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Every article tells you what's new - and gives you a quick review. Scores of articles cover top-selling drugs and common health conditions.

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Just what you need when you want to check your facts, verify a dose, or give a quick answer.

Brief bullet points deliver the take-home message from every issue of The Rx Consultant - for an instant update or a quick refresher.

Answers common questions and outlines key counseling points, so you can streamline patient education.

Hundreds of tables and charts give at-a-glance updates on drugs, doses, common side effects & interactions, indications, treatment guidelines, and more.

We do the research, distill the results, consult the experts, and check every fact - so you don't have to.

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2.0 Hours of Pharmacy Law CE for Pharmacists,
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1.5 Hours of CE for Pharmacists,
Nurse Practitioners & Pharmacy Technicians
2.0 Hours of CE for Pharmacists & Nurse Practitioners
 
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Rx News Advisory Feed View All
  • Adherence is Lower With Metformin Than Other Drugs
    A recent review found that the most commonly prescribed diabetes medication, metformin, had lo... Read More
  • PDMPs May Not Account For Many Opioid Prescriptions
    All 50 states have established Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) for opioids. Some ... Read More
  • High Biotin (B7) Intake May Affect Lab Test Results
    Vitamin B7 (biotin) is found in multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, and supplements intended for ... Read More
  • Patients Not Worried About Drugs That Impair Driving
    A roadside survey that included questions about prescription drug use was recently conducted at ... Read More
  • Tell Patients To Stop Taking Limbrel®
    Limbrel®, available as prescription capsules, is used for the management of metabolic processe... Read More
  • Increased Risk of Heart-Related Death with Febuxostat
    Febuxostat (Uloric®) was FDA approved for gout in 2009 with a requirement to conduct a cardiovas... Read More
Drug Therapy Updates & Reviews/CE View All
  • Fluoroquinolones are broad-spectrum antibiotics that have been used to treat infections of varying types and severity since the 1980s. They are well-tolerated by most patients; however, a growing body of evidence has linked fluoroquinolone use to rare but disabling, and potentially permanent, side effects involving tendons, peripheral nerves, and the central nervous system (CNS). Cardiac, gastrointestinal (GI), metabolic (glucose), and ocular side effects, as well as allergic reactions, have also been reported. In May 2016, the FDA determined that the risks of fluoroquinolone use for certain uncomplicated infections are generally greater than the benefits when other treatment options are available.

    Subsequently, the labels of all systemic (oral and injectable) fluoroquinolones were updated with strengthened warnings, including a revised boxed warning. The revisions include "limitation of use" statements advising that, in the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs), fluoroquinolones should be reserved for patients who have no other options.

    This issue reviews uncommon but serious side effects of systemic fluoroquinolones. Dosing considerations, use in children and during pregnancy, and potential drug interactions are also discussed...

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) – also called degenerative joint disease – is the most common chronic joint condition, affecting about 27 million Americans. The resulting pain, stiffness, and swelling can affect mobility, productivity, and quality of life.

    While no treatment has been shown to slow the progression of joint damage, a combination of non-drug interventions and drug therapy can be used to manage symptoms and improve mobility. Resistance exercise, weight loss, and psychosocial interventions are among the non-drug interventions recommended for osteoarthritis patients. Recommended drug therapies include acetaminophen, oral and topical nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tramadol, and intra-articular corticosteroid injections. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) provides recommendations for the management of hand, knee, and hip OA.3 The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides somewhat different recommendations for the management of knee and hip OA. Drug therapy recommendations are summarized in the Appendix.

    This issue will focus on oral medications and complementary therapies commonly used for the treatment of OA – particularly OA of the knee, hip, and hand – based on ACR and AAOS guidelines,3-5 as well as other evidence-based literature.

  • The American Diabetes Association (ADA) updates their practice guidelines every year, incorporating new data that can have a significant impact on patient health, care, and outcomes. Each January for the past 26 years, the ADA has published these guidelines as the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, referred to simply as the “Standards of Care.” This publication is the go-to reference guide for many healthcare professionals who care for people with diabetes. It provides practitioners, patients, researchers, and payers with the components of diabetes care, general treatment goals, and tools to evaluate the quality of care.

    While healthcare providers may focus on managing glucose, blood pressure, and lipid goals in patients with diabetes, the cornerstone of therapy is Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSME/S), which engages the patient in active collaboration with the healthcare team Self-management is an ongoing, lifelong process that does not stop after each healthcare visit...

