Starting Metformin Within Three Months Of Diabetes Diagnosis May Increase Drug's Efficacy.
According to a study published in the March issue of the journal Diabetes Care, "starting patients with metformin within 3 months of their diabetes diagnosis increases the drug's efficacy." After studying "the electronic records of 1,799 patients with type 2 diabetes who received metformin as their first antihyperglycemic medication," researchers found that "a lower rate of secondary failure occurred in those who began metformin soon after their diagnosis." In addition, "patients who started the medication with an" A1C "level of less than 7% failed at an adjusted rate of 12.3% per year."
Somaxon Receives FDA Approval For Insomnia Drug.
Development-stage biotech company Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday the Food and Drug Administration approved its delayed insomnia drug Silenor [doxepin]." The agency "approved the drug to treat short term and long term insomnia," but it "did not schedule Silenor as a controlled substance, as expected." Regulators delayed "decisions on the drug...in 2008 and again in February of 2009" seeking "more information on the drug."
Adding Cilostazol To Dual Antiplatelet Therapy May Not Improve Outcomes In DES Patients.
A study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting. reported that "adding cilostazol -- an antiplatelet approved in the US for treatment of intermittent claudication -- to standard dual antiplatelet therapy did not improve clinical outcomes in patients receiving drug-eluting stents," Researchers found that, "six months after the procedure, patients who had received cilostazol in addition to standard therapy had significantly lower platelet reactivity, compared with those receiving dual antiplatelet therapy alone." But, the investigators found, "that addition did not translate into a significantly lower rate of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and target lesion revascularization, the primary endpoint."
Gender-Based Drug Research Has Yet To Lead To Tailored Treatments.
Time magazine that while "an estimated 12 million American women are routinely prescribed statins...there is little evidence that they prevent heart disease in women." In fact, when researchers "analyzed the data on healthy female patients in" statin trials, they "found that the lifesaving benefit, which extends to men, does not cross the gender divide. What's more, there's evidence that women are more likely than men to suffer some of the drugs' serious side effects." Time notes that although gender-based research has grown and "has begun to reveal crucial information about how the development of diseases -- such as heart disease, lung cancer, and autoimmune disorders -- may affect women in markedly different ways from men," the practice "has not taken the next step: tailoring treatments according to gender-specific data."
Drug Combination Meets Key Milestone In Cancer Trial.
According to Abraxis BioScience, Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane) "met a key milestone in a non-small cell lung cancer clinical trial." In "a multicenter phase III study of 1,052 patients, the drug showed a significant improvement in overall response rate, compared with solvent-based paclitaxel (Taxol)," the drug's maker said. The company said "the study compared both forms of the drug, in combination with carboplatin, for first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer," and that the "response rate was assessed by independent radiologist review." MedPage added that "the data from the trial are to be submitted as a late-breaking abstract for the June meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, the Los Angeles-based company said in a statement."
Minocycline May Help Halt HIV Progression In T Cells.
According to a study released online in advance of publication in the April 15 print issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, minocycline (Minocin), "a cheap acne drug that's been used for decades, appears to target infected immune-system cells in which HIV lies dormant before coming back to life and spreading infection”. Johns Hopkins University researchers "said minocycline targets immune cells known as T cells and makes it harder for them to reproduce. That, in turn, makes it harder for HIV to spread and eventually cause AIDS."
Twice Weekly Tacrolimus Ointment May Be Safe, Effective For Children With Atopic Dermatitis.
According to research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, "tacrolimus 0.03% ointment applied twice weekly is effective and safe for children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD)." In a study of 153 children with moderate to severe AD who were "randomized to apply either tacrolimus 0.03% ointment twice weekly on areas of usual flare (maintenance therapy, n = 78), or to a standard reactive tacrolimus regimen (standard therapy, n = 75)," researchers found that "the maintenance group experienced significantly fewer major flares than those in the standard group (P < .001), with 46.2% experiencing no major flares at all (compared with 21.3% of those in the standard group)."
New Form Of Inhaled Insulin May Be Less Risky Than Exubera.
According to research presented at a chemical society meeting, Afrezza (insulin human [rDNA origin]), "a new form of inhaled insulin, appears to help people with diabetes who must use insulin, with fewer potential risks than" Exubera (insulin inhaled), "an earlier form of inhaled insulin that is no longer on the market." Afrezza, "which is awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, works faster, keeps blood sugar levels at a closer to normal level, and has less risk of causing low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) than currently available injectable insulins, researchers say. It also appears to have less risk of causing lung problems than...Exubera."