Month: August 2015

In July 2015, Praluent (alirocumab) was approved by the FDA as the first drug in a new class known as PCSK9 inhibitors. It was joined by Repatha (evolocumab), which received approval on August 27, 2015. These new injectable medications are the first approvals in a long time that may be as effective as statins—or better—at lowering cholesterol. For now, Praluent is… Read More

The FDA has issued a safety warning for Picato (ingenol) topical gel, used to treat actinic keratosis. According to the warning issued August 21, 2015, there have been recent reports that Picato gel can cause severe allergic skin reactions and shingles. Is there anything unique about Picato as an actinic keratosis treatment? Picato gel only requires… Read More

Some interesting news came out of a study done at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where a common high blood pressure medication was shown to improve survival in those with ovarian cancer. In addition to standard treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, women taking propranolol (Inderal) or other similar medications lived longer. How do heart meds help with… Read More

New drug Keveyis (dichlorphenamide) received FDA approval on August 10, 2015. It is the first prescription approved to treat a rare genetic disorder known as periodic paralysis. Periodic paralysis can be triggered by too much or too little potassium in your blood (hyperkalemic or hypokalemic), and involves periods of muscle weakness or paralysis. It is estimated… Read More

Almost 10% of Americans will battle depression over their lifetime.  Some people will find themselves depressed after a traumatic life event; for others, it’s a constant battle. While depression can happen to anyone, here are some surprising statistics: People living in the southeast US tend to have a higher incidence of depression. People with lower… Read More

Sexual problems are common in both men and women. These problems take different forms including lack of desire (decreased libido), inability to achieve erection or orgasm and impaired arousal. New approval Addyi may be able to help women with low libido, like Viagra can help men with erectile dysfunction, but what if the culprit is one of… Read More

Addyi (flibanserin) was approved by the FDA on August 18, 2015, despite continuing controversy over effectiveness and potential side effects. The new drug from Sprout Pharmaceuticals has been touted as Viagra for women, though it works a bit differently. Addyi is approved to treat low libido, which makes it the first of its kind for men or women. Viagra and… Read More

Early in 2015 the FDA approved the first concentrated long-acting insulin known as Toujeo (insulin glargine), and it’s now available in pharmacies. While Toujeo is the first of its kind, the key word is “concentrated.” It actually contains the same active ingredient (insulin glargine) as Lantus—which is currently the #1 prescribed insulin in the US…. Read More

It’s that time again—the new lists of covered and excluded drugs on next year’s insurance plans are out, and it doesn’t look great. For many Americans with health insurance, more than 50 popular brand-name and generic drugs may no longer be covered starting in January 2016. Express Scripts and Caremark, companies that handles pharmacy benefits for… Read More

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strokes are a leading cause of death in the United States. Strokes are responsible for 1 in every 20 deaths or approximately 130,000 Americans every year. Aggrenox is used to help prevent stroke if you’ve had a previous “mini-stroke” or an actual ischemic stroke—and the generic, aspirin/extended-release dipyridamole, was… Read More