The latest medical research on Clinical Pharmacology

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Barriers to and Facilitators of Delabelling of Antimicrobial Allergies: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis.

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Patients who report penicillin allergies may receive alternative antibiotics. Such substitution contributes to antimicrobial resistance, lower treatment efficacy, increased frequency of adverse events, and increased costs. Approximately 90% of individuals who report a penicillin allergy can tolerate a penicillin.

To identify the barriers to and facilitators of removal by health care workers of inaccurate antimicrobial allergies from patient records, known as delabelling.

The MEDLINE database was searched from inception to December 29, 2020.

Qualitative studies evaluating health care professionals' perceptions of barriers to and/or facilitators of the act of delabelling a patient's antimicrobial allergies were included in the meta-synthesis.

The Theoretical Domains Framework was used to code and group individual utterances from the included studies, which were mapped to the Behaviour Change Wheel and corresponding intervention function and policy categories.

Four studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight themes were identified as representing barriers to delabelling: delabelling skills, patient education skills, knowledge, electronic health records (EHRs), communication frameworks, time, fear about allergic reactions, and professional roles. Behaviour change interventions that may overcome these barriers include education, training, algorithms and toolkits, changes to EHRs, use of dedicated personnel, policies, incentivization of correct labelling, and an audit system.

Eight themes were identified as barriers to delabelling of antimicrobial allergies. Future behaviour change interventions to address these barriers were proposed. Confidence in the findings of this study was judged to be moderate, according to the GRADE CERQual approach.

Disponibilité de l'information médicale requise pour la déclaration d'une réaction indésirable médicamenteuse à Santé Canada: une étude exploratoire.

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Since 2019, health care facilities have been required to report serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to Health Canada.

To describe the availability of information required for reporting an ADR to Health Canada from medical records using 2 methods (systematic and in-depth reporting) and to compare the time required to find the information.

This retrospective and prospective descriptive study involved serious ADRs occurring in a mother-child centre and reported between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2023. The variables needed to complete the Health Canada reporting form were collected using 2 distinct methods.

Among the 270 serious ADRs reported retrospectively, 140 were sampled. The average availability of variables was 82.3% (standard deviation [SD] 11.3%), with average data collection time of 50 (SD 25) minutes. For the prospective part of the study, 15 serious ADRs were studied. The availability of variables was 82.8% (SD 6.9%) and 91.9% (SD 7.8%), for systematic and in-depth reporting, respectively, with data collection times of 44 (SD 17) and 130 (SD 33) minutes, respectively.

The challenge of finding, in patients' medical records, all of the information needed for reporting an ADR to Health Canada required an in-depth approach. However, the in-depth method took 3 times as long as a search limited to places in the record where specific information should be found. To improve record keeping, additional training for clinicians could be considered and, potentially, development of a computerized clinical record that includes a dedicated form for documenting ADRs.

Pharmacist-Led Follow-Up Program for Rural Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: The PLURAL-ACS Pilot Program.

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Patients living in rural settings have poorer access to care and more frequent readmissions after treatment for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) than patients in urban settings. It is unclear what types of medication-related issues are encountered by this cohort and whether pharmacist-led care could resolve them.

To describe the issues related to cardiac medications encountered by rural patients after treatment for ACS and the impact of a pharmacist-led virtual follow-up pilot program in this population.

A quality improvement initiative was developed whereby a cardiology pharmacist provided follow-up to post-ACS rural patients in Alberta, Canada, between March and May 2022. For each patient, the pharmacist identified and resolved cardiac medication-related issues through regular telephone visits over a 30-day period following hospital discharge. The primary outcome was the number of cardiac medication-related issues identified. Secondary outcomes included the types of medication-related issues identified and actions taken by the pharmacist to resolve them.

