HEALINE

Weekly Summary -- February 15, 2019

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Here are what Pharmacist's Briefing editors consider the most important developments for the week of February 15, 2019

Flu Shot Much More Effective This Year, CDC Says

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- This year's flu shot is already outperforming the vaccine issued during the tough 2017-2018 influenza season, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Read More

Everyday 'Triggers' May Bring on A-Fib Episodes, Study Finds

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many older Americans are diagnosed with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, or "a-fib." Now, research suggests that everyday foods, drinks or activities might trigger episodes of the stroke-linked condition.

Read More

Everyday Medications That Can Ruin Your Sex Life

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many drugs -- both prescription and over-the-counter -- can cause side effects like dizziness or upset stomach. But some can affect you in surprising ways, like causing problems with your sex life.

Read More

Study Reaffirms Safety of Hepatitis C Meds in Liver Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- It's safe to use antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C in liver cancer survivors, a new study reports.

Read More

Got the Flu? You Probably Shouldn't Head to the ER

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Flu season is reaching its peak in the United States, which means emergency departments could fast become crowded with people who really aren't sick enough to be there.

Read More

Food or Heart Meds? Many Americans Must Make a Choice

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Millions of Americans with heart disease say they face financial strain because of their medical care, with some skipping meds or cutting back on basics like groceries.

Read More

New Hepatitis Meds Are Saving Lives: Study

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- New (and pricey) hepatitis C medicines, such as Harvoni and Sovaldi, are living up to their promise and greatly reducing patients' odds for liver cancer and death, a new French study finds.

Read More

Aspirin Can Help Prevent Colon Cancer, But Many at Risk Don't Take It

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- People with colon polyps spotted during screening are at higher risk for colon cancer. But while low-dose aspirin could lower the odds for the disease, too few patients adopt the regimen, new research shows.

Read More

FDA to Tighten Oversight of Supplements

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to strengthen regulation of dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals and herbs, the agency announced Monday.

Read More

Risk for MRSA Reduced With Postdischarge Decolonization

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For patients colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), postdischarge MRSA decolonization is associated with a reduced risk for infection, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read More

Physical Activity Down Across Chronic Disease Subgroups

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- People with a wide variety of chronic diseases are less physically active than individuals without chronic diseases, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Read More

Yoga May Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Severity

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Yoga may be effective as a complementary or adjunct therapy for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) taking disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

Read More

Progress Made in Developing New Antibacterial Agents

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Although there has been progress in the development of new antibacterial drugs, most of the recently approved agents have been modifications of existing chemical classes of antibiotics, according to research published online Feb. 1 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Read More

ASA: Opioid Epidemic Tied to Infection-Related Stroke

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The opioid epidemic is driving a steep increase in infection-related stroke hospitalizations, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in Stroke to coincide with the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 6 to 8 in Honolulu.

Read More

Acne Relapses Linked to Lower Quality of Life, Productivity

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Acne relapses are significantly associated with impaired quality of life as well as productivity loss and absenteeism, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Read More

ASA: Intensive BP Control Lowers Bleeding Risk in Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Stroke patients who receive intensive blood pressure lowering are less likely to suffer brain bleeds when treated with clot-busting therapies, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in The Lancet to coincide with the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 6 to 8 in Honolulu.

Read More

Many Systematic Reviews Do Not Fully Report Adverse Events

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many systematic review protocols in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) do not include adverse event reporting, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

Read More

Rates of Diabetes Screening High Among Adults Age ≥45

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Rates of diabetes screening are high, with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) used less but more likely to result in clinical diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Diabetes Care.

Read More

Rates of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Low for Denosumab-Treated Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For denosumab-treated women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, invasive oral procedures and events (OPEs), including dental implants, tooth extraction, natural tooth loss, scaling/root planning, and jaw surgery, are common and associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), although the overall rate of ONJ is low, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Read More

CDC: Severity of Influenza Season Low Through Feb. 2, 2019

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The 2018 to 2019 influenza season has been low in severity so far, and overall vaccine effectiveness is about 47 percent, according to two reports published in the Feb. 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Read More

FDA Panel Backs Ketamine-Like Drug for Depression

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- An expert panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has endorsed a drug for major depressive disorder that is a close relative to ketamine.

Read More

Guidelines Updated for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Adults

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In the latest evidence-based guideline from the American College of Chest Physicians, published online Jan. 17 in CHEST, updated recommendations are provided for the management of adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Read More

Aspirin Underused for Advanced Colorectal Polyps

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Aspirin is underused to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer among patients with advanced colorectal polyps, according to a study recently published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Read More

Direct-Acting Antivirals Cut Mortality in Chronic Hepatitis C

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, direct-acting antivirals are associated with a reduced risk for mortality and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in The Lancet.

Read More

ASA: Reversal Agent Cuts Severe Bleeding With Factor Xa Inhibitors

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The reversal agent, andexanet alfa, effectively reduces life-threatening bleeding in patients treated with factor Xa inhibitors, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 6 to 8 in Honolulu.

Read More

Medicare Patients With MS Face Higher Out-of-Pocket Rx Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Medicare patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) face increasing out-of-pocket costs for disease-modifying therapies, according to a study published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

Read More

High Rates of MenB Vaccination Advised in University Outbreaks

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Achieving high serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccination coverage is recommended following university-based outbreaks of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Read More

Drug Company Payments Over Time May Influence Rx Practices

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Physicians treating certain cancers who consistently receive payments from a cancer drug's manufacturer are more likely to prescribe that drug instead of other treatments, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in The Oncologist.

Read More

Health Care Spending Per Person Increased to $5,641 in 2017

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In 2017, health care spending per person reached $5,641, according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report.

Read More

FDA Warns 17 Companies About Illegal Alzheimer Disease Products

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A number of warning/advisory letters have been issued to 17 companies for selling illegal products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer disease and other serious conditions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Read More

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.