Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Patgient Dies after Using Allopurinol with Treanda

Following patient death, Cephalon warns of using Treanda with allopurinol

Philadelphia Business Journal - by John George Staff Writer

Cephalon is updating the prescribing information for its cancer treatment drug Treanda to include a warning about the use of the drug with allopurinol, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

According to the filing, the Frazer, Pa., biopharmaceutical company identified two cases of Stevens Johnson syndrome in patients treated with Treanda and allopurinol — one of which was fatal.

Allopurinol is used to decrease levels of uric acid in certain cancer patients.

Stevens Johnson syndrome is a rare, and potentially deadly, skin disease.

Treanda was approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

“Although the relationship between Treanda and Stevens Johnson Syndrome cannot be determined, there may be an increased risk of severe skin toxicity when Treanda and allopurinol are administered concomitantly,” Cephalon (NASDAQ: CEPH) stated in its filing, adding that allopurinal is known to cause the syndrome.

The updated prescribing information is expected to be implemented in early May, the company said.

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