During the 15-week program, 40 patients received care, and 139 virtual visits were completed. The median time spent per visit was 60 (interquartile range [IQR] 50-80) minutes. In total, 255 cardiac medication-related issues (6 per patient, IQR 3.75-8.25) were identified, of which 233 (91%) were resolved by the pharmacist. Prescription errors, adverse effects, and drug therapy optimization were the most common issues identified on days 1, 10, and 30, respectively. The pharmacist commonly undertook patient counselling (n = 126, 54%) and medication prescribing (n = 63, 27%) to address medication-related issues.

A substantial number of cardiac medication-related issues were identified and resolved through a pharmacist-led virtual follow-up program in rural post-ACS patients. These findings could assist in the development of future follow-up programs to improve care for this high-risk population.

Adverse drug reactions attributed to generic substitution of antiretroviral medications among HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis clients in British Columbia, Canada.

Antiviral Therapy

In British Columbia, antiretrovirals (ARVs) for HIV treatment (HIV-Tx) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are free-of-charge through publicly-funded Drug Treatment Programs (DTPs). When available, less costly generics are substituted for brand-name ARVs. We describe the incidence and type of product substitution issue (PSI) adverse drug reactions (ADRs) attributed to generic ARVs.

Cohorts included DTP clients ≥19 years who received generic ARVs for HIV-Tx (abacavir-lamivudine, emtricitabine-tenofovir DF, efavirenz-emtricitabine-tenofovir DF, atazanavir or darunavir between 01 Jun 2017 and 30 Jun 2022) or PrEP (emtricitabine-tenofovir DF, 01 Apr 2018 to 30 Jun 2022). Demographic, ARV and ADR data were extracted from DTP databases and summarized by descriptive statistics. PSI incidence was calculated for each product during the year following brand-to-generic and generic-to-generic transitions (first-year-post-rollout), and compared between generic versions using generalized estimating equations. For context, incidence of any ARV product-related ADR was calculated in the same 1-year periods.

During first-year-post-rollout periods, 5339 HIV-Tx (83% male, median age 52 years) and 8095 PrEP (99% male, median 33 years) clients received generic ARVs, and reported 78 and 23 generic PSIs, respectively. PSI incidence was <1% for most generic ARVs, with mild-moderate symptoms including gastrointestinal upset, headache, dizziness, fatigue/malaise and skin rash. In HIV-Tx clients, the efavirenz-containing product had higher PSI incidence than other ARVs (2.2%, p = .004), due to more neuropsychiatric adverse reactions. Any ADR incidence was stable across measurement periods, and generic PSIs represented less than one third of all product-related ADRs.

Generic substitution of antiretrovirals for HIV-Tx and PrEP was well tolerated, with ≤2% incidence of mild-moderate PSI ADRs.

A cohort study comparing pharmacist activities during participation in general medical ward rounds: telehealth versus in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Journal of Epidemiology

The COVID-19 pandemic created systemic challenges in patient care delivery.

To evaluate the impact on pharmacist activities during pharmacist participation in ward rounds via telehealth, compared to physical attendance.

A single-centre, retrospective cohort study conducted from 18th Aug through 26th Oct 2020. Patients admitted to COVID and non-COVID general medical teams were included. Pharmacists attended ward rounds via telehealth for COVID teams; physical attendance continued for non-COVID teams. Telehealth involved pharmacists interacting with clinicians and patients virtually via videoconferencing whilst stationed remotely on the ward. Routine clinical pharmacy activities during telehealth ward rounds were compared to those during face-to-face ward rounds using comparative statistics.

Among the 1230 patients included (762 COVID, 468 non-COVID), pharmacist participation in telehealth ward rounds demonstrated significantly more documented activities compared with face-to-face rounds (mean 6.7 vs 4.9 per patient per day, p < 0.001). The telehealth cohort exhibited a higher number of orders placed via pharmacy-partnered medication charting (3.0 vs 2.4 per patient per day, p < 0.001), medication orders verified (2.3 vs 1.1, p < 0.001), and documented pharmacy notes (0.6 vs 0.2, p < 0.001). No significant difference was observed in medication requests processed (0.4 vs 0.4, p = 738), whilst non-COVID patients had more discharge prescription items generated (0.3 vs 0.7, p < 0.001).

