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Micrograph of multiple myeloma tumour cells (green) and bone cells (red) growing on a scaffold made of silk protein (purple), designed to resemble bone material

Multiple myeloma: pharmacological management

Although multiple myeloma is currently regarded as being incurable in the majority of patients, the outlook for patients diagnosed with the condition has improved markedly over the last 40 years, with survival rates quadrupling. Significant advances in both treatment and supportive therapies have contributed to these improved outcomes and are discussed in this article.

Micrograph of Clostridium difficile bacteria

Clostridium difficile: diagnosis and treatment update

There are around 12,000 cases of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) each year in the UK and during 1999 to 2007, deaths from CDI peaked at around 4,000 per year. This article summarises diagnosis and management, as well as the current therapeutic options for CDI, including faecal microbiota transplant.

coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bacterial blood infection (sepsis) caused by a rod shaped bacterium (blue)

Sepsis: an update on identification and management Subscription

All healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, should be aware of the clinical features and management of sepsis. This article summarises the recent changes in the definition of sepsis in adults, as well as its management.

Testing for blood clotting

How to identify causes of a subtherapeutic INRSubscription

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are often involved in the management of patients with subtherapeutic international normalised ratios (INRs), the cause of which is important to identify because this will affect decisions and the subsequent management of the patient.

Boy with Down's Syndrome listens to a healthcare worker

Reducing antipsychotic prescribing in people with learning disabilities Subscription

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are ideally placed to review and reduce inappropriate prescribing of psychotropic medicines in people with learning disabilities safely and effectively.

X-ray of the intestines of a patient with Crohn's disease

Biosimilars and inflammatory bowel disease: a switch programme using CT-P13Subscription

How to plan and manage switching patients from a biologic to a biosimilar in inflammatory bowel disease, using the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s experience as an example.

Illustration antibiotic destroying bacteria

Principles of initiating antimicrobial therapy and empiric prescribingSubscription

Healthcare professionals should be aware of the principles of antimicrobial treatment and the need to reduce inappropriate prescribing to retain the effectiveness of drugs currently available.

Urticaria rash on the upper chest of a woman

Chronic spontaneous urticaria: clinical features, diagnosis and managementSubscription

Defined as the non-inducible recurrence of wheals, angioedema or both for six weeks or more, chronic spontaneous urticaria is a difficult to diagnose and debilitating skin condition. Pharmacists should be aware of the clinical features in order to identify and manage this condition effectively.

Close up of a leg with livedo reticular is

Antiphospholipid syndrome: pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatmentSubscription

How antiphospholipid syndrome, also known as Hughes syndrome, is diagnosed and the appropriate therapeutic options for its management.

Illustration of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: clinical phenotypes and implications for managementSubscription

Phenotyping patients with chronic obsructive pulmonary disease allows their separation into distinct categories that differentiate their prognosis and response to treatment, producing clinically meaningful outcomes.

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Pharmacist takes the blood pressure of an elderly patient

How to support cancer patients in community pharmaciesSubscription

Every community pharmacy team will come into contact with cancer patients or their family members. This article aims to provide community pharmacists and healthcare professionals with the tools to be able to speak confidently to patients with cancer and summarises the useful resources available.

Man looking at gluten free products in a supermarket

How to identify symptoms of coeliac disease in community pharmacy and primary careSubscription

It is estimated that in the UK there are more than half a million people with clinically undiagnosed coeliac disease, caused by an adverse immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can play a key role in identifying individuals with symptoms, referring them for testing, ultimately leading to earlier diagnosis.

Amniocentesis

Preconception care: genetic and pre-existing conditionsSubscription

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can provide appropriate and comprehensive preconception care by identifying couples who are at risk of having a baby with a genetic or chromosomal malformation and can empower the couple by giving them enough knowledge to make informed decisions.

Staff meeting at a general practice

Understanding the aims of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and what they mean for pharmacySubscription

An overview of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) — which the NHS will use to deliver the ‘Five year forward view’ — and how to work with them.

Health worker holding a dying patient's hand

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carersSubscription

Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in palliative care and can be a source of important information and support for patients at the end of life. Health professionals caring for patients with advanced illness should develop skills for communicating with patients, and their families and carers.

Woman holds a positive pregnancy test

Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle adviceSubscription

Engagement by women with a pharmacist or healthcare professional for preconception advice and care ranges from 18% to 45%. Pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide this advice when individuals present for new registration checks, well-woman consultations, contraceptive advice and reviews, as well as medicine use reviews.

Images of 2016 highlights of CPD and learning

Highlights of CPD and learning in 2016Subscription

Try our clinical quiz, with questions taken from this year’s learning and CPD articles, and check your knowledge of subjects ranging from antimicrobial therapy to bipolar disorder.

Papers with statistical data

A basic introduction to statisticsSubscription

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals involved in research and report writing should have an understanding of basic statistical methods that can be applied to study data and used in reporting research results.

Female student researching in a library

How to write a research article to submit for publicationSubscription

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals who are undertaking research should have an understanding of how to produce a research article for publication, and should be aware of the important considerations relating to submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Pharmacist in consultation with patient

How to build and maintain trust with patientsSubscription

Patients are more likely to open up and disclose information if they trust their pharmacist or healthcare professional, and a better quality of interaction may result in greater patient autonomy and shared decision-making.

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The Pharmaceutical Journal (PJ) is the official monthly journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. With a circulation of over 30,000 copies the PJ has the largest circulation of any monthly pharmaceutical publication in the world.

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Stockley's Drug Interactions Pocket Companion 2015

Stockley's Drug Interactions Pocket Companion 2015 is a portable, easy-to-use, quick-reference guide to common drug interactions for the busy healthcare professional.

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