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Weekly Drug News Round Up - May 21, 2014

Takeda’s Entyvio Approved to Treat Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

To date, no cases of PML have been seen among patients participating in Entyvio clinical trials Read More...

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Entyvio (vedolizumab) injection to treat adult patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or Crohn‘s disease. Entyvio is not to be used as first-line therapy, but is indicated when one or more standard therapies, such as corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or TNF blockers have not been adequate. Entyvio is an integrin receptor antagonist that blocks circulating inflammatory cells to decrease inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The most common side effects in patients treated with Entyvio include headache, joint pain, nausea, and fever.

FDA Lowers Starting Doses for Sleep Agent Lunesta

The starting bedtime dose of Lunesta has been reduced from 2-mg to 1-mg for both men and women Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lowered the recommended starting dose of the popular sleep agent Lunesta (eszopiclone) due to next day drowsiness that may interfere with driving or other activities. Impairment can occur in people even when they feel fully awake. FDA recommends that patients who are taking 2-mg or 3-mg doses of eszopiclone at bedtime should consult with their doctor about the most appropriate dose. One study found that the higher doses of eszopiclone could hamper driving skills, memory and coordination for up to 11 hours after taking the drug. In 2013, FDA also required a dose reduction for zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, others).

CDC Guidelines: Anti-HIV Pill Can Cut Risk of Infection by 90 Percent

The new guidelines were published May 14 in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Read More...

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of an antiretroviral medication to help to prevent HIV infection, has been shown to reduce HIV infection rates in prior studies by as much as 90 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PrEP can reduce rates of HIV infection in those who are HIV negative but at high risk for contracting HIV due to a partner’s status, intravenous drug use, or unprotected sex, among other risks. The CDC recommendations for PrEP are tied to the 2012 FDA approval of a combo drug called Truvada, along with safe sex practices like use of a condom.

Early Results Hint at Drug Treatments for MERS Virus

MERS kills about one-quarter of the people who contract the virus, according to CDC Read More...

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe illness can lead to respiratory and organ failure, septic shock, and death. So far, three U.S. patients have been identified as infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus. Researchers have found that currently approved drugs, such as the antimalarial chloroquine and the antipsychotic chlorpromazine, may be effective against the virus, saving research time. Additional studies are ongoing. The three studies were published online May 19 in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Botox Found Effective for Overactive Bladder Symptoms

Botox has many other uses including wrinkles, chronic migraines, and muscle spasms Read More...

Botox (botulinum toxin A) is best known for its wrinkle-smoothing properties. Now, researchers have found an added use for Botox: urinary frequency, including urgency and incontinence. Botox appears to affect the bladder by blocking nerves responsible for bladder contractions and the sensory effect, the sensation of frequency and urgency from the brain, according to experts. In studies, Botox was either given by 20 to 30 needle injections or by one catheter infusion directly into the bladder in patients who had failed other therapies. Other medications used for overactive bladder include Myrbetriq, Oxytrol, and Vesicare.