Blood pressure: when to treat and how low to go?
New studies suggest that Australians may benefit from earlier blood pressure-lowering treatment if they have high cardiovascular risk. Research fellow Dr Emily Atkins and Professor Vlado Perkovic from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney review the latest studies and recommendations for blood pressure management. Aiming for a target systolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg for patients at high cardiovascular risk can have substantial benefits if the treatment is tolerated and is appropriate for the individual patient.
Computerised vs paper prescribing in hospitals – more pros than cons
Computerised prescriptions are easier to read and more complete than paper prescriptions. These are some of the most immediate and important improvements of moving from paper to computerised prescribing in hospitals. Associate Professor Melissa Baysari from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney and Dr Magdalena Raban from Macquarie University look at the benefits and hazards of electronic prescribing systems in hospitals. While medication errors in hospitals decline after electronic prescribing systems are implemented, these systems can also introduce new types of errors. Providing the right information at the right time is important to maximise benefits while reducing new types of errors.
Meningococcal vaccines in Australia: the latest advice
Vaccination against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, Y and B is available for everyone who wants to reduce the risk of meningococcal disease. While vaccinations against serogroups A, C, W and Y are free for babies and children, vaccinations against serogroup B require a private prescription in most of Australia. Associate Professor Nicholas Wood at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Westmead Hospital, Sydney and co-authors look at the meningococcal vaccines and their indications.
Venous thromboembolism: the new approach with direct oral anticoagulants
Therapy for venous thromboembolism has changed with the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants such as apixaban and rivaroxaban. Associate Professor Harry Gibbs, Director of General Medicines at Alfred Health in Melbourne and co-authors discuss the latest management recommendations for venous thromboembolism. The high efficacy and safety of apixaban and rivaroxaban have made them the preferred option for most adults with acute venous thromboembolism and appropriate for long-term treatment in many patients who may not have previously been able to use anticoagulants long term.
Other articles in the April issue of Australian Prescriber include:
New drugs: inotuzumab ozogamicin for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and peramivir for influenza.