Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Pearl Toh, 11 Oct 2017
Clinical practice is an art guided by good science, and clinical practice guideline (CPG) is meant to guide in integrating the art and science of clinical practice for the long-term benefits of patients, said Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, a consultant cardiovascular physician at An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Bangi, Malaysia, during the 13th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension (APCH) held in Singapore.
Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute. 

TNFi, corticosteroids up risk of herpes zoster in patients with RA

12 Jul 2017

The use of tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) and higher dosage of corticosteroids appear to increase the incidence of herpes zoster in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the clinical setting, according to a Japan study.

Researchers measured the crude incidence rate (IR) of herpes zoster treated with systemic antiviral medications in 1987 patients (median age 60.0 years; 81.5 percent female) from the Registry of Japanese Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients on Biologics for Longterm Safety (REAL) database.

To investigate the association between herpes zoster and medications, the authors performed a nested case–control study with 1:5 case-control pairs matched for age, sex, observation start year and comorbidity (herpes zoster group, n=43; control group, n=214).

A conditional logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95 percent CI of the use of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARD), methotrexate (MTX) and corticosteroids for the occurrence of herpes zoster.

The median disease duration among participants was 6.0 years, and the crude IR of herpes zoster was 6.66 (95 percent CI, 4.92 to 8.83) per 1,000 person-years.

The ORs of medication use were 2.28 (1.09 to 4.76) for TNFi and 1.13 (1.03 to 1.23) for oral corticosteroid dosage (per 1 mg prednisolone increment), both of which were significantly increased. There were no increases in the ORs of non-TNFi and MTX usage.

These findings support the results of another study, which found that patients with RA taking specific immunosuppressive medication had an elevated risk of herpes zoster. Biologicals used correlated with severe herpes zoster occurrence. Researchers suggested the close monitoring and prevention of severe herpes zoster during specific immunosuppressive therapy. [BMJ Open 2017;7:e014032]

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Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Pearl Toh, 11 Oct 2017
Clinical practice is an art guided by good science, and clinical practice guideline (CPG) is meant to guide in integrating the art and science of clinical practice for the long-term benefits of patients, said Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, a consultant cardiovascular physician at An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Bangi, Malaysia, during the 13th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension (APCH) held in Singapore.
Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute.