Complementary medicines for sale in Australia, labelled AUST L, undergo less scrutiny than ‘regulated’ medicines, labelled AUST R. Before marketing, AUST L drugs require no proof of contents or efficacy so ingredient lists need to be taken on face value, and ALL ingredients, not just the active or main advertised ingredient, need to be assessed. Geraldine Moses, adjunct associate professor at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Queensland, examines the regulatory framework for complementary medicines and advises how prescribers can help reduce potential medicine interactions and adverse effects.
Adherence to medicine regimens is critical to achieving the maximum benefit from medicines. Louise Grannell, senior medicines information pharmacist at Alfred Health in Melbourne, discusses different medicine timing regimens and how these should be communicated to the patient, and possibly adapted, to ensure optimal adherence. The article reviews recommendations about taking medicines with or without food and outlines some common drugs that should be taken at particular times of the day.
In 2018 an estimated 28,000 Australians over the age of 50 were hospitalised with a hip fracture. University of South Australia Professor Libby Roughead and her co-authors examined the increased risk of hip fracture associated with psychotropic medicines, including antidepressants, opioids, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. The risk can be lowered by reducing psychotropic use, exercising, and using allied health interventions like exercise, occupational therapy or podiatry.
Other articles in the April issue of Australian Prescriber include:
New drugs: Avanafil for erectile dysfunction, Cerliponase alfa for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 disease, Durvalumab for urothelial carcinoma, non small cell lung cancer, Guselkumab for plaque psoriasis, Letermovir for cytomegalovirus prophylaxis, Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir for hepatitis C, Tafenoquine succinate for malaria prevention, and Telotristat ethyl for carcinoid syndrome diarrhoea