The most award winning
healthcare information source.
TRUSTED FOR FOUR DECADES.
By William T. Elliott, MD, FACP
Berlex' Yasmin, a new low-dose oral contraceptive, has been approved recently. It contains 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 3 mg of the progestin drospirenone, and it is the latter agent that makes this combination unique. Drospirenone, an analogue of spironolactone, has diuretic effects and is ideal for women with premenstrual bloating and water retention.
In a study from Scotland, discarded toilet paper tubes have been found to be effective spacers for use with metered-dose inhalers (MDIs). The cardboard tubes were compared to no spacer and the commercially available Aerochamber spacer device manufactured by Trudell Medical International. Both the cardboard spacer and Aerochamber performed better than using the MDI without a spacer, with the Aerochamber performing better, but not significantly so. Fowler et al conclude: "If a spacer is required for reasons other than increasing delivered drug dose, then the addition of a readily available cardboard tube will fulfill many of the required functions with no expense to the patient." (Chest 2001; 119:1,018-1,020).
Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P., manufacturer of the popular antifungal itraconazole (Sporanox), warns providers not to prescribe the drug to patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), a history of CHF, or in combination with the antiarrythmic dofetilide (Tikosyn). This came after the FDA cited a number of questionable CHF deaths among patients taking the drug. Janssen added erythromycin to the list of drugs known to interact with itraconazole and modified the interaction statement for calcium channel blockers. Nurses are urged to review the latest information on the company's web site: www.us.janssen.com.
In this issue of RN Drug Alert, the reader will identify:
• the primary diagnostic concern in a healthy adult with uncomplicated acute cough.
• the recommended low-density lipoprotein (LDL) laboratory parameter consistent with the most recent drug treatment guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
• the correct dose of a newly approved form of the osteoporosis drug, alendronate.