  • The past few years have seen a number of legislative and regulatory changes at the federal level; both with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This article will address key changes impacting pharmacy practice in the areas of compounding, drug supply chain security, biosimilars, and the regulation of controlled substances in order to prevent diversion and abuse.

    The passage of the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 (DQSA) updates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) in the areas of human drug compounding and drug supply chain security.1 Previously, compounding was mostly regulated by individual states under section 503A of the FDCA. In the years to come, the FDA will continue to clarify regulations surrounding compounding and drug supply chain security.

    The FDA has developed policy regarding biological medications, particularly around nearly identical biological products (biosimilars) and their therapeutic substitution. A new online publication called the “Purple Book” lists biological products, and specifies those that are biosimilar and/or interchangeable....

    2.0 Hours Pharmacy Law CE - 0.20 CEU. Target Audience: pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and pharmacy technicians.

  • After a record-setting 45 approvals in 2015, the FDA approved only 22 new molecular entities in 2016.1 The FDA’s Office of New Drugs gave 3 explanations for the drop off: 1) 5 drugs with 2016 due dates were approved ahead of schedule in 2015; 2) biopharmaceutical companies filed fewer applications in 2016; and 3) there were more rejections. Of the 22 novel drugs, almost one third received breakthrough therapy designation, about two thirds were given priority review, and more than one third were for rare diseases. Two of the novel agents, elbasvir/grazoprevir and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir, were discussed in The Rx Consultant November 2016 issue on hepatitis C.

    This issue reviews 8 novel drugs: crisaborole – the first topical phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor for atopic dermatitis; ixekizumab – the second interleukin-17A inhibitor for psoriasis; lifitegrast – a first-in-class ophthalmic agent for dry eye disease; pimavanserin – the first drug to be approved for Parkinson’s disease psychosis; and 4 cancer drugs – atezolizumab for bladder and lung cancer, olaratumab for soft tissue sarcoma, rucaparib for ovarian cancer, and venetoclax for chronic lymphocytic leukemia Prasterone, a new option for a common postmenopausal disorder, is also reviewed. The 4 cancer drugs received accelerated approval; this means that their continued approval may depend on confirmation of benefit in further studies. Usual doses and selected drug interactions are summarized in Table 1. Nine more new drugs or new dosage forms that may be encountered in every day practice are described in Table 2. Both tables include pronunciation guides and brand names...

    2.0 Hours Pharmacotherapy CE - 0.20 CEU. Target Audience: pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and pharmacy technicians.

  • This CE activity meets the Florida Board of Pharmacy requirement for a Board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on the Validation of Prescriptions for Controlled Substances. It also meets other state board requirements for a continuing education course on patient safety.

    The appropriate and safe management of pain, and concerns about opioid overuse, abuse and overdose, have been making headlines for the past 20 years. Historically, opioids have been used for chronic non-cancer pain despite a lack of high-quality evidence for efficacy. Pain management societies and organizations (eg, THE Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO]) embraced pain as a “vital sign” in the mid-1990s and encouraged more aggressive use of opioids for chronic pain. The amount of prescription opioids sold in the US increased nearly 4-fold from 1999 to 2014, despite no increase in reported pain.

    According to IMS Health, a firm that tracks national prescription statistics, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed peaked in 2012. For the first time in 20 years, the IMS data indicated a 12% overall decline in US opioid dispensing since the peak. Tightening of federal regulations for opioid prescriptions (eg, moving hydrocodone to schedule II status) likely contributed to the decline. Experts note, however, that the level of prescribing is still very high – with a growing overdose epidemic including fatal overdoses, which reached 28,000 in 2014.

    Regulators and the public are looking to clinicians to "do the right thing" regarding pain management, but the "right thing" has been a moving target. What actions are in the patient’s or public’s best interest, and in the best interest of the clinician and their professional practice? There are opposing pressures from 1) patients and pain management experts who advocate providing opioids for individuals with pain, and 2) families, caregivers, and regulatory officials, who want to prevent prescription drug diversion, abuse and overdose. Finding the right balance to provide safe and effective pain management is a “moral imperative,” professional responsibility, and duty of healthcare professionals.

Pharmacists: Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Advanced Practice Nurses : (Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists): CE hours provided by Continuing Education Network (in The Rx Consultant) meet the ANCC criteria and the AANP criteria for formally approved continuing education hours. Click here for more information about the ANCC criteria. Click here for more information about the AANP criteria.

Registered Nurses : Click here for specific information on acceptance of CE from The Rx Consultant by your state Board of Registered Nursing.