New Bugs/New Drugs: Rapid-Acting Insulin Approved

June 1, 2004

Apidra (insulin glulisine injection)from Aventis is approved by the FDAfor use in adult patients with type 1 ortype 2 diabetes mellitus for the controlof hyperglycemia. Compared withhuman insulin, Apidra has a morerapid onset and a shorter duration ofaction. The drug is designed to managemealtime spikes in glucose levelsby administration through subcutaneousinjection or continuous subcutaneouspump infusion either 15 minutesbefore or 20 minutes after startinga meal.

Rapid-ActingInsulin Approved

Apidra (insulin glulisine injection)from Aventis is approved by the FDAfor use in adult patients with type 1 ortype 2 diabetes mellitus for the controlof hyperglycemia. Compared withhuman insulin, Apidra has a morerapid onset and a shorter duration ofaction. The drug is designed to managemealtime spikes in glucose levelsby administration through subcutaneousinjection or continuous subcutaneouspump infusion either 15 minutesbefore or 20 minutes after startinga meal.

Because Apidra is a rapid-actingform of insulin, a longer-acting formof insulin may also be necessary foroptimal glucose control. The mostfrequently reported side effects wereallergic reactions, injection site reaction,lipodystrophy, pruritus, andrash.

Apokyn Approvedfor Use in ParkinsonDisease

The FDA has approved Apokyn (apomorphine)from Bertek Pharmaceuticalsfor treatment of Parkinson disease.Apokyn is for use in patientswho experience the episodes of immobilitythat may occur near the endof a dosing interval with standardParkinson disease medications. In1991, the drug was granted orphanstatus to treat patients with stage 4Parkinson disease that is unresponsiveto other therapies.

Apokyn causes severe nauseaand vomiting and must be taken withan antiemetic. However, it must notbe taken with a 5HT3 antagonist,because the combination of these twodrugs may cause hypotension andloss of consciousness. Apokyn isadministered through subcutaneousinjection.