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[ FDA: Aseptic Meningitis Risk With Use Of Seizure Drug Lamictal ]

FDA: Aseptic Meningitis Risk With Use Of Seizure Drug Lamictal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that the drug Lamictal (lamotrigine), approved to treat seizures and bipolar disorder, can cause aseptic meningitis, an inflammation of the protective membranes (meninges) that cover the brain and spinal cord not caused by bacterial infection. The agency is working with the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, to update the prescribing information and patient medication guide to include this risk. Aseptic meningitis has a number of causes including, but not limited to, viruses, toxic agents, some vaccines, autoimmune diseases, and certain medications, including Lamictal. Symptoms can include headache, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and sensitivity to light. Hospitalization may be required. In suspected cases of meningitis, the underlying cause should be rapidly diagnosed so that treatment can be promptly initiated.

NICE Consults On Draft Recommendations For Psychosis With Co-Existing Substance Misuse

NICE is currently developing a clinical guideline on the assessment and management of psychosis with co-existing substance misuse in adults and young people. As part of this process, draft recommendations have been published on the NICE website for public consultation. Psychosis is used to describe a group of severe mental health disorders characterised by the presence of delusions and hallucinations that disrupt a person's perception, thoughts, emotions and behaviour. The main forms of psychosis are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other affective psychoses. Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, said: "Approximately 40% of people who have been diagnosed with psychosis have also misused a substance at some point in their lifetime. This is at least double the rate seen in the general population.

Emerging Bipolar Treatments And New Research Are Causing An Upsurge In Interest In The Disorder, Australia

Interest and awareness about bipolar disorder are slowly shifting, largely due to emerging treatments and research, according to an article in a supplement to the current edition of the Medical Journal of Australia. Prof David Castle, from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, Prof Michael Berk, from the Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and Barbara Hocking, Executive Director of SANE Australia, examined emerging treatments for and research on bipolar disorder. Prof Castle said bipolar disorder is attracting an upsurge of interest among the general public and in clinical and research arenas, which is being driven largely by the emergence of a range of new pharmacological and psychological treatments. "It is also associated with an increasing awareness that bipolar disorder is more common than previously thought, " Prof Castle said.

Survey Reveals Hidden Bipolarity In Many Depressed Respondents

Interviews with members of more than 5, 000 representative U.S. households as part of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication found that nearly 40 percent of those with major depressive disorder may actually have subthreshold hypomania, defined as a discrete period of increased energy, activity, and euphoria or irritability that is not related to impairment in daily activities. Hypomania is a less disruptive form of mania that lacks psychotic symptoms. The majority of patients with bipolar disorder experience hypomania, rather than mania. Recognition of subthreshold hypomania, or hypomanic symptoms below the threshold for bipolar disorder, would have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of major depression. Among those with subthreshold hypomania, family history of mania was just as common as it was among people with threshold mania.

Increased Generic Erosion Of Key Agents Such As Lamictal And Depakote Depakote ER Will Cause A 2.3 Billion Decline In The Drug Market

Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the increased generic erosion of key drugs such as lamotrigine (GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal, generics) and divalproex (Abbott/Sanofi-Aventis's Depakote/Abbott's Depakote ER, generics), combined with projected generic erosion of the atypical antipsychotic drug class will cause a precipitous $2.3 billion decline in the bipolar disorder drug market over the next decade. The Pharmacor 2010 findings from the topic entitled Bipolar Disorder reveal that although patient share for atypical antipsychotics will increase through 2019, particularly in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan, sales of atypical antipsychotics will decline significantly over the forecast period owing to the generic erosion of key agents such as AstraZeneca/Astellas's Seroquel/AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR, Eli Lilly's Zyprexa, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Abilify and Pfizer's ziprasidone mesylate).

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