News from the FDA/CDC

FDA approves Xyrem to treat children with narcolepsy


The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Xyrem (sodium oxybate) oral solution to treat cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness in patients ages 7-17 with narcolepsy.

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The central nervous system depressant previously had been approved to treat cataplexy in adults with narcolepsy.

The current approval was granted by the FDA under a Priority Review designation. Xyrem also received the FDA’s Orphan Drug designation, which is intended to encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

The agency noted in a press release, however, that the drug would continue to be available only through risk evaluation mitigation strategy (REMS) programs because of “the risk of serious outcomes resulting from inappropriate prescribing, misuse, abuse and diversion.” Xyrem either alone or in combination with other CNS depressants may be associated with reactions including seizure, respiratory depression, decreases in the level of consciousness, coma, and death, the FDA said.

The most common adverse reactions in pediatric patients were enuresis, nausea, headache, vomiting, weight decrease, decreased appetite, and dizziness.

For more information on prescribing Xyrem for pediatric patients, see the revised labeling information on the FDA website.

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