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Drug Updates

Orapred(tm)(prednisolone) Oral Solution:

Orapred(tm) (prednisolone) oral solution was approved by the FDA in December 2000 as a treatment for children with asthma and other inflammatory conditions. The manufacturer, Ascent Pediatrics, claims the Orapred’s pleasant grape-flavor is a taste that children will prefer over currently available liquid corticosteroids, which tend to be bitter with an unpleasant after-taste. They state this improvement may help “ease the struggle that many parents have” attempting to get their child to take this type of medication, and allow children to get the dose they need.

For more information about Orapred(tm), ask your pediatrician and visit the website of Ascent Pediatrics’ website at www.ascentpediatrics.com

Metadate CD (once-daily methylphenidate capsule):

On March 19, 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Metadate CD, an extended-release methylphenidate capsule. The manufacturer of Metadate CD, Celltech Medeva, states that Metadate CD is intended for the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and provides a convenient once-daily dosing.

The Metadate CD capsule is filled with beads that act as a drug reservoir. The beads release the drug at different rates, depending on the type of polymer used to coat the outside of the bead. By combining beads with different coatings, each capsule has a mixture of immediate-release and controlled-release methylphenidate. This provides rapid initial onset of methylphenidate, followed by a slower, more controlled release of medication. This type of technology is referred to as Diffucaps(tm), and this will be the first product in the United States to use the Diffucaps technology.

For more information about Metadate CD, parents can ask their child's health care provider and visit the Celltech Medeva website at www.celltechgroup.com/celltech_medeva/index.html.

Protopic(tm)(tacrolimus) Topical Ointment:

A new medication was approved by the FDA in November 2000 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as eczema. Protopic(tm) (tacrolimus), manufactured by Fujisawa Healthcare, is the first new type of medication for treatment of eczema in 40 years. Prior to this new option, most eczema sufferers used topical steroid creams and ointments to keep their skin condition under control. This new class, called the immunomodulators, work directly on the skin to suppress the immune system’s reaction to the irritants and allergens that can lead to eczema.

The most commonly reported side effects of Protopic(tm) include skin burning and itching, however these seem to subside as the eczema condition improves. Children using Protopic(tm) should wear sunscreen and avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight.

Protopic(tm) ointment is available in 0.1% strength (for adults) and a 0.03% strength (for both children and adults using the product long-term). For more information about Protopic(tm), consult your child’s pediatrician, and visit the manufacturer’s website at www.fujisawa.com/corporate/press/story_pro_app.htm.

Concerta(tm) (methylphenidate):

Alza Corporation received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Concerta (tm) extended-release tablets for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients age six and older. Concerta (tm) contains methylphenidate, a stimulant medication found in other ADHD medications. Concerta (tm) offers once-daily dosing of methylphenidate through an "Oros" patterned-release delivery system.

The Oros technology uses osmotic pressure to deliver medication at a controlled rate. Using a once-a-day medication can also help eliminate the need for an in-school dose of medication. Concerta is available from the manufacturer in 18mg and 36mg tablets. For more information regarding Concerta, consult your child's health care provider and visit the Alza Corporation's Concerta website at www.concerta.net.

Pulmicort Respules (tm) (budesonide):

Pulmicort Respules (tm) inhalation suspension was approved in August by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children and infants as young as 12 months for the treatment of asthma. This new formulation must be administered with a nebulizer. Prior to this new product, inhaled corticosteroid therapy was usually given to children by oral inhalers, which are often difficult for young children to use properly.

Corticosteroids, such as Pulmicort Respules (tm) are not "quick-relief" medications such as the bronchodilators (e.g. albuterol) and should not be used to help treat an acute (sudden-onset) asthma attack. Corticosteroids can help prevent asthma attacks from occurring and help to get the asthma under better control. For more information about Pulmicort Respules (tm), ask your child's health care provider and visit the manufacturer's website at www.astrazeneca.com/Patients/Pulmicort.htm

The above information is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice given to you by your child's own pediatrician, pharmacist, or other health professional. Use of this online service is subject to our disclaimer.


This service is funded in part by a grant from the American Pharmaceutical Association Foundation


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Drug Updates

Orapred(tm)
Metadate CD(tm)
Protopic(tm)
Concerta(tm)
Pulmicort Respules(tm)

For more information, see our
Drug Updates Archive.



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