Weekly Roundup 5.16.14

The Weekly Roundup is late after a much-needed day of respite.  Sorry about that.  A little bit of Spring Fever mixed with a lot of need to catch up on things around home.

In any case, there is a little that happened this week, some of which is of great interest.

  • Lower Starting Dose for Sleep Drug A label change was announced this week when FDA decided to lower the recommended staring dose for sleep aid Lunesta (eszopicione).  The move was to avoid the possibility that levels in some patients may be high enough the morning after that activities and alertness could be impaired and therefore the agency was recommending that the starting dose be cut in half from 2 milligrams to 2 for both men and women, leaving less drug remaining in the body in the morning hours.  Last year, FDA also announced dose reduction for other sleep drugs containing zolpidem.
  • HIV Prevention Through Medication –  PrEP – or pre-exposure prophylaxis is accomplished through the use of a single pill that contains two medications used to treat HIV.  CDC is recommending that individuals who are at high risk of HIV exposure that daily use of these medications can be a prophylaxis strategy to consider.  The agency is recommending that PrEP is for people who do not have HIV, but are at substantial risk – which is considered to be someone, for example, who is in a relationship with an individual who has HIV.  CDC will be holding “Grand Rounds” on the topic this Tuesday, May 20 from 1-2 PM.
  • MERS On the RiseWHO noted this week a number of MERS cases – the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – and while the reported cases appear to rise in number, there has also been a growing geography with not only the first imported cases into the U.S., but also reports of the first in-country U.S. transmission in Illinois – a case where the exposure did not apparently result in illness.  The news prompted an update from the Centers for Disease Control, a transcript of which can be found here.

That’s it for me this week.  Sorry about the tardiness.  Hope you all had a good weekend.

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