The Consultant Pharmacist

IN THIS ISSUE

November 2016 | Volume 31 | Number 11

Stemming the Rising Tide of Drug Burden

Editor-in-Chief, H. Edward Davidson, PharmD, MPH, gives a brief commentary on this issue of the journal and current new items of interest to consultant pharmacists.

Olfaction: New Understandings, Diagnostic Applications

Estimates indicate that 14 million Americans have olfactory dysfunction. As with other senses, such as sight and hearing, olfaction frequently declines with age. Impaired olfaction can be a warning sign of Parkinson’s disease, sometimes occurring before motor symptoms develop. It’s also an initial symptom of Alzheimer’s dementia. Researchers are currently studying the unique olfactory deficits associated with different conditions in hopes of identifying new, noninvasive tools for early diagnosis and treatment. Drugs may cause or contribute to olfactory dysfunction, but it can be difficult to pinpoint offending medications.

Treatment of Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy in Older Adults with Diabetes Mellitus

With increasing life expectancy of patients with diabetes mellitus, awareness of diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN) and its implications to older adults is needed in primary care. Consistent screening and appropriate treatment of DAN in older adults with diabetes mellitus is essential in helping to maintain functional status and avoid adverse events. The rise in prevalence of DAN should be expected in patients who struggled with chronic hyperglycemia. It becomes more difficult to treat DAN in aging adults, since other comorbidities must be taken into account, and many treatment options are problematic because of their adverse effect profiles.

Evaluating the Potential Risks Associated with Fluoroquinolones and Steroids

Fluoroquinolones (FQs), a frequently prescribed class of antibacterial agents, are widely used but may carry serious side effects, particularly in older adults. The Food and Drug Administration recently suggested that FQs should not be routinely used in certain conditions if alternative options are available. Research has demonstrated that the risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture associated with FQs is one of the highest in older adults who are concurrently treated with steroids. Health care providers and pharmacists involved in treating older adults should be aware of this potential drug interaction, which may lead to serious side effects and safety concerns.

Evaluating the Impact of Pharmacists on Reducing Use of Sedative/Hypnotics for Treatment of Insomnia in Long-Term Care Facility Residents

Pharmacist intervention can have a meaningful impact on reducing inappropriate sedative/hypnotic use in the elderly population through concise, evidence-based recommendations to physicians. While some physicians were hesitant to discontinue residents’ long-term sedative/hypnotic use, pharmacist intervention resulted in the successful decrease/discontinuation of sedative/hypnotics in approximately 50% of all participants.

Lame Duck; What Happens After the Election

The congressional landscape changes following an election, which is known as the "lame duck" legislative session. ASCP’s election analysis will appear in the December issue’s Policy Currents. Regardless of the election results, there is still the last legislative opportunity of the 114th Congress to take action in lame-duck session.

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The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). It is the only journal dedicated exclusively to the medication therapy needs of seniors. ASCP members receive The Consultant Pharmacist® as a member benefit. All articles (2004 to present) are free online for members.




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