The Medical Letter - 2004
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Year:    Publication:      2004 Annual Index: U.S. English
January 5, 2004 (Issue 1173)  
January 19, 2004 (Issue 1174)  
February 2, 2004 (Issue 1175)  
  • Seasonale   
    Seasonale (Barr), the first "extended-cycle" oral contraceptive, is now available in the US for pregnancy prevention. Active tablets containing 30 ╡g of ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg of...
  • Emergency Contraception OTC   
    An FDA Advisory Committee has recommended over-the-counter (OTC) marketing of Plan B (Barr), an emergency contraceptive "pill pack" that contains two 0.75-mg tablets of levonorgestrel to be...
  • Daptomycin (Cubicin) for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections   
    Daptomycin (Cubicin - Cubist), a cyclic lipopeptide (a new class of antibiotics), has been approved by the FDA for intravenous (IV) treatment of complicated skin and skin structure...
February 16, 2004 (Issue 1176)  
March 1, 2004 (Issue 1177)  
March 15, 2004 (Issue 1178)  
March 29, 2004 (Issue 1179)  
April 12, 2004 (Issue 1180)  
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin) for Chronic Pain   
    Gabapentin (Neurontin - Pfizer), which has been available in the US since 1994, is approved by the FDA only for treatment of partial epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia, but is widely used...
  • Pemetrexed (Alimta) for Mesothelioma   
    The combination of pemetrexed (Alimta - Lilly) and cisplatin is the first chemotherapy regimen approved by the FDA for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. This uncommon malignancy,...
April 26, 2004 (Issue 1181)  
May 10, 2004 (Issue 1182)  
  • Cholesterol Rethink for High-Risk Patients   
    The recent "PROVE IT" trial in patients with coronary heart disease showed clinical benefits associated with reducing LDL cholesterol concentrations lower than the 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L) or less...
  • Stalevo for Parkinson's Disease   
    Levodopa combined with carbidopa (Sinemet, and others) is the most widely used treatment for patients with Parkinson's disease, but after 2 to 5 years most patients develop troublesome...
May 24, 2004 (Issue 1183)  
  • Tiotropium (Spiriva) for COPD   
    Tiotropium bromide inhalation powder (Spiriva HandiHaler - Boehringer Ingelheim), a long-acting anticholinergic agent, has been approved by the FDA for once-daily maintenance treatment of...
  • Imiquimod (Aldara) for Actinic Keratoses   
    Imiquimod cream 5% (Aldara - 3M), an immune modifier previously approved for treatment of genital and perianal warts (Medical Letter 1997; 39:118), has now been approved by the FDA for...
  • Cosmetic Phalloplasty   
    Some patients may be asking healthcare providers about the surgical techniques to enlarge the penis that are widely promoted on the Internet. Phalloplasty was first used to treat traumatic or...
June 7, 2004 (Issue 1184)  
June 21, 2004 (Issue 1185)  
July 5, 2004 (Issue 1186)  
  • Initial Therapy of Hypertension   
    The importance of adequate control of hypertension in preventing organ damage and death is well established, but the choice of drugs is still controversial. Three recent drug trials, one supporting...
  • Amlodipine/Atorvastatin (Caduet)   
    Caduet (Pfizer), a combination of the calcium-channel blocker amlodipine (Norvasc - Pfizer) and the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin) atorvastatin (Lipitor - Pfizer), is now...
July 19, 2004 (Issue 1187)  
  • Performance-Enhancing Drugs   
    With the 2004 Olympics only weeks away, performance-enhancing drugs will once again be receiving a great deal of attention. The US Anti-Doping Agency has published a list of drugs banned in Olympic...
  • Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation   
    Advertisements are appearing in medical journals for continuing medical education courses on catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation. Is a cure at hand for this common disorder?
August 2, 2004 (Issue 1188)  
August 16, 2004 (Issue 1189)  
August 30, 2004 (Issue 1190)  
September 13, 2004 (Issue 1191)  
September 20, 2004 (Issue 1192)  
  • Generic Levothyroxine   
    The FDA has determined that 3 generic formulations of levothyroxine are therapeutically equivalent to brand-name formulations. Some brand-name manufacturers have objected, and endocrine...
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)   
    Gemifloxacin (Factive - Oscient), a new oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic, has been approved by the FDA for 5 days' treatment of acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (ABECB) and...
  • Cinacalcet (Sensipar)   
    Cinacalcet hydrochloride (Sensipar - Amgen) has been approved by the FDA for treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis and treatment...
October 11, 2004 (Issue 1193)  
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta): A New SNRI for Depression   
    Duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta - Lilly), a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), has been approved by the FDA for treatment of major depressive disorder in...
  • Influenza Vaccine 2004-2005   
    Superseded by The Medical Letter "Influenza Vaccine for 2019-2020" - Issue 1583, October 21, 2019Last year influenza season began in October, peaked in December (both much earlier than...
  • Generic Levothyroxine - Addendum   
    In preparing the Canadian edition of the September 27 issue, we noticed that the Canadian price for Synthroid is $6.40 (US $4.92) for 100 100-mcg tablets, compared to $52.70 in the US, an...
October 25, 2004 (Issue 1194)  
November 8, 2004 (Issue 1195)  
  • Tablet Splitting   
    Superseded by The Medical Letter "Tablet Splitting" - Issue 1396, August 6, 2012Breaking drug tablets in half is a common practice. In some cases, a lower drug dose may be as effective as a...
  • COX-2 Alternatives and GI Protection   
    With the removal of Vioxx from the market and concerns about cardiovascular toxicity with other selective COX-2 inhibitors, patients are looking for safe alternatives, and manufacturers of other...
  • Systemic Reactions to Imiquimod (Aldara)   
    Our May 24, 2004 article on use of the immune response modulator imiquimod (Aldara) for treatment of actinic keratoses stated that no systemic effects have been detected. A physician reader...
November 22, 2004 (Issue 1196)  
  • Safety of Aggressive Statin Therapy   
    New guidelines from The National Cholesterol Education Program recommend, as a therapeutic option, lowering treatment goals for LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) from
  • L-Carnitine   
    Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative essential for transport of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria. It is advertised on the Internet as a dietary supplement that can...
December 6, 2004 (Issue 1197)