PHARMACY

Study suggests epilepsy drug does not prevent migrains

BY Adam Kraemer

NEW YORK New research has suggested that the anti-epilepsy drug oxcarbazepine does not appear to prevent migraine headaches.

According to a study published in the journal Neurology by Stephen Silberstein of the Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia, some anti-epilepsy drugs have shown success in the prevention of migraine, and reports have suggested that oxcarbazepine—marketed by Novartis as Trileptal—would be effective as well. However, results of a study lasting almost five months, showed no difference between the oxcarbazepine and placebo groups in the change in the number of migraine attacks from the beginning to the end of the study.

The severity of the attacks and the amount of acute rescue medication required also was not affected by treatment allocation. “The results of this trial do not support preliminary data that had suggested oxcarbazepine was effective in preventing migraine,” Silberstein noted in a written statement. “While several epilepsy drugs have been used for decades to prevent migraine, oxcarbazepine did not prevent migraine in this study despite it being shown to be safe and well-tolerated.”

Silberstein also noted that the three epilepsy drugs that most effectively prevent migraine headaches—topiramate, divalproex and gabapentin—have several mechanisms by which they treat migraines, including the ability to regulate a brain chemical known as GABA. In contrast, oxcarbazepine has no apparent activity on GABA. Silberstein says it’s possible that epilepsy drugs must be able to regulate this specific brain chemical in order to prevent migraine headaches.

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PHARMACY

FDA approves two new APP generic medications

BY Diana Alickaj

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. The Food and Drug Administration approved APP Pharmaceuticals’ new drug applications for caffeine citrate oral solution at 20 milligrams/milliliter and for bleomycin sulfate for injection.

Caffeine citrate oral solution, the generic version of Bedford Labs’ Cafcin, is a treatment used for premature infants who have apnea, a condition where babies stop breathing during sleep for a brief amount of time, according to published reports.

Bleomycin is a treatment for cancer, a generic of Bristol-Myer’s Blenoxane, although it works in combination with other medicines. As a result of the recent FDA approval, APP Pharma stock increased to $10.33, a three-cent increase per share.

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Shares of Labopharm rise with positive Trazodone study

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK Positive results on Trazodone, a once-daily anti-depressant pill, caused shares of Labopharm to rise on Friday.

According to published reports, Trazodone is a pill whose main goal is to improve a patient’s quality of sleep. The study reveals that this goal was met, with 412 patients showing that a once-daily version is effective and also inhibits a patient from awaking as frequently during the night.

The stock for Labopharm rose by 18.7 percent, about 37 cents, increasing the stock price to $2.35 in morning trading. Over the past year, the stock has ranged between 63 cents and $7.21.

The Food And Drug Administration already approved the twice-daily version of Trazodone, and Labopharm is planning to file a new drug application for its newest version of Trazodone with the FDA later in the year.

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