Asthma patients show better compliance with oral medication
NEW YORK Asthma patients taking oral medications, as opposed to inhalers, are more faithful to their medication regimens than patients using inhalers, a study released by health insurer WellPoint’s research division suggests.
The HealthCore study found that inhaled asthma medications are more clinically effective, but oral medications might be more convenient for some.
Costs to the health care system in the United States related to asthma were $12.7 billion in 2002, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22.9 million Americans have the disease, according to 2006 figures.
FDA requests additional information from J&J on schizophrenia drug
WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has requested additional data from Johnson & Johnson for determining whether to approve an experimental drug for schizophrenia, J&J announced Tuesday.
The FDA is not requiring new clinical trials for the drug, paliperidone palmitate, but it can’t comment on the contents of the complete response letter it sent to J&J.
The drug uses Ireland-based Elan’s NanoCrystal technology.
Codeine use by nursing mothers may harm babies
NEW YORK Medicinal use of codeine by breast-feeding mothers may harm their babies’ health, according to a recent Canadian study.
In some women, genetic factors cause their bodies to metabolize codeine into morphine faster than others, increasing the babies’ risk of morphine overdose. Over time, buildup of morphine in the babies’ bodies can cause sleepiness, breathing problems and death.
The study, published online Aug. 20 in the journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, looked at DNA samples from 72 Canadian mothers who used codeine after giving birth between 2004 and 2007 and also administered a telephone survey of the mothers to determine their health and their children’s health before, during and after the use of codeine. Almost a quarter of the babies experienced nervous system depression, evidenced by reduced alertness, while their mothers used codeine.
Two of the mothers had the genetic predisposition to overproduce morphine, and one of their babies died.