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Weekly Drug News Round Up - September 17, 2014

FDA Approves Movantik for Opioid-Induced Constipation

Common side effects of Movantik include stomach pain, diarrhea, headache and flatulence Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AstraZeneca’s Movantik (naloxegol) for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults with chronic non-cancer pain. Movantik is an oral, opioid receptor antagonist. Opioid painkillers can slow the intestines and frequently lead to constipation. In studies, 1,352 participants received 12.5 milligrams (mg) or 25 mg of Movantik or a placebo (sugar pill) once daily for 12 weeks. Results showed that 41 to 44 percent of participants experienced an increase in bowel movements per week, compared to 29 percent of participants receiving placebo.

Orexigen's Combo Drug Contrave Approved for Weight Loss

Contrave can cause dose-related seizures and must not be used in patients who have seizure disorders Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Contrave (bupropion HCL/naltrexone HCL) for chronic weight management in addition to diet and physical activity. Contrave is an extended-release form of two previously approved drugs, naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol) and bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban). Naltrexone is approved to treat alcohol or opioid dependence, while bupropion is used for depression, seasonal affective disorder and as an aid to quit smoking. Contrave is used in obese or overweight adults with at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. In clinical trials, 36 to 48 percent of patients lost at least 5 percent of body weight compared to placebo.

FDA: Don’t Leave Childhood Depression Untreated

Children who take antidepressants might have more suicidal thoughts and need regular monitoring Read More...

It’s important to know that most children who are moody, grouchy or feel that they are misunderstood are not depressed and don’t need any drugs. That’s why an expert psychiatric diagnosis is so important in children with suspected depression. It’s hard for parents or friends to tell if a child is depressed because the symptoms of depression change as the child grows and as their brain develops. Treatments for depression often include a combination of psychotherapy and medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs—fluoxetine (Prozac) and escitalopram (Lexapro)—to treat depression in children. Prozac is approved for ages 8 and older; Lexapro for kids 12 and older.

Buprenorphine Tops List of Dangerous Drugs in Pediatric Overdoses: Study

Close to 75 percent of the kids who accidentally ingested dangerous drugs were only 1 or 2 years old Read More...

As reported this week in Pediatrics, a small number of drugs are responsible for roughly 9,500 hospitalizations that occurred in children under 6 years from 2007 to 2011 due to accidental ingestion of drugs. These prescription drugs included benzodiazepines, such as Ativan and Xanax, and a drug used for ADHD and blood pressure - clonidine (Catapress, Nexiclon). One of the biggest culprits in the pediatric accidental overdoses came from the opioid (narcotic) class - painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin. However, the combination product buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone, Zubsolv), used to treat narcotic addiction, was ingested most frequently.

Statins May Be Beneficial for Diabetes Microvascular Complications

Statins are the class of cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions in the U.S. Read More...

Statins (examples: atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin) are known to lower the risk for heart attack and stroke among those with type 2 diabetes. And although some studies have suggested that statins may be associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests statins may lower damage related to small blood vessels in the body that can lead to blindness and amputations in diabetes. In the study, those that used statins were 34 percent less likely to get diabetes-related nerve damage and 40 percent less likely to have diabetes-related damage to the retina, although there was no difference in kidney disease risk.