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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : March 2005
product news ethical products New treatment for psoriasis A new combination topical medication psoriasis treatment, which may lead to visible improvement within one week, is now available in Australia. Daivobet is the first and only registered fixed combination ointment of calcipotriol and the corticosteroid betamethasone dipropionate; without its patented formulation, these two compounds cannot just be mixed. In chronic plaque psoriasis Daivobet has been shown to be more effective than either calcipotriol or a topical steroid used alone. One study found that after one week of Daivobet once a day, the mean improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) was 45.5 per cent, compared to 33.6 per cent for calcipotriol only (twice daily) and 20 per cent for placebo (Daivobet carrier vehicle). Daivobet is available in 15g or 30g tubes. It is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. ¦ Australian first for restless legs R insulin glargine in helping people with type 2 diabetes, who are new to insulin therapy, to achieve targeted HbA1C levels. This is according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care. Two-thirds of patients using NovoMix 30 reached target HbA1C levels, compared with only 40 per cent receiving insulin glargine, in the INITIATE study. ‘This study demonstrates the value of Improved blood glucose control N EPREVE (ropinirole), the first treatment specifically indicated for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in Australia, is available from February 2005. Repreve is an orally administered tablet that contains a dopaminergic agent, which works by directly stimulating the dopamine receptors in the brain. The treatment has been approved to treat RLS, a neurological movement disorder with both sensory and motor components, which together have a profound impact on sleep. Three 12-week, double- blind, placebo-controlled studies show Repreve to be effective in significantly improving RLS symptoms, the patients’ quality of life, episodes of nocturnal arousal, as well as reducing involuntary leg movements. Repreve is available in three different doses in tablet form—0.25mg, 0.5mg and 2.0mg, with the recommended starting dose being 0.25mg once daily for two days, to be taken before bedtime. If this dose is well tolerated the dose may be increased to 0.5mg once daily for the remainder of week. Repreve is available on private prescription and costs $42 for a 0.5mg pack (28) and $130.53 for a 2mg pack (28). ¦ long-term medication added to the PBS since lithium became available more than 30 years ago. Eli Lilly, supplier of Zyprexa, has also published Australia’s first Directory of Services for people with bipolar disorder. It has been developed so that mental health consumers can make informed choices about treatment options. Bipolar maintenance on PBS Z 180 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 MARCH 2005 ¦ initiating insulin therapy with a dual- acting insulin analogue, particularly in patients with HbA1C values greater than 8.5 per cent,’ said the study’s lead investigator, Philip Raskin, Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. ¦ porosis medications (Journal of Bone and Mineral Research) showed that alend- ronate sodium (Fosamax) delivered faster and significantly greater increases in bone mineral density (BMD) than risedronate. These increases in BMD occurred as early as six months at every osteoporotic site measured, including the hip trochanter, femoral neck, total hip and lumbar spine. Fosamax also delivered faster and superior reductions in bone turnover than risedronate. Associate Professor Peter Ebeling, Fosamax superior R YPREXA (olanzapine) is the first of a new class of antipsychotic medications to be approved for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. It is also the second deputy director of Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, said that the results demonstrated that while Fosamax and risedronate had similar safety profiles and tolerability, especially regarding upper GI adverse events, Fosamax was superior on all efficacy measures studied. ¦ OVOMIX 30, a premix insulin analogue, is more effective than ESULTS published from the first comparative study of weekly osteo-