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Issue:  November 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
  Photo Diabetes and the Psychiatric Patient
Management of metabolic complications in mentally ill patients is complex.
  Photo The Use of Psychotherapeutic Medications in War Veterans
PTSD resulting from combat should be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and psychotropics.


Editor's Notebook
Patient Care Is Not a Myth

No matter how busy the pharmacy becomes, pharmacists should be aware of both the physical and emotional conditions of their patients.
Counseling Pearls
Photo Assessment and Management of Atypical Antipsychotic-Induced Metabolic Abnormalities

Second-generation antipsychotics have become the mainstay of therapy for treating schizophrenia. However, these agents have gained much notoriety for causing metabolic complications such as weight gain, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia.
Photo Drug-Alcohol Interactions: A Review of Three Therapeutic Classes

In light of the prevalence of alcohol consumption, it is essential that pharmacists enlighten their patients about drug-alcohol interactions. Antibiotics, cardiovascular medications, and analgesics should not be combined with alcohol.
It's the Law
Liability for Employee Conduct

When is a pharmacy responsible for the wrongful actions of its employees? A recent case illustrates the legal doctrines of negligent supervision and respondeat superior.
Clinical Corner
Photo Clinically Significant Acute Agitation: Consensus Update

A behavioral emergency is a dynamic, unpredictable encounter with a patient in whom the diagnosis is unknown or preliminary. The treatment of choice is to calm the patient without sedation, if possible.
Photo Drug-Induced Serotonin Syndrome

A potentially lethal condition, this toxicity is commonly caused when certain antidepressant agents are taken concurrently with other drugs that modulate synaptic serotonin levels.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Tooth Whitening Products for Home Use

Bleaching agents containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can effectively whiten teeth.
Educational Spotlight
Medical Marijuana: Therapeutic Uses and Legal Status

State laws permitting personal medical use are at variance with existing federal laws.
Understanding Female Infertility: Causes and Treatments

Reproductive difficulties and related treatments place psychological, physical, and financial challenges on the couple trying to conceive.
HIV/AIDS: A Primer for Pharmacists

An overview of this complex disease's clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment strategies is presented.

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New Flex Spending Restrictions for 2011
Washington, DC — Beginning January 1st, health insurance plans that include a flexible spending account (FSA) will require a prescription in order to reimburse the cost of OTC drugs. This means patients will have to either pay out of pocket for products like analgesics and allergy medications or visit their physician and obtain a prescription for those drugs. OTC insulin will still qualify for reimbursement, as will medical items that are not drugs, such as contact lens solution and first aid supplies. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises that individuals adjust their pretax allocations accordingly and contact their human resources department for further clarification. As before, any unused FSA money will expire at the end of the year.
Patients Unaware of Interactions Between Warfarin and Dietary Supplements
Salt Lake City, UT — Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, interviewed 100 patients with atrial fibrillation to assess their understanding of potential interactions between herbal and dietary supplements and the widely prescribed blood thinner warfarin. They found that of 35 patients combining warfarin with supplements, 54% were unaware of potential interactions. These results are alarming, as 69 of the 100 most commonly used supplements, including fish oil, coenzyme Q10, and many vitamins, interfere with the effectiveness of warfarin. These interactions can either intensify or reduce the drug's effectiveness, increasing the risk of bleeding or stroke. "Physicians must be active in asking about supplement use and not place responsibility on patients," said T. Jared Bunch, MD, a study author and heart rhythm specialist.
New Late-Stage Breast Cancer Treatment Approved
Gaithersburg, MD — The FDA has approved Halaven (eribulin mesylate) for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer who have received at least two prior chemotherapy regimens for late-stage disease. The chemotherapeutic injectable's safety and effectiveness was established in a single study of 762 women with breast cancer. The median overall survival for patients receiving the drug was 13.1 months compared with 10.6 months for those who received a single-agent therapy. According to Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the Office of Oncology Drug Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, "There are limited treatment options for women with aggressive forms of late-stage breast cancer who have already received other therapies…Halaven shows a clear survival benefit and is an important new option for women." The drug is marketed by Esai Inc.
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