October 21, 2010
The Food and Drug Administration has amped up warnings on the label of the commonly prescribed HIV antiviral Invirase , adding information about potentially life-threatening cardiac side effects when used in tandem with Norvir, another widely used antiviral. The new labeling requirement follows an FDA warning in February that the drugs taken together could affect electrical activity in the heart, prolonging what are known as QT and PR intervals – indicators of heart rhythm on an EKG. Prolongation of the QT interval can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm known as torsades de pointes, which can cause lightheadedness or fainting and, in some cases, life-threatening ventricular fibrillation.
August 24, 2010
A study of birth records in Denmark shows no increase in birth defects among children born to mothers who received the antiviral drugs acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir during the first trimester of pregnancy, researchers said Monday. The drugs are often used to treat herpes simplex and herpes zoster infections. About two out of every 1,000 American women are exposed to the drugs during the first trimester, researchers from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development said in an editorial accompanying the report in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
August 9, 2010
An experimental antiviral agent called boceprevir doubled the cure rate for hepatitis C in a small phase 2 clinical trial designed to show efficacy, researchers reported Sunday. The drug will now be submitted to the larger Phase 3 trial required for approval of the drug by the Food and Drug Administration. Hepatitis C is a chronic viral infection that affects an estimated 170 million people worldwide, leading eventually to cirrhosis and liver cancer if not controlled. The standard treatment now is a 48-week regimen of pegylated interferon, which boosts the immune system, and the antiviral agent ribavirin, which is a general-purpose antiviral agent.
December 4, 2009 |
An experimental antiviral drug that works by a different mechanism than existing drugs has been shown to suppress hepatitis C in chimpanzees and is already being tested in human clinical trials, researchers reported Thursday. The new agent is a so-called antisense drug that binds to RNA required by the virus for replication, preventing the virus from proliferating in the liver. Preliminary tests suggest that the drug, called SPC3649, has no toxic side effects, does not allow development of resistance -- which plagues other hepatitis drugs -- and has lasting effects after treatment has stopped.
September 21, 2009 |
Mononucleosis, the curse of high school and college students, doesn't have to bring social and academic lives to a screeching halt, researchers say. Instead, the disease can be treated to shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the chance of transmission. In a study presented Sept. 14 at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco, University of Minnesota researchers found that students who receive an antiviral medication early in the course of the illness become less sick than those offered the standard advice to rest for several weeks.
September 14, 2009 |
The flu tends to come on suddenly -- you're fine in the morning and aching and shivering that night -- while a cold usually develops gradually over the course of two or three days. Flu usually causes a fever and aches; a cold usually doesn't. Other symptoms of the flu include headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, chills and, usually in children, vomiting or diarrhea. How do I know if it's the novel H1N1 strain? Unless your doctor orders a test, you won't.