The Medical Letter - 2016
Year:    Publication:      2016 Annual Index: U.S. English | Canadian English
January 4, 2016 (Issue 1485)  
January 18, 2016 (Issue 1486)  
February 1, 2016 (Issue 1487)  
  • Drugs for Acne
    The pathogenesis of acne is multifactorial: follicular hyperkeratinization, bacteria, sebum production, androgens, and inflammation all play a role. The gram-positive microaerophilic bacteria...
  • Drugs for Rosacea
    This common, chronic inflammatory facial eruption of unknown cause is more prevalent in women than in men. Rosacea is characterized by erythema and telangiectasia, and sometimes by...
  • Rolapitant (Varubi) for Prevention of Delayed Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
    The FDA has approved rolapitant (Varubi – Tesaro), an oral substance P/neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonist, for use with other antiemetics to prevent delayed nausea and...
  • Addendum: Timing of Levothyroxine
    In our October 26, 2015 article on drugs for hypothyroidism (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2015; 57:147), we said that levothyroxine should be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water 30-60...
February 15, 2016 (Issue 1488)  
  • Genvoya - A New 4-Drug Combination for HIV
    The FDA has approved Genvoya (Gilead), a fixed-dose combination of the integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) elvitegravir, the pharmacokinetic enhancer cobicistat, and the...
  • Selexipag (Uptravi) for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
    The FDA has approved selexipag (Uptravi – Actelion), an oral selective prostacyclin IP receptor agonist, for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Treprostinil...
  • Patiromer (Veltassa) for Hyperkalemia
    The FDA has approved patiromer (Veltassa – Relypsa), an oral potassium binder, for treatment of hyperkalemia. It is the first drug to be approved for this indication since the...
  • Correction: Drugs for Acne
    In Table 1 of our February 1, 2016 article Drugs for Acne (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2016; 58:13), the formulations for Differin, topical adapalene, should have been listed as 0.1% gel, cream,...
February 29, 2016 (Issue 1489)  
  • Elbasvir/Grazoprevir (Zepatier) for Hepatitis C
    The FDA has approved Zepatier (Merck), a fixed-dose combination of two direct-acting antiviral agents — elbasvir, an NS5A inhibitor, and grazoprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor — for...
  • Drugs for Tobacco Dependence
    Tobacco dependence remains the primary preventable cause of death in the United States. It is a chronic disorder that often requires pharmacologic therapy, but counseling may be equally effective...
  • Sonidegib (Odomzo) for Basal Cell Carcinoma
    The FDA has approved the hedgehog pathway inhibitor sonidegib (Odomzo – Novartis) for oral treatment of locally advanced basal cell carcinoma that cannot be treated with surgery or...
  • Clarification: Half-Life of Heroin
    A reader expressed concern that a statement in our article Naloxone (Narcan) Nasal Spray for Opioid Overdose (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2016; 58:1) might be misleading. We stated that heroin has...
  • Olaparib (Lynparza) for Advanced Ovarian Cancer (online only)
    The FDA has approved the oral poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza – Astra-Zeneca) as monotherapy for treatment of women with advanced ovarian cancer who have...
March 14, 2016 (Issue 1490)  
  • Safety of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
    Three coordinated double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of one year of testosterone replacement therapy in improving sexual function, physical function, and...
  • Zarxio - A Filgrastim Biosimilar
    The FDA has approved filgrastim-sndz (Zarxio – Sandoz), a biosimilar of the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor filgrastim (G-CSF; Neupogen), which has been...
  • Low-Dose Meloxicam (Vivlodex) for Osteoarthritis Pain
    The FDA has approved Vivlodex (Iroko), a low-dose formulation of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam (Mobic, and generics), for management of osteoarthritis pain....
  • Isavuconazonium Sulfate (Cresemba) - A New Antifungal
    The FDA has approved isavuconazonium sulfate (Cresemba – Astellas) for intravenous and oral treatment of invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis in adults. Isavuconazonium...
