Summer
2012

Research Feature

Double-Duty Drugs

Double-Duty Drugs



If bexarotene proves to benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease, it will join the ranks of many medications with more than one use. One example is thalidomide, which caused thousands of tragic birth defects when it was used decades ago for morning sickness and insomnia, but has recently made a triumphant comeback as a treatment for leprosy and multiple myeloma. Another example is Cymbalta (generically called duloxetine): Originally approved as an antidepressant, Cymbalta has been called the “Swiss Army Knife” of medicines for its sundry approvals since its 1994 market debut. Among its approved indications are anxiety, fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

A few more flourishing repurposed pharmaceuticals ...