Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news 

A Pharmacist’s Review of Asthma

Asthma is a lifelong respiratory disease that calls for proper pharmacotherapy, patient counselling, and an action plan designed to reduce the frequency and severity of asthmatic symptoms. The overall goal of pharmacotherapy is to provide relief for acute episodes while taking preventive measures to reduce the risk of future incidents. Although death from asthma is uncommon, it is estimated that nearly one-half of all asthma patients do not have proper control over their condition. Patient education remains the most crucial element for achieving the desired goals of treating and managing asthma.

US Pharm. 2018;43(7):15-21.

 

Considerations in the Approach to Appropriate Statin Selection

Statins are a class of medications widely used for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. With six statins available generically, the selection of an appropriate agent may be determined based on drug-specific factors, including dosing considerations, drug interactions, and adverse events. Individualized patient-care plans can be developed based on data from important clinical studies, differences in guidelines, and current management recommendations for two major adverse events associated with statin use.

US Pharm. 2018;43(7):22-26.

 

Managing Chronic and Acute COPD Exacerbations

A COPD exacerbation is defined as an acute worsening of dyspnoea and other symptoms (e.g., increased sputum and mucus production and/or purulence, and/or coughing and wheezing) that require additional therapy. The three cardinal symptoms of COPD exacerbation include increases in dyspnoea, sputum volume, and sputum purulence. This article outlines the management of COPD exacerbations according to the GOLD guidelines.

US Pharm. 2018;43(7):HS-13-HS-16.

 

The Pharmacokinetics and the Pharmacodynamics of Cannabinoids

Cannabis medicines contain a wide variety of chemical compounds, including the cannabinoids delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive, and the non‐psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis use is associated with both pathological and behavioural toxicity and accordingly, is contraindicated in the context of significant psychiatric, cardiovascular, renal or hepatic illness. The pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids and effects observed depend on the formulation and route of administration, which should be tailored to individual patient requirements.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, first published 12 July 2018.