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Weekly Drug News Round Up - May 7, 2014

FDA Approves Epanova to Treat Severely High Triglyceride Levels

Triglyceride levels greater than or equal to 500 mg/dL are considered severe Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AstraZeneca’s Epanova (omega-3-carboxylic acids), a fish oil mixture used in addition to diet for the treatment of adult patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Epanova is a free fatty acid and consists of a mixture of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The dose of Epanova can be as little as 2 capsules per day, the first omega-3 medication with such a low pill burden. The company's statin product Crestor (rosuvastatin) is widely used to treat high cholesterol levels and may be developed further in a fixed dose combination with Epanova.

GSK’s Incruse Ellipta for COPD to Launch in Q4 2014

COPD is a lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both Read More...

Roughly 27 million people in the US alone are affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an obstructive airway lung disease that interferes with normal breathing. Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium) is a newly approved anticholinergic bronchodilator used in the treatment of COPD. Umeclidinium a type of bronchodilator also known as a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), and is contained in the Ellipta inhaler. The FDA-approved strength is 62.5 mcg given once a day. Other anticholinergic inhalers used in the treatment of COPD include ipratropium (Atrovent HFA), tiotropium (Spiriva Handihaler), and aclidinium (Tudorza Pressair).

FDA: An Aspirin A Day Is Not For Everyone

Only take a daily aspirin after speaking with your healthcare provider Read More...

Aspirin is a commonly used and easily available pain and fever medication that can also act as a blood thinner. Some may think it is safe to self-treat with aspirin to help lower the chances for a heart attack or stroke, but in fact, that is not true. According to new consumer information published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), scientific evidence shows that taking a daily aspirin does not help to prevent heart attack or stroke in everyone. The FDA’s information piece describes who can benefit from aspirin use, what types of serious side effects can occur, and certain drug interactions that make aspirin especially dangerous.

Ranbaxy Recalls Over 30,000 Packets of Generic Anti-Allergy Meds

In April 2014, Ranbaxy was sold to Sun Pharma for $3.2 billion Read More...

Ranbaxy Laboratories, an India-based generic drug manufacturer, has recalled close to 30,000 packets of an anti-allergy and nasal decongestant medication made by their U.S. subsidiary Ohm Laboratories Inc. The recall was launched after defects were found in blister packaging for the generic versions of loratadine and pseudoephedrine extended-release tablets, known by the brand names Alavert D-12 Hour or Claritin-D 12/24 Hour. The drugs were sold at pharmacies in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. Ranbaxy has been involved in several recalls over the last few years, including quality control issues involving glass particles found in atorvastatin bottles and supplying fabricated in-house test results to meet FDA standards.

Experts Issue Treatment Guidelines for Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

Women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer can live 2 years or longer if diagnosed with brain cancer Read More...

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released two new sets of guidelines for treating patients with an aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer. Experts recommend specific guidelines for women with newly diagnosed advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, those with early breast cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage, and for women with breast cancer that has spread to the brain. Various treatments are recommended, including trastuzumab (Herceptin), pertuzumab (Perjeta), lapatinib (Tykerb), and capecitabine (Xeloda), surgery and radiation, participation in clinical trials, a combination of treatments, or palliative care.