The Guild Pharmacy Academy has announced a clinical refresher for pharmacists on the appropriate use of stimulant laxatives.
Constipation can be an embarrassing and painful condition that affects about 15 to 20% of the population.
It does, however, give pharmacists the opportunity to engage with their patients and provide them with a range of medicines and advice to assist them in managing this health condition, says the Guild.
The new refresher course provides pharmacists with the clinical aspects of constipation, with a focus on the conversations that pharmacists have with their patients.
The course also examines the current evidence on the use of stimulant laxatives and helps to dispel the myths and misconceptions of their use.
Head of Guild Pharmacy Academy, Sue Bond, says the aim of the course is to provide pharmacists with skills in investigating the patient’s condition, identifying and addressing the contributing factors and recommending the use of laxatives if required and appropriate.
“Also included in this course is information to educate the patient about normal bowel habits, good toilet practices and diet and lifestyle changes that contribute to good bowel health,” she says.
Anthony Tassone, the President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Victoria and a community pharmacist, says he believes the online course will provide an important clinical refresher to community pharmacists regarding the appropriate use of laxatives.
“With between 20 and 25% of older patients, pregnant women and bedridden patients experiencing constipation, the statistics indicate that there is a real need for practical advice and information,” Tassone says.
“Pharmacists can provide ongoing support to their patients with effective medicines as well as a range of information, lifestyle advice and education.”
The completion of this online course will attract 0.75 hours of Group 2 CPD (or 1.5 CPD credits) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan.
The Guild Pharmacy Academy thanks Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Ltd for its support and input of expertise in the development of this course.