Articles: 29.04 April 2018

Use and abuse of psychoactive products

The recreational use of psychoactive drugs can be traced back thousands of years, with opium use recorded by the ancient Greeks, the discovery of caffeine (or at any rate tea) attributed to the Chinese emperor Shennong, and evidence of alcohol consumption by Neolithic peoples. Yet it is psychoactive products from the past 20 years that are the basis of two articles in this month’s issue of Prescriber

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Diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in children

There are many different types of epilepsy that can occur in childhood, therefore identification and management can be complex. Here, the authors discuss the diagnosis of epilepsy in children, choice of antiepileptic drug treatments and their adverse effects, and non-pharmacological treatment options

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E-cigarettes: making healthcare professionals myth busters

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have an important role in helping many people to stop smoking, but widespread myths and misconceptions remain about their safety. Public Health England’s recent evidence review aims to help healthcare professionals dispel some of these myths

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Guide to the management of gabapentinoid misuse

In light of the government’s proposals to reclassify pregabalin and gabapentin as Class C controlled drugs due to the risk of misuse, this article examines the extent of the problem of gabapentinoid misuse and its effects, and provides practical advice to prescribers on reducing these harms

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Diagnosis, monitoring and management of chronic asthma

In November 2017, NICE published a new guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic asthma (NG80). This article provides an overview of the guidance, and how it differs from the 2016 joint British Thoracic Society/SIGN guideline

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Kyleena: a new five-year levonorgestrel-releasing IUS

Kyleena is a new levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system with a small frame that is indicated for contraception for up to five years. This article discusses its properties, contraceptive efficacy and adverse effects

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Infanrix hexa: a hexavalent vaccine for infant immunisation

The hexavalent vaccine Infanrix hexa, which protects against hepatitis B in addition to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenzae type b, was introduced to the UK routine infant immunisation schedule in Autumn 2017. This article summarises its efficacy and adverse effects, with an overview of the new immunisation schedule

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Treating patients like royalty

Have you ever struggled to examine a distraught infant’s sore throat? Here, Dr David Delvin describes a fail-safe technique with a royal provenance

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