Can pharmaceuticals be as exciting as the country’s biggest basketball tournament? Absolutely! March was a slam dunk for Rx innovations. Learn about our five most interesting medications that received FDA approval in March.
A new injectable Rx, Allergan’s Juvederm Vollure XC, was approved to treat moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds, in those over the age of 21. This medication has proven effective with studies showing more than 82 percent of patients satisfied with the treatment after six months. A clinical trial investigator noted Juvederm Vollure XC may last up to 18 months. The most common side effects were injection-site reactions such as itching, discoloration, pain, redness, lumps or bumps, firmness, bruising, tenderness and swelling. A risk tied to Juvederm Vollure XC is unintentional injection into a blood vessel. According to Allergan, Juvederm Vollure XC will be available in the US this April by prescription only.
Rx Kisqali Treats Breast Cancer
We are thrilled to learn about Kisqali (ribociclib), a new medication that was approved mid-March to treat women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)- negative breast cancer. Ribociclib has been approved in combination with an aromatase inhibitor to treat women who have metastatic breast cancer and who have already gone through menopause. We can’t help but go a little March-mad for new medications like ribociclib!
An End to Frequent Nighttime Urination
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its first treatment for adults who experience nighttime urine overproduction that leads to waking during the night to urinate.
The medication is called Noctiva, and its active ingredient is desmopressin acetate. It was approved to treat adults with nocturnal polyuria that leads to waking up at least two times per night. For the many adults who experience an overproduction of urine that leads to a disruption of sleep, desmopressin acetate may be the perfect solution. This medication is available as a nasal spray and is to be administered about 30 minutes before bed. The medication works by increasing the kidneys’ absorption of water. Desmopressin acetate nasal spray holds a boxed warning regarding the risk for very low sodium levels.
Psoriasis Rx Gets Green Light
Great news for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who have not had success with or have stopped seeing success with medications taken by mouth, through injection, or ultraviolet light treatment. Siliq (brodalumab) is available as an injection that received FDA approval earlier this year. Brodalumab’s approval came after it proved to be safe and effective in three clinical trials. Brodalumab carries a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior. This boxed warning was included after suicidal ideation and behavior, including completed suicides, happened during clinical trials.
Innovative Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Xadago (safinamide) as an add-on therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The FDA approved this medication for use in patients who are currently taking levodopa/carbidopa but are still experiencing “off episodes,” or periods of time when the medications are not working well, leading to an increase in Parkinson’s symptoms.
In two different clinical trials, those patients who were taking levodopa and were given safinamide experienced more beneficial “on” time without uncontrolled involuntary movement compared to those given a placebo. This is exciting news for the millions of people throughout the world diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It brings us one step closer to a cure, and we’re thrilled by the progress.