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Don’t Miss a Beat: The Importance of Influenza Vaccination in Patients with Coronary Disease

Unfortunately, many patients with CAD do not receive the influenza vaccine every year.  And many patients being discharged from hospital after an acute coronary event don't receive it either. The IAMI (Influenza Vaccination After Myocardial Infarction) study was the first, large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial to investigate whether influenza vaccination could reduce the rate of cardiovascular events in high-risk adults with CAD.

Guest Authors:  Noelle Cordova, PharmD and Laura McAuliffe, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES

Music by Good Talk

Why is Thor’s Hammer, Molnupiravir, Considered a 4th Line Option for COVID-19?

Two novel oral antiviral agents were granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in late December 2021. Although it is named after Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, molnupiravir was given a last place (4th line) recommendation by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guideline Panel.  What gives?

Guest Authors: Amanda Applegate, PharmD, BCACP and Mary Beth Dameron, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Should Penicillin Allergy Skin Testing be a Thing of the PAST?

Many, many, many patients report they have penicillin (PCN) allergy. But while nearly 10% report being allergic to PCN, fewer than 1% have a true allergy. And this hampers antimicrobial stewardship efforts because clinicians are often forced to turn to agents with a broader spectrum, that are more expensive, and more likely to cause adverse effects including the development of resistance. However, determining whether a patient has a true PCN allergy is time-consuming and expensive. Historically, patients were sent to an allergist for PCN allergy skin testing (PAST) followed by oral provocation challenge (OPC). What if patients could skip past the skin test and receive a direct OPC instead? Direct OPC may not only increase patient willingness to be tested but also the feasibility of offering testing in primary care (and perhaps community pharmacy) settings.

Guest Authors:  Frank A Fanizza, PharmD, BCACP and Emily S Prohaska, PharmD, BCACP, BCGCP

Music by Good Talk

Cutting Down HIV Treatment to a 2-Drug Regimen

While multi-drug combination therapies for HIV has resulted in longer lifespans, simplified medication regimens are needed to reduce pill-burden in an aging population with HIV. Two-drug regimens are potentially attractive because they may minimize drug exposure; reduce risks for adverse effects, drug-drug interactions, and long-term toxicities; and potentially increase patient adherence.  The SWORD-1 and SWORD-2 trials evaluated the efficacy and safety of a two-drug regimen to maintain viral suppression in HIV infected patients.

Guest Authors Tinh An (April) Nguyen, PharmD and Jihae Lim, PharmD

Music by Good Talk

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

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

Music by Good Talk

Vitamin D to Prevent Respiratory Tract Infections: Is the Evidence Dazzling or Disappointing?

Observational studies and systematic reviews have shown an association between low vitamin D concentrations and acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). An association is one thing, but can vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of ARTIs?  That’s what a recent systematic review and meta-analysis attempted to determine.

Guest Author:  Amanda Schartel, Pharm.D., BCACP

Theme music by Good Talk

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