Getting Some SHUTi: Using the Internet to Treat Patients with Insomnia

March 13, 2017

Could automated, web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) replace flesh-and-blood healthcare practitioners?  Can computers deliver healthcare at lower cost and similar quality to face-to-face interactions with humans? Several web-based CBT programs have been developed and are now being marketed directly to consumers.  But do they actually work?

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Think Before You Make a RAS Decision: Evaluating the Use of RAS Blockers in Patients with Diabetes

February 24, 2017

Hypertension affects more than 70% of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and further increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in this high-risk population.1 While renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockers are clearly indicated in patients with heart failure, chronic kidney disease with proteinuria, and coronary artery disease (CAD), experts have come to different conclusions regarding their role as initial antihypertensive therapy for patients with diabetes.

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Helpful, Harmful, or Futile — Antidepressant Use in Patients with Heart Failure

February 9, 2017

About 5 million Americans are currently living with heart failure (HF) and an astounding 24-42% also suffer from depression.  One meta-analysis found a greater than 2-fold risk of death in patients with HF and comorbid depression.  Depressed patients with HF are more likely to be hospitalized, seek care from emergency rooms, and rack up big bills.  Not surprisingly, patients with HF and depression have a much lower quality of life when compared to HF patients without depression.  Clearly, this is BIG problem.  But can we do anything about it?

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Ten Pitfalls to Avoid When Evaluating the Primary Literature

January 25, 2017

Critically evaluating the primary literature and applying the information to patient care is vital to ensuring optimal patient outcomes.  Unfortunately, the foundational knowledge and skills that most of us acquire during our formal education and post-graduate training programs are unlikely to fully prepare us for the challenges and intricacies of interpreting the evolving methods used in clinical drug studies today.  Like the development of any skill, it requires practice and refinement over time.  In this TOP TEN list, we reflect on some important concepts that can get overlooked or misinterpreted.

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Is there a Role for Fixed-Ratio Injectable Combinations in Type 2 Diabetes?

January 13, 2017

Pharmacotherapy for diabetes management has expanded in recent years with several new drug classes. Current guidelines recommend several options for patients who have not reached their goal A1c on metformin monotherapy including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) or basal insulin. However, if basal insulin is chosen as the first add-on treatment with metformin, the post-prandial blood glucose (PPG) often will remain elevated.  A combination product that includes both a basal insulin plus a GLP-1 RA has the potential to addresses both fasting blood glucose and PPG … and perhaps has some other advantages over using either product alone.

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Bowel Cleansing Regimens – Pick Your Poison (Wisely)!

December 29, 2016

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Screening is imperative because the early stages of CRC are often asymptomatic.Colonoscopy is an effective and widely employed screening option for CRC.  Suboptimal bowel preparation is a problem in more than 20% of colonoscopy procedures, which reduces adenoma detection rates (ADR). Day-before, split-dose, and same-day regimens are options for colon cleansing prior to a colonoscopy. Is one better than another in terms of tolerability and colorectal cancer detection?

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Preventing Pediatric Dosing Errors – Is It Time to Dump the Medicine Cup?

December 7, 2016

Children are often given liquid dosage forms for both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.  Several studies have shown that caregivers unintentionally put children at risk by inaccurately measuring the dose of liquid medications.  In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) adopted a policy statement which recommends exclusively using milliliters for dosing instructions to prevent dosing errors.  Our guest today critically examines a recent study that examined labeling and dosing tools that may contribute to medication errors.

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Pharmacists Patient Care Process

December 1, 2016

Our guest, Dr. Melissa Somma McGivney, describes the Pharmacists Patient Care Process and explains why having a consistent philosophy of practice, a consistent process of care, and a sustainable practice management system are critical for success.

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Sweetening the Deal: Effects of SGLT-2 Inhibitors on Kidney Disease Progression

November 11, 2016

Approximately one in three patients with diabetes in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD).  The Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes (EMPA-REG OUTCOME) trial, published in 2015, demonstrated a reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients treated with empagliflozin. More recent data from the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial suggests that empagliflozin may also confer significant renal protection. 

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Opioid Safety and Overdose Prevention

October 21, 2016

While narcotic analgesics remain a mainstay for the treatment of acute and chronic pain, urgent care visits and deaths from opioid overdoses have skyrocketed.   Our panelists are Dr. Lucas Hill from the University of Texas at Austin and Jeffrey Bratberg from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hill practices in a primary care setting and maintains the iForumRx  Opioid Safety and Overdose Prevention Resource Page.  Dr. Bratberg helped develop, implement, and expand the Collaborative Pharmacy Practice for Naloxone Partnership in Rhode Island. Drs. Hill and Bratberg describe how healthprofessionals - particularly ambulatory care pharmacists - can take action to improve the safe use of opioids and prevent overdoses.  

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