NPS Direct – July 2013

Published in NPS Direct

Date published: About this date


Can your diet prevent prostate cancer?

Lifestyle and dietary factors are proposed to contribute to the increasing rates of prostate cancer in developed countries. It seems like every day a study appears that links a food item or food group with cancer, but is there any evidence that you can eat yourself healthy? Read more


Genetic tests in psychiatry — not yet proven

Antidepressant and antipsychotic use requires dose adjustments to manage highly variable and unpredictable responses to treatment. Genetic tests such as those examining differences in cytochrome P450 genes may explain how some people respond but application is currently limited. Read more


Cancer risk — kids and CT scans

New Australian research involving nearly 11 million young people has confirmed that CT scans in children are associated with an increased incidence of cancer. What is the scale of this risk and what does this mean for your practice? Read more

Five messages from NPS MedicineWise about:


1. A challenge in primary care

Depression is the second most common chronic problem managed by GPs in Australia. But it remains challenging to decide when it is appropriate to prescribe antidepressants and which drug to use. 

2. Diagnosis and assessment

When a person is suspected of having depression, it is essential to first establish the diagnosis and assess the severity of symptoms. These inform treatment decisions and help you to treat accordingly. 

3. Non-drug management

Non-drug treatments can be successful for some of your patients and one option is cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this short video, Prof Gavin Andrews explains what CBT involves, who should be referred and when it is appropriate. 

4. Patient information

The NPS website has extensive consumer resources about depression. It is a reliable source of information about antidepressants, non-drug treatments, and positive lifestyle changes that you can recommend to your patients. 

5. Good grief!

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was recently published by the American Psychiatric Association. Find out about updates that could change how depression is recognised in your practice. 

Strontium ranelate — new safety warnings

Indications for use of strontium ranelate (Protos) in men and women in Australia have been restricted and new contraindications introduced following findings by the EMA that the drug can increase the risk of serious heart problems, including heart attack. 

Updated CVD risk Clinical e-Audit now available online

On completing this Clinical e-Audit over 40% of GPs changed their practice in identifying patients for assessment of absolute CVD risk, and 45% in discussing risk or using a risk tool when advising on lifestyle modification. This online version includes reference to latest Australian Guidelines for the management of absolute CVD risk. 

New residential aged care facility reports

NPS MedicineWise in collaboration with Webstercare has produced a report available within Webstercare Medication Management software to review use of antipsychotic medicines in RACFs. 

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