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Ebixa - New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

Ebixa - New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

For the first time in New Zealand a new drug is bringing help to patients in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease and vital relief to those who care for them.

EBIXA (memantine) is the first in a new class of therapy for the treatment of the symptoms of moderately severe to severe Alzheimer's disease, and is now approved for distribution in New Zealand1.

With Alzheimer's disease, patients gradually lose their memory and ability to perform routine activities and increasingly need help to function on a daily basis3.

Ebixa is the first in a new class of therapy known as the NMDA receptor antagonists1. It works in a completely different way to other Alzheimer's treatments, which are mainly cholinesterase inhibitors. In addition, unlike Ebixa, these cholinesterase inhibitors are not indicated to treat the symptoms of the later stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Development of Ebixa is therefore welcome news.

In New Zealand there are up to an estimated 21,000 people afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.4

Seventy five per cent of the cost of treating dementia patients relates to severe stages of Alzheimer's disease2 for which, until now, there was no available treatment.

Ebixa is available in tablet or drop form. It is marketed by Lundbeck Australia, a pharmaceutical company focused solely on the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Ebixa is distributed by Healthcare Logistics in New Zealand.

For further information I can arrange for you to talk to the following people:

Steve Maritz Managing Director

Lundbeck Australia

Steve can talk about any queries to do with Ebixa or Lundbeck - for example, Approval of the drug, overseas studies, company background, and history.

A representative from Lundbeck Australia will attend the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress on 10th May 2004.

Michael Broome

Healthcare Logistics

Healthcare Logistics are the distributors for Ebixa in New Zealand.

Independent specialists:

Dr Greg Finucane

Consultant Neuro-Psychiatrist

Based at Auckland University

Dr Finucane has used Ebixa on seven clients in Auckland and can give independent feedback about the effectiveness of the drug.

Dr Finucane will be at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress on Tuesday 11th May 2004 at the Christchurch Convention Centre.

Dr Phil Wood

Geriatrician

Based at North Shore Hospital, Auckland

Dr Wood can also provide independent information about Ebixa.

Editors Note:

Ebixa* is a Prescription Medicine used for treatment of the symptoms of moderately severe to severe Alzheimer's Disease. You will need to pay for this medicine as it is not funded and a doctor's fee may apply.

Check with your doctor if Ebixa* is right for you.

Caution for those patients with epilepsy and severe kidney disease and impairment. Changes in pH of the urine may occur in drastic diet changes or ingestion of alkalising gastric buffers. Caution is recommended for those patients with diagnosed heart conditions like coronary disease and heart failure and uncontrolled hypertension. Mention should be made of other medicines that the patient is taking in case of interaction.

Possible side effects would include fatigue, dizziness, headache, confusion, diarrhoea, vomiting, anorexia, nausea, insomnia, hallucination, somnolence, anxiety, delusion, pneumonia, conjunctivitis.

Use strictly as directed and for further information and if symptoms persist or you have side effects consult your doctor. Tablets contain memantine hydrochloride 10 mg and drops contain memantine hydrochloride 10 mg/g..

For further information, check the Consumer Information [CMI] on the Medsafe website or at ausenq@lundbeck.com

References:

1. Ebixa (memantine) Approved New Zealand Data Sheet.

2. Wimo A et al, "Resource Utilization and Cost Analysis of Memantine in Patients with Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's Disease" Pharmacoeconomics, 2003; 21(5): 327-340.

3.Butterfield DA, Pocernich C B. "The glutamatergic system and Alzheimer's disease: therapeutic implications". CNS Drugs. 2003; 17(9): 641-652.

4. http://www.alzheimers.org.nz/keyfacts.html#

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