PHARMACY

Cymbalta may help reduce osteoarthritis knee pain

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS A drug used to treat depression, anxiety, diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia may also be able to treat arthritis, according to a study.

Results of the study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine in Honolulu, found that Eli Lilly & Co.’s Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride), taken once daily in strengths between 60 mg and 120 mg, reduced osteoarthritis knee pain significantly compared to placebo.

Patients taking duloxetine showed greater reduction in pain measured by the Brief Pain Inventory 24-hour pain scoring system than those taking placebo. Measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index, patients on duloxetine showed improved physical function compared to those on placebo, but did not show statistically significant improvements in pain and stiffness.

“The disabling nature of osteoarthritis pain can greatly impact a person’s life,” study lead author and Lilly medical fellow Vladimir Skljarevski said in a statement. “As our population ages, osteoarthritis of the knee is likely to become an increasing problem.”

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FDA approves generic version of Depakote

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Abbott’s Depakote, FDA records show.

The agency approved Dr. Reddy’s Labs divalproex sodium delayed-release capsules in the 125 mg strength. The capsules are used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraine headaches.

The branded version of the drug had sales of $1.5 billion in 2007, according to Abbott financial records.

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FDA approves Mylan’s generic epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has approved Mylan’s generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s epilepsy drug Lamictal, Mylan announced Wednesday.

The drug, known generically as lamotrigine, is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Mylan will sell the drug in the 25 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg strengths. The FDA also approved Genpharm?s application for a chewable generic version of Lamictal.

The branded version of the drug had sales of about $91 million in the year ending Sept. 30, according to IMS Health. 

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