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Issue:  November 2009 •  Archive  •  Subscribe •  Unsubscribe
In This Edition Featured Article Featured CE
•  Editor's Notebook
•  Counseling Pearls
•  It's the Law
•  Clinical Corner
•  Consult Your Pharmacist
•  Educational Spotlight
•  Quick Poll
  Photo Pharmacologic Management of Alcohol Dependence
Several medications are available that may help patients achieve abstinence and avoid relapse.
  Photo Emergency Contraception: An Update of Clinical and Regulatory Changes
Current information about levonorgestrel-based emergency birth control and strategies for educating consumers are discussed.


Editor's Notebook
Pharmacy Technicians: Truth and Consequences

Ultimately, it is the pharmacist's responsibility to check all prescriptions being filled, and the consequences of not performing due diligence could be severe.
Counseling Pearls
Photo So Many Options, So Little Difference in Efficacy: What Is the Appropriate Antidepressant?

Uncertainty is high when it comes to selecting the appropriate medication for patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. These agents are generally equal in effectiveness, but it is hard to predict which one will work best for a given patient.
Photo Medications Used in Opioid Maintenance Treatment

It is important to keep abreast of current therapeutic options as increasingly more patients are treated for this condition. For the community pharmacist, the ability to aid in the management of opioid dependence is vital to closing the gap between treated and untreated individuals.


It's the Law
Criminalization of Medication Errors

A recent case equating a pharmacist's mistake with manslaughter raises the question of pharmacy technician responsibility.
Clinical Corner
Photo Schizophrenia: A Review of Pharmacologic and Nonpharmacologic Treatments

Pharmacists should play an active role in the management of this complicated form of mental illness. Owing to the complex nature of this disease, treatment typically involves both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies.
Photo Prophylactic Therapies in Traumatic Brain Injury Management

To care for patients appropriately, it is important to understand the mechanism and pathophysiology behind the injury. Unfortunately, clear guidelines for the proper administration of drugs used to treat this condition are lacking.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Fatigue and Drowsiness: Everyday Exhaustion and Beyond

Prolonged tiredness and sleepiness are a concern for many people. The only medication found to be safe and effective for self-use when used as labeled is caffeine.
Educational Spotlight
Ovarian Cancer: One of the Common Gynecologic Malignancies

Pharmacists can play an integral role in the treatment of this disease by understanding chemotherapy treatments and providing appropriate supportive-care options.
Perimenopause: Management of Common Symptoms During the Menopausal Transition

Pharmacists should be prepared to discuss the complex health concerns and common treatment options encountered during this stage of a woman's life.

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Statins May Worsen Cardiac Symptoms
San Diego, CA — New research shows that statin drugs may negatively impact some patients with cardiac disorders. A new study presented at the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians found that statins benefit patients with systolic heart failure (SHF), but not those with diastolic heart failure (DHF). These patients experienced increased dyspnea, fatigue, and decreased exercise tolerance. Despite the new data, researchers feel that the benefits of using statins in patients with SHF and DHF outweigh the risks.
Dr. Regina Benjamin Confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General
Washington, DC — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, as the nation's Surgeon General. Benjamin is founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. She is the immediate past-chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S. and previously served as associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. In 2002, Dr. Benjamin became president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, making her the first African American woman to hold this position.
FDA Expands Approved Use of H1N1 Vaccines
Silver Spring, MD — The FDA approved the use of the CSL Limited's 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to include children ages 6 months and older. Previously, this vaccine was approved only for use in adults ages 18 years and older. The expanded approval also covers the company's seasonal flu vaccine. Because CSL's seasonal and H1N1 monovalent vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein, they should not be administered to anyone allergic to eggs or egg products. The vaccines will be available in single-dose, preservative-free, prefilled syringes and in multidose vials that contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative, as a preservative.
Survey: Patients Do Not Treat Cold and Flu Symptoms Early Enough
Scottsdale, AZ — A recent survey of 505 pharmacists found that 75% of pharmacists say most patients should purchase OTC cold and flu products at the first sign of symptoms, while only 26% of their patients take this proactive approach. The survey also found that 81% of pharmacists agree that more patients are opting to purchase OTC medications versus filling prescriptions for economic reasons.
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