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New Bugs/New Drugs: Rapid-Acting Insulin Approved

New Bugs/New Drugs: Rapid-Acting Insulin Approved

Rapid-Acting Insulin Approved

Apidra (insulin glulisine injection) from Aventis is approved by the FDA for use in adult patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus for the control of hyperglycemia. Compared with human insulin, Apidra has a more rapid onset and a shorter duration of action. The drug is designed to manage mealtime spikes in glucose levels by administration through subcutaneous injection or continuous subcutaneous pump infusion either 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after starting a meal.

Because Apidra is a rapid-acting form of insulin, a longer-acting form of insulin may also be necessary for optimal glucose control. The most frequently reported side effects were allergic reactions, injection site reaction, lipodystrophy, pruritus, and rash. Apokyn Approved for Use in Parkinson Disease

The FDA has approved Apokyn (apomorphine) from Bertek Pharmaceuticals for treatment of Parkinson disease. Apokyn is for use in patients who experience the episodes of immobility that may occur near the end of a dosing interval with standard Parkinson disease medications. In 1991, the drug was granted orphan status to treat patients with stage 4 Parkinson disease that is unresponsive to other therapies.

Apokyn causes severe nausea and vomiting and must be taken with an antiemetic. However, it must not be taken with a 5HT3 antagonist, because the combination of these two drugs may cause hypotension and loss of consciousness. Apokyn is administered through subcutaneous injection.

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