March 28, 2016 (Issue 1491)  
April 11, 2016 (Issue 1492)  
April 25, 2016 (Issue 1493)  
May 9, 2016 (Issue 1494)  
  • Treatment of Lyme Disease
    Most cases of Lyme disease in the US occur between May and September in the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and North Central states.
  • Ixekizumab (Taltz) - A Second IL-17A Inhibitor for Psoriasis
    The FDA has approved ixekizumab (Taltz – Lilly), an injectable humanized interleukin (IL)-17A antagonist, for treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are...
  • Odefsey - Another NNRTI Combination for HIV
    The FDA has approved Odefsey (Gilead), a once-daily, fixed-dose combination of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) rilpivirine and the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse...
  • BioThrax and Anthrasil for Anthrax
    The FDA has approved anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA; BioThrax – Emergent BioSolutions) for prevention of anthrax disease in adults following exposure to Bacillus anthracis and...
  • In Brief: Two Drugs for Soft-Tissue Sarcoma (online only)
    The anthracycline doxorubicin with or without the alkylating agent ifosfamide is the standard first-line treatment for advanced soft-tissue sarcomas. The FDA recently approved the minor groove DNA...
May 23, 2016 (Issue 1495)  
June 6, 2016 (Issue 1496)  
June 20, 2016 (Issue 1497)  
  • A New Abuse-Deterrent Opioid - Xtampza ER
    The FDA has approved Xtampza ER (Collegium), a new extended-release, abuse-deterrent capsule formulation of oxycodone, for management of pain severe enough to require daily,...
  • Spritam - A New Formulation of Levetiracetam for Epilepsy
    The FDA has approved a rapidly disintegrating tablet formulation of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam (Spritam – Aprecia) for adjunctive treatment of partialonset, myoclonic, and...
  • Two New Amphetamines for ADHD
    Two new extended-release amphetamine products have been approved by the FDA for once-daily treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients ≥6 years old: Adzenys...
  • Reslizumab (Cinqair) for Severe Eosinophilic Asthma
    The FDA has approved reslizumab (Cinqair – Teva), a humanized interleukin-5 (IL-5) antagonist monoclonal antibody, for add-on maintenance treatment of severe asthma in adults who have an...
  • Addendum: Doxycycline for Young Children?
    A reader commenting on our Treatment of Lyme Disease article (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2016; 58:57) objected to a footnote in the table advising against use of doxycycline in children <8 years old....
July 4, 2016 (Issue 1498)  
  • Insect Repellents
    Use of insect repellents is strongly recommended by the CDC and the EPA to prevent Zika virus infection and other mosquito- and tickborne diseases. Mosquitoes can transmit chikungunya, dengue,...
  • Drugs for Depression
    Complete remission of symptoms is the goal of antidepressant therapy; partial response is associated with an increased risk of relapse. Improvement can occur within the first two weeks of drug...
  • In Brief: Uridine Triacetate (Vistogard) for Fluorouracil Overdose
    The FDA has approved the pyrimidine analog uridine triacetate (Vistogard – Wellstat Therapeutics) for emergency treatment of a fluorouracil (5-FU) or capecitabine (Xeloda, and...
July 18, 2016 (Issue 1499)  
August 1, 2016 (Issue 1500)  
  • Cannabis and Cannabinoids
    In the US, 25 states and the District of Columbia now permit some medical use of botanical marijuana (Cannabis sativa). It has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, but...
  • Jentadueto XR for Type 2 Diabetes
    The FDA has approved Jentadueto XR (Boehringer Ingelheim/Lilly), a once-daily extended-release formulation of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor linagliptin and the biguanide...
  • Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide (Descovy) for HIV
    The FDA has approved Descovy (Gilead), a fixed-dose combination of the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)...
  • Venetoclax (Venclexta) for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
    The FDA has approved venetoclax (Venclexta – Abbvie/Genentech), an oral selective BCL-2 inhibitor, for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in patients with a 17p deletion who...
