SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Volume 76, Issue 9, 2009
Volume 76, Issue 9, 2009
Author Lorraine OsmanSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76 (2009)More Less
I've been imagining what it was like in September 1934. I'm sure that 1934 was an interesting year - in America the great depression was eventually lifting. Europe was a different matter. The threat of war was looming. The "Night of the Long Knives" saw Hitler purging the Nazi party before he became the fuhrer of Germany. Political repression and persecution in Russia accelerated with the beginning of Stalin's Great Purge of the Communist Party. In China, Mao Tse-Tung emerged as the leader of communism.
Source: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 8 –11 (2009)More Less
The South African Pharmaceutical Journal first saw the light of day in October 1934. It was the official publication of the Associated Pharmaceutical Societies of South Africa. (Note: The PSSA was only formed eight years later, in 1946.) No editor was mentioned in the initial issues, and the authors of the articles were seldom identified.
Source: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 12 –19 (2009)More Less
Urinary incontinence (UI), an inability to control urination, is common in patients of all ages. Conservative estimates suggest that at least one in 10 people suffer from UI at some time. Although rarely life-threatening, it may seriously influence the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of affected individuals. Symptoms of incontinence range from embarrassing leaks and dribbles during routine or strenuous activity to a constant, urgent need to run to the bathroom. It can severely affect the quality of life of a person. Many patients hesitate to seek medical advice due to embarrassment and they often attempt to manage the problem by using incontinence pads, restricting their fluid intake or adjusting their lifestyles. Many cases of UI can, however, be cured or significantly improved with appropriate treatment. Treatment for UI varies for each patient based on type, persistence and severity. The focus of this article is on UI in adults and will not cover nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), which is common in children.
Author Mandi SchultzSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 20 –24 (2009)More Less
Osteoporosis is characterised by the loss of bone mass and strength caused by complex interactions among local and systemic regulators of bone cell function. Osteoporosis is classified as a bone mineral density 2.5 or more standard deviations below normal peak bone mass - that is, a T score ≤-2.5. The risk of osteoporosis is greater in women than in men and is most commonly seen in postmenopausal women resulting in fragility fractures, the risk of which increases steeply with age. Current treatments have demonstrated efficacy against vertebral and nonvertebral fractures although safety, tolerability, and cost are important considerations when choosing a therapy.
Author Fae FarrerSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 26 –56 (2009)More Less
Epilepsy is a condition manifested by seizures. These seizures have an impact on the patient's quality of life. As patients with epilepsy may receive antiepileptic drugs for a long period, up to a lifetime, and they will require treatment with other agents for various other conditions at some stage, it is important that both patients and health professionals are aware of possible interactions with their anti-epilepsy medication. This article is a brief review of epilepsy, its treatment, seizure threshold, possible interactions of anti-epileptic medications with other medicines, and medications that may alter seizure threshold.
Author Nadine ButlerSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 32 –36 (2009)More Less
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), with its main symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation, is one of the most common conditions affecting the oesophagus, with an estimated 24% of the population experiencing heartburn daily or more often and 43% once or twice a week. Chronic heartburn is typically experienced for periods ranging from less than a year (15%) to more than 10 years (29%). GORD is one of the most prevalent disorders seen in both primary and secondary care settings, thus has a considerable economic impact in terms of medication costs. Although GORD is most common in adults over age 40, anyone can get GORD, even infants.
Source: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 38 –45 (2009)More Less
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is believed to be an autoimmune disease of the white matter of the Central Nervous System and typically presents as inflammatory plaques in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Cerebral atrophy and axonal loss may be related to a neurodegenerative process and result in chronic neurological disability.
The condition is diagnosed by clinical symptoms and investigations such as MRI scan confirming that the lesions are separated in time and location. Disease course is unpredictable, ranging from benign to aggressive, with various subtypes with/without relapses and progression. Relapsing remitting MS is the most common presentation.
The treatment of MS has been delineated to include symptomatic control, immunosuppression and immunomodulation. Immunosuppression with corticosteroids is used to treat the acute relapses. On the other hand, immunomodulation is aimed at preventing relapses and changing the course of the disease.
Beta-interferons are currently the disease-modifying treatment of choice as they reduce relapses. Glatiramer acetate also reduces relapse frequency. These drugs are directed at the inflammatory components of MS, but effects on the neurodegenerative components are not confirmed. It is therefore debatable whether these medicines slow down disease progression.
Adverse effects, cost, route and frequency of administration and neutralising antibodies are of concern with interferons. Subsