Volume 1 Number 1
Volume 1 Number 2
Volume 1 Number 3
Volume 1 Number 4
Volume 1 Number 5
Volume 1 Number 6
Volume 1 Number 7
Volume 2 Number 1
Volume 2 Number 2
Volume 2 Number 3
Volume 2 Number 4
Volume 2 Number 5
Volume 2 Number 6
Volume 2 Number 7
Volume 2 Number 8
Volume 2 Number 9
Volume 2 Number 10
Volume 2 Number 11
Volume 3 Number 1
Volume 3 Number 2
Volume 3 Number 3
Volume 3 Number 4
Volume 3 Number 5
Volume 3 Number 6
Volume 3 Number 7
Volume 3 Number 8
Volume 3 Number 9
Volume 3 Number 10
Volume 3 Number 11
Volume 4 Number 1
Volume 4 Number 2
Volume 4 Number 3
Volume 4 Number 4
Volume 4 Number 5
Volume 4 Number 6
Volume 4 Number 7
Volume 4 Number 8
Volume 4 Number 9
Volume 4 Number 10
Volume 4 Number 11
Volume 5 Number 1
Volume 5 Number 2
Volume 5 Number 3
Volume 5 Number 4
Regular information provided by NPS – Better choices, better health - NPS enables people to be medicinewise.
The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is a valued independent resource for accurate, evidence-based prescribing information and education. Given the marketing pressures applied by global drug companies, NPS plays a vital and unique role across the healthcare sector.
The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is a valued independent resource for accurate, evidence-based prescribing information and education.
Given the marketing pressures applied by global drug companies, NPS plays a vital and unique role across the healthcare sector.
31 July 2009
NPS RADAR reviews rivaroxaban
Prescribers treating patients who have had total hip or knee replacement surgery can access an independent review of the oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban (Xarelto) in the August issue of NPS RADAR.
NPS RADAR provides independent information about new medicines and changes to PBS listings to health professionals and is published to coincide with PBS updates, giving health professionals access to information when they need it.
“GPs and pharmacists may see patients who have been initiated on rivaroxaban in hospital. They should be aware that rivaroxaban has only been evaluated for use in preventing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism after elective total hip or total knee replacement surgery,” NPS senior adviser, quality use of medicines, Judith Mackson said.
“Duration of the therapy is 14 days after knee replacement or 35 days after hip replacement and no longer. Some patients will need a GP prescription soon after discharge to cover the remaining duration of therapy. GPs will need to take into account the number of tablets the hospital has provided when selecting a suitable pack size and instructing the patient on how many tablets to take.”
Dose adjustment and titration, and monitoring of prothrombin time are not required. As with other anticoagulants, managing the risk of bleeding is a primary concern, and patients should be alert to possible signs of bleeding.
“Prescribers should be aware that there are only small differences in efficacy and safety between rivaroxaban, low molecular weight heparins (Clexane and Fragmin), fondaparinux (Arixtra) and dabigatran (Pradaxa),” Ms Mackson said.
Other topics covered in the latest edition of NPS RADAR include:
* Hydromorphone prolonged-release tablets (Jurnista) for chronic severe disabling pain
* Oxybutynin patch (Oxytrol) PBS listed as an alternative for overactive bladder
* Update on PBS listings for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders
* Sitagliptin with metformin
* (Janumet) fixed-dose combination tablets PBS listed for type 2 diabetes mellitus
* Risedronate (Actonel Once-a-month) and summary of anti-resorptive drug listings
* Lanthanum (Fosrenol) tablets for adults with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis
For full copies of these reviews visit www.nps.org.au/radar
30 July 2009
Get to know your medicines calendar wins Multicultural ‘Best Resource’ Award
The National Prescribing Service Ltd (NPS), Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Australia (FECCA) and Co.As.It (Victoria) have been presented with a Multicultural Communication Award for the 2009 Italian Get to know your medicines calendar.
The awards, hosted by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, recognise area health and non-government organisations which produce multilingual health resources.
The calendar was distributed to Italian seniors across Australia as part of the 2008 Get to know your medicines campaign. This campaign aimed to raise awareness among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities of the importance of understanding the benefits and risks of medicine and included tips on how to reduce the risks.
The risks of using medicines are heightened for CALD senior Australians, particularly those with low English language proficiency and literacy levels.
The medicines messages throughout the calendar sit alongside photographs of Italian migrants from the mid- 1900s donated by the Italian Historical Society (Co.As.IT).
“We are delighted to receive this award for non-government patient information, which acknowledges the valuable work we are undertaking with our community partners to promote the safe use of medicines with culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes said.
The awards entry guidelines stated the resources had to be:
* available in English and at least one language other than English
* developed incorporating elements of good practice, including a needs assessment
* translated by NAATI accredited translators
* culturally appropriate
* able to be added to the Multicultural Health Communication website.
“The calendar showcases the vibrant heritage of Italian migrants in Australia, while incorporating important health messages,” said Walter Petralia, Co.As.It (Victoria) Manager, Health Promotion and Community Development.
“This award is a testament to the value of working collaboratively with communities and ethno-specific organisations to develop relevant and engaging health promotion initiatives. FECCA is delighted to see this innovative and popular initiative acknowledged with this reward,” FECCA Chair, Voula Messimeri said.
NPS and FECCA also won a certificate of commendation for education session resources for Chinese and Italian communities. These awards build on previous recognition for multicultural resources:
- 2005 National Multicultural Marketing Awards from the Community Relations Commission
- 2005 Multicultural Communication Award from NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service
29 July 2009
Warning to consumers about recreational use of medicines
The National Prescribing Service (NPS) warns people are playing Russian roulette with their health when they take medicines inappropriately.
Media reports this week about people mixing sleeping tablet, zolpidem (Stilnox), with energy drink Red Bull™ have failed to highlight the risks people are taking when they intentionally misuse pharmaceuticals.
NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes says people should ensure they know the risks and benefits of any medicine before taking it.
“All medicines have potential side effects and should only be used for the purpose in which they have been prescribed,” Dr Weekes said.
Zolpidem is a prescription medicine that is used to initiate and maintain sleep in those with sleeping difficulties. It has a number of common side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, headache and muscle weakness. It has also been associated with reports of unusual and potentially dangerous behaviours during sleep.
The consumer medicine information for Stilnox, which is written by the manufacturer, clearly states that Stilnox should not be taken if you have been drinking alcohol and it should not be given to people under the age of 18.
“I strongly advise anyone who has been, or is thinking about, using any medicine for recreational purposes to read the consumer medicine information leaflet and think about the ramifications it may have on their health,” Dr Weekes said.
“There are many sources for information about medicines including your pharmacist or GP, the NPS website and our publications.”
“Health professionals should also be aware of patients who may ask specifically for Stilnox following these latest media reports and ensure patients understand the purpose for which the medicine has been prescribed,” Dr Weekes warned.
Consumer medicine information leaflets can be viewed at www.nps.org.au/search_by_medicine_name
Additional information about zolpidem is available in the December 2008 edition of Australian Prescriber in “Hypnotic hazards: adverse effects of zolpidem and other z-drugs” by Professor LG Olson.
To view the article visit www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/31/6/146/9/
Media enquiries to Katie Butt, NPS Media Adviser, 0419 618 365 or email@example.comReturn to home