Articles: 28.12 December 2017

The UK’s phobia of allergen immunotherapy

In the UK, allergen immunotherapy (or desensitisation) is seen as a last resort in allergy treatment, despite us having the unenviable status as one of the most allergic nations in the world. Desensitisation has had a traumatic past in the UK, but it is now proven to be a safe and effective treatment regularly used throughout Europe and America. It is therefore time that the UK sheds its aversion to desensitisation and catches up with the rest of the world.   

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Diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis in children

Allergic rhinitis is a very common disease of childhood, and its impact on quality of life is often underestimated. This article discusses the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis in children and the management options that can be tried, including allergen avoidance, pharmacological therapies and allergen immunotherapy

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The British National Formulary: past, present and future

Since it was first published in 1949, the British National Formulary (BNF) has been the lead authority on the selection and use of medicines for health professionals in the UK. Here, Joy Ogden discusses how the BNF has evolved, from its first inception to the modern age of digital publishing

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Running educational outreach meetings in general practice

Educational outreach meetings are an evidence-based way of making long-term behaviour changes, such as improving prescribing. This article discusses how to run educational outreach meetings to obtain the best possible outcomes in general practice.

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Systems biology: transforming our understanding of disease

Systems biology – the study of complex biological systems using computer modelling – is beginning to transform our understanding of disease processes, which will in turn facilitate medical treatment and drug development. Mark Greener discusses how systems biology has already advanced our knowledge of conditions as diverse as cancer, pressure ulcers and sexually transmitted disease

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Janus kinase inhibitors for autoimmune disorders

Three janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors – baricitinib (Olumiant) and tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for rheumatoid arthritis, and ruxolitinib (Jakavi) for myelofibrosis – have already been launched in the UK and others are currently being evaluated in a diverse range of autoimmune disorders and cancers. This article provides an overview of the properties and potential of this new class of drugs

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Mysterious fluctuations in blood pressure: a juicy tale

Angus Thompson describes the puzzling case of a man with apparently good compliance with his antihypertensive medication but who showed poor control with large fluctuations in blood pressure. After further investigation, the cause was identified as a fruit juice interaction – but in this case, not grapefruit juice

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