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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: October 12, 2016

Carnexiv Approved as First Injectable Carbamazepine

Carbamazepine is difficult to make into a water-based injection and there has been no IV formulation until now Read More…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Lundbeck’s Carnexiv (carbamazepine), an intravenous (IV) injection formulation of the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine. Carnexiv is indicated as short-term (≤7 days) replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine when oral administration for certain seizures in adults is temporarily not feasible. Carnexiv will be the first available IV formulation of the antiepileptic drug (AED) carbamazepine. The total daily dosage of Carnexiv is 70% of the total daily oral dose divided equally into four separate 30-minute infusions separated by 6 hours. Carnexiv should be on the U.S. market by early 2017.

New Lower Dose Zubsolv Clears FDA

The new dosage is expected to be available in US pharmacies in early 2017 Read More...

A lower dose, 0.7mg/0.18 mg, sublingual tablet of Zubsolv (buprenorphine/naloxone) for the treatment of opioid dependence has been approved by the FDA. Orexo now offers six dosage strengths of Zubsolv in the U.S. Zubsolv 0.7mg provides a 50% lower dose than any other approved buprenorphine/naloxone product. Prior to the approval of the 0.7mg dose of Zubsolv, patients requiring a lower dose had to divide existing buprenorphine/naloxone products into smaller pieces. Breaking tablets can jeopardize dosing accuracy, make child-resistant packaging useless, and can expose the medication to humidity which can alter the drug’s properties.

Triple Drug Therapy Boosting Success in Multiple Myeloma

Daratumumab was added to two standard drugs: lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone Read More...

A new treatment regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma will likely be adopted quickly, as patients are seeing unprecedented success, according to researchers. Researchers found adding daratumumab (Darzalex) to the normal two-drug regimen resulted in a 43 percent complete response rate -- meaning no signs of cancer existed. That compared with 19 percent of patients who received a standard drug duo alone. In addition, over 13.5 months, the daratumumab combination cut the patient’s risk of dying or seeing their cancer progress by 63 percent, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week.

Many Providers Don’t Discuss Truvada PrEP: Study

In 2011, the rate of HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in the United States was 18 percent Read More...

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis medication) has been found to reduce HIV infection by 92 percent in people at high risk for AIDS, including men who have unprotected gay sex. Since the FDA approved PrEP in 2012, only 5 percent of high-risk people have taken it for HIV prevention, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Researchers looked back at 2014 data from 401 HIV-negative gay and bisexual men in Baltimore. Only 42 percent knew about PrEP with Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir). However, those who had been tested for HIV in the previous year were more likely to be aware of it.

Calcium Supplements May Be Dangerous for Heart Health

More than half of women over 60 take a calcium supplement to reduce their risk of osteoporosis Read More...

Another study suggests, but cannot prove, that calcium supplements may be bad for the heart. Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore analyzed 10 years of data on more than 2,700 adults. People in the top fifth in terms of calcium intake -- from whatever source -- had a 27 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared to those in the bottom one-fifth. However, separating out people who took calcium supplements resulted in a significant increase in the risk of plaque buildup and heart disease compared to people who didn't take the supplements.