  • Addendum: Depression and Suicidality with Isotretinoin
    Our article earlier this year on Drugs for Acne1 stated that the oral retinoid isotretinoin (Accutane, and others) is the most effective drug available for patients with severe nodulocystic...
August 15, 2016 (Issue 1501)  
  • Drugs for Bipolar Disorder
    Bipolar disorder is characterized by intermittent episodes of mania and/or depression. Even with maintenance treatment, recurrences of manic or (more frequently) depressive episodes are common....
  • Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir (Epclusa) for Hepatitis C
    The FDA has approved Epclusa (Gilead), a fixed-dose combination of sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and velpatasvir, a new direct-acting antiviral agent, for oral treatment of chronic hepatitis...
August 29, 2016 (Issue 1502)  
  • AspireAssist - A New Device for Weight Loss
    The FDA has approved AspireAssist (Aspire Bariatrics), a weight-loss device that permits patients to drain a portion of their stomach contents through a gastrostomy tube into a toilet...
  • Lifitegrast (Xiidra) for Dry Eye Disease
    The FDA has approved a 5% ophthalmic solution of lifitegrast (Xiidra – Shire), a lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) antagonist, for treatment of the signs and symptoms of...
  • Sugammadex (Bridion) for Rapid Reversal of Neuromuscular Blockade
    The FDA has approved sugammadex (Bridion – Merck), a selective relaxant binding agent, for reversal of rocuronium- or vecuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade in adult surgical...
  • An Oral Cholera Vaccine for Travelers (Vaxchora)
    The FDA has approved Vaxchora (PaxVax), a single-dose, oral, live-attenuated cholera vaccine, to protect against disease caused by Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 in adults 18-64 years...
  • Addendum: Cannabis and Cannabinoids
    A reader asked why our Cannabis and Cannabinoids article (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2016; 58:97) did not include our usual Dosage/Cost table. We have now posted one in the article as it appears online....
September 12, 2016 (Issue 1503)  
September 26, 2016 (Issue 1504)  
October 10, 2016 (Issue 1505)  
October 24, 2016 (Issue 1506)  
November 7, 2016 (Issue 1507)  
  • Metformin for Prediabetes
    The oral biguanide metformin (Glucophage, and others) is generally the drug of choice for initial treatment of type 2 diabetes. It has also been used to prevent or at least delay the onset...
  • Drugs for Menopausal Symptoms
    The primary symptoms of menopause are genitourinary and vasomotor. A thin, dry vaginal lining and thin urethral mucosa can cause vaginal and vulvar burning and irritation, pain during...
  • Eteplirsen (Exondys 51) for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    Eteplirsen (Exondys 51 – Sarepta), an antisense oligonucleotide, has received accelerated approval from the FDA for treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in patients who have a...
November 21, 2016 (Issue 1508)  
  • Minimed 670G: A Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery System
    The FDA has approved the Minimed 670G (Medtronic), a hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system for use in patients ≥14 years old with type 1 diabetes. The system uses an algorithm to...
  • Lesinurad (Zurampic) for Gout-Associated Hyperuricemia
    The FDA has approved lesinurad (Zurampic – Ironwood), a uric acid transporter 1 (URAT1) inhibitor, for adjunctive treatment of gout-associated hyperuricemia in patients whose serum uric...
  • Drugs for Head Lice
    Head lice infestation occurs in all age groups, but especially in elementary school children. In most cases, transmission occurs by head-to-head contact.
December 5, 2016 (Issue 1509)  
December 19, 2016 (Issue 1510)  
  • Celecoxib Safety Revisited
    The results of a clinical trial (PRECISION) comparing the cardiovascular safety of the COX-2 selective NSAID celecoxib (Celebrex, and generics) with that of ibuprofen and naproxen, which...
  • Drugs for Psychotic Disorders
    Oral antipsychotic drugs used for treatment of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and other manifestations of psychosis or mania are listed in Table 1....
  • 2016 Annual Index (Online Only)
    View the 2016 Annual Index