January 8, 2004
Approximately 53% of patients receiving ziconotide experienced moderate to complete pain relief, compared with 18% of patients randomized to the placebo group (AP/Florida Times-Union, 1/6). In addition, some patients in the ziconotide group were able to reduce their use of other pain medications while receiving the medication, while some patients in the placebo group had to increase their use of other painkillers (Rauscher, Reuters Health, 1/6). Although 22 ziconotide patients, compared with four in the placebo group, experienced serious side effects, study author Dr. David Ellis, medical director at Elan, said that subsequent research showed that starting patients on lower doses of ziconotide reduces their risk of serious side effects (AP/Florida Times-Union, 1/6). The FDA is currently reviewing ziconotide, which is being developed by California-based Neurex, according to Reuters Health (Reuters Health, 1/6). The study was co-funded by Elan and Medtronic, the company that manufactures the pumps that delivers the medication (AP/Florida Times-Union, 1/6).
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