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BPJ 27 April 2010

Best Practice Journal

A practical guide to stopping medicines in older people

The majority of older people who require drug therapy take multiple medicines. Polypharmacy increases the risk of adverse effects and medicine interactions. Individual review of the need for each medicine can simplify treatment regimens and reduce the potential for harm. View Article

Medicines for weight loss - do they work

A more recent article has been published on this subject: Weight loss: the options and the evidence

Improving diet and increasing physical activity are the main strategies for weight loss. Weight loss medicines may be considered for some people who have not attained a healthy weight with lifestyle changes alone, especially if they still have central obesity related risk factors. Weight loss medicines only produce modest reductions in weight and must be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes. Weight loss medicines are not effective long-term.

View Article

Common issues in paediatric oral health

How to recognise and manage common oral health issues in younger children including: what to expect inside the mouth, teething pain, gingivitis, oral thrush, angular cheilitis, eruption cysts, gum boils, ulcers, herpes simplex virus, non-nutritive sucking, mouth breathing, tooth grinding, fraenal attachments, “tongue-tie” and tooth trauma. View Article

Care of stroke survivors

The aim of stroke rehabilitation is for the patient to regain the best level of health, activity and participation possible within the limits of any persisting stroke impairment. Many stroke survivors are left with significant changes to physical, emotional, cognitive and social function. Recovery of function varies depending on the part of the body affected. Best outcomes after stroke are associated with prompt specialist multidisciplinary in-patient care in a stroke rehabilitation unit. General practice is ideally placed to undertake comprehensive reviews and coordinate after stroke care in the community. View Article

Influenza immunisation programme

Important changes to the 2010 influenza immunisation programme View Article

Upfront: When is enough enough? Stopping medicines in older people

In New Zealand, it is estimated that 30% of people aged over 75 years are taking five or more medicines and around 10% are taking ten or more. Polypharmacy increases the risk of morbidity, hospitalisations and death and increases the likelihood of impaired mobility and placement in residential care. View Article

Quiz feedback: Stopping meds in older people, Meds for weight loss, Paediatric oral health

This quiz was based on content from "A practical guide to stopping medicines in older people", "Medicines for weight loss - do they work?" and "Common issues in paediatric oral health" in BPJ 27 (April 2010). View Article