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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : September 2005
product news ethical products Oral solution for Lexapro L UNDBECK has announced the availability of Lexapro oral solution (10mg/mL). Lexapro oral solution is available on the PBS as a Restricted Benefit with a Special Patient Contribution, or an Authority prescription to waive the Special Patient Contribution, for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Lexapro oral solution is a convenient option for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets and is an addition to the currently available 10mg tablet and 20mg tablet. It is available in a spill-resistant bottle with dosing of the solution via a graduated syringe, should be stored at below 25°C and discarded after three months. ¦ aerosol inhaler and Flixotide 500µg Accuhaler will remain on the PBS with a new listing from 1 August 2005. The new listing comes after discussions with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and following recent feedback from some of Australia’s leading respiratory experts that, while there remains little need for long-term use of high doses of inhaled cortico- steroids as monotherapy in the majority of people with asthma, there is a need for Flixotide top strength in a very small percentage of patients in certain clinical situations. Dr Christine Jenkins, head of the Asthma Group at the Woolcock Institute New listing for Flixotide T HE top strengths of Flixotide (fluticasone propionate) 250µg Antidepressants in neuropathic pain A recent Cochrane review has shown that tricyclic antidepressants are effective in treating neuropathic pain, but the effectiveness of SSRIs were not yet established. The review of 50 randomised trials of Medical Research, said: ‘Clinical situations in which Flixotide top strength may be required include the manage- ment of asthma exacerbations and management of patients with severely compromised lung function who cannot tolerate long-acting beta2-agonists. ‘Clinical evidence suggests that most of the benefit of inhaled corticosteroids is derived from low-to-moderate doses with little or no further benefit from higher doses,’ Dr Jenkins said. The change in PBS listing only relates to Flixotide top strength. All other strengths of Flixotide and Seretide (fluticasone propionate/salmeterol xina-foate) will remain unchanged and will continue to be available as an initial prescription plus five repeats on the PBS. ¦ PIPHARM, Epitan Limited’s pharmaceutical business, has announced the PBS listing of its psoriasis drug Exorex. Exorex is the only ready-prepared coal tar preparation available on the PBS. EpiPharm also announced the addition of a fifth product to its dermatology portfolio. The company has PBS-listing for psoriasis drug E 724 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 SEPTEMBER 2005 showed that two-thirds of patients taking the tricyclic antidepressants for pain experienced at least moderate pain relief. The pain studied included diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia; HIV-related pain was also studied but the drugs were not shown to be effective in treating this type of pain. Relief from pain was generally seen within days of beginning treatment, and was independent of any effect on depression. About 20 per cent of patients taking tricyclic antidepressants ceased treat-ment due to side effects. The strongest evidence of pain relief was found for amitriptyline. The reviewers suggested it would be wise to initiate treatment with this drug, but switch if side-effects were a problem. The reviewers also examined the possible role of SSRIs in pain relief, but found only limited evidence for their efficacy. ¦ sibutramine could help improve obstructive sleep apnoea in obese men. The results of the six-month study Sleep apnoea N licensed the Australian sales and marketing rights for Zorac, from Allergan. Zorac has been approved by the TGA and will be launched later this year. Available as either a cream or gel, Zorac (tazarotene) is used for the treatment of acne and psoriasis. The drug is the latest product in the drug class called topical retinoids. ¦ were presented at the recent annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. The study involved 53 obese middle- aged men with symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea, and found that 10 to 15mg a day of sibutramine was associated with not only weight loss, but a reduction in severity of the sleep disorder. ¦ EW Australian research has shown that the weight-loss medication