Epocrates Drug Updates - Editor's Pick

January 21, 2015
Belsomra, First Orexin Receptor Antagonist Approved for Insomnia

The FDA recently approved Belsomra (suvorexant), a first-in-class orexin receptor antagonist, for the treatment of insomnia in adults. Orexins are neurotransmitters involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and maintaining wakefulness. Belsomra is a Schedule IV drug and should be given at least 7 hours before the planned time of awakening.

Noteworthy Recent Updates

January 21, 2015
Generic Linezolid Introduced for Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections
Linezolid is now available as a generic drug for IV infusion. Oral formulations remain marketed only under the brand name Zyvox. Linezolid is used to treat pneumonia and skin/skin structure infections caused by susceptible strains of bacteria, including MRSA.

January 15, 2015
Rapivab, New IV Influenza Treatment Approved
The FDA recently approved Rapivab (peramivir), a novel neuraminidase inhibitor used to treat uncomplicated influenza A or B (seasonal flu). Rapivab is administered as a single IV infusion and should be started within 48 hours of symptom onset. Rapivab requires dose adjustment for patients with renal dysfunction. Efficacy has not been established in more severe infections requiring hospitalization.

January 15, 2015
Zerbaxa Approved for Complicated Bacterial Infections
The FDA recently approved Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam), a novel cephalosporin combined with the beta-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam, for complicated UTI and complicated intra-abdominal infections. It is available as an IV infusion and dose adjustments are required for patients with renal dysfunction. When used to treat intra-abdominal infections, Zerbaxa should be given with metronidazole.

January 9, 2015
FDA MedWatch Safety Alert for Geodon
FDA is warning that the antipsychotic drug Geodon (ziprasidone) is associated with a rare, but serious and potentially fatal condition known as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS). DRESS may start as a rash that can spread to all body parts, and can cause eosinophilia. It may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and organ inflammation. Patients should be instructed to report signs and symptoms suggesting DRESS. Healthcare providers should immediately discontinue ziprasidone if DRESS is suspected.

New Drug Monographs

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January 9, 2015

The Levemir monograph has been updated to correct the Start dosing for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. Patients that are not currently taking a GLP-1 receptor agonist should start Levemir at a dose of 10 units/day SC divided qd-bid or 0.1-0.2 units/kg/day SC divided qd-bid. Please update your Epocrates app regularly to ensure that you always have the latest content.