet. Clinical data indicate that the sublingual absorption of nitroglycerin is higher following the administration of GoNitro compared to Nitrolingual Pumpspray (nitroglycerin lingual spray) which was launched in 1997. GoNitro will be available in the second half of 2016.

FDA Strengthens Warnings on Two Popular Diabetes Drugs

FDA has received 101 reports of acute kidney injury with canagliflozin or dapagliflozin use Read More...

FDA has strengthened the package insert warnings about the risk of acute kidney injury for canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet) and dapagliflozin (Farxiga, Xigduo XR). Canagliflozin and dapagliflozin are sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors used in type 2 diabetes to help lower blood sugar. Providers should consider factors that may predispose patients to acute kidney injury prior to starting them on canagliflozin or dapagliflozin, and stop treatment if kidney injury occurs. Patients who develop signs and symptoms of acute kidney injury, such as decreased urine or swelling in the legs or feet, should seek medical attention immediately, but not stop treatment on their own.

5 Diet Drugs Available, But Is One Better Than the Other?

Researchers stress there is no such thing as a magic weight-loss pill Read More...

Of the 5 available prescription diet drugs available in the US, which one works best? A study published this week in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed findings in 29,000 people from 28 previous clinical trials and found that all five drugs help in weight loss. Over one year those taking Qsymia (phentermine-topiramate) or Victoza (liraglutide) had the highest odds of losing at least 5 percent of their initial weight. Those taking Xenical (orlistat) had the lowest odds. Other drugs included Belviq (lorcaserin) and Contrave (naltrexone-bupropion). Researchers stress there is no single diet drug that's "best" for everyone.

Study Evaluates Link Between Erectile Dysfunction Drugs and Skin Cancer

Does Viagra lead to skin cancer?

A new study published in PLoS Medicine included more than 145,000 men who used the popular erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) or Levitra (vardenafil). These ED drugs inhibit an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). Lower levels of this enzyme have previously been linked with a higher risk of melanoma skin cancer, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Compared to nearly 561,000 men who did not take the ED drugs, researchers found only a slightly increased risk of melanoma in men who took the drugs compared to those who didn't, possibly due to extra sun exposure, not ED drug use.