Pharmacy Week in Review: Narcolepsy Drug Approved for Children, Thyroid Disease Linked to RA Onset


A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.


Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

FDA officials have approved Jazz Pharmaceuticals' Xyrem to treat cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness in pediatric patients aged 7 to 17 years with narcolepsy, Pharmacy Times reported. The drug had previously been approved for use in adult patients. Xyrem is a central nervous system depressant that was FDA-approved in 2002. The medication was indicated for treating cataplexy, a sudden and transient episode of muscle weakness accompanied by full conscious awareness, typically triggered by emotions such as crying, laughing, or terror, in adult patients with narcolepsy. About 70% of people with narcolepsy have cataplexy.

The FDA is reminding health care professionals who prescribe and dispense antibiotics that there are recent safety labeling changes for systemic fluoroquinolones, Contemporary Clinic reported. The purpose of the new prescribing information is to strengthen and clarify previous label warnings about the risks for serious blood sugar disturbances and psychiatric adverse effects associated with these medications. In July 2018, the FDA issued a drug safety communication providing detailed information that supports the issue of new safety labeling changes. The communication also advises practitioners to alert patients about the symptoms of hypoglycemia, to carefully monitor their blood glucose levels, and to discuss with them what to do if they have symptoms of hypoglycemia.

The risk of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) increases during the 5-year period before diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but appears to drop following RA diagnosis, according to a new study, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. Although prior research revealed an association between AITD and RA, there has been limited information on the risk of developing these conditions over time and the risk of AITD after RA diagnosis. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, sought to determine when and how the increased risk of AITD develops in association with the time before or after onset of RA. The researchers used data from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register and linkage to other nationwide registers to identify about 8,100 adults with new-onset RA and more than 80,000 population-based participants as reference.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Eliquis if their patients have seen a new commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Around the Corner,” after a woman has a blood clot caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), she worries that another one may be around the corner. According to the commercial, she protects herself with Eliquis, which has been proven to prevent and treat DVT blot clots, while causing less major bleeding than Lovenox. This allows her to enjoy exploring nature with her husband and spending time with her granddaughter.

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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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