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Medicines update

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Medicines update

No more CMI leaflets from GSK

Leading pharmaceutical manufacturer GSK will no longer be providing CMI leaflets in medicine packs, including sample packs.

GSK says the decision was made to ensure the consistency and currency of information on the safe and effective use of our prescription and pharmacist only medicines across all GSK products.

All CMI leaflets are available on the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) website and the GSK website. In addition, pharmacists are able to provide a printout copy of the most up-to-date CMI upon collection of medicines.

Product Information for vaccines and injectables will continue to be provided for HCP use as per regulatory requirements.

New PBS listing for drug-resistant seizures

The first in a new class of drugs to treat partial onset seizure could offer a solution to drug-resistant epilepsy, says a leading Australian neurologist.

Fycompa (Perampanel), which was approved for reimbursement on the PBS from November, is the only available anti-epileptic drug to selectively target AMPA receptors implicated in the spread of seizures.

It is indicated as an adjunctive treatment for patients aged 12 years and over who have failed previous antiepileptic drugs.

Perampanel’s PBS listing is based on three randomised, placebo-controlled trials showing its efficacy and tolerability in people with partial onset seizures, with or without secondary generalisation.

The most common side effects in these trials were dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, headache, falls, irritability and ataxia.

It was developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai.

COX-2s linked to stroke death risk

COX-2 inhibitors prescribed for arthritis and pain may increase the risk of death from ischaemic stroke, according to new research.

A study published in Neurology shows people using COX-2 inhibitors are 19% more likely to die after stroke than people who do not take the drugs.

New users of the older COX-2 drugs, such as etodolac are 42% more likely to die than non-users.

“Given the thromboembolic properties of COX-2 inhibitors, their use could potentially lead to larger and more often fatal thromboembolic occlusions compared to non-use,” the Danish researchers write.

They say COX-2 inhibition may also impair the pathophysiologic response to the stroke, and the inhibition of PGE2 response may therefore be associated with poorer outcomes.

However, they found no link between non-selective NSAIDs and increased stroke death.

Pain relief from spider venom

Painkillers based on spider venom may be just a few years away from bringing relief to neuropathic and osteoarthritis pain sufferers, according to Queensland researchers.

Researchers from the University of Queensland have begun isolating unique peptides that could target voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7, a key player in the human pain signalling pathway.

Blocking that pathway could mean an end to all kinds of pain, including neuropathic and osteoarthritis pain, the researchers believe.

“We are now trying to understand in greater detail how these molecules bind to the sodium channel and optimise them so that they have better selectivity,” said lead researcher, Professor Glenn King.

Future drugs might be oral in certain instances, such as for IBS pain, but in general they will be injectables, the team believe.


 

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