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Issue:  April 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
     - Pharmacy Technicians
  Photo Managing Common Eye Conditions in the Pharmacy
Pharmacists should be prepared to distinguish when to recommend nonprescription therapies and when a referral may be necessary.
  Photo An Overview of Glaucoma Management for Pharmacists
This chronic disease of the eye is characterized by progressive neuropathy of the optic nerve that can lead to irreversible blindness if untreated or inadequately treated.


Editor's Notebook
It's Déjà vu All Over Again

Pharmacists should look to Canada for a preview of what pharmacy in the U.S. might look like under health care reform.
Counseling Pearls
Photo Age-Related Macular Degeneration

This ocular condition is the most common cause of blindness in the developed world. An estimated 9 million older Americans have some form of the disorder.
Photo Treatment Options for Dry Eye Disease

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a frequent cause of patient visits to pharmacies for OTC treatment. A variety of products are available, depending on the severity of the patient's symptoms.
It's the Law
Steroid Marketing Convictions

The illegal distribution of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone can cost pharmacists their licenses and more.
Clinical Corner
Photo Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Diseases

Diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune disorders may have a secondary ocular component. Information obtained from an ocular examination may aid in differential diagnosis and appropriate management of the underlying disease.
Photo LASIK Refractive Eye Surgery in the 21st Century

During this procedure, the stroma of the cornea is treated with an excimer laser in order to correct vision. The patient is awake during surgery, but may be given a mild sedative.
Consult Your Pharmacist
The Pharmacist and Contact Lenses

With many types of lenses and solutions available, it is critical to prevent infection and ensure safe lens wear.
Educational Spotlight
Pediatric Accidental Ingestions: Monitoring and Treatment Options

Although most accidental ingestions by children do not cause permanent harm, vigilance remains of utmost importance.
The Treatment and Management of Atrial Fibrillation

Therapeutic goals include the restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm and the prevention of thromboembolic complications.

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Community Pharmacies Launch Initiative for Safe Medication Disposal
Alexandria, VA — Nearly 800 community pharmacies in 40 states are making it easier for consumers to safely discard unused medications. Dispose My Meds is a new program developed by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and partners. Consumers can search for a local disposal program on the program's Web site, www.disposemymeds.org. At participating pharmacies, consumers may dispose of unused medications via postage-paid envelope or onsite collection and disposal. Many pharmacies are using environmental return system products through a partnership between NCPA and Sharps Compliance, Inc. Sharps Compliance is working with "NCPA and its membership to more efficiently and effectively address the problem pharmacists, patients and communities face with unused patient medication," said Claude A. Dance, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing. "[The program] gives patients…a way to safely discard their unused medications."
Statins May Slow Multiple Sclerosis Progression
San Francisco, CA — A study examining the impact of statins on the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) found a lower incidence of new brain lesions in patients with early-stage disease who received an 80-mg daily dose of atorvastatin over 12 months. The randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted by researchers at the University of California–San Francisco. Although the study was small (N = 81) and its primary endpoint—to evaluate MS progression in patients following their first attack—was not met, 55.3% of the statin group did not develop new brain lesions, versus 27.6% of the placebo group.
Clinical Evidence That Anticancer Drug Triggers Viral Infection
Chapel Hill, NC — A recent finding that viruses and cancers interact in ways previously unknown to scientists constitutes an important advance in the fight against cancer. A study conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and the UNC Project in Malawi (southeastern Africa) found that the anticancer drug cyclophosphamide can activate infection by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which typically remains latent inside tumor cells of affected patients. This finding, reported in Clinical Cancer Research, paves the way for a future study—already being planned—using a cancer drug (cytoxan) and an antiviral agent simultaneously to eradicate both the active virus infection and the tumor. Researcher Margaret Gulley, MD, said, "What we have learned…is a potential means of capitalizing on presence of viral genomes within tumor cells to alter those tumor cells in a way that makes them more susceptible to treatment. [This has] implications for other EBV-related malignancies."
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