NPS Direct – August 2013

Published in NPS Direct

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Help parents cope with infant GORD without PPIs

Excessive crying, irritability and vomiting in infants are symptoms that are frequently, but incorrectly, attributed to GORD. PPIs won't help relieve these symptoms. Find out how you can help new parents cope without prescribing these medicines.  Read more



Stop smoking – what works for your patients?

Smoking is responsible for more premature deaths than any other behavioural risk factor. Reducing the number of smokers is important, but what works? A new meta-analysis of pharmacological interventions suggests some treatments are better than others.  Read more



Codeine in children — deaths prompt new safety warnings

Reports of fatal and near fatal cases of respiratory depression following the use of codeine-containing medicines in children have led to new international guidance from the FDA, MHRA and EMA. What does this mean for your patients?  Read more

Five messages from NPS MedicineWise about:

Medical Tests

1. Quality use of medical tests

Medicines use and medical tests are closely linked in many areas of clinical practice. To help improve the quality use of medical tests, NPS has reviewed the latest evidence on medical tests commonly used in primary care.

2. Not all tests are appropriate

Inappropriate testing may do more harm than good. Some commonly requested tests are not beneficial for all your patients. Do you know when prostate cancer, vitamin D and thyroid function tests are appropriate?

3. Kidney function tests

Kidney function is an important consideration when making treatment decisions for your patients. What are the latest recommendations for testing and monitoring, and what medicines should you watch out for?

4. Medical imaging

Imaging plays a vital role in modern medicine; however there are concerns that its benefits may be overshadowed by its risks in certain situations. MRI has benefits over X-ray and CT scanning, but when can you consider it?

5. Do your patients understand tests?

Medical tests are used for various reasons, but your patients may not understand medical test options or what is involved. We have online information to help your patients find out more.

Vancomycin safety concerns

Recent guidelines recommend intensive vancomycin dosing to avoid the development of bacterial resistance. The infectious disease community is concerned about the increased risk of nephrotoxicity associated with the new regimen.

August NPS RADAR — celebrating 10 years of RADAR

The August issue celebrates the 10th anniversary of RADAR reviews and this issue is also one of our biggest.
Read independent evidence-based reviews about:

  • mifepripristone followed by misoprostol for medicial termination of pregnancy
  • apixaban for stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation
  • rotigotine for Parkinson's disease
  • rivaroxaban for treatment, and prevention of recurrence, of VTE.

Help your patients understand their medicine labels

The TGA has produced information to help consumers understand medicine labels. AUST R medicines are assessed for safety, quality and effectiveness. They include all prescription only medicines and many over-the-counter products. AUST L medicines can only contain pre-approved low-risk ingredients. They are used for minor health problems and are reviewed for safety and quality. Advise patients to check out the TGA advice and other key information.

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