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Drugs introduced in 2007 include fat blockers, skin treatment and more

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2008 10:00 pm

Dear Readers,

This year, the FDA approved and launched many prescription (Rx), over the counter (OTC) and medical devices that may help you or someone you know. Thank you for making this past year so spectacular with your terrific questions, sweet comments and support of my book. May good health shine upon you in 2008.

I wish you peace, grace and love, Suzy

Vyvanse (Rx, oral): A once-daily capsule that is used for ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). The new psychostimulant prescription drug breaks down in the body to an active by-product called dextroamphetamine which you may recognize as the prescription drug called "Dextrostat" and also "Dexedrine."

Alli (OTC, oral): A fat blocker used to help people lose weight; it is used in combination with diet and exercise. This is a lower dose version of the prescription drug Xenical. The drug may cause uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing intestinal side effects, as well as nutrient depletions of certain vitamins like vitamin A, E, D and K.

Combigan (Rx, ophthalmic): This new drug to treat glaucoma is really the marriage of two older ones - Alphagan and Timoptic.

Tekturna (Rx, oral): Lowers blood pressure; you only need to take it once daily. The med is the first of a new class called "renin inhibitors," meaning it blocks production in your kidneys of a substance called renin, which among other things, can squeeze your arteries and thereby raise blood pressure.

Ixempra (Rx, injection): Used for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, even metastatic.

Ammonia (Rx, injection): Hard to believe, but. yes, ammonia got the FDA thumbs up to get injected into people as a radioactive contrast agent, allowing doctors to get a better idea of blood flow to the heart muscle during rest or activity.

Altabax (Rx, ointment): This topical salve is applied to the skin to treat impetigo, a skin infection that is very common in kids aged 2 to 6. It's characterized by blisters and a rash, usually on the hands and face.

Selzentry (Rx, oral): The first medication in a new class called "CCR5 antagonists" used to treat HIV infection. It blocks the cells doorway, so the HIV but can't get in and spread. Side effects include reduced appetite, insomnia, stomachache and liver damage.

StaphASeptic (OTC, gel): A new topical salve which targets MRSA, a potentially deadly form of staph aureus and unfortunately, a growing problem in the U.S. This works much better for MRSA than traditional triple antibiotic creams.

Neupro (Rx, patch): The first once-daily skin patch to treat early Parkinson's disease. Most common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache and skin irritation at the site of application. That said, narcolepsy and hallucinations can occur, and did during clinical trials!

Torisel (Rx, injection): Used to treat kidney cancer.

Doribax (Rx, injection): Used to treat urinary tract abdominal infections.

Amrix (Rx, oral): This is an extended release version of an old drug called Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) and it comes in 15 and 30mg capsules, never to be broken, chewed or dumped out.

This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Suzy Cohen is the author of "The 24-Hour Pharmacist." For more information, visit http://www.DearPharmacist.com">http://www.DearPharmacist.com.

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