An FDA advisory committee voted 19 to 10 in favor of moving hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco into the more restrictive Schedule II category of controlled substances, MedPage Today reported.
Alcoholics who are tested for genotype specificity prior to receiving ondansetron may have significantly improved outcomes, according to new research.
This article provides information about pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments that are used to help people stop smoking, including the use of varenicline.
The chronic and excessive use of alcohol adversely affects the healthcare system, work productivity, and familial and social relationships. Alcohol misuse accounts for 85,000 deaths per year in the United States, and the overall financial costs related to alcohol dependence are more than $100 billion annually. The reduction of alcohol misuse can be measured as an increase in the frequency of abstinence or a reduction in the frequency of relapses. The recommendation for alcohol dependence treatment is a combination of psychosocial support therapy and pharmacologic treatment. Currently, there are only 3 FDA-approved agents for the treatment of alcohol dependence: naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.
Varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer) is a partial nicotine receptor agonist with a high affinity for the alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, modulating dopamine levels associated with nicotine addiction and aiding in smoking cessation. Clinical studies have demonstrated favorable cessation rates compared with placebo and sustained-release bupropion, with an encouraging safety profile. The most common adverse effect seen in clinical trials was mild-to-moderate nausea. In November 2005, a New Drug Application (NDA) was submitted for varenicline, and the drug was subsequently granted a 6-month priority review. On May 10, 2006, varenicline became the first oral medication approved for smoking cessation since bupropion, representing an agent with a novel mechanism of action for smoking cessation.
In phase 3 trials, the first agent in a novel class known as the selective cannabinoid type 1 receptor blockers doubled the odds of quitting smoking while reducing post-cessation weight gain compared with placebo. The agent, rimonabant, also improved several features of the metabolic syndrome in patients with abdominal obesity, reported researchers at the 53rd Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Effective decision-making in benefit management requires an understanding of the economic burden of an illness - in this case, the economic burden and treatment of alcoholism. This article provides an understanding of the true costs of the disease, what has been found to be effective in its treatment, and what treatments may lessen the economic burden of the disease.