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BPJ 74 March 2016

Best Practice Journal

Upfront: Are blood eosinophil counts helpful in predicting patient responses to inhaled corticosteroids in COPD?

The risks and benefits of treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are different for individual patients with COPD. There is currently debate within the respiratory literature as to whether blood eosinophil counts can be used as a biomarker to determine which patients with COPD are most likely to benefit from treatment with an ICS. In this article, we examine whether there is a role for this test in primary care. View Article

Newly-subsidised medicines for the treatment of patients with COPD

Subsidy changes for medicines used to treat patients with COPD came into effect on March 1, 2016. In this article we discuss how these changes affect the management of patients with COPD and introduce prescribers to medicines new to the New Zealand market, highlight inhaled combination medicines and an inhaler device that were not previously available and provide updates on access and subsidies. View Article

Valaciclovir – a first line antiviral medicine

Valaciclovir is an antiviral medicine which can be used for the treatment of Herpes simplex infections and herpes zoster. As of 1 March, 2016, Special Authority approval is no longer required. Valaciclovir is as effective as aciclovir across the same range of indications, and has a simpler dosing regimen which may improve patient adherence. View Article

The role of medicines for the treatment of depression and anxiety in patients aged under 18 years

Psychological and behavioural approaches are the cornerstone of treatment for young people with depression or anxiety. When pharmacological treatment for a patient aged under 18 years is required due to severe or ongoing symptoms it is almost always “off-label”. Medicines may be initiated in secondary care, with monitoring and follow up in primary care, or they may be initiated by a general practitioner. In this final article of a three-part series focusing on mental health issues for young people, the recommendations and evidence for the use of medicines in people aged under 18 years with depression and anxiety are discussed. View Article


Installing the NZF icon on the Medtech toolbar | Can urine dipstick be used to “rule-out” kidney disease in patients with mildly reduced renal function? | LABA without ICS in patients with COPD View Article