Poll: how do you advise on topical corticosteroids?


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Dermatology is becoming a key issue for pharmacists, particularly concerning the use of topical corticosteroids.

Key to the issue is the use of the words, “Use sparingly”. Debbie Rigby recently highlighted the issue in her opinion piece, “Five top myths in pharmacy,” where she pointed out that many pharmacists still advise patients or their parents to follow this advice when treating atopic eczema.

AJP reader and longtime contributor Karalyn Huxhagen pointed out in our forum this week that the recent Australian Doctor Dermatology conference included “an awful lot of condemnation of the pharmacists as we apparently undermine all of the good work that the dermatologists and GPs perform as we tell patients not to use high dose steroids, we do not reinforce to patients to use the treatment for long enough and we use the word ‘sparingly’ all the time when we label products”.

But dispensing software still contains the word “sparingly” in their label sigs, she says.

Is dermatologist concern about pharmacist advice warranted? Are you still advising patients to “use sparingly?”

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