Healthcare Industry News: sanofi-aventis
News Release - October 18, 2006
FDA Approves Allegra(R) (fexofenadine hydrochloride) Oral Suspension for Treatment of Seasonal Allergy Symptoms and Chronic Idiopathic UrticariaNew formulation provides non-impairing symptom relief for pediatric populations
BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Oct. 18 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- sanofi-aventis U.S. (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AllegraŽ (fexofenadine hydrochloride) Oral Suspension for the twice-daily treatment of symptoms associated with seasonal allergies in pediatric patients, 2 to 11 years of age, and for the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria in children 6 months to 11 years of age. This approval makes available a safe and effective seasonal allergy treatment option that is non-impairing to pediatric populations as young as 2 years old.
"Until now, parents had few seasonal antihistamine treatment options that were not associated with cognitively impairing adverse side effects," says Eli Meltzer, M.D., of the Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego. "However, with Allegra Oral Suspension, which does not cause sedation at any dose and is well-established for its antihistamine activity, a medication is now available in a good tasting, easy-to-swallow formulation that can help reduce the seasonal allergy symptoms of children."
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is a common chronic condition in children. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include nasal drainage, sneezing, watery eyes and itchy nose, eyes and throat. Studies indicate that seasonal allergy inflammation as well as the impairing side effects of older antihistamines can be disruptive to a child and may affect cognitive skills and function.
Allegra Oral Suspension has also been approved for the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) in twice-daily 30 mg doses for pediatric patients 2 to 11 years of age and twice-daily 15 mg doses for pediatric patients 6 months to 2 years of age. CIU is a rare and bothersome condition characterized by hives lasting more than 6 weeks from an unknown cause. Its symptoms are caused by a reaction to an unknown trigger in the upper layers of the skin. The condition itself may cause severe itching, but is made worse by scratching.
Allegra Oral Suspension will have a berry flavor* and is expected to be available to consumers in time for the 2007 spring allergy season.
* Artificial raspberry-cream flavoring
Important Safety Information
Side effects in children 6 months to 5 years old were similar to placebo. Side effects varied by age. The most commonly reported side effects were: vomiting, pyrexia, cough, otitis media and diarrhea.
Please see full prescribing information for Allegra Oral Suspension at http://products.sanofi-aventis.us/allegra_oral/allegra.pdf
sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY )
Forward Looking Statements
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