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Update on Drugs and Drug News - Number 4 2000


Class Name/Company Approval Dates and Comments

HIV/AIDS

Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Abacavir
Trizivir
Glaxo Wellcome

The US FDA approved this anti-HIV drug in November 2000, for the treatment of HIV infection. It is the first drug to combine three anti-HIV medicines into one single tablet and is intended only for patients whose regimen would otherwise include these three drugs.

Antihistamines

Loratidine
Claritin
Schering-Plough

The US FDA approved this antihistamine in December 2000, for treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria and seasonal allergies in children ≥2 years. This syrup (10mg/10ml) was previously indicated for these symptoms in children ≥ 6 years.

Mouth and Throat Products

Amlexanox 5% paste
Apthera
Access Pharmaceuticals

TPP Canada (formerly HPB Ottawa) granted notice of compliance in December 2000, permitting the sale of this product in Canada. It is indicated for the treatment of aphthous ulcers (canker sores).

Neurotoxin

Botulinum toxin type B
Myobloc
Elan Corporation

The US FDA approved this injectable solution in December 2000, for the treatment of patients with cervical distonia to reduce the severity of abnormal head position and neck pain associated with the disorder. Past experience suggests that it will likely attract off-label use for wrinkle correction.


Drug News

Antihelminthic Techniques

Researchers with the Dept. of General Practice and Primary Health Care at Ghent University in Belguim reported that wet combing (i.e., combing systematically through wet, well-conditioned hair using a finetooth comb) is still considered the gold standard for detecting head lice in children. When compared to the traditional scalp inspection technique, wet combing was found to be more effective. Researchers hope that using the wet combing technique will improve the chances of detecting head lice and prevent lice-free children from receiving unnecessary treatment.

Neurotoxin

At the November 2000 meeting of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. R. Glogau from UCSF reported that 75% of patients in his case study experienced relief from migraine headaches for 4-6 months following injections of BOTOX (botulinum toxin type A, Allergan) to the face, head and neck muscles. This drug has been used for the off-label indications of wrinkles, uncontrolled eye twitching, crossed eyes, muscle spasms and excessive underarm sweating.

Drug Warning

A possible drug interaction occurred during concurrent administration of nelfinavir (Viracept) and systemic tacrolimus (Prograf) in a 49-year-old male, liver transplant patient. Close monitoring of tacrolimus blood concentrations and adjustment of dosage may be necessary when starting, stopping, or changing the dose of nelfinavir in patients receiving tacrolimus.


In this issue:

  1. Topical Tacrolimus
  2. The Use Of Interleukins For Advanced Melanoma
  3. Update on Drugs and Drug News - Number 4 2000