Pharmaceuticals

Later this spring, allergy sufferers will have access to a new form of help: a pill that can replace allergy shots. But the pill works only for grass allergies, and it's not clear how much it's going to cost.

The Food and Drug Administration just approved Oralair, the first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet for use in the United States. That's how regulators describe a pill that you stick under your tongue to tamp down your immune system.

Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?

The drug Sovaldi will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Some patients may need treatment for twice as long.

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

It's been a long and often controversial road, but U.S. doctors are finally embracing a drug that can halt strokes and prevent disabling brain damage.

An analysis of more than 1 million stroke patients shows that use of the 17-year-old drug, called alteplase (brand-name Activase), nearly doubled between 2003 and 2011.

Researchers say a cheap, generic pill called finasteride prevents almost 40 percent of low-grade prostate cancers without increasing the risk of dying from more aggressive tumors.

New evidence points to the drug as a potentially safer way to deal with prostate cancers that now get more intense treatment. Many prostate cancers that aren't destined to cause men serious health problems are often treated with surgery or radiation.

When your doctor is looking to make a diagnosis or choose a treatment, she often checks to see what the experts recommend.

Guidelines from these groups of leading doctors help the average physician decide if it's time to prescribe drugs to lower a patient's cholesterol or turn to medicines for someone's depression.

Research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs.

The research has produced several muscle-building drugs now being tested in people with medical problems, including muscular dystrophy, cancer and kidney disease. The drugs all work by blocking a substance called myostatin that the body normally produces to keep muscles from getting too big.

Taking acetaminophen causes rare but potentially deadly skin reactions in some people, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

The goal is not to scare people off Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based pain relievers, which are among the most popular medications in the United States, federal officials say.

Instead, they want people to be aware that these skin conditions can be a side effect of using acetaminophen, so that if they notice a rash or other skin reaction they can stop taking the drug and quickly get to a doctor.

As expected, the Food and Drug Administration has granted an additional three years of protection from generic competition to the makers of the most popular form of the emergency contraceptive pill,

Sometimes a drug hits cancer hard. Sometimes the cancer cells are unfazed. But it's often hard to know which outcome to expect.

A group of scientists at the National Cancer Institute has spent the last three years turning some mathematical algorithms loose on giant sets of data to better understand the relationship between cancerous cells and cancer drugs.

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