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December 2010 Briefing - Pharmacy

Last Updated: January 03, 2011.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for December 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Conservative Lenalidomide Treatment Effective for CLL

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The oral immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide appears to be clinically active and well tolerated as a first-line, single-agent treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) if given conservatively, according to research published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Hydroxychloroquine May Be Best in Certain Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) initiation is associated with a significant reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, as compared with methotrexate (MTX) initiation, in patients suffering from both diabetes and rheumatic disease, according to a report published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Pediatric Acute Sinusitis Visit Rates Unchanged

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Office and emergency department visits for acute sinusitis among children appear to have remained stable since the introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, but amoxicillin use has increased substantially in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in Pediatrics.

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Ticagrelor Reduces Total and Cardiovascular Mortality

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute coronary syndrome who undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery after treatment with ticagrelor versus clopidogrel experience a substantial reduction in total and cardiovascular mortality without excess risk of CABG-related bleeding, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Chronic Statin Use Reduces Post-Op Cardiovascular Events

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative statin therapy appears to reduce the risk of cardiac and vascular adverse events after major vascular surgery, as well as lowering the mortality risk in cases of major adverse events, according to research published in the January issue of Anesthesiology.

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Fertility in Rheumatic Disease Patients Needs Priority

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced fertility is not uncommon in both male and female patients being treated for rheumatic diseases; therefore, family planning should be discussed with all patients requiring therapy with drugs that may impair fertility, according to a review published in the December issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Fetal Antiretroviral Exposure Impacts Cardiac Development

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Fetal exposure to antiretroviral therapy (ART) appears to be associated with increased left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening and contractility as well as reduced LV mass, septal thickness, and LV dimension, especially in girls, according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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STEMI Cardiac Outcomes Better With Primary PCI

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Following an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), patients treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI), along with the newer, adjunctive therapies enoxaparin and abciximab, have a lower combined mortality and recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) rate than those treated with thrombolytic therapy, according to a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Drug Combo Found Effective in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of pegylated interferon (peginterferon) alfa-2a to imatinib therapy in patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) appears to result in significantly higher rates of molecular response than other treatments, according to a study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Apixaban May Beat Enoxaparin After Hip Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing hip replacement, thromboprophylaxis with apixaban, an orally active, specific factor Xa inhibitor, is associated with lower rates of venous thromboembolism than enoxaparin, according to a study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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PPIs Found to Ameliorate Postnasal Drainage Symptoms

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms associated with chronic postnasal drainage are improved by lansoprazole, according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Acid-Suppressive Drugs May Up Pneumonia Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a proton pump inhibitor or histamine2 receptor antagonist may be associated with an elevated risk of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Rash After Cetuximab Is Indicator of Clinical Benefit

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An acne-like rash among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing treatment with cisplatin and vinorelbine plus cetuximab is associated with improved outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Novel Agent Benefits Cystic Fibrosis Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Denufosol, an ion channel regulator, may improve lung function in cystic fibrosis patients with normal to mildly impaired lung function by impairing the formation of sticky mucus, according to research published online Dec. 17 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Aliskiren Reduces Renal Disease in Diabetes Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- When aliskiren is added to losartan it reduces albuminuria and renal dysfunction and is well tolerated in patients with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and nephropathy, according to a report published in the November issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA: Anzemet Injection Tied to Abnormal Heart Rhythm

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care professionals of a contraindication being added to the prescribing information of dolasetron mesylate (Anzemet), warning that the injection should no longer be used to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with treatment in pediatric or adult patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

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Long-Term Antidepressant Use May Increase Type 2 DM Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- When people at risk for type 2 diabetes use antidepressants long term they may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, although metformin may protect against this, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA Warns of Tainted Dietary Supplement Products

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern regarding undeclared or deceptively-labeled ingredients in products marketed as dietary supplements in a letter sent Dec. 15 to dietary supplement manufacturers.

