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Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone®) is a synthetic analogue of the multiple sclerosis (MS)-associated antigen, myelin basic protein. Although its exact mechanisms of action in MS remain to be fully elucidated, the key mechanisms of action of glatiramer acetate appear to be modulation of the inflammatory response and neuroprotective and/or neuroregenerative effects. Subcutaneous glatiramer acetate is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and the treatment of patients who have experienced a well-defined first clinical episode and have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features consistent with MS or have been determined to be at high risk of developing clinically definite MS (CDMS). In clinical trials in patients with RRMS, glatiramer acetate reduced the frequency of relapses and reduced the burden and activity of disease on MRI, was more effective than placebo and showed generally similar efficacy to subcutaneous interferon (IFN) β-1a and IFNβ-1b. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of glatiramer acetate were sustained during up to 15 years of treatment in an extension study. In patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), glatiramer acetate significantly delayed the onset of CDMS compared with placebo. The drug was generally well tolerated in these patient populations, with injection-site reactions being the most commonly occurring adverse events. Therefore, glatiramer acetate remains a valuable first-line option in the treatment of RRMS and is an option for delaying the onset of CDMS in patients with CIS. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source


QVA149 (indacaterol/glycopyrronium) [Xoterna® Breezhaler®, Ultibro® Breezhaler®] is an inhaled fixed-dose combination of indacaterol (a long-acting selective β2-adrenergic receptor agonist [LABA]) and glycopyrronium (a long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonist [LAMA]) that has been approved in the EU and Japan for the symptomatic control of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. In phase III studies, QVA149 significantly improved bronchodilation versus indacaterol, glycopyrronium or tiotropium alone and the LABA/inhaled corticosteroid fixed-dose combination salmeterol/fluticasone. These improvements in lung function, which were rapid in onset and maintained during long-term treatment, were generally associated with significant improvements in dyspnoea, health status, COPD exacerbation risk, patient symptoms, and rescue medication use. The SHINE and ILLUMINATE studies in low (exacerbation) risk patients with moderate to severe disease suggest that QVA149 may offer more symptomatic relief than tiotropium and salmeterol/fluticasone. Similarly, the SPARK study in high (exacerbation) risk patients with severe or very severe disease showed that QVA149 was more effective than glycopyrronium in preventing moderate to severe exacerbations, and suggests that QVA149 may offer more symptomatic relief than LAMA monotherapy. Another phase III study comparing QVA149 with salmeterol/fluticasone in high-risk patients with moderate to very severe disease (FLAME) is ongoing. QVA149 is generally well tolerated, with no new safety signals identified compared with its monocomponents. Bronchodilators remain central to the symptomatic management of COPD. When dual bronchodilation is indicated, QVA149 offers the convenience of two bronchodilators in a single inhaler coupled with a simple, once-daily dosing regimen that may encourage better treatment adherence. Therefore, it is a valuable option in the treatment of COPD. © 2014 Springer International Publishing. Source


A new single-tablet, fixed-dose formulation consisting of elvitegravir, an HIV-1 integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI); cobicistat, a pharmacokinetic enhancer; emtricitabine, a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (tenofovir DF), a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF 150 mg/150 mg/200 mg/300 mg; Stribild®) is available in some countries for the once-daily treatment of HIV-1 infection in antiretroviral therapy-naïve adults. Elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF is the first INSTI-based single-tablet regimen available for the complete initial treatment of adults with HIV-1 infection. In two large, randomized, double-blind, phase III trials, once-daily treatment with elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/ tenofovir DF was effective in reducing plasma HIV-1 RNA levels to <50 copies/mL at the week 48 assessment and showed virological efficacy noninferior to that of the efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF single-tablet regimen or a once-daily regimen of atazanavir plus ritonavir (ritonavir-boosted atazanavir) plus the fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine/tenofovir DF. Elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF also showed durable efficacy in terms of achieving sustained suppression of HIV-1 RNA levels to <50 copies/mL for up to 144 weeks in both of the phase III trials. Elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF is an important addition to the group of simplified once-daily single-tablet regimens currently available for the effective treatment of HIV-1 infection in antiretroviral therapy-naïve patients and is among the preferred regimens recommended for use as initial treatment. It offers advantages over more complex multiple-tablet regimens that may impair treatment adherence, which is fundamental to the successful management of HIV-1 infection. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source


