The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an injectable form of dantrolene sodium (Ryanodex, Eagle Pharmaceuticals) for rapid treatment of malignant hyperthermia (MH), along with the appropriate supportive measures, the company announced in a news release.
MH is a potentially fatal inherited disorder triggered by exposure to certain drugs used for general anesthesia, including the neuromuscular blocking agent succinylcholine.
Ryanodex — which can be administered much more quickly than current formulations of dantrolene — is the first significant enhancement to MH treatment options in more than 3 decades, according to the company.
Ryanodex will be available in single-use vials containing 250 mg of dantrolene sodium in lyophilized powder form. It is formulated for rapid reconstitution and administration in less than 1 minute to patients in MH crisis. “Ryanodex should be administered by continuous rapid intravenous push beginning with a loading dose of 2.5 mg/kg, and continuing until symptoms subside,” the company says.
Ryanodex allows anesthesiologists to deliver a therapeutic dose of dantrolene sodium in a much more expedient manner than currently possible with existing IV formulations of dantrolene sodium, “potentially saving lives and reducing MH-related morbidity,” according to the company.
Other dantrolene sodium formulations require multiple 20-mg vials reconstituted in large volumes of sterile water, a process that can take 15 to 20 minutes to mix reconstitute and administer, the company notes.
MH during surgery is a “life-threatening emergency requiring immediate treatment including the administration of the ‘antidote’ drug dantrolene sodium,” Henry Rosenberg, MD, CPE, a founder and president of the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States, said in the release.
“The ability for healthcare professionals in hospitals and surgery centers to more quickly prepare and administer this new formulation of the antidote dantrolene sodium is expected to bring the crisis under control more rapidly and prevent severe complications from MH,” he said.
The FDA granted Ryanodex orphan drug status in August 2013 and priority review status in March 2014.Ryanodex will be available to order through national and regional drug wholesalers in August with product shipping shortly after.