Quick Hits: FDA Approves New Drug for MS, Diabetes & More

Zinbryta (daclizumab), a monthly self-administered injection that aids in the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, has been approved by the FDA. Due to Zinbryta’s serious side effects including liver injury and immune conditions, it is recommended that the drug only be used in patients who have had a poor response to two or more MS drugs. The medication also has a boxed warning, which tells prescribers that the drug can cause severe liver injury, including life-threatening and fatal events. Daclizumab was previously marketed as Zenapax to prevent rejection of kidney implants, but was discontinued in 2009 due to a lack of market demand. Posted May 27, 2016. Via FDA.

The FDA has approved a new drug, Ocaliva (obeticholic acid), to treat an uncommon, slow-progressing liver disease known primary biliary cirrhosis. The medication was approved under the agency’s accelerated approval process. Ocaliva is Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. first product to reach the U.S. market. The FDA cleared the drug under the condition that Intercept conduct further research to show that the drug reduces patients’ risk of liver transplant and death. Posted May 28, 2016. Via Bloomberg.

Although many patients experience side effects associated with medical marijuana use, they also experience significant improvement in pain relief and functioning. The use of medical marijuana in Israel has significantly increasing as it’s approved for non-cancer and cancer pain, nausea and lack of appetite in cancer patients, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease and more. A study that ran over the course of two years (starting in 2013) examined whether patients experienced after-effects from medical marijuana use. While most users saw benefits from marijuana use, more than 77% reported side effects. The most frequent side effects were following: dry mouth, hunger, high moods, sleepiness, fatigue, red eyes and blurred vision. Posted May 29, 2016. Via Medical Jane.

The FDA approved Jentadueto XR, to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Jentadueto XR is a once-daily oral combination of Tradjenta (linagliptin) and metformin. When paired with proper diet and exercise, Jentadueto XR can help improve glycemic control. A boxed warning will be placed on the Jentadueto label due to the risk for lactic acidosis, which is associated with major metabolic dysregulation. Posted May 31, 2016. Via Medscape.

A new study has found that many parents do not fully understand their children’s asthma medications. The parents of 740 children with asthma were surveyed on their knowledge about their offspring’s asthma meds. Results showed that only 49% were knowledgeable about what kind of medication their child was prescribed and how often they should use it. According to the study’s primary author, Ann Chen Wu, MD, of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston, “we need to improve provider-patient communication in the medical office, especially for controller medications for children with asthma, but providers may be unaware of their patient’s lack of adherence.” Published May 31, 2016. Via HealthDay.

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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