After the introduction of denosumab few years ago, another monoclonal antibody is making its way in the market for osteoporosis treatment – romosozumab. While denosumab is a RANKL inhibitor which inhibits osteoclast activity and bone resorption, romosozumab targets and inhibits sclerotin, thereby increasing the osteoblast activities and bone formation. The ARCH study was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine; this study has highlighted both the benefits of romosozumab in the treatment of osteoporosis as well as its potential safety concerns in cardiovascular health.
Patients are often concerned about the potential side effects of a medication. At the pharmacy, we may affix various ancillary labels on the prescription vials. But those labels have been around for a long time. It is time to upgrade them to be something easy to comprehend. I also need your help! I am looking for your votes on whether the following icons illustrate the side effects as described. Help me out by participating in the poll.
We often hear about the scarcity of resources in pharmacy or in health care in general – that we need more resources, specifically money to offer better care and to provide better access to medical services. While that may be true, I also think that we already have resources within us – we just need to learn to spread some love.
Often we hear from the press or the media that a medication has a black box warning. So what does it mean for the prescriber, or the patient? After all, it does sound very intimidating to have a “Black Box Warning” for a medication that a clinician has to prescribe, or a patient who has been asked to take.
ISMP Canada has developed the 5 questions that each patient should ask about medications? Of the 5 questions, I find that proper use is one that tends to be most difficult to communicate clearly and succinctly. How to take your medication? Do you take it with food? Without food? What does it mean to take it on an empty stomach? Can you take it with dairy products? Or mix with supplements and alcohol?
At face value, they are two different drugs, indicated for different reasons – Viagra for erectile dysfunction and Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension. But any pharmacist / clinician should know that we are talking about the same drug, sildenafil. While using two different brand names can avoid stigma associated with taking one or the other, it also raises safety concerns.
Many people find drug interactions a difficult concept to grasp. And many people assume the only way to manage a drug interaction is to avoid the combination. Often time, it is impractical, nor is it necessary. We do need to actively understand how to best manage the interaction based on many factors including the patient’s specific factors, the indications of the medications, the risk of side effects as well as the potential of the drug interactions. But first, we need to understand what type of interactions we are dealing with.