Vaccination and antivirals: the tools of flu prevention and treatment Infectious diseases physician Dr Nicole Gilroy and co-authors examine the role of vaccines and antiviral medicines in preventing or treating influenza. Vaccination is the primary defence against influenza. Antivirals can reduce symptom duration by about a day. They are also used as a prophylaxis in high-risk populations.
Drug-induced movement disorders Many therapeutic and illicit drugs can cause movement disorders, with symptoms including tremors, irregular movements and stiffness. Drs Stephen Duma and Victor Fung detail drug-induced movement disorders ranging from acute disorders with symptoms starting directly after taking the drug, through to tardive disorders which occur either during exposure or within weeks of stopping a drug. Treatment includes stopping the offending drug, supportive care and sometimes other pharmacological treatment.
Reviving the body’s immune response against tumours in hiding Immune checkpoint inhibitors enable the body’s immune system to recognise and kill tumour cells that have adapted to escape detection. Medical oncology advanced trainee Luke Ardolino gives an overview of how these treatments work against a range of cancers, and how their efficacy compares with standard chemotherapy. While checkpoint inhibitors have significant benefits over conventional therapies, immune-related adverse effects such as pneumonitis, hepatitis and nephritis present clinicians with a new challenge of recognising them early and acting promptly.
Other articles in the April issue of Australian Prescriber include:
Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals. It is published by NPS MedicineWise, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Australian Prescriber is published every two months and is available online at nps.org.au/australianprescriber.
Date published: 01 April 2019