The FDA has approved a pegylated form of interferon beta-1a (Plegridy – Biogen) for biweekly treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).
STANDARD TREATMENT — FDA-approved drugs for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS are listed in Table 2. Interferon beta (Avonex, and others) and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone, Glatopa), both of which must be injected, are generally used first. They reduce clinical relapse rates by about 30% and decrease the number of brain lesions seen on MRI.1
Second-line drugs are usually reserved for patients with severe disease and for those who cannot take first-line drugs. Natalizumab (Tysabri), an IV recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, can decrease relapse frequency and slow progression of the disease. Alemtuzumab, an IV anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, is now approved as Lemtrada for treatment of MS; it has been more effective than interferon
- Carbidopa/Levodopa Extended-Release Capsules (Rytary)
- Netupitant/Palonosetron (Akynzeo) for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
- Umeclidinium (Incruse Ellipta) for COPD
- Glyxambi - A New Combination for Type 2 Diabetes
- Addendum: Diet, Drugs, and Surgery for Weight Loss
- In Brief: Mechlorethamine Gel (Valchlor) for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (online only)
The FDA has approved Toujeo (Sanofi), a more concentrated form of insulin glargine containing 300 IU/mL compared to the 100 IU/mL in Lantus (Sanofi). Lantus is nearing the end of its patent protection in the US, and biosimilars are expected to become available.
INSULIN GLARGINE — A long-acting analog of human insulin synthesized by recombinant DNA technology, insulin glargine forms microprecipitates in subcutaneous tissue that prolong its duration of action, permitting once-daily injection in most patients. Toujeo has a more gradual and prolonged release of insulin from the subcutaneous depot than Lantus, resulting in more even activity throughout the dosing period and a longer duration of action. The prolonged time in subcutaneous tissue may reduce the bioavailability of Toujeo.1,2