New ddI Formulation Eliminates ‘Nasty Taste’
The FDA yesterday approved a new easier-to-swallow capsule version of ddI, a standard HIV medication, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports. The capsule, which is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and sold under the brand name Videx EC, replaces the two "large, bitter-tasting" ddI pills that HIV patients had to chew or dissolve in water to consume. Bristol-Myers did not announce when the pill would be available for purchase or how much it would cost. Patients often reported that the old ddI pills caused diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects. Bristol-Myers stated that a "special coating" on the capsule may cause fewer gastrointestinal side effects. An FDA spokesperson added that the new capsule "may cause fewer dangerous interactions with other medications" taken by HIV patients because the new pill "does not contain a buffering ingredient used in the chewable version." The AP/Mercury News reports that the new capsule, taken once a day, should eliminate at least one side effect of the old pills: the "nasty taste problem" (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 10/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.