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FDA OKs drug to eliminate chemotherapy side effect

January 17, 2012
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WASHINGTON—The Food and Drug Administration says it approved a drug to reduce dangerous levels of a certain chemotherapy drug in cancer patients with failing kidneys.

The new drug from BTG International Inc. breaks up a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate so that it can be eliminated from the body.

Methotrexate can be harmful if it builds up in the body, causing liver and kidney damage, rashes and damage to the intestines.

On average, patients taking the drug, Voraxaze, eliminated 95 percent of the methotrexate in their system, according to the study used to support FDA approval. The most common side effects associated with the drug were low blood pressure, headache, nausea and vomiting.

BTG International is based in West Conshohocken, Pa.

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