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Issue:  January 2011 •  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 - Duty to Warn
  Photo Alzheimer's Disease: Increasing Numbers, But No Cure
Although no medications are available that can reverse the progress, a number of drugs have limited utility in treating cognitive symptoms.
  Photo Review and Management of Common Nonmotor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Issues such as depression, cognitive impairment, GI disorders, and orthostatic hypotension are often overlooked.

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Editor's Notebook
The Price Is Always Right

There are pitfalls to jumping from one pharmacy to another based on prescription cost alone.
Counseling Pearls
Photo Pharmacologic Options for Treating Narcolepsy

This incurable neurologic sleep disorder is characterized by an abnormality in onset and offset of REM and non-REM sleep. Typical symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.
Photo Prescription Sleep Aids for the Treatment of Insomnia

Proper management includes the identification of the underlying medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial factors, as well as utilization of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment. Drug therapy should be utilized for the shortest duration possible to minimize dependence and adverse effects.
It's the Law
Data Mining Revisited—Again and Again

There has been much debate in the pharmacy world over whether this practice is lawful or not.
Clinical Corner
Photo Neurocardiogenic Syncope: A Focus on the Management of Vasovagal Episodes

Syncope is a transient loss of consciousness associated with a loss of postural tone due to decreased cerebral perfusion. Prompt identification of the underlying causes of a fainting spell is essential in determining prognosis and treatment strategies.
Photo Treatment of Insomnia in Hospitalized Patients

Multiple factors can lead to this common complaint, including sleep disorders, psychological and physical factors, certain medical conditions, medications, environment, clinical activities, and poor sleep hygiene.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Dentinal Hypersensitivity

Patients occasionally approach the pharmacist with complaints that one or more teeth become painful when exposed to specific types of provoking factors, such as cold or heat.
Educational Spotlight
Over-the-Counter Use of Neuroactive Peptides for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Snake venom extracts provide a longer duration of pain relief than traditional analgesics.
The Use of Psychotherapeutic Medications in War Veterans

PTSD resulting from combat should be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and psychotropics.
Medical Marijuana: Therapeutic Uses and Legal Status

State laws permitting personal medical use are at variance with existing federal laws.

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Benefits of e-Health Technologies Remain Unproven
Edinburgh, Scotland—Despite the general endorsement of e-Health technologies such as e-prescribing and electronic patient records, a new study has found little evidence that these tools actually improve the quality of health care. In a study published in PLoS Medicine, Aziz Sheikh and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh analyzed 53 systematic reviews on the topic. The authors found insufficient evidence to support the cost-effectiveness of these technologies but noted that measuring patient outcomes often takes decades and it may be premature to expect results at this time. "It is vital that future e-Health technologies are evaluated against a comprehensive set of measures, ideally throughout all stages of the technology's life cycle," said Sheikh.
Oral Contraceptives Do Not Cause Weight Gain
Portland, OR—Contrary to popular belief, researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University have found that birth control pills do not contribute to weight gain. Due to many variables, issues surrounding weight may be hard to study in humans, so two groups of rhesus monkeys—half obese, half normal weight—were given oral contraceptives over an 8-month period. At the study's conclusion, the normal group’s weight remained stable, whereas the obese group lost a significant amount of weight (8.5%) and percentage of body fat (12%). According to senior author Judy Cameron, PhD, "We realize that research in nonhuman primates cannot entirely dismiss the connection between contraceptives and weight gain in humans, but it strongly suggests that women should not be as worried as they previously were." Concern about weight gain is a major reason why women may avoid or discontinue birth control pills.
Pediatric Dosing Errors Quite Common
Toronto, Canada—According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, preparing small doses of medication from syringes may be inaccurate and can result in crucial dosing errors and possible adverse events for infants and children. Babies and young children require small doses of drugs, often prepared from stock of less than 0.1 mL, which include such potent medications as morphine, lorazepam, and fentanyl. The safe administration of these medications requires formulations that permit accurate preparation and administration; however, current equipment does not allow the precise measurement of volumes less than 0.1 mL. The authors concluded that since this practice occurs in pediatric hospitals across North America, the "re-evaluation of preparation methods, regulatory requirements and manufacturing practices is warranted."
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