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Tekturna for hypertension

The FDA has approved Tekturna (aliskiren tablets, from Novartis), a once-daily oral medication for the treatment of hypertension as monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. In clinical trials, this direct renin inhibitor demonstrated significant blood pressure reductions for a full 24 hours. Tekturna is expected to be available in March 2007 as 150mg…

Vyvanse for ADHD

Shire and New River Pharmaceuticals have received FDA approval to market Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Vyvanse is a prodrug that is therapeutically inactive until metabolized in the body. In clinical trials, patients 6–12 years old treated with Vyvanse demonstrated statistically significant improvements in ADHD symptoms compared to…

Rosiglitazone safety warning

GlaxoSmithKline has notified healthcare professionals of recent safety data regarding the use of rosiglitazone to treat female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The results of a clinical trial showed that more female patients who received rosiglitazone experienced fractures of the upper arm, hand, or foot, than did female patients who received either metformin or…

FDA advises drug companies to revise ADHD drug labeling

The FDA has directed manufacturers of all drug products approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to develop Patient Medication Guides to alert patients of possible cardiovascular risks and risks of adverse psychiatric symptoms associated with the medicines, and to advise them of precautions that can be taken. For more information visit…

Anaphylaxis warning for Xolair

The FDA has requested that Genentech add a boxed warning to its asthma drug Xolair (omalizumab). The boxed warning emphasizes that patients taking Xolair may develop anaphylaxis after any dose, even if there was no reaction to the first dose. Anaphylaxis may be delayed up to 24 hours after the dose is given. Patients should…

Drug slows progression of diabetes

In a rare head-to-head study, rosiglitazone (Avandia) proved better than either metformin (Glucophage) or glyburide (Micronase) in controlling glucose levels in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. In an international trial, researchers enrolled 4,127 patients (aged 30-75 years) with fasting glucose levels of 126-180 mg/dL who had received no previous drug therapy for their…

Can osteoporosis therapy end after 5 years?

How long should patients take a bisphosphonate? For most women, the answer seems to be five years. In a 10-center trial, investigators followed 1,100 older women with osteoporosis who had already taken alendronate (Fosamax) for five years. The patients, aged 55-81, were randomized to one of three groups for five more years: placebo, 5 mg…

Black cohosh flunks menopause-relief test

Black cohosh, soy, and other naturopathic products failed to relieve menopausal symptoms in a large, yearlong, double-blind trial. A research team from several medical centers in the Seattle area recruited 351 volunteer peri- or postmenopausal women (aged 45-55) and randomly assigned them to one of five groups: placebo; black cohosh (160 mg/day); estrogen (0.625 mg/day);…

PRURITUS FOLLOWING SCABIES TREATMENT

To avoid an unnecessary call or office visit, remind patients that itching from a scabies infection may persist for as long as one to two weeks after eradication.There is usually no need for retreatment if the patient has followed the medication instructions and washed all bedding and clothing in hot water.—Stacy Ramsey, MSN, RNC, ANP,…

PA- Is PA residency training worth it?

Although physician assistant postgraduate residency programs have been around for 35 years,it’s only in the past decade that they’ve really started to catch on. In 1998 there were 17 programs; today there are 35. As they become more popular, this question becomes more urgent: Are postgraduate PA residencies worth the time and effort they demand?…

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