News in brief - April 2014 (updated)

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

Diafer may be administered at a dose of up to 200mg, with a maximum weekly dosage of 1g.
  • Diafer is a new injectable formulation of iron (as iron [III] isomaltoside 1000) for the treatment of iron deficiency in adults with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.
  • The quadrivalent HPV vaccine Gardasil can now be administered in a two-dose schedule in children aged nine to 13 years. The previously recommended three-dose schedule remains an option.
  • HyQvia is a new human normal immunoglobulin product which contains hyaluronidase to facilitate absorption of the immunoglobulin, allowing it to be administered by subcutaneous injection every 3-4 weeks.
  • Aquoral spray, used for the relief of dry mouth, has been renamed Aequasyal.
  • A new oral solution formulation of tapentadol (Palexia) has been launched for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain inadequately controlled with opioid analgesics.
  • Jentadueto (linagliptin/metformin) can now be used in combination with insulin for type II diabetes, when insulin plus metformin is inadequate. Prescribers should consider reducing the previous dose of insulin to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia.
  • Praxilene (naftidrofuryl) is no longer licensed for the treatment of cerebral vascular disorders. It is still approved for peripheral vascular disorders.
  • The MHRA has highlighted the theoretical potential for orlistat to reduce the efficacy of antiretrovirals. Orlistat, whether prescribed or obtained without a prescription under the supervision of a pharmacist, should only be initiated after careful consideration of the potential impact on the efficacy of the antiretroviral regimen.

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