NMA: Nonprescription Medicines Academy

Quick Takes

January 28th, 2013

  • The November/December 2012 issue of Journal of the American Pharmacists Association includes a review of the use of histamine-1 receptor antagonists for treatment of insomnia in adult patients (especially self-treatment using nonprescription sleep aids). The article is available for free at http://www.japha.org/article.aspx?articleid=1392739. (JAPhA. 2012;52:e210-9.)
  • In an “Ask the Pharmacists” article on Medscape, Gayle Nicholas Scott, PharmD, addresses the question of whether raspberry ketone is effective for weight loss. Although television host Dr. Oz recently called raspberry ketone “the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat,” evidence of its effectiveness is scant and limited to a few small animal studies; safety information is lacking. The article can be accessed at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/775741?src=nl_topic.
  • Could “aspirin resistance” reflect nothing more than delayed release and reduced absorption of aspirin from enteric-coated products? Yes, according to a study that failed to find a single case of true drug resistance among 400 healthy volunteers. Variable absorption caused a high frequency of apparent resistance to a single 325-mg dose of enteric-coated aspirin (up to 49%) but not to immediate-release aspirin (0%). All participants responded to aspirin upon repeated exposure, extension of the post-dosing interval, or addition of aspirin to their platelets ex vivo. (Circulation. 2012 Dec 4. Epub ahead of print.)
  • Among nearly 5,000 participants in the Beaver Dam Eye Study—a longitudinal, population-based study of age-related eye diseases conducted in Wisconsin—regular use of aspirin for at least 10 years was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident late and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Study participants ranged in age from 43 to 86 years at baseline; regular aspirin use was defined as at least twice weekly for more than 3 months. Aspirin use for just 5 years prior to observed incidence was not associated with incident early or late age-related macular degeneration. (JAMA. 2012;308:2469-78.)
  • The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is one of nine professional and patient organizations that make up the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs—a public health coalition dedicated to the safe and appropriate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The Alliance seeks to bridge the gap between guidance and clinical practice by educating health care professionals and consumers about ways to maximize the benefits of NSAID therapy while reducing risks. Educational resources and information about the Alliance are available at www.NSAIDAlliance.com.
  • A small study from The Netherlands suggests that consumption of NSAIDs by athletes to prevent anticipated exercise-induced pain is not harmless and should be discouraged. Nine healthy men were tested in four different situations—cycling after ingesting two 400-mg doses of ibuprofen, cycling without ibuprofen, rest after ingesting two 400-mg doses of ibuprofen, and rest without prior ibuprofen intake. The use of ibuprofen before exhaustive cycling was found to aggravate exercise-induced small intestinal injury, resulting in the loss of gut barrier function. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44:2257-62. Full text at http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2012/12000/Aggravation_of_Exe....)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the CDC Influenza application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. (Android support will be added in a future update.) The app enables clinicians and other health care professionals to access the latest recommendations and influenza activity updates; new information and content update automatically when a mobile device is connected to the Internet. The app can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cdc-influenza-flu/id577782055.
  • GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has launched Quit.com, a total quit-smoking online resource to help smokers quit their cigarette addictions and stay smoke-free. The website is built in four levels with specific tools depending on where smokers are in the quitting process: preparing to quit, ready to quit, currently quitting or post-quit and looking for resources to remain a nonsmoker. The available information, tools, and resources are designed to help smokers through both the mental and physical aspects of quitting smoking.