NPS Media Releases – Latest Edition of Australian Prescriber

Latest edition of Australian Prescriber out now

The latest issue of Australia’s free, national, independent journal of drugs and therapeutics is now available. Australian Prescriber facilitates debate about complex, controversial or uncertain therapeutic areas. Some of the highlights of the February issue include:

Drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is most often progressive, but both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions can make a big difference to its severity and impact of symptoms. A new article by Professor Christine Jenkins from Concord Hospital provides a summary of patient assessment, non-drug and drug therapy, including combination therapies, the effect of eosinophilia, potential future developments, and the role of drug delivery—with an emphasis on the importance of both clinician and patient being familiar with devices for inhaled drugs.

NPS MedicineWise will also be launching a new educational program on medicines for COPD in February 2017.

Midazolam for status epilepticus

Dr Rob Smith and clinical nurse consultant Janis Brown of John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle, provide an update on midazolam, a benzodiazepine that is now the first-line treatment for status epilepticus (prolonged seizures) in children. Injectable midazolam has recently been added to the list of emergency drug supplies that GPs can obtain on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  The article reviews current evidence and guidelines about its use in emergency, administration by carers, and the safety and tolerability of the drug. When used according to guidelines it appears safe and effective, write the authors.

Compounded medicines

Dr James Falconer and Associate Professor Kathryn Steadman of the University of Queensland discuss the stability of compounded medicines. In most instances the stability of the final product is not known, and for this reason they typically have short-term expiry dates such as 28 days for oral and topical products or 24 hours for parenteral formulations. The authors also write about the regulation and practicalities of compounding medicines, including where and how compounded products are made.

Other articles in the February issue of Australian Prescriber include:

*  Antimicrobial use and resistance in Australia

*  Medication charts in residential aged-care facilities

*  Phosphate binders in patients with chronic kidney disease

*  Should pulse pressure influence prescribing?

*  New drug update on cobimetinib for metastatic melanoma, elbasvir/grazoprevir for hepatitis C,  mepolizumab for asthma,olaparib for ovarian cancer and talimogene laherparepvec for melanoma

Australia Prescriber is now fully digital and available at


  Australian Prescriber NPS MedicineWise  
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Pharmacist crushing up medicine
Compounded medicines are not generally assessed for safety and efficacy. Read more about their regulation and short-term expiry dates.
Red lungs reflecting against black lungs
Learn about the drug and non-drug interventions that have dramatically improved the quality of life for patients with COPD.
Midazolam is now the first-line treatment for status epilepticus in children. Find out who can administer it and how it is given safely and effectively.
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