Don’t Kid Yourself: Broad- versus Narrow-Spectrum Antibiotics in Children

April 27, 2018

Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics can lead to antimicrobial resistance, increased cost, and higher prevalence of adverse drug reactions. Nearly 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths are caused by bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant each year in the United States costing the healthcare system an estimated 20 billion dollars. Moreover, adverse reactions to antibiotics are the most common reason for pediatric patients to visit the emergency department.  Narrow-spectrum antimicrobials are generally preferred, but there are instances where broader coverage is recommended.  A recent study attempts to “clean up” the debate by examining the benefits and risks of using narrow- versus broad-spectrum antibiotics in children with acute respiratory tract infections.

Guest Authors:  Amber Giles, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, AAHIVP  and Paige Hughes, PharmD

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Using Sotagliflozin In Tandem with Insulin: Weighing the Benefits in Type 1 Diabetes

April 13, 2018

Patients with type 1 diabetes often have sub-optimal glycemic control.  The gold standard of treatment is basal-bolus insulin or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion via an insulin pump.  However, only a third of patients with type 1 diabetes achieve the American Diabetes Association A1C goal <7%.  There has been particular interest in using SGLT-2 inhibitors in patients with type 1 diabetes due to their ability to decrease body weight and blood pressure as well as improve glycemic control and perhaps cardiovascular outcomes. InTandem3 was a phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of sotagliflozin, a novel dual SGLT 1 and 2 inhibitor, in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

Guest Author:  Diana Isaacs, Pharm.D., BCPS, BD-ADM, CDE

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Treating Opioid Use Disorder - X:BOT Offers a Pragmatic Approach

March 30, 2018

Opioid-use disorder (OUD), a risk factor and major contributor to opioid-related deaths, is often underdiagnosed and undertreated.  Currently there are three FDA-approved pharmacologic treatments for OUD maintenance therapy: methadone, buprenorphine (with or without naloxone), and naltrexone.  Despite definitive evidence that methadone and buprenorphine products are effective in the treatment of OUD, there are still considerable accessibility and availability barriers that patients face when seeking Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The EXtended-release naltrexone vs Buprenorphine/naloxone for Opioid Treatment (X:BOT) trial compared the efficacy and safety of XR-NTX and BUP-NX to induce and maintain a patient with OUD on MAT as well as reducing opioid overdoses, relapses, and cravings.

Guest Author:  Jordan L. Wulz, PharmD, MPH, BC-ADM, CHC

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Can We KEEP Perimenopausal Women Sexually Satisfied?

March 16, 2018

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) effects women of all ages but is common among perimenopausal / postmenopausal women and may be related to a reduction in circulating estrogen.  Oral estrogens increase sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which lowers available free testosterone and thus may negatively impact sexual function.Transdermal estrogens are typically preferred because they lack a high first-pass effect and are not associated with risk of thromboembolic events. However, additional research – directly comparing oral and transdermal preparations – was needed.  An ancillary study of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) did just that - examined the impact of oral and transdermal estrogens on sexual functioning.

Guest Authors:  Stefanie C. Nigro, PharmD, BCACP and Christine Dimanculangan, Pharm.D.

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Know When to Hold ‘Em - Know When to Fold ‘Em. Deprescribing in BPH.

March 2, 2018

A recently published study explores the possible benefits to discontinuing an alpha-1 blocker after receiving combination therapy with a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).  In more symptomatic patients, or patients with confirmed, enlarged prostates, it is recommended to use both medication classes (alpha-1 blocker and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor) to minimize symptoms by relaxing the prostatic smooth muscle and reducing the size of the prostate – producing a potentially synergistic effect.  This study found that withdrawal of alpha 1-blockers after a year of combination therapy did not worsen urinary symptoms, QOL, and voiding or storage function.  This provides evidence that combination therapy may not be needed indefinitely for all patients.

Guest Authors:  Erica Crannage, PharmD and Stephanie Crist, PharmD

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ARCH Study: Is Romosozumab better than Alendronate for the Fracture-Prone?

February 16, 2018

It’s been 20 years since alendronate was approved to treat osteoporosis.  Although effective, bisphosphonates aren’t ideal. Romosozumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody that increases bone formation and decreases bone resorption. Is romosozumab a potentially better alternative to bisphosphonate therapy?  That’s what the ARCH study attempted to answer.

Guest Authors:  Yanqun Evonne Lee, MClinPharm and Joyce Yu-Chia Lee, PharmD

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SPRINTing towards lower BP goals : A re-analysis of the ACCORD-BP trial

February 2, 2018

The new 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines recommend a BP goal of <130/80 mmHg for everyone – including patients with diabetes. The 2018 ADA guidelines also recommend a goal of <130/80 mmHg, but only in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease and only when it can be achieved without undue treatment burden. This change in recommendations is largely driven by results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which demonstrated a 25% reduction in the primary composite outcome of CV events with intensive BP control (SBP target <120 mmHg). However, extrapolating these findings to patients with T2DM has been challenging as patients with diabetes were excluded from SPRINT. A recent re-analysis of the ACCORD-BP study shed some new light.

Guest Authors: Kevin Cowart, Pharm.D. and Karen Sando, Pharm.D.

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Therapy for Early-Stage COPD: What is the GOLDen Regimen?

January 19, 2018

Nearly 16 million adults in the United States have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but this is probably a woeful underestimate as many adults are asymptomatic in early stages.  Screening is only recommended if patients exhibit symptoms and have risk factors.  However, the most rapid decline in lung function occurs during GOLD stage 1. As COPD progresses, mortality, morbidity, and the economic burden increase very significantly. These facts suggest a need to detect and treat early-stage disease to slow its progression. The Tie-COPD study provides some new evidence that early treatment might be beneficial.

Guest Authors: Amy Robertson, Pharm.D. and Michelle Balli (Piel), Pharm.D.

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Inflammatory Statements about Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: The CANTOS Trial

January 5, 2018

We’ve all seen and used the American College of Cardiology 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk calculator. There are several modifiable risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking status that, if addressed, can lower ASCVD risk. But are there other modifiable risk factors that we are failing to account for and might be able to address? New evidence suggests systemic inflammation may be one.

Guest Authors:  Ian Hatlee, Pharm.D and Scott Pearson, Pharm.D.

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Top Ten Things Every Clinician Should Know About the 2017 Hypertension Guidelines

December 15, 2017

We interview Eric MacLaughlin, Joseph Saseen, and Kristin Rieser about the ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Adults released in November 2017.  Dr. MacLaughin, a member of the Guideline Writing Committee, gives a insiders view of the guidelines development process and explains the rationale for lower blood pressure goals.  Drs. Saseen and Rieser talk about some of the practical considerations that we all must consider as we move forward to making these recommendations a reality.

Guests:  Kristin Rieser, Pharm.D., Joseph Saseen, Pharm.D, and Eric MacLaughlin, Pharm.D.

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