Dapagliflozin (Forxiga®) is the first in a novel class of glucose-lowering agents known as sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and is used in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. By inhibiting the transporter protein SGLT2 in the kidneys, dapagliflozin reduces renal glucose reabsorption, leading to urinary glucose excretion and a reduction in blood glucose levels. Unlike oral antidiabetic drugs from several other classes, the efficacy of dapagliflozin is independent of insulin secretion and action. Therefore, when used in combination with other antidiabetic drugs, dapagliflozin provides complementary therapy via its unique mechanism of action.A consistent finding across phase III, randomized, double-blind trials in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes was that dapagliflozin 5 or 10mgday for 24 weeks as monotherapy in previously untreated patients, or as add-on combination therapy with metformin, glimepiride, pioglitazone or insulin-based therapy, significantly reduced both glycosylated haemoglobin values (primary endpoint) and fasting plasma glucose levels compared with placebo. Various randomized trials have also shown improvements in postprandial blood glucose with dapagliflozin monotherapy and combination therapy compared with placebo. In addition, dapagliflozin was noninferior to glipizide, in terms of glycaemic control after 52 weeks, when used as add-on therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes that was inadequately controlled with metformin. In most clinical trials, dapagliflozin was associated with reductions in body weight that were statistically superior to placebo or active comparators. Longer-term extension studies indicate that the efficacy of dapagliflozin is maintained for up to ≈2 years.Dapagliflozin was generally well tolerated in clinical trials of 24 or 52 weeks duration and in extension studies of up to ≈2 years. Events suggestive of genital infections and urinary tract infections occurred more frequently among dapagliflozin than placebo recipients. These adverse events are of special interest because they appear to be related to the mechanism of action of dapagliflozin. Dapagliflozin has a low propensity to cause hypoglycaemia, especially when used alone or in combination with metformin, although the incidence of hypoglycaemic events reported with dapagliflozin in clinical trials varied depending on the background therapy. Longer-term tolerabilitysafety data with dapagliflozin are awaited with interest.In conclusion, dapagliflozin, with its unique and complementary mechanism of action, appears to be an important addition to the therapeutic options for the management of type 2 diabetes, particularly when used as add-on therapy. Adis © 2012 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved. Source


Tranexamic acid, a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine, is an antifibrinolytic agent that acts by binding to plasminogen and blocking the interaction of plasmin(ogen) with fibrin, thereby preventing dissolution of the fibrin clot. Tranexamic acid (Transamin®) is indicated in Japan for use in certain conditions with abnormal bleeding or bleeding tendencies in which local or systemic hyperfibrinolysis is considered to be involved. This article reviews the efficacy and tolerability of tranexamic acid in conditions amenable to antifibrinolytic therapy and briefly overviews the pharmacological properties of the drug. In large, randomized controlled trials, tranexamic acid generally significantly reduced perioperative blood loss compared with placebo in a variety of surgical procedures, including cardiac surgery with or without cardiopulmonary bypass, total hip and knee replacement and prostatectomy. In many instances, tranexamic acid also reduced transfusion requirements associated with surgery. It also reduced blood loss in gynaecological bleeding disorders, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, postpartum haemorrhage and bleeding irregularities caused by contraceptive implants. Tranexamic acid significantly reduced all-cause mortality and death due to bleeding in trauma patients with significant bleeding, particularly when administered early after injury. It was also effective in traumatic hyphaema, gastrointestinal bleeding and hereditary angioneurotic oedema. While it reduces rebleeding in subarachnoid haemorrhage, it may increase ischaemic complications. Pharmacoeconomic analyses predicted that tranexamic acid use in surgery and trauma would be very cost effective and potentially life saving.In direct comparisons with other marketed agents, tranexamic acid was at least as effective as ε-aminocaproic acid and more effective than desmopressin in surgical procedures. It was more effective than desmopressin, etamsylate, flurbiprofen, mefenamic acid and norethisterone, but less effective than the levonorgestrel-releasing intra-uterine device in heavy menstrual bleeding and was as effective as prednisolone in traumatic hyphaema. Tranexamic acid was generally well tolerated. Most adverse events in clinical trials were of mild or moderate severity; severe or serious events were rare. Therefore, while high-quality published evidence is limited for some approved indications, tranexamic acid is an effective and well tolerated antifibrinolytic agent. © 2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Source

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