Astellas Pharma US, Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., has announced the commercial availability of conivaptan hydrochloride injection (Vaprisol) premixed in 5% dextrose.

An arginine vasopressin receptor antagonist, Vaprisol is the first and only drug approved for treating both euvolemic and hypervolemic hyponatremia in hospitalized patients, according to a company press release. The FDA approved the drug last October.

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The new formulation will make preparation easier for health-care providers because it requires no measuring or mixing, Astellas said. In addition, it has an shelf life of 24 months, which is six months longer than the original ampule formulation.

“It is imperative to promptly address hyponatremia in emergency and hospital settings,” said Joseph Verbalis, MD, professor of medicine and physiology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He added that the premixed formulation “is a convenient option for quickly preparing treatment for hyponatremia patients.”

Approximately 28% of patients have hyponatremia on admission to acute hospital care, the company said. Another 14% acquire the condition while in acute care.

Vaprisol should be used to treat hyponatremia only in patients with underlying heart failure when the expected benefit of raising serum sodium outweighs the increased risk of adverse events. Vaprisol is contraindicated in patients with hypovolemic hyponatremia.

The most common adverse events (AEs) associated with Vaprisol are infusion-site reactions. Other common AEs include headaches, hypokalemia, orthostatic hypotension, and pyrexia.