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Weekly Drug News Round Up - May 9, 2012

Dymista Approved for Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Histamine-1 receptor antagonist and nasal corticosteroid combination approved for patients 12 years and older Read More...

A combined antihistamine and nasal corticosteroid for treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For patients who require both medications, Dymista combines azelastine, a histamine-1 antagonist, and fluticasone, an antiinflammatory corticosteroid to be dosed as one spray twice a day in each nostril. Over 4,000 patients participated in clinical trials evaluating Dymista safety and effectiveness, including 600 in a long-term safety study. The most commonly reported side effects (>2%) included dysgeusia (taste alteration), epistaxis (nosebleed) and headache. Dymista can also cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Dymista is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2012.

Revlimid: Use Associated With Risk of Developing New Malignancies

No treatment restriction is recommended at this time; FDA continues to investigate clinical trial results Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing reports from clinical trials that indicate patients treated with Revlimid (lenalidomide) may be at an increased risk for developing second primary malignancies (new cancer types). Revlimid is an immunomodulator used for treatment of multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. Newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma showed an increased risk of developing new cancers including acute myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and Hodgkin lymphoma compared to patients who did not take Revlimid. Updates have been made to the Warning and Precautions sections of the Revlimid package insert and to the Revlimid Patient Medication Guide.

Weigh Side Effects vs. Benefit When Using Zinc For a Cold

Zinc tablets may offer up undesirable side effects instead of fewer cold symptoms Read More...

Let's face it: a weeks worth of common cold symptoms can really put a glitch in your calendar. Zinc lozenges, which can be bought without a prescription, are often advertised to shorten and relieve cold symptoms. Canadian researchers analyzed 17 randomized, placebo-controlled trials in over 2,100 patients using zinc or placebo. Researchers found only weak evidence that cold symptoms were lessened after one week of zinc treatment, and there was no difference was seen at 3 days. No effect was noted in children using zinc. Undesirable side effects were seen in the zinc group, including bad taste and nausea. Although zinc treatment is relatively safe, most data do not strongly support its use in colds.

Urinary Tract Infections Increasingly Resistant to Common Antibiotics

E. coli resistance of concern; lack of new antimicrobial developments in industry pipeline Read More...

More than 75 percent of urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur due to the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). And over 50% of women will need UTI treatment at least once in their lifetime. However, common antibiotics used to treat UTIs have lost effect due to an alarming rate of antibiotic resistance. As reported in a study in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, two common UTI treatments, ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, have lost effectiveness for outpatient treatment of UTIs due to high rates of resistance. Researchers now suggest nitrofurantoin treatment for patients without renal (kidney) impairment, and amoxicillin/clavulanate or third generation cephalosporins for patients with some level of renal impairment, although dose adjustments may still be needed.

Atrial Fibrillation Puts Older Women at Greater Stroke Risk Than Men

Stroke risk is 14 percent greater for women, even when taking the blood thinner warfarin Read More...

The risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation is five times that of the general population, and the blood thinner warfarin is used for stroke prevention in these patients. As published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this week, older women with atrial fibrillation are not at higher risk of stroke than men due to under treatment, as previously thought. New research now indicates that even when women are treated appropriately with warfarin, risks still remain higher. Differences were particularly strong between women and men over 75 years of age, where stroke risk was higher for women regardless of use or adherence to warfarin. Nonetheless, experts urge clinicians to optimize stroke prevention treatment in these women.