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Weekly Summary -- May 10, 2019

Friday, May. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Here are what Pharmacist's Briefing editors consider the most important developments for the week of May 10, 2019

Can Medical Marijuana Help Kids With Autism?

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Medical marijuana extracts appear to help children with autism, reducing their disruptive behavior while improving their social responsiveness, a new Israeli clinical trial reports.

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Do Doctors Give Better Care in the Morning?

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many people do their best work in the morning, and new research suggests the same may hold true for doctors.

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Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Show Up Long Before Diagnosis

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Difficulties with daily activities such as dressing, walking and eating can be seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients a year or two before they're diagnosed, a new study shows.

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'Robopets' Bring Companionship, Calm to Nursing Home Residents

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Cuddler the bear, Aibo the dog, Justocat the purring kitty: They may only be furry, lifelike robots, but they have a made a real impact in nursing homes.

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Cover Up! Don't Soak Up Those Sun Rays

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Only half of Americans routinely protect themselves from the sun when outdoors, a recent American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) survey found.

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Many Drug Abusers Use Family Members to 'Opioid Shop'

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- People who are thwarted in their attempts to "shop around" for prescription opioid painkillers at doctors' offices and pharmacies may try to get the drugs via relatives as a last resort, researchers report.

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More Active Lupus Linked to Childhood Events

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Lupus patients who had difficult childhoods have higher disease activity, worse depression and poorer overall health than those with better childhoods, a new study finds.

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Hepatitis A Infections Soaring: CDC

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The number of Americans infected with hepatitis A has grown nearly 300% in just three years, health officials reported Thursday.

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Psoriasis, Mental Ills Can Go Hand in Hand

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that is often coupled with depression, anxiety and even bipolar disease, schizophrenia and dementia, two new studies show.

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Is the County You Call Home a Potential Measles Hotspot?

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Could a computer model pinpoint where measles outbreaks are likely to occur?

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Potentially Blinding Shingles of the Eye on the Rise

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The virus that gave you chickenpox as a kid can rise again after decades of inactivity and inflict a painful, even blinding, eye infection in old age.

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Americans' Prescription Med Use Is Declining

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Bucking a longstanding upward trend, new data shows that the percentage of Americans taking any prescription drug has fallen slightly over the past decade.

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Poor, Minorities Shortchanged on Opioid Addiction Treatments

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- When it comes to opioid addiction treatments, money and race matter, researchers say.

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An Antibiotic Alternative? Using a Virus to Fight Bacteria

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Viruses and bacteria are the culprits behind the infectious diseases that plague humans. Researchers recently turned one against the other, using viruses to wipe out a potentially life-threatening bacterium in a 15-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis.

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Well Water's Spillover Effect: Heart Damage?

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Does your home draw its water source from a well? A new study finds that well water may be injurious to heart health in young adults -- if it contains arsenic.

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Weight Before Pregnancy Most Important to Risk for Complications

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Expectant mothers and doctors have focused a lot on how much a woman gains during pregnancy, but new research suggests how much a woman weighs before getting pregnant may be far more important.

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Shame Around Mental Illness May Be Fading, Survey Shows

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Stigma regarding mental health could be disappearing in the United States, a new survey finds.

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Fentanyl Becoming a Deadly Accomplice in Cocaine, Meth Abuse

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- As if using cocaine or methamphetamines isn't risky enough, new research shows a sharp spike in urine drug tests that are positive for those drugs and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

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Many Kids With Chronic Illness Are Still Happy: Study

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many children deal with chronic health issues -- but it doesn't mean they can't enjoy life as much as other kids, a new study finds.

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Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to 'Flesh-Eating' Genital Infection

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease -- but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.

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Sunscreen Chemicals Enter Bloodstream at Potentially Unsafe Levels: Study

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For years, you've been urged to slather on sunscreen before venturing outdoors. But new U.S. Food and Drug Administration data reveals chemicals in sunscreens are absorbed into the human body at levels high enough to raise concerns about potentially toxic effects.

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Doctors Aware of Patient Difficulties Affording Medical Care

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Physicians are aware of patients' difficulty with affording medical care and consider out-of-pocket costs in their decision making, according to an article published in a supplement to the May 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Model Predicts Counties at Risk for Measles Outbreak

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In a commentary published online May 9 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, an analysis is proposed that can predict counties at risk for a measles outbreak.

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Preablation Bariatric Surgery Linked to Reduced A-Fib Recurrence

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For morbidly obese patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), those undergoing preablation bariatric surgery have reduced rates of recurrence, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society, held from May 8 to 11 in San Francisco.

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In Men, Low BMI Tied to Later Inflammatory Bowel Disease

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Low body mass index (BMI) among men entering adult life is associated with an increased incidence of Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) up to 40 years later, according to a study published online April 23 in Scientific Reports.

