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Product news (15 November 2008)

New medicine: Bridion / SPC changes: Humira / Prescription products: Xamiol / Discontinued products: All-Flex/Gyno Daktarin; Dynepo; LifeScan test strips

New Medicine


Composition: Sugammadex sodium.

Presentation: Solution for injection.

Action: Modified gamma cyclodextrin, a selective relaxant binding agent.

Indications: Reversal of neuromuscular blockade induced by rocuronium or vecuronium. In children and adolescents Bridion is only recommended for routine reversal of rocuronium induced blockade.

Dosage: For routine reversal in adults, 4mg/kg is recommended if recovery has reached at least one to two post-tetanic counts following rocuronium- or vecuronium-induced blockade.

A dose of 2mg/kg is recommended if spontaneous recovery has occurred up to at least the reappearance of T2 following blockade induced by rocuronium or vecuronium.

For immediate reversal of rocuronium-induced blockade a dose of 16mg/kg is recommended.

If blockade recurs postoperatively after an initial dose of 2mg/kg or 4mg/kg, a repeat dose of 4mg/kg is recommended.

For routine reversal of rocronium-induced blockade in children and adolescents 2mg/kg is recommended.

Immediate reversal is not recommended.

Precautions: Bridion is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment.

Ventilatory support is mandatory for patients until adequate spontaneous respiration is restored following reversal of neuromuscular block.

Toremifene, flucloxacillin and fusidic acid have the potential to affect the efficacy of Bridion because they may cause some displacement of rocuronium or vecuronium from the complex with Bridion.

Bridion has the potential to reduce the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives.

The administration of a bolus dose of Bridion should be considered to be equivalent to one missed daily dose of oral contraceptive.

Side effects: Very common (=1/10) dysgeusia. Common (=1/100 to <1/10) anaesthetic complication.

Legal category: POM.

Net price:
10 x 200mg/2ml, £596.40
10 x 500mg/5ml, £1,491

Contact details: Schering-Plough Ltd, Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL7 1TW (tel 01707 363636).


SPC changes


Humira (adalimumab; Abbott) is now indicated — in combination with methotrexate, or as monotherapy where methotrexate is not tolerated or where combination therapy is inappropriate — for the treatment of active polyarticular idiopathic arthritis in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years who have inadequate response to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

The updated summary of product characteristics recommends a single dose of 40mg fortnightly via subcutaneous injection, and states that a response should be achieved within 12 weeks of initiation of treatment.

The SPC recommends that patients treated under the new indication be brought up to date with immunisations, in agreement with current immunisation guidelines, before initiating adalimumab therapy.

The SPC now states that adalimumab may have a minor influence on the ability to drive or to operate machinery.


Prescription products


Xamiol (calcipotriol 50µg/betamethasone dipropionate 0.5mg) gel is now available from LEO Pharma.

Net price: 1 x 60g, £36.50

Legal category: POM


Discontinued products

All-Flex/Gyno Daktarin

Janssen-Cilag will discontinue All-Flex latex diaphragms 65mm, 70mm, 75mm and 80mm, and Gyno Daktarin pessaries 14 x 100mg in December 2008.

Further information on 01494 567444.


Shire will discontinue Dynepo (epoetin delta) from 31 January 2009.

Further information on 0800 055 6614.

LifeScan test strips

LifeScan will discontinue OneTouch and PocketScan test strips in December, following the discontinuation in 2002 of their corresponding blood glucose meters. Further information on 01494 658750.

Users of the discontinued OneTouch Basic, OneTouch Profile, OneTouch II and PocketScan blood glucose meters can contact LifeScan customer care on 0800 028 8039 to arrange a free meter upgrade.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10039136

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