The Medical Letter - 2008
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Year:    Publication:      2008 Annual Index: U.S. English | Canadian English
January 14, 2008 (Issue 1277)  
  • A Diclofenac Patch (Flector) for Pain   
    Diclofenac epolamine patch 1.3% (Flector Patch - Alpharma), a topical formulation of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac, has been approved by the FDA for topical...
  • Two New Drugs for HIV Infection   
    Raltegravir (Isentress - Merck), the first in a new class of oral HIV drugs called HIV-1 integrase strand transfer inhibitors (InSTI), has received accelerated FDA approval for use in...
  • In Brief: Cetirizine OTC   
    Cetirizine (Zyrtec, and others) and cetirizine/pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D) are becoming available without a prescription this month for treatment of allergic rhinitis and urticaria...
January 28, 2008 (Issue 1278)  
February 11, 2008 (Issue 1279)  
  • Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort) for Asthma   
    A combination of the corticosteroid budesonide and the long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol (Symbicort - AstraZeneca) has become available in a metered dose inhaler for long-term...
  • Ophthalmic Azithromycin (AzaSite)   
    The FDA has approved azithromycin 1% ophthalmic solution (AzaSite - Inspire) for treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis in patients > 1 year old. It is formulated, according to the...
  • In Brief: Herbal Warning   
    The FDA recently advised health care professionals and consumers not to use a number of dietary supplements found to contain the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor sildenafil (Viagra) or an analog...
February 25, 2008 (Issue 1280)  
March 10, 2008 (Issue 1281)  
March 24, 2008 (Issue 1282)  
April 7, 2008 (Issue 1283)  
April 21, 2008 (Issue 1284)  
May 5, 2008 (Issue 1285)  
May 19, 2008 (Issue 1286)  
  • Desvenlafaxine for Depression   
    The FDA has approved the marketing of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq - Wyeth), the main active metabolite of venlafaxine (Effexor, and others - Wyeth), for treatment of major depressive...
  • Pharmacogenetic-Based Dosing of Warfarin   
    Warfarin sodium (Coumadin, and others) and other coumarin anticoagulants prevent thrombosis, but patient response is highly variable and overanticoagulation can lead to hemorrhage. Genotyping...
  • In Brief: IV Artesunate for Severe Malaria   
    The drug of choice for patients who require parenteral treatment for malaria is IV artesunate, which is available now from the CDC Malaria Branch (M-F, 8 AM-4:30 PM eastern time, 770-488-7788 or,...
June 2, 2008 (Issue 1287)  
June 16, 2008 (Issue 1288)  
June 30, 2008 (Issue 1289)  
July 14, 2008 (Issue 1290)  
July 28, 2008 (Issue 1291)  
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta) for Fibromyalgia   
    Duloxetine (Cymbalta - Lilly) is the second drug to be approved by the FDA for treatment of fibromyalgia. Pregabalin (Lyrica), which is also approved for treatment of neuropathic pain...
  • Drugs for Travelers' Diarrhea   
    The most common cause of travelers' diarrhea, usually a self-limited illness without fever lasting several days, is infection with noninvasive enterotoxigenic (ETEC) or enteroaggregative (EAEC)...
  • ECGs Before Stimulants in Children   
    The American Heart Association (AHA) recently published a statement saying that it would be reasonable to obtain an electrocardiogram (ECG) in children being evaluated for stimulant drug therapy for...
  • A Reminder: Meningococcal Vaccine   
    The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended administration of the quadrivalent conjugated polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine (Menactra – Sanofi Pasteur) to all...
August 11, 2008 (Issue 1292)  
August 25, 2008 (Issue 1293)  
  • Aliskiren/Hydrochlorothiazide (Tekturna HCT) for Hypertension   
    Aliskiren (Tekturna - Novartis), the first direct renin inhibitor for treatment of hypertension, has been approved for use in a fixed-dose combination with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide...
  • A New Rotavirus Vaccine   
    Rotarix, an oral live-attenuated rotavirus vaccine, has been approved by the FDA for prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants and children. Rota-Shield was withdrawn from the...
  • Ezetimibe Revisited   
    In recent months, both the lay media and some medical experts have raised concerns about the effectiveness and safety of ezetimibe, a widely used drug that prevents absorption of cholesterol from...
  • Zingo for Local Analgesia in Children   
    The FDA has approved the marketing of a new device for delivering lidocaine to the skin of children undergoing a venipuncture or intravenous (IV) line placement. Zingo (Anesiva) is a powder...
September 8, 2008 (Issue 1294)  
September 22, 2008 (Issue 1295)  
October 6, 2008 (Issue 1296)  
October 20, 2008 (Issue 1297)  
  • Certolizumab (Cimzia) for Crohn's Disease   
    The FDA has approved the marketing of certolizumab pegol (Cimzia - UCB), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker, for treatment of moderate to severe Crohn's disease refractory to conventional...
  • Drug Interactions with Simvastatin   
    A recent letter to the editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine documented a single case of myopathy apparently due to an interaction between simvastatin (Zocor, and others) and green tea....
  • In Brief: Melamine   
    Melamine present in infant formula and other milk products has been associated with widespread illness and some deaths among infants in China. It was also identified in pet food sold in North...
November 3, 2008 (Issue 1298)  
November 17, 2008 (Issue 1299)  
  • Advertisements for TNF Inhibitors   
    Some tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are being promoted on the internet directly to the public for use in psoriasis (
  • Safety of SSRIs in Pregnancy   
    Depression occurs in up to 20% of pregnant women, and the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in these women has been increasing. Maternal depression has itself been associated...
  • Bendamustine (Treanda) for CLL and NHL   
    Bendamustine HCl (Treanda - Cephalon), an unusual DNA-alkylating agent that has been used in Europe for many years to treat lymphoma, has now been approved by the FDA for treatment of chronic...
December 1, 2008 (Issue 1300)  
December 15, 2008 (Issue 1301)