NICE publishes guidance on prescribing for acute sinusitis

NICE has published final guidance on antimicrobial prescribing for acute sinusitis (NG79). The guideline, developed in partnership with Public Health England, is one of NICE’s new series of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines covering the management of common infections; other guidelines in development include acute sore throat, …

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High-dose loperamide linked to serious cardiac events

A Drug Safety Update from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has highlighted the risk of cardiac events such as QT prolongation, torsades de pointes and cardiac arrest in patients taking high doses of loperamide as a drug of abuse or for self-treatment …

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Stopping aspirin may increase risk of cardiovascular events

According to a Swedish population-based cohort study published in the journal Circulation (2017;136:1183–92), discontinuation of long-term, low-dose aspirin can increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
Investigators examined a cohort of 601,527 users of low-dose (75–160mg daily) aspirin for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease from …

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Universal flu vaccine trialled by NHS

A large trial of NHS patients is now underway to investigate the efficacy of a new universal flu vaccine, which researchers hope will protect more people against influenza, particularly older people. Last season’s (2016–17) influenza vaccine was effective in only 40% of people overall, and …

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Most GP practices now delivering good or outstanding care

According to a recent report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which presents the findings of their programme of inspections of 7365 English general practices, 90% of practices are now rated either good or outstanding.
In October 2014, the CQC formally introduced their new inspection programme …

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EC approves darunavir single-tablet regimen for treatment of HIV-1

The European Commission has now approved the use of the single-tablet regimen (STR) darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Symtuza) for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over within the EU, following a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in …

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Hepatitis B vaccination added to routine childhood immunisation schedule

In response to the World Health Assembly recommendation that every country should routinely immunise children against hepatitis B, the hexavalent vaccine Infanrix hexa is now being introduced to the routine childhood immunisation schedule in the UK.
Infanrix hexa, which replaces the pentavalent vaccines Infanrix-IPV+Hib and Pediacel, …

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NICE recommends sarilumab for rheumatoid arthritis

In a final appraisal determination, NICE has recommended the biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) sarilumab (Kevzara) for routine NHS use in the treatment of certain patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Sarilumab, in combination with methotrexate, is recommended as an option for the treatment of severe active rheumatoid …

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Nivolumab now available for lung cancer through the Cancer Drugs Fund

In a deal between NICE and company Bristol-Myers Squibb, the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) has now been made available for patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
When NICE first reviewed nivolumab for NSCLC in May 2016, it …

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NICE updates guidance for treating UTIs in children

NICE has advised healthcare professionals (CG54) to use urine dipstick tests for children before deciding whether to prescribe them antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The guidance applies to patients aged from birth to 16 years of age that present with symptoms of a UTI. In …

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