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Arsenic Exposure Linked to Changes in Heart Structure

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In young American Indians, arsenic exposure is associated with an increase in left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, according to a study published in the May issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Plant-Based Diets Tied to Lower Risk for Heart Failure

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk for heart failure (HF) in adults without known heart disease, according to a study published in the April 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Disability Often Precedes Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experience functional disability (FD) that may precede RA diagnosis and persist throughout the disease course, according to a study published online April 30 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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In Men, Low BMI Tied to Later Inflammatory Bowel Disease

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Low body mass index (BMI) among men entering adult life is associated with an increased incidence of Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) up to 40 years later, according to a study published online April 23 in Scientific Reports.

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Oral Contraceptive Pill May Protect Against ACL Tears

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use is associated with reduced odds of experiencing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, especially for girls aged 15 to 19 years, according to a study recently published online in The Physician and Sportsmedicine.

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Longer Duration of Statin Use Linked to Lower Risk for Glaucoma

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Statin use may lower the risk for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), according to a study published online May 2 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Suicide Attempts by Self-Poisoning Have Increased in Teens

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In children aged younger than 19 years, the incidence and rate of suicide attempts using self-poisoning have increased since 2011, according to research published online May 1 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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CDC: HIV Racial Disparity Measure Decreased From 2010 to 2016

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- If the incidence rates were the same for black women as for white women, an estimated 93 percent of incident HIV infections among black women would not have occurred in 2016, according to research published in the May 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Test Predicts Benefit of Chemo in ER+, HER2− Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- EndoPredict (EPclin) is prognostic for distant recurrence (DR) in women with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer, according to a study published online April 30 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Low Glucose Levels at Hospital Discharge Tied to Poor Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Patients with diabetes who have hypoglycemia or near-normal glucose values during the last day of hospitalization have higher rates of 30-day readmission and postdischarge mortality, according to a study published online May 1 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Oral Aspirin Does Not Up FIT Test Sensitivity for ID'ing CRC

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Administration of a single dose of oral aspirin prior to fecal immunochemical testing does not increase test sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasms, according to a study published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gentamicin Appropriate Second-Line Therapy to Ceftriaxone for Gonorrhea

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A single dose of gentamicin is an appropriate second-line therapy for gonorrhea resistant to a single dose of ceftriaxone, according to a study published online May 2 in The Lancet.

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AUA: Marijuana Tied to Increased Risk for LUTS Medications in BPH

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Marijuana use is associated with both sperm functional defects and an increased risk for being on a lower urinary tract symptom (LUTS) medication among men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)/LUTS, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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Maximal Use of Sunscreen Ups Absorption of Active Ingredients

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Application of commercially available sunscreens under maximum use conditions results in plasma concentrations that exceed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration threshold for potentially waiving nonclinical toxicology testing, according to a study published online May 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Guidelines Address Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Management

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Recommendations have been developed for both uveitis in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and JIA manifesting as nonsystematic polyarthritis, sacroiliitis, or enthesitis; the two guidelines were published online April 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Generic Version of Truvada Available in U.S. by Sept. 2020

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A generic version of the HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada will be available in the United States by September 2020, a year earlier than expected, according to Gilead Sciences.

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Isradipine Offers No Benefit in Parkinson Disease

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Isradipine does not appear to slow progression of disability in patients with de novo Parkinson disease (PD), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from May 4 to 10 in Philadelphia.

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In 2015 to 2016, 45.8 Percent of U.S. Population Used Rx Drugs

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In 2015 to 2016, 45.8 percent of the U.S. population used prescription drugs within the past 30 days, according to a May data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Prices Will Soon Be Included in TV Drug Ads

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- In response to public demands for action to control drug costs, the top U.S. health official says TV advertisements for prescription drugs will soon have to include prices.

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FDA Approves Ruzurgi for Children With Rare Autoimmune Disorder

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Ruzurgi (amifampridine) tablets are now approved to treat Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in children aged 6 to 17 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

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Do Adults Need a Measles Booster Shot?

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- New York's ongoing measles epidemic alarmed midtown Manhattan resident Deb Ivanhoe, who couldn't remember whether she'd ever been vaccinated as a child.

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External Reference Pricing Could Cut Drug Costs in U.S.

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The average price for single-source brand-name drugs is higher in the United States than in other countries, indicating that external reference pricing could reduce costs, according to a study published in the May issue of Health Affairs.

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FDA Approves Ruzurgi for Children With Rare Autoimmune Disorder

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Ruzurgi (amifampridine) tablets are now approved to treat Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in children aged 6 to 17 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday.

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Efforts Needed to Ensure Publication of All Trials

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Efforts are needed to ensure all completed large trials are reported, according to a research letter published online May 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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CDC: Number of Measles Cases in the United States Reaches 764

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- At least 60 more measles cases have been reported in the United States, bringing the total so far this year to 764, health officials said Monday.

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Drug Approvals

Updated: May 6, 2019

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Atenolol Linked to Drop in Low-, Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Atenolol is associated with a reduction in incident intermediate- and low-risk prostate cancer (PCa), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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Drug Shortages

Updated: May 6, 2019

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Drug Recalls

Updated: May 6, 2019

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