New drugs approved by FDA
Good news for women suffering from hot flashes and for people with diabetes — two new drugs have been approved by the FDA.
Duavee is for menopausal women with moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms or “hot flashes” and the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Vasomotor symptoms are thought to occur when estrogen levels fall and affect the body’s temperature regulating mechanism. About 50% of postmenopausal women experience moderate to severe hot flashes. According to a 2013 study, vasomotor symptoms interfere with family life, work productivity and sleep. Sleep disruption can cause fatigue and depression which also impacts family and work life. Duavee should only be used for the shortest period of time consistent with treatment goals and the lowest risk for the patient.
Afrezza is a new inhalation powder for diabetics to use at mealtime. While not a substitute for long-acting insulin, it will allow both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics to have an option at mealtime to control blood sugar levels without a needle. The inhalant should be taken at the beginning of each meal or within 20 minutes of starting a meal. Peak insulin levels are achieved within 12-15 minutes of taking the drug compared to 45-90 minutes with injected, rapid-acting insulin. Afrezza should not be used in patients with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and smoker’s cough.
As with any medication, there are side effects. Discuss these medications with your doctor to see if they are right for you.