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Different Opioids Linked to Different Risks of Events

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The risks of adverse events among older adults using opioid analgesics for nonmalignant pain varies by agent, according to research published in the Dec. 13/27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Articles Detail Drug Resistance Issues in H1N1 Influenza

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The detection of seasonal influenza A(H1N1) viruses that are resistant to oseltamivir and adamantanes is a cause for concern, and an outbreak of oseltamivir-resistant pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus occurred in the United Kingdom in late 2009, according to two articles published in the Jan. 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Once-Daily Dose Approved for Prezista

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new once-daily dose for Prezista (darunavir), combined with ritonavir to treat people infected with HIV-1.

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Intervention Addresses Opioid Delivery in Pediatric Fractures

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A quality- and process-improvement effort can lead to improved timeliness of pain management in children with clinically apparent extremity fractures who present to the emergency department, according to research published online Dec. 13 in Pediatrics.

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Many With Brain Tumors Use Alternative Therapies

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals with glial tumors use alternative therapies in combination with standard treatments, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of Neurology.

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New 3-Drug Regimen Improves Outcomes for Myeloma Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of bortezomib to the standard induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with multiple myeloma appears to improve rates of complete or near complete response nearly three-fold, according to research published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

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Longer Anxiety Therapy Reduces Relapse Rate

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended release (XR) for 12 months have substantially lower relapse rates when they stop the medication than patients who stop the medication after six months, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Combining Statins and Fibrates Increases Rhabdomyolysis Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are newly treated with statin-fibrate concurrent therapy are slightly more likely to be hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis than those who take just one of the medications, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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In Pregnancy, Buprenorphine Effective for Opioid Dependency

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Buprenorphine is an acceptable alternative to methadone for the treatment of opioid dependency during pregnancy that appears to reduce the severity of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), according to a study published in the Dec. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Alternatives to Vitamin K Antagonists for A-Fib Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- New, directly acting oral anticoagulants could serve as alternatives to vitamin K antagonists (VKA) for preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a review published in the Dec. 14/21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Nausea, Vomiting in Pregnancy Decrease With Diclectin

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A delayed-release formulation of doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride can help lessen symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Benefits of Radiotherapy in Breast Cancer Confirmed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A long-term follow-up study has confirmed the effectiveness of radiotherapy in reducing the incidence of ipsilateral breast events and found that tamoxifen has a role in preventing local and contralateral new breast events for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The research has been published online Dec. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Treatments Linked to Similar A-Fib Rates After Heart Surgery

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The use of metoprolol and amiodarone may result in similar rates of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients who have undergone cardiac surgery, according to research published in the Dec. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many New Cancer Drugs Require Updated Safety Labels

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Many serious or potentially fatal adverse reactions associated with new, targeted anticancer agents are not reported in the original published research on the drug and are not known to oncologists until years later, when updated drug labels, including boxed warnings, are required, according to research published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Daily Aspirin Tied to Decreased Risk of Cancer Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Daily aspirin over at least five years appears to greatly reduce mortality from gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers, according to research published online Dec. 7 in The Lancet.

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Reimbursement Issues Hinder Combination Vaccine Uptake

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Inadequate reimbursement for combination vaccines prevents more than 20 percent of pediatricians from using them, with practice size and proportion of children whose vaccinations are paid for with public funds also influencing use of combination vaccines, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Spina Bifida Is Only Major Risk to Fetus From Carbamazepine

FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Spina bifida is the only major congenital malformation significantly associated with exposure to carbamazepine monotherapy, and this risk is much lower than the risk of spina bifida associated with use of valproic acid, according to research published Dec. 2 in BMJ.

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Sexual Function Same in OCP, Injectable Progestin Users

FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Users of combined oral contraceptives (COC) and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) have significantly different sex hormone levels, but no differences in sexual function, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Etanercept Improves Growth in Children With JIA

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Etanercept alone or in combination with methotrexate (MTX) may mitigate the potentially permanent growth retardation associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), according to research published in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Spironolactone Improves LV Function in Early CKD

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Spironolactone improves markers of regional left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function in patients with early chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Benefits of Probiotics, Prebiotics in Children Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The efficacy of probiotics and prebiotics to treat and prevent gastrointestinal and other ailments in children needs more research to be verified, according to a clinical report published online Nov. 29 in Pediatrics.

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