Optimizing Medication Therapy & Improving Outcomes

May 31, 2016

Managing Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common heart disorder, usually genetic in origin, that may affect up to 600,000 people in the United States. The disorder, which is characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy, is usually not progressive, but a small subset of patients develop serious complications, such as progressive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and sudden cardiac death. Pharmacologic treatment of symptomatic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy includes beta-blockers and nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. Treatment monitoring and medication education should be included as part of a global treatment approach. Pharmacists play an important role in educating patients on the importance of screening and adhering to treatment recommendations. Read more.

Depression in Pediatric Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

Depression in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a growing area of discussion. A diagnosis of T1D requires pediatric patients and their families to make drastic lifestyle changes. Improper coping skills can negatively affect the patient’s life and jeopardize overall health, as signaled by poor glycemic control and A1C readings. The mainstay of treatment for depression in pediatric patients with T1D is psychotherapy. Medication is warranted in certain cases, and currently only two agents have FDA indications for pediatric depression: fluoxetine and escitalopram. The use of antidepressants in pediatric patients with T1D requires thorough counseling by a pharmacist to ensure optimal outcomes. Read more.

Hepatitis C: Pharmacists Contribution to Optimizing Disease Management

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects more than 3% of the world population; of this number, about 160 million people have chronic HCV. Left untreated, chronic HCV slowly progresses to advanced liver disease and death from complications. New HCV treatments have improved cure rates significantly; however, many barriers to efficacy—including adverse drug reactions (ADRs), drug interactions, cost, and patient adherence—still exist. To achieve an optimal treatment result, specialty pharmacists must collaborate with physicians, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the patient to select the best HCV regimen at the lowest cost; they also provide support to patients to help them adhere to treatment for the required duration. Specialty pharmacists, therefore, contribute significantly to helping HCV patients achieve an effective treatment at the lowest possible cost and with the fewest ADRs and drug interactions. Read more.

Medication Therapy Management in the News

Atomoxetine for ADHD Doesn’t Increase Suicidal Events in Young Users

According to a study by University of Florida researchers, the SNRI drug, when compared with stimulants, was not significantly associated with an increased risk of suicidal events. Read more.

Which Nutritional Supplements Boost Antidepressant Effects?

In a recent study, certain nutraceuticals, including omega-3 fish oils, S-adenosylmethionine, methylfolate, and vitamin D, enhanced the effectiveness of medications used for treating patients with clinical depression. Read more

USPSTF: No Benefit to COPD Screening Without Symptoms

In an update to its 2008 recommendation, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there is moderate or high certainty that screening has no net benefit or that the harms might outweigh the benefits. Read more.

Acute Care Drugs Remain in Short Supply, Despite FDA Efforts

Even though the 2012 Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act appears to have reduced the number of drug shortages, medications used in emergency departments remain in short supply, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers. Read more.