HEALTH

One-in-10 patients receive inappropriate aspirin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — More than 1-in-10 patients within the National Cardiovascular Disease Registry’s Practice Innovation and Clinical Excellence registry were receiving inappropriate aspirin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by a team at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. 
 
According to the research, the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic strokes associated with aspirin use outweigh any potential protective benefit. According to the guidelines on primary prevention of CVD, aspirin use is considered appropriate only in patients with 10-year CVD risk of greater than 6%.
 
"Aspirin use is recommended for secondary prevention of patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease," commented Valentin Fuster, JACC editor-in-chief. "Additionally, aspirin is recommended for primary prevention in patients without cardiovascular disease who have moderate to high 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease," he said. "In those individuals in whom the 10-year cardiovascular disease risk was less than 6% … aspirin should not be indicated."
 
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a public advisory against the general use of aspirin for primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes, researchers noted. "We have to be concerned with primary prevention but not necesarily by using aspirin indiscriminately," Fuster said. "Avoid the inappropriate use of aspirin, which in my view … occurs in more than 12% of individuals in this country, if we look at those who seek medical consultation in order to prevent heart attacks and strokes."
 

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University of Florida’s Pharm.D. program highlights risks associated with APAP

BY Michael Johnsen

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida's Pharm.D. program recently released an infographic around the risks associated with acetaminophen use. 

Acetaminophen is one of the most widely used over-the-counter drugs for pain relief, but it has been at the center of debate over its safety as overdoses and misuses are being linked to a number of serious health issues, the university noted. For instance, there is a 123% increase in the risk of kidney disease when acetaminophen is combined with a small-to-moderate amount of alcohol, and taking as few as 4-to-5 extra strength pills over the course of 24 hours can cause liver damage. 
 
More than 600 medications contain acetaminophen, including those that are over-the-counter and by prescription only. Individuals who take several medications a day should take care to note if there is acetaminophen contained in each one, and how much there is in the medication. It can be easy to take too much, which is considered to be over 4,000 mg per day, according to the Food and Drug Administration. 
 
Source: University of Florida's Pharm.D. program
 

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MedifVU, ProKarma launch cough-cold OTC selection app

BY Michael Johnsen

BEAVERTON, Ore. — MedifVU and ProKarma on Wednesday unveiled a new mobile application, i-PharmAssist OTC, a simple consumer-friendly app that provides a list of appropriate over-the-counter medications based on the user's medical history, symptoms and preferences.
 
i-PharmAssist OTC gives users a personalized rating system for choosing the right over-the-counter medication for their cough, cold and flu symptoms. 
 
"Consumers are faced with a number of choices for OTC medication to treat symptoms like sore throat, fever and cough. The i-PharmAssist OTC app is a latest innovation driving the consumer health movement to bring better control and information to users when it comes to treating their health," stated Eileen Morrissey, CEO MedifVU. "ProKarma was able to dive deep into complex pieces of the backend to build a very robust database and deliver intricate data via a user friendly interface."
 
ProKarma's data architects and systems design team developed a customized application architecture to optimize MedifVu's proprietary algorithms and to accommodate a wide variety of OTC products and complex symptoms experienced by patients. The result is an intuitive, easy-to-use application that delivers results instantaneously.
 
"We were excited for the opportunity to partner with MedifVU and help empower consumers to better manage their health," said Vijay Ijju, chief technology officer, ProKarma. "The i-PharmAssist OTC app is a step toward the future of mobile health care, in which consumers can access accurate information when they need it the most."
 

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