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The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • April 6, 2020 (Issue 1595)
The severity and rapid spread of COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2) have raised questions about the use of some drugs in patients with the disease and whether currently available drugs could be effective in treating it. Definitive answers are lacking, but some recommendations can be made. For additional information on specific drugs, see our table Some Drugs Being Considered for Treatment of COVID-...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • April 6, 2020 (Issue 1595)
View the Table: Treatments Considered for COVID-19
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • April 6, 2020 (Issue 1919)
The severity and rapid spread of COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2) have raised questions about the use of some drugs in patients with the disease and whether currently available drugs could be effective in treating it. Definitive answers are lacking, but some recommendations can be made. For additional information on specific drugs, see our table Some Drugs Being Considered for Treatment of COVID-...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • March 23, 2020 (Issue 1594)
In our article on Slynd (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2020; 62:18), the drospirenone-only oral contraceptive, we mentioned that drospirenone has antiandrogenic activity that could improve acne and antimineralocorticoid activity that could cause hyperkalemia. We should have added that concurrent use of drospirenone with other drugs that increase potassium levels, such as the anti-androgen...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • March 9, 2020 (Issue 1593)
We reviewed brolucizumab (Beovu – Novartis) for treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration in our February 10 issue. On February 23, the American Society of Retina Specialists reported that 14 patients who received the drug have developed retinal vasculitis, a potentially vision-threatening complication.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • March 9, 2020 (Issue 1593)
Opioids delay gastric emptying and the absorption of many oral drugs, including the P2Y12 inhibitors clopidogrel (Plavix, and generics), prasugrel (Effient, and generics), and ticagrelor (Brilinta), which are commonly used for initial treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). An article in our February 25, 2019 issue reviewed studies showing that coadministration...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • January 27, 2020 (Issue 1590)
The FDA has approved tafamidis, an oral transthyretin stabilizer, in 2 different formulations (see Table 1) for treatment of adults with transthyretin-mediated amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). Tafamidis is the first drug to be approved in the US for this indication. Patisiran (Onpattro), a transthyretin-directed small interfering RNA, and inotersen (...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • November 18, 2019 (Issue 1585)
The FDA has approved a new formulation of glucagon (Gvoke – Xeris) for subcutaneous treatment of severe hypoglycemia in patients ≥2 years old with diabetes. Conscious patients with symptoms of hypoglycemia can take oral glucose. Glucagon is usually administered by a caregiver to an unresponsive patient. The new formulation is available in a single-use prefilled syringe (Gvoke PFS)...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • September 23, 2019 (Issue 1581)
Lefamulin (Xenleta – Nabriva), a semisynthetic pleuromutilin antibiotic, has been approved by the FDA for IV and oral treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) in adults. It is the first systemic pleuromutilin antibiotic to be approved in the US; retapamulin (Altabax), a 1% topical ointment for treatment of impetigo, was approved in 2007.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • September 23, 2019 (Issue 1581)
The lipid-lowering drug rosuvastatin is now available in a sprinkle capsule formulation (Ezallor Sprinkle – Sun Pharma). Rosuvastatin tablets (Crestor, and generics) have been available since 2003.1,2

The new formulation is being marketed specifically for residents of long-term care facilities who have difficulty swallowing. ...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • September 23, 2019 (Issue 1581)
View the Expanded Table: Statins
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • September 9, 2019 (Issue 1580)
Treatment of atrial fibrillation includes anticoagulation, rate control, and rhythm control. US guidelines were recently updated.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • August 26, 2019 (Issue 1579)
On August 6, 2019, the FDA issued a statement on data manipulation/inaccuracy issues with Zolgensma, a virus vector-based gene therapy approved for one-time IV treatment of children <2 years old with spinal muscular atrophy.1 We reviewed Zolgensma in our July 29 issue.2 According to the FDA statement...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • August 26, 2019 (Issue 1579)
The FDA has required updates to the labeling of the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR) based on interim results of a postmarketing safety trial that showed an increased risk of pulmonary thromboembolism and death with a dosage of 10 mg twice daily.1 Tofacitinib is approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • July 29, 2019 (Issue 1577)
In our article on Bijuva, the oral fixed-dose combination of estradiol and progesterone (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2019; 61:99), Table 1 should have included single-ingredient oral formulations of estradiol and progesterone (see below). They will be added to the table as it appears online, along with medroxyprogesterone (Provera, and...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • July 29, 2019 (Issue 1577)
In our article in issue 1564 on Plenvu for colonoscopy preparation (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2019; 61:11), the comparator drug in the DAYB trial was not Prepopik, but rather Citrafleet, a similar sodium picosulfate-based preparation that is not available in the US. Also, we said that Plenvu can be taken as a single- or...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • July 1, 2019 (Issue 1575)
In our Drugs for Chronic Heart Failure article,1 our description of the PARADIGM-HF trial comparing the combination of the ARB valsartan and the neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril (Entresto) with the ACE inhibitor enalapril for treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) characterized the dosage of enalapril as "suboptimal". Some...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • May 6, 2019 (Issue 1571)
Tegaserod maleate (Zelnorm), a 5-HT4 receptor partial agonist that increases gastrointestinal (GI) motility, was approved by the FDA in 2002 for short-term treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in women and in 2004 for treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults <65 years old.

In 2007, the manufacturer (Novartis)...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • March 25, 2019 (Issue 1568)
The FDA has approved changes to the labeling of erenumab-aooe (Aimovig)1, a once-monthly, subcutaneously injected calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) blocker approved in 2018 for prevention of migraine. The new label contains a warning about hypersensitivity reactions, including rash, angioedema, and anaphylaxis, that have been reported with post-...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • February 25, 2019 (Issue 1566)
Patients may ask about taking elderberry for prevention and treatment of influenza. Products containing elderberry are promoted for relief of cold and flu symptoms and as an immune system booster.