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Optimizing Medication Therapy & Improving Outcomes

August 21, 2015

Catching Your Breath: Managing COPD Exacerbations

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains the third leading cause of death in the United States, and the number of COPD deaths is projected to increase by 30% within the next 10 years. Exacerbations of COPD are associated with a more rapid decline in lung function. However, prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment can greatly improve patients' health status and quality of life. Recent updates to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines provide recommendations for the diagnosis and management of COPD exacerbations. Read more.

Conventional and Investigational Treatment Options for PAH

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic condition that carries a significant risk of morbidity and mortality. PAH is generally thought to result from an imbalance of vasoconstrictive and vasodilatory mediators. The treatment of PAH includes calcium channel blockers, endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and prostacyclin analogues. New and emerging therapies include medications with novel molecular targets and dosing mechanisms. Read more.

Management of Streptococcal Pharyngitis

Acute pharyngitis is a common infection that is typically managed in the outpatient setting. While respiratory viruses are responsible for the majority of cases, group A streptococcus (GAS) is the most common bacterial cause of what is generally referred to as strep throat. The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently released updated clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of GAS pharyngitis. First-line treatment for GAS pharyngitis is penicillin or amoxicillin, and alternative agents include a first-generation cephalosporin, clindamycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin. Read more.

Medication Therapy Management in the News

Daily GLP-1 Agonist Injection Aids Weight Loss in Patients Without Diabetes

A once-daily subcutaneous injection of 3.0 mg of liraglutide, along with diet and exercise, is showing promise as an effective weight-management treatment. Read more.

Watch Out for ADHD Stimulant Use in Heart Rhythm Disorder Patients

Stimulants for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be risky in patients with long-QT syndrome (LQTS). Read more

Less Relief, More Opioid Misuse in Depressed/Anxious Back Pain Patients

Opioids are an especially bad idea for treating lower back pain in patients with psychiatric disorders. Read more.

When to Lower Antipsychotic Dosages in Older Patients

When is an antipsychotic dosage decrease appropriate in older patients? Read more.