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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 • October 21, 2019 (Issue 1583)
Annual vaccination against influenza A and B viruses is recommended for everyone ≥6 months old without a contraindication. Available vaccines and recommendations for specific patient populations for the 2019-2020 season are listed in Tables 2 and 3.
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)
Use of insect repellents is strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent infections transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks. Insect repellents applied to exposed skin should be used in conjunction with other preventive measures such as wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts, and avoiding outdoor activities during...
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.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • January 14, 2019 (Issue 1563)
View the Expanded Table: Antiviral Drugs for Seasonal Influenza
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • December 3, 2018 (Issue 1561)
Some readers have questioned our characterization of opioid withdrawal as not life-threatening (Med Lett Drugs Ther 2018; 60:137). While death during opioid withdrawal is unusual, it is possible — for example, due to severe untreated dehydration, withdrawal-induced suicidality, or rare myocardial events. We probably should have said that opioid...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • November 19, 2018 (Issue 1560)
Persons planning to travel outside the US should be up to date on routine vaccines and, depending on their destination, duration of travel, and planned activities, may also receive certain travel-specific vaccines. Tickborne encephalitis and dengue vaccines, which are not available in the US, are reviewed in a separate article available online. Detailed advice for travel to specific destinations...
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • November 19, 2018 (Issue 1560)
View the Expanded Table: Some Vaccines for Travelers
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • November 19, 2018 (Issue 1560)
No vaccines against tickborne encephalitis (TBE) or dengue are available in the US, but vaccines have been licensed in some other countries.