Health Highlights: Dec. 12, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Approves Generic Versions of Antidepressant Cymbalta

The first generic versions of the antidepressant Cymbalta have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agency okayed six generic versions of the drug from a number of companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma Global and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., the Associated Press reported.

Cymbalta, the fifth best selling medication in the world in 2012, is marketed by Eli Lilly & Co. Inc. The company's patent on Cymbalta expired Wednesday. Generic drugs typically sell for much less than the original branded product.

Along with depression, Cymbalta is also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, and some types of chronic pain, the AP reported.

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Female Libido Drug Maker Appealing FDA Decision

It's not clear whether the benefits of a drug meant to increase sexual desire in women outweigh the risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The agency considers the effectiveness of Sprout Pharmaceuticals' drug flibanserin to be "modest," while side effects include fatigue, dizziness and nausea, the Associated Press reported.

The daily pill was developed to boost libido in women by targeting brain chemicals linked to mood and appetite.

An October letter from the FDA to Sprout denied approval of the drug and requested more information. The company is appealing the decision, but it appears to have a low chance of success. Only 3 of 17 appeals considered last year by the FDA were successful, the AP reported.

So far, all attempts to develop a drug to increase women's sexual desire have been unsuccessful.

Published
Thursday, December 12, 2013