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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: March 9, 2016

Idelvion Gains FDA Approval to Treat Hemophilia B Bleeding Disorder

Hemophilia B is a rare inherited bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting normally Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CSL Behring’s Idelvion (coagulation factor IX (recombinant), albumin fusion protein), a recombinant human blood coagulation factor used for the control and prevention of bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia B, a bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency of plasma protein factor IX. In studies of patients between 1 and 61 years of age, Idelvion was effective in controlling bleeding and in managing perioperative bleeding. No safety concerns arose in studies but the most frequent side effect was headache. Other recombinant coagulation factors IX include Benefix, Alprolix, and Ixinity.

Imbruvica Approved for First-Line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

CLL affects 115,000 patients in the US with roughly 15,000 newly diagnosed patients every year Read More…

Abbvie’s Imbruvica (ibrutinib) has been approved as a first-line treatment for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Imbruvica is an oral multikinase inhibitor also approved for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. Imbruvica is now approved to treat CLL patients regardless of their treatment history. In studies, Imbruvica prolonged progression-free survival (PFS), reducing the risk of progression or death by 84% versus chlorambucil. The median time for PFS for Imbruvica has not yet been reached, but was 18.8 months for chlorambucil. Common side effects were consistent with previous studies and included diarrhea, muscle pain, cough and rash.

Long-Term Aspirin Use Linked With Lower Risk of Cancers

Benefit was only seen after six years of taking aspirin almost daily Read More...

A new study shows that taking aspirin is associated with a reduction in the risk of certain cancers, but not that aspirin can fully prevent these diseases, according to researchers. As reported in JAMA Oncology, over 30 years of follow-up in 130,000 participants taking low-dose aspirin two times or more per week, a 3 percent lower risk for cancer overall was seen, mostly due to a 15 percent lower risk for gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and a 19 percent lower risk for colorectal cancers. However, aspirin can also lead to serious GI bleeding, and patients should seek advice of their doctor before taking aspirin regularly.

Vitamin D Won’t Help Your Painful, Arthritic Knees: Study

Knee osteoarthritis affects about 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women aged 60 and older Read More...

The use of vitamin D to slow arthritis progression and relieve pain has been controversial. In a new study published in JAMA, vitamin D failed to have any better effect than taking only a placebo. Researchers assigned 400 patients with knee osteoarthritis and low vitamin D levels to either 50,000 International Units of vitamin D a month or a placebo. Over two years of follow-up, the investigators did not see any difference between the groups in reduced pain, loss of cartilage or improvement in bone marrow in the thigh or shin bone.

Teens Who Abuse ADHD Meds Get Them From Others: Study

It is important to counsel youth who have prescription ADHD stimulants to never share their medications Read More...

Rates of abuse of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs - such as Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin - are on the rise among teenagers. A study from epidemiology researchers at University of Florida focused on surveys of 11,000 US children between 2008 to 2011. About 7 percent said they had used a prescription stimulant in the past 30 days; more than half was for non-medical use. Almost 90 percent said they got the drug from someone else. Besides taking excess drug, the kids said they also smoked or snorted the stimulants, which can can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and interfere with sleep and appetite when abused.