Month: May 2014

National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States was this month, and you might be surprised how easy it is to get tested. Many tests which used to be performed only by doctors and conducted in labs are now available to the public—including the OraQuick HCV rapid antibody test made by OraSure Technologies, Inc. for the hepatitis… Read More

Nexium 24HR is now over the counter, joining the other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) available without a prescription. This class of medications work well for the treatment of heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and gastric ulcers. Nexium as a brand name drug made over 6 billion dollars in one year so does that mean that… Read More

Entyvio (vendolizumab) was approved by the FDA on May 20, 2014 for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in patients where other treatments have not worked or cannot be tolerated. What are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and how do they differ? Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are branches of a larger umbrella term… Read More

The over-the-counter version of Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) is now available without a prescription! You can find Nexium 24HR in stores now, which may be great news if you’ve been paying for the expensive, brand-only heartburn med. Only the 20 mg capsule has made the switch, so if you take a different dose or if you use the… Read More

There is a new iron supplement trending in the medical community called pur-Absorb and it’s worth getting to know. Not everyone needs to take iron supplements, which is a good thing because they can be constipating and irritating to the stomach. Many folks taking iron stop it because of side effects. Ferrous sulfate (FeSo4) is… Read More

They shouldn’t be, and it’s sneaky. Read on. As you know, when a branded medication loses patent protection it will face generic competition, and generics are much cheaper. A drug company can change its brand name drug to a slightly different dosage which allows it to extend its patent. It’s legal, but you will see… Read More

Zontivity (voraxapar) is a new type of anti-platelet medication for people who have had a heart attack, or who have reduced blood flow in their legs. It is used to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular death, and the need for procedures to restore blood flow to the heart. It was approved by… Read More

Less than we thought. Similar to recent recommendations to lower the bedtime dose for Ambien (zolpidem) from 10 mg to 5 mg, the FDA has announced that the manufacturer of Lunesta (eszopiclone is the generic) will be required to change the current recommended starting dose. The recommended starting dose of Lunesta has been decreased from 2… Read More

Last month, I wrote that Namenda was being discontinued by the manufacturer (see the post here), to be replaced with the longer-acting Namenda XR. Forest Laboratories announced its plan to discontinue the sale of Namenda 5mg and 10mg tablets but not because of any safety or efficacy issues, just because they have a longer acting form… Read More

Epanova (omega-3 carboxylic acids) has just been approved for the treatment of very high triglycerides (≥500 mg/dL), also known as hypertriglyceridemia. So, what are triglycerides? Triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood, make up one of the many components of your body’s cholesterol. Typically when the doctor has you get your blood drawn to… Read More