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Issue:  January 2010 •  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:
   - Health Care Reform

  Photo Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
NSAIDs, diuretics, oral steroids, and injectable corticosteroids are pharmacologic therapies used to treat this painful condition.
  Photo Update on Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome
Treatment of this autoimmune disorder involves immunotherapy, supportive care measures, and long-term rehabilitation.


Editor's Notebook
Legalizing Medical Marijuana

The debate over medical marijuana is ongoing despite support by respectable medical organizations for its legalization.
Counseling Pearls
Photo Treatment Options for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

The prevalence of ADHD has risen over the past 10 years. To allay symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, therapy should include both a psychosocial component and medication.
Photo Vascular Dementia

Cerebrovascular disease can impair memory and cognitive functioning. It is widely accepted as the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.
It's the Law
Is Your e-Mail at Work Private?

How enforceable are company policies regarding personal electronic communications?
Clinical Corner
Photo Etiology and Management of Chronic Meningitis

This less common form of meningeal inflammation, which persists for more than 4 weeks, has both infectious and noninfectious causes, and treatment differs accordingly.
Photo Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome in Children

This functional brain-gut disorder is characterized by recurrent severe prolonged episodes of nausea and vomiting in otherwise healthy people. It is more common in children, and these episodes can be excruciating and last for days.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Pseudoephedrine: Stricter Controls in the Future?

Despite restrictions on the sale of this decongestant, developments in meth production present new challenges for pharmacists.
Educational Spotlight
Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Reduce Diversion

Pharmacists need to be aware of the potential for drug diversion, recognize the warning signs of possible misuse, and acknowledge a legal obligation to minimize drug abuse.
Emergency Contraception: An Update of Clinical and Regulatory Changes

Current information about levonorgestrel-based emergency birth control and strategies for educating consumers are discussed.

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Beware of Counterfeit Alli
Rockville, MD — The FDA has issued a warning regarding counterfeit versions of the OTC weight loss product Alli. The fake 60-mg capsules (120-count refill kit) contain the drug sibutramine, and not the active ingredient orlistat. Sibutramine (Meridia) is a prescription-only appetite suppressant that, based on new FDA warnings, should not be used in certain patient populations such as those with a history of cardiovascular disease and may cause adverse interactions with other medications. GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Alli, has determined that the look-alikes were sold over the Internet and not in retail stores. Consumers and health care professionals should report any suspected counterfeits to the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation and any adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch Program.
New Jersey Passes Medical Marijuana Law
Trenton, NJ — New Jersey has become the 14th state in the U.S. to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. It will be one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the nation. Only patients with certain severe illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, and seizure disorders will be eligible for a prescription. A valid prescription from a physician will be required, and the drug will only be available from dedicated pharmacy centers. Qualified patients must be state residents and will be issued an identification card granting access. The law is expected to go into effect by July 2010.
Ordering Prescriptions by Mail May Improve Adherence
Los Angeles, CA — New research published in the online edition of the American Journal of Managed Care suggests that mail order use to obtain medications could improve patients' adherence. Researchers from the University of California–Los Angeles and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, California, found that patients with diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol who used mail-order pharmacies were more likely to take their prescriptions as directed than those who obtained medications from a local pharmacy. The 12-month study analyzed medication refill data from 2006 and 2007 for 13,922 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California. Eighty-five percent of patients who received their medications by mail stuck to their physician-prescribed regimen, compared with 77% of those who picked up their medications at traditional Kaiser Permanente pharmacies. This is the first study to focus on the relationship between pharmacy type and medication adherence instead of cost.
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