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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: October 11, 2017

FDA Approval of Long-Acting Zilretta for Knee Osteoarthritis

Commercial availability of Zilretta is expected in late October Read More...

Degenerative joint disease, also called osteoarthritis (OA), is a progressive and incurable condition and the most common form of arthritis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that they have approved the intra-articular corticosteroid injection Zilretta (triamcinolone acetonide) for osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain. Zilretta is a sustained-release, non-opioid formulation that provides steady concentrations of drug locally to prolong the duration of OA knee pain relief for up to 12 weeks. Effectiveness was shown in Phase 3, randomized, double-blind studies with 484 patients. 

FDA Approves Botox Cosmetic For Severe Forehead Lines

Botox Cosmetic is the only neurotoxin brand approved for aesthetic uses beyond glabellar (frown) lines in the U.S Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a third new indication for Allergan’s Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) Cosmetic. Botox Cosmetic can now be used for temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe forehead lines associated with frontalis muscle activity in adults. In addition to forehead lines, Botox Cosmetic is also approved for crow's feet lines and glabellar (frown) lines. In studies, the primary endpoint was reduction of the severity of forehead lines, assessed by both investigator and the subject at Day 30 compared to placebo. The endpoint in active groups was met by 61% and 46% of subjects in two studies, compared to 0% and 1% with placebo.

Insulin Pumps May Hold Advantage Over Insulin Shots in Type 1 Diabetes

Patients can use pumps or daily shots; pumps deliver insulin by a tiny tube inserted temporarily under the skin Read More...

Type 1 diabetes patients don't make enough insulin, a hormone that helps convert dietary sugar into fuel for the body. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the rates of severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in people aged 20 and younger who used either an insulin pump or multiple daily injections, with roughly 10,000 subjects in each group. Children and teens on pumps were less likely to experience severe hypoglycemia and DKA than those on shots. Researchers state patients using pumps can micro-manage their diabetes, adjusting insulin levels more quickly based on changing blood sugars.

Falsely Reported Penicillin Allergy May Raise Post-Op Infection Risk

Researchers state that over 95 percent of patients who believe they have penicillin allergy can actually take the drug Read More...

Think you have a penicillin allergy and need to avoid antibiotics like amoxicillin or a cephalosporin? It may be worthwhile to discuss the validity of this with your doctor, especially if you are scheduled for surgery. Researchers analyzed medical records of 8,400 patients who underwent surgery between 2010 and 2014. Based on their data, surgical patients who report having a penicillin allergy face a 50 percent higher risk for a post-op infection compared to patients who report no drug allergy. The experts recommend that prospective surgical patients who believe they are allergic to penicillin should undergo a medical allergy evaluation in advance of their operation.

U.S. Task Force: Start Early on Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health Read More…

Children and teens exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays are at greater risk for skin cancer later in life. But using sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing and avoiding indoor tanning can help prevent skin cancer and possible melanoma. Now, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends in draft guidelines that doctors seeing fair-skinned patients aged 6 months to 24 years of age should talk with them, or their parents, about ways to protect skin from sun exposure to reduce the risk for skin cancer. This behavioral counseling should now start much earlier, at 6 months of age, with families, the task force suggests.