News in brief - July 2013

Other new launches, licence changes and updates relevant to general practice.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease who initially benefit from Exelon (rivastigmine) but experience a subsequent cognitive or functional decline can now benefit from a new strength of the anticholinesterase patch | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Patients with Alzheimer's disease who initially benefit from Exelon (rivastigmine) but experience a subsequent cognitive or functional decline can now benefit from a new strength of the anticholinesterase patch | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
  • Exelon (rivastigmine) 13.3mg/24 hrs patch has been launched for patients with Alzheimer’s dementia who have tolerated the 9.5mg/24 hrs patch for a minimum of six months but have exhibited meaningful cognitive and/or functional decline.
  • Ilaris (canakinumab) is now licensed for the symptomatic treatment of frequent gouty arthritis attacks when NSAIDs and colchicine are contraindicated, not tolerated or inadequate and when repeated courses of corticosteroids are inappropriate.
  • The antiretroviral Intelence (etravirine) can now be prescribed for treatment-experienced children aged six years and over. A 25mg tablet has been launched to aid dosing in this population.
  • Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) is now available as a 90 microgram prefilled syringe to support its new indication in children with hepatitis C aged five years and over.
  • Drug-induced hepatic impairment has been observed in clinical trials with long-term use of Samsca (tolvaptan) at higher doses than for the approved indication. Patients who report symptoms of liver injury should undergo prompt liver function testing, with discontinuation of tolvaptan until it is excluded as the cause.
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