Pharmacist involvement in medical ward rounds via telehealth enabled the ongoing provision of advanced clinical pharmacy services to inpatients in isolation rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach resulted in a greater number of pharmacy activities during telehealth ward rounds compared to standard in-person attendance.

Antipsychotic prescribing and drug-related readmissions in multimorbid older inpatients: a post-hoc analysis of the OPERAM population.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Limited data are available on characteristics associated with antipsychotic use in multimorbid older adults.

Primary: to identify patient characteristics associated with antipsychotic prescribing in a multimorbid population of older inpatients with polypharmacy. Secondary: (1) to observe if antipsychotics use during an index hospitalisation was associated with a drug related admission (DRA) within one year, and (2) to describe these cases of antipsychotic-related readmissions.

This was a secondary analysis of the OPERAM randomized controlled trial. Multivariate analysis assessed the association between characteristics and comorbidities with antipsychotic use. An expert team assessed DRA occurring during the one-year follow-up.

Antipsychotics were prescribed to 5.5% (n = 110) patients upon admission while 7.7% (n = 154) inpatients received antipsychotics at any time (i.e. upon admission, during hospitalisation, and/or at discharge). The most frequently prescribed antipsychotics were quetiapine (n = 152), haloperidol (n = 48) and risperidone (n = 22). Antipsychotic prescribing was associated with dementia (OR = 3.7 95%CI[2.2;6.2]), psychosis (OR = 26.2 [7.4;92.8]), delirium (OR = 6.4 [3.8;10.8]), mood disorders (OR = 2.6 [1.6;4.1]),  ≥ 15 drugs a day (OR = 1.7 [1.1;2.6]), functional dependency (Activities of Daily Living score < 50/100) (OR = 3.9 [2.5;6.1]) and < 2 units of alcohol per week (OR = 2.2 [1.4;3.6]). DRA occurred in 458 patients (22.8%) within one year. Antipsychotic prescribing at any time was not associated with DRA (OR = 1.0 [0.3;3.9]) however contributed to 8 DRAs, including 3 falls.

In this European multimorbid polymedicated older inpatients, antipsychotics were infrequently prescribed, most often at low dosage. Besides neuro-psychiatric symptoms, risk factors for inhospital antipsychotic prescribing were lower functional status and polymedication.

A cross-sectional survey of viral hepatitis education within pharmacy curricula in the United States.

International Journal of Epidemiology

The Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan emphasizes the importance of a collaborative provider workforce trained in hepatitis prevention and treatment to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States by 2030. Although pharmacists play a key role in hepatitis management, literature lacks documentation of the amount of viral hepatitis education provided to pharmacy students.

Our study goal was to describe viral hepatitis education provided at United States pharmacy schools.

In this cross-sectional survey study, investigators developed a 19-item Qualtrics questionnaire, sent questionnaire links to curricula content experts at 140 accredited pharmacy colleges/schools in May-June 2022, and allotted 28 days for completion. Questions assessed the viral hepatitis instruction provided to students and hepatitis instructors' training/experience. We used descriptive statistics for analysis.

Forty-eight pharmacy institutions across 29 states/territories responded; 44% had 50-99 students/class, and 58% used lecture and discussion to provide required hepatitis education. Students received more lecture (average = 3.4 h, range 0.8-1.6 h/hepatitis topic) than discussion (average = 1.7 h, range 0.6-0.9 h/hepatitis topic), with the most time spent on hepatitis C, followed by hepatitis B virus. Respondents reported 93% of their instructors had post-graduate training/certifications and 67% worked in clinical settings with hepatitis patients.

Survey results demonstrate variability in hepatitis education across United States pharmacy curricula. Data offer stakeholders in hepatitis elimination efforts knowledge about the viral hepatitis education provided to Doctor of Pharmacy students. Future directions include consideration of implementation of minimum hepatitis education standards to further support work toward national hepatitis elimination.

Intervention for a correct medication list and medication use in older adults: a non-randomised feasibility study among inpatients and residents during care transitions.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Medication discrepancies in care transitions and medication non-adherence are problematic. Few interventions consider the entire process, from the hospital to the patient's medication use at home.

In preparation for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), this study aimed (1) to investigate the feasibility of recruitment and retention of patients, and data collection to reduce medication discrepancies at discharge and improve medication adherence, and (2) to explore the outcomes of the interventions.

Participants were recruited from a hospital and a residential area. Hospital patients participated in a pharmacist-led intervention to establish a correct medication list upon discharge and a follow-up interview two weeks post-discharge. All participants received a person-centred adherence intervention for three to six months. Discrepancies in the medication lists, the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ-S), and the Medication Adherence Report Scale (MARS-5) were assessed.

Of 87 asked to participate, 35 were included, and 12 completed the study. Identifying discrepancies, discussing discrepancies with physicians, and performing follow-up interviews were possible. Conducting the adherence intervention was also possible using individual health plans for medication use. Among the seven hospital patients, 24 discrepancies were found. Discharging physicians agreed that all discrepancies were errors, but only ten were corrected in the discharge information. Ten participants decreased their total BMQ-S concern scores, and seven increased their total MARS-5 scores.

Based on this study, conducting the two RCTs separately may increase the inclusion rate. Data collection was feasible. Both interventions were feasible in many aspects but need to be optimised in upcoming RCTs.

Social isolation and aggression training lead to escalated aggression and hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis hyperfunction in mice.

Neuropsychopharmacology

Although the participation of sex hormones and sex hormone-responsive neurons in aggressive behavior has been extensively studied, the role of othe...

Whole blood thiamine, intravenous thiamine supplementation and delirium occurrence in the intensive care unit: retrospective cohort analyses.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Thiamine di-phosphate is an essential cofactor in glucose metabolism, glutamate transformation and acetylcholinesterase activity, pathways associated with delirium occurrence. We hypothesised that a deficiency in whole blood thiamine and intravenous thiamine supplementation could impact delirium occurrence.

To establish whether a deficiency in whole blood thiamine and/or intravenous thiamine supplementation within 72 h of intensive care admission is associated with delirium occurrence.

The first dataset was secondary analysis of a previous study in an intensive care unit in the Netherlands, reported in 2017. The second dataset contained consecutive intensive care admissions 2 years before (period 1: October 2014 to October 2016) and after (period 2: April 2017 to April 2019) routine thiamine supplementation was introduced within 72 h of admission. Delirium was defined as a positive Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care Unit score(s) in 24 h.

Analysis of the first dataset (n = 57) using logistic regression showed no relationship between delirium and sepsis or whole blood thiamine, but a significant association with age (p = 0.014). In the second dataset (n = 3074), 15.1% received IV thiamine in period 1 and 62.6% during period 2. Hierarchical regression analysis reported reduction in delirium occurrence in the second period; this did not reach statistical significance, OR = 0.81 (95% CI 0.652-1.002); p = 0.052.

No relationship was detected between whole blood thiamine and delirium occurrence on admission, at 24 and 48 h. It remains unclear whether routine intravenous thiamine supplementation during intensive care admission impacts delirium occurrence. Further prospective randomised clinical trials are needed.

Writing a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal: Guidance from the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Publishing in reputable peer-reviewed journals is an integral step of the clinical pharmacy research process, allowing for knowledge transfer and a...

Two polygenic mouse models of major depressive disorders identify TMEM161B as a potential biomarker of disease in humans.

Neuropsychopharmacology

Treatments are only partially effective in major depressive disorders (MDD) but no biomarker exists to predict symptom improvement in patients. Ani...