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Rain pouring down on Mt Hood National Forest in Oregon, USA

The secret life of ketamineSubscription

Ketamine is being used to treat depression in clinics that are springing up across the United States, but uncertainty remains over its long-term use.

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The use of antipsychotic drugs in people with dementia poses a higher mortality risk than previously identified, and the risk increases with dose, study finds

Greater risk of death by antipsychotics in dementia patients, research suggestsSubscription

The risk of death caused by use of antipsychotic drugs in people with dementia is greater than previously thought, and increases in line with dose, research suggests.

NHS funding provided to GPs for them to deliver travel health services to their patients could be shifted to community pharmacy, according to a travel health expert

GP travel health funding could shift to pharmacySubscription

NHS funding provided to GPs for them to deliver travel health services to their patients could be shifted to community pharmacy, according to a travel health expert.

Taking macrolide antibiotics, such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, during pregnancy could increase the risk of babies being born with epilepsy or cerebral palsy, report researchers from the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH) in London

Study links use of macrolide antibiotics in pregnancy to infant epilepsy and cerebral palsy Subscription

A slightly increased risk of epilepsy or cerebral palsy for babies whose mothers take macrolide antibiotics during pregnancy has been found by UCL researchers.

US consumers prefer generic over branded drugsSubscription

Over 80% of US consumers say they would purchase generic drugs more often than brand name drugs and 42% said they would “always” choose a generic.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma therapy improves survival in hard-to-treat cases. CT image of 46 year old patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma, image at neck height

Hodgkin’s lymphoma therapy improves survival in hard-to-treat casesSubscription

Brentuximab vedotin (BV) has shown “remarkable” efficacy when used after autologous stem-cell transplantation in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has written to all of its GPs advising them to signpost patients to pharmacies where appropriate for over-the-counter medicines

‘Buy your own drugs’: an unreasonable request or sensible policy?Subscription

One Welsh health board made national headlines on 18 March 2015 when, in the words of the Daily Mail, it told patients to “Buy your own drugs”. This was, perhaps, a little misleading.

Icelandic genome sequencing project reveals insights into disease susceptibilitySubscription

A human genome sequencing project conducted among the population of Iceland has revealed important new insights into human evolution and susceptibility to disease.

Researchers develop test that predicts severe immune reaction to biologic therapies. Vascular lining cells (endothelium) grown from stem cells in human blood, visualised using two different stains (pictured).

Researchers develop test that predicts severe immune reaction to biologicsSubscription

A test that uses cells from a single donor’s blood to predict whether a new drug will cause a severe immune reaction in humans has been developed by researchers at Imperial College London.

Analysts predict surge in ‘blockbuster drugs’ entering the market in 2015Subscription

Over the next twelve months there will be 11 “blockbuster” drugs entering the market, according to business intelligence company Thomson Reuters.

Regulator seeks information on link between birth defects and hormonal pregnancy testsSubscription

The MHRA is calling for information that will help establish whether there is a link between the hormonal pregnancy test used in the 1960s and 1970s and birth defects.

Redesigning the labels of intravenous medicine bags can “significantly” reduce the risk of administering the wrong drugs during an operating theatre emergency

Medicine errors can be avoided with clearer IV bag labels, research suggestsSubscription

Redesigning the labels of intravenous medicine bags can “significantly” reduce the risk of administering the wrong drugs during an operating theatre emergency.

FDA approves cholic acid for rare bile acid synthesis disordersSubscription

Cholic acid, a drug used to treat bile acid synthesis disorders and peroxisomal disorders, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

tested the therapeutic efficacy of furry nanoballs called spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) in mice with two conditions: lymphomas and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. In the image, core-filled (left) and core-less SNAs

Nucleic acids made into furry nanoballs modulate immune systemSubscription

Short nucleic acids mounted on to nanoparticles could prove to be novel immunomodulators, according to research published in PNAS.

NPA and IPF merge to form single membership body for independent pharmaciesSubscription

The National Pharmacy Association and the Independent Pharmacy Federation are merging to become a single membership body for independent community pharmacies.

Shutting down a metabolic pathway that fuels misfiring neurons can suppress seizures in mice. In the image, an MRI scan of a person with epilepsy

Energy restriction could tackle drug-resistant epilepsySubscription

Shutting down a metabolic pathway that fuels misfiring neurons can suppress seizures in mice, find researchers who predict a fresh approach to developing antiepileptic drugs.

The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are calling for a radical review of how insulin pumps (pictured) are approved for use and monitored, citing serious safety gaps

Diabetes groups call for radical rethink of regulation governing insulin pumps Subscription

A radical review of how insulin pumps are approved for use and then monitored once on the market is required, according to diabetes groups in United States and Europe. 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pictured,  has approved palbociclib for metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women under its accelerated approval programme

Clinical Pharmacist's monthly news round-up: the top 10 in the past monthSubscription

What has been happening in the world of pharmacy? Here’s our pick of must-read news from the past month.

The cough medicine, dextromethorphan, an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, could prove to be a potential treatment for people with diabetes

Cough medicine dextromethorphan has antidiabetic potentialSubscription

The over-the-counter cough suppressant dextromethorphan boosts insulin levels and improves glucose tolerance in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the findings of a study.

Alendronate, an osteoporosis drug, relieves symptoms of emphysema associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by targeting alveolar macrophages, according to a study in mice. In the image, x-ray of person with osteoporosis

Osteoporosis drug shows promise as COPD treatmentSubscription

Repurposing the bisphosphonate bone drug alendronate relieves symptoms of emphysema associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by targeting alveolar macrophages, according to a study in mice

Genetic analysis can predict patients at increased risk of suffering from bleeding during treatment with the blood thinner warfarin, confirms a new study.

Genetic analysis can predict bleeding risk in warfarin usersSubscription

Genetic analysis can point to patients who are at increased risk of suffering from bleeding during treatment with the blood thinner warfarin, a study published in The Lancet confirms.

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), pictured, has little if any benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and causes an increase in the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolic events

HRT linked with increased stroke risk, conclude Cochrane reviewersSubscription

HRT has little if any benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and causes an increase in the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolic events.

Several studies have found that statin therapy slightly increases the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes. In the image, a woman takes a glucose test

Finnish study explores association between statin use and diabetesSubscription

Researchers have shown that statin use increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and suggest that the higher risk is due to decreases in insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion.

Specific immune-mediated mechanisms may define a biological subgroup within psychosis. Blood tests revealed antibodies to the dopamine (polarised micrograph pictured) D2 receptor in children with a first episode of psychosis

Psychosis may have immune-mediated cause, study suggestsSubscription

A study of children with a first episode of psychosis reveals that a subset produced specific autoantibodies, supporting the involvement of immune-mediated mechanisms.

Drug companies have an ethical and legal obligation to promptly report results of clinical trials to registers but few meet the reporting deadlines. Pictured, National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland

Few trial sponsors meet data reporting deadlinesSubscription

Drug companies and others have an ethical and, increasingly, legal obligation to promptly report results of clinical trials to registers but few meet the reporting deadlines.

Paroxetine (molecular structure pictured), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), improves symptoms of heart failure in mice, research finds

Paroxetine improves symptoms of heart failure in miceSubscription

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine inhibits G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2, an enzyme that hastens the onset of heart failure.

Vitamin D (polarised micrograph pictured) protect against falls and osteoporotic fractures and has various other purported health benefits but may be associated with  cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, study suggests

Low and high levels of vitamin D associated with cardiovascular deaths, study suggestsSubscription

The association between cardiovascular disease mortality and vitamin D levels has been investigated in an observational study.

The practice of sedating patients before they are anaesthetised for surgery has been called into question

Pre-anaesthesia sedation may do more harm than goodSubscription

Researchers have called into question the practice of sedating patients before they are anaesthetised for surgery, finding no benefit in terms of patient experience.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist goserelin can help protect against ovarian failure in women treated for breast cancer., study finds

Goserelin protects against ovarian failure in women treated for breast cancerSubscription

Research suggests that the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist goserelin can help protect against ovarian failure in women treated for breast cancer.

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