The Medical Letter - 2006
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Year:    Publication:      2006 Annual Index: U.S. English | Canadian English
January 2, 2006 (Issue 1225)  
January 16, 2006 (Issue 1226)  
  • Adacel and Boostrix: Tdap Vaccines for Adolescents and Adults
    The FDA has licensed Adacel (Aventis Pasteur) and Boostrix (GlaxoSmithKline), two new combination vaccines that include tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis...
  • Drugs in the Elderly
    The physiologic changes that occur with aging can affect the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of many prescription and over-the-counter drugs, increasing the likelihood of adverse effects.
  • Chromium Supplementation
    Chromium is marketed as a dietary supplement, usually containing 20-500 mcg of a chromium salt. It has been promoted for weight loss, muscle building, and for prevention and treatment of diabetes,...
January 30, 2006 (Issue 1227)  
February 13, 2006 (Issue 1228)  
  • Treatment of Community-Associated MRSA Infections
    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, which have been a concern for many years, previously occurred primarily in hospitalized patients and those recently treated with...
  • Nelarabine (Arranon) for T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
    Nelarabine (Arranon - GlaxoSmithKline), a prodrug of the deoxyguanosine analog 9-β-D-arabinofuranosylguanine (ara-G), has been approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with T-cell...
  • Phosphate Binders
    Hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal disease can lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism, renal osteodystrophy, metastatic calcification and cardiovascular mortality. addition to dietary restriction...
February 27, 2006 (Issue 1229)  
  • Abatacept (Orencia) for Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Atacept (Orencia - Bristol-Myers Squibb), an inhibitor of T-cell activation, has been approved by the FDA for treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients who have...
  • Coenzyme Q10
    Coenzyme Q10, a fat-soluble antioxidant also known as ubidecarenone, ubiquinone and CoQ10, is marketed as a dietary supplement in the US, both as a single ingredient and in various combination...
March 13, 2006 (Issue 1230)  
March 27, 2006 (Issue 1231)  
April 10, 2006 (Issue 1232)  
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix) Revisited
    Clopidogrel (Plavix - Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb), an oral thienopyridine that inhibits platelet aggregation, is now being advertised directly to the public on television....
  • Lenalidomide (Revlimid) for Anemia of Myelodysplastic Syndrome
    Lenalidomide (Revlimid - Celgene), a thalidomide analog, has been approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with transfusion-dependent anemia due to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)...
April 24, 2006 (Issue 1233)  
  • Insulin Glulisine (Apidra) -- A New Rapid-Acting Insulin
    Insulin glulisine (Apidra - Sanofi Aventis) is the third rapid-acting insulin analog to be marketed in the US, following insulin lispro (Humalog) and insulin aspart (Novolog)....
  • Rituximab (Rituxan) for Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Rituximab (Rituxan - Genentech), an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody already marketed for treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is now FDA-approved for use concurrently with methotrexate...
  • Deferasirox (Exjade): A New Iron Chelator
    Deferasirox (Exjade - Novartis), an oral chelating agent, recently received accelerated approval from the FDA as an orphan drug for oral treatment of chronic iron overload due to blood...
  • In Brief: Telithromycin Hepatotoxicity
    Telithromycin (Ketek) is an oral erythromycin derivative FDA-approved for treatment of mild to moderate community-acquired pneumonia, exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and acute bacterial...
May 8, 2006 (Issue 1234)  
  • Raloxifene (Evista) for Breast Cancer Prevention in Postmenopausal Women
    Preliminary results from a new study, unpublished but reported in a press release from the National Cancer Institute and widely disseminated in the public press, suggest that raloxifene...
  • Acupuncture
    Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles for therapeutic purposes into points on the skin known as acupoints. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, these points arefound along...
  • Invader UGT1A1 Molecular Assay for Irinotecan Toxicity
    The FDA has approved a new genetic test to identify patients who may be at increased risk of severe toxicity when treated with the cancer chemotherapy drug irinotecan (Camptosar). The...
May 22, 2006 (Issue 1235)  
  • Transdermal Selegiline (Emsam)
    The FDA recently approved the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) selegiline in a transdermal (patch) formulation (Emsam - Bristol-Myers Squibb/Somerset) for treatment of major depressive...
  • Anidulafungin (Eraxis) for Candida Infections
    Anidulafungin (ay nid yoo la fun jin; Eraxis - Pfizer), a third intravenous echinocandin antifungal, has been approved by the FDA for treatment of esophageal candidiasis, candidemia, and...
  • In Brief: Sodium Phosphate Colonoscopy Preps
    Last year, a Medical Letter article reviewing colonoscopy preparations warned that oral sodium phosphate preparations, such as Fleet Phospho-Soda solution and Visicol tablets, could cause...
June 5, 2006 (Issue 1236)  
  • Mumps Outbreak Recommendations
    A large mumps outbreak that began in Iowa in December 2005 has spread. About 40% of the cases have been in people 18-25 years old, many of whom are college students and had been vaccinated against...
  • Ranolazine (Ranexa) for Chronic Angina
    The FDA has approved the marketing of extended release (ER) ranolazine (Ranexa - CV Therapeutics) for treatment of chronic angina in patients who have not achieved an adequate response with...
  • Lubiprostone (Amitiza) for Chronic Constipation
    The FDA has approved lubiprostone (Amitiza - Sucampo/Takeda), a chloride channel activator, for treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults. The only other prescription drug...
June 19, 2006 (Issue 1237)  
  • Transdermal Methylphenidates (Daytrana) for ADHD
    A transdermal patch formulation of methylphenidate (Daytrana - Noven/Shire) has been approved by the FDA for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients ≥ 6...
  • Conivaptan (Vaprisol) for Hyponatremia
    Conivaptan hydrochloride (Vaprisol - Astellas), a vasopressin antagonist, has been approved by the FDA for short-term intravenous (IV) treatment of euvolemic hyponatremia in hospitalized...
  • In Brief: One Drop or Two
    Many prescriptions for eye drops call for instillation of 1-2 drops. But Medical Letter consultants in ophthalmology seem to agree that all eye drops should generally be given in doses of only one...
July 3, 2006 (Issue 1238)  
July 17, 2006 (Issue 1239)  
  • Inhaled Insulin (Exubera)
    An inhaled, dry-powder formulation of rapid-acting human insulin (Exubera - Pfizer) has been approved by the FDA for treatment of adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • Fish Oil Supplements
    Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential human nutrients. The main dietary source of PUFAs is fatty fish...
July 31, 2006 (Issue 1240)  
  • In Brief: Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements
    The results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of calcium and vitamin D supplements in more than 36,000 postmenopausal women, conducted as part of the Women’s Health Initiative (RD Jackson...
  • RotaTeq: A New Oral Rotavirus Vaccine
    The FDA has recently approved RotaTeq (Merck), an oral live, human-bovine reassortant rotavirus vaccine, for use in infants to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis, a frequent cause of severe...
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol) - A Once Monthly Injection for Alcoholism
    An injectable extended-release formulation of the opioid-receptor antagonist naltrexone (Vivitrol - Alkermes/Cephalon) has been approved by the FDA for once-monthly use, along with...
August 14, 2006 (Issue 1241)  
  • A Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
    A recombinant quadrivalent human-papillomavirus-like particle vaccine, Gardasil (Merck), has been approved by the FDA for use in girls and women 9-26 years old to prevent diseases associated...
  • Varenicline (Chantix) for Tobacco Dependence
    Varenicline tartrate (Chantix - Pfizer) is now available for oral treatment of tobacco dependence. Some other drugs for this indication are listed in this article.
  • Intravenous Ibandronate (Boniva)
    Ibandronate (Boniva - Roche) is the first bisphosphonate approved by the FDA for intravenous (IV) treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is given as a bolus injection once...
  • VariZIG for Prophylaxis After Exposure to Varicella
    The US manufacturer of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG; Massachusetts Public Health Biologic Laboratories, Boston, MA) recently discontinued its production. A Canadian formulation,...
  • Automated External Defibrillators
    Sudden cardiac arrest has a survival rate of about 6% without immediate defibrillation. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be found in many public locations such as shopping malls, office...
September 11, 2006 (Issue 1243)  
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine (Zostavax)
    A live attenuated varicella-zoster vaccine (Zostavax - Merck) has been approved by the FDA for prevention of herpes zoster (HZ; zoster; shingles) in persons ≥60 years old. Each dose of...
  • Darunavir (Prezista) for HIV Infection
    Darunavir (Prezista - Tibotec), a new protease inhibitor, has received accelerated approval from the FDA for use in combination therapy of human-immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in...
  • In Brief: Plan B OTC
    The FDA has approved over-the-counter (OTC) sales of Plan B (Duramed), an emergency contraceptive package that contains two 0.75-mg tablets of levonorgestrel, to women ≥18 years old....
  • In Brief: Atorvastatin for Stroke Prevention
    Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease (Treat Guidel Med Lett 2005; 3:15). A recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine...
  • In Brief: Natalizumab (Tysabri) Returns
    Soon after The Medical Letter first reviewed use of natalizumab (Tysabri – Biogen Idec and Elan) for treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2005;...
September 25, 2006 (Issue 1244)  
  • Three New Oral Contraceptives
    Three new combination oral contraceptives (COCs) with shortened hormone-free intervals, Seasonique, Loestrin 24 Fe and Yaz, have recently been approved by the FDA. All 3 are...
  • A Once-Daily Combination Tablet (Atripla) for HIV
    Atripla (Gilead/Bristol-Myers Squibb) is the first once daily, single-tablet combination of 3 antiretroviral drugs for treatment of HIV infection. Each tablet contains 600 mg of the...
  • A Second Dose of Varicella Vaccine
    The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended the addition of a routine second dose of varicella vaccine for children
October 9, 2006 (Issue 1245)  
  • Influenza Vaccine 2006-2007
    Superseded by The Medical Letter "Influenza Vaccine for 2018-2019" - Issue 1558, October 22, 2018Annual immunization against influenza A and B is the most effective method of preventing...
  • A Progestin Implant (Implanon) for Long-Term Contraception
    Implanon (Organon), an implantable contraceptive containing the progestin etonogestrel, has been approved by the FDA. Two other implantable contraceptives, Norplant and Jadelle,...
October 23, 2006 (Issue 1246)  
  • Ranibizumab (Lucentis) for Macular Degeneration
    The FDA has approved ranibizumab (Lucentis - Genentech) as an intravitreal injection for treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Ranibizumab is a derivative of...
  • Antiviral Drugs for Prophylaxis and Treatment of Influenza
    Superseded by The Medical Letter "Antiviral Drugs for Treatment and Prophylaxis of Seasonal Influenza" - Issue 1563, January 14, 2019Antiviral drugs can be used to control institutional...
  • Addendum: Influenza Vaccine 2006-2007
    Superseded by The Medical Letter "Influenza Vaccine for 2018-2019" - Issue 1558, October 22, 2018Since the publication of our article on influenza vaccine (October 9, 2006), a fourth...
November 6, 2006 (Issue 1247)  
November 20, 2006 (Issue 1248)  
December 4, 2006 (Issue 1249)