NICE issues new guidance on HRT

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a safe and effective for treatment for symptoms of the menopause and should be considered by GPs, according to new NICE guidance.
After some years of controversial findings and confusion over the safety of the treatment, NICE has concluded that …

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Cochrane reassures on COCP and risk of MI and stroke

A Cochrane review including 24 studies shows that the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) does not increase the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke in users compared to non-users (odds ratio (OR) 1.0, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 0.9 to 1.0).
In addition the …

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Opioids increase fracture risk in RA

Current use of opioids increases the risk of nonvertebral fractures three-fold in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The risk is particularly marked during the initial period of opioid treatment. The Canadian study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology (DOI: 10.1002/art.39422) looking at 1723 cases of non-vertebral fractures …

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Children’s flu vaccine success

The childhood influenza vaccination programme has proved successful in its first year according to a report from Public Health England (PHE) (Eurosurveillance 2015;20(36)). In under 18-year-olds the nasal vaccine was 100 per cent effective against influenza B but only 35 per cent effective against influenza …

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Dementia prevalence declining

European researchers suggest that the prevalence of dementias may – against all expectations – be in decline.
Writing in Lancet Neurology (doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00092-7), they point out that epidemiological evidence from Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain shows no statistically significant change over the past 20–30 years but …

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Guide for employing a practice pharmacist

Practices keen to implement NHS England’s plan for a clinical pharmacist in every practice can turn to a new guide to get them started.
A Guide for GPs Considering Employing a Pharmacist (www.pcpa.org.uk) has everything the prospective employer needs to know. Published jointly by the Royal …

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Antipsychotics for intellectual disability

“The proportion of people with intellectual disability who have been treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds the proportion with recorded mental illness” in UK primary care, according to a study by London researchers (BMJ 2015;351: 4326).
Their analysis of The Health Improvement Network clinical database compared …

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EMA calls for more adrenaline auto-injector patient support

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has called for more effective advice to help patients use adrenaline auto-injectors successfully. The EMA reviewed the use of adrenaline auto-injectors following concerns that currently available devices were being used suboptimally.
Giving adrenaline by injection into the muscle is the preferred …

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NICE aims to cut antibiotic prescribing by 22 per cent

“Sensible use of antibiotics” and “cutting back on unnecessary prescribing” could reduce antibiotic prescriptions by 10 million per year, or 22 per cent, according to NICE. It’s new guideline Antimicrobial stewardship: systems and processes for effective antimicrobial medicine use recommends multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship teams to …

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Hunt opens door for DNA charges

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he doesn’t “have a problem in principle” with charging NHS patients for missed appointments. As first step, patients will now be told the cost incurred by their failure to attend.
Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time programme, Mr Hunt said …

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