Optimizing Medication Therapy & Improving Outcomes

July 29, 2016

An Examination of Drug-Induced Pulmonary Disorders

Drug-induced disease of any system in the body is associated with a high degree of morbidity or mortality; however, when it affects the pulmonary system, the risks grow substantially. Over 100 medications can adversely affect the lungs. Adverse drug reactions include asthmatic exacerbations, cough, interstitial pneumonitis, and pleural effusions. Medications implicated in life-threatening pulmonary reactions include cardiovascular drugs, cytotoxic agents, and antimicrobials, as well as smoking and alcohol use. It is imperative that clinicians obtain an accurate, detailed, and current medication history, including alternative medicines to enable accurate differentiation between drug-induced pulmonary disorders and other pulmonary diseases. Read more.

Updates in the Management of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Seasonal allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory response to seasonal allergens in the nasal mucosa that produces symptoms of rhinorrhea, sneezing, and nasal itching and/or congestion. The treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis consists of a variety of options, including nonpharmacologic therapies, oral antihistamines, intranasal antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, oral leukotriene receptor antagonists, and mast cell stabilizers. At this time, intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines remain the mainstay of treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis. Evidence of the efficacy of the combination of intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines is lacking; therefore, the simultaneous use of these agents is not recommended. Read more.

Reducing Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Respiratory
Tract Infections

The public-health and financial effects of inappropriate use of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) continue to rise. Adverse effects, antibiotic prescription costs, and antibiotic resistance continue to be negative factors associated with unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for ARTIs. ARTIs—including pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, acute uncomplicated bronchitis, and the common cold (nonspecific upper respiratory infection)—are often attributed to viral syndromes, which limits the benefit of antibiotics for these infections. Pharmacists can play a unique role in educating patients and providers about the impact of inappropriate prescribing, making alternative nonprescription recommendations to providers and patients who are seeking options for symptom alleviation, and working at the forefront of antibiotic stewardship efforts. Read more.

Medication Therapy Management in the News

Pioglitazone Appears Effective Against Common Liver Disease

An diabetes drug also shows promise in limiting progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a leading cause of liver transplants, according to a 3-year study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read more.

Index Helps Predict Which Women Need Rapid Bone Loss Treatment

A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals the development of a new index to predict which women might experience faster bone loss during menopause—thereby guiding proper treatment strategies. Read more

Adherence to COPD Therapy Adversely Affected by Depression

Depression has a detrimental effect on adherence to maintenance medications by Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a recent study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Read more.

How LDL-C Lowering Affects Major Cardiac Events Is Variable

Because of the increased risk for recurrent cardiovascular events, long-term treatment with statins is recommended for patients with stable ischemic heart disease, but appropriate targets for LDL-C levels remain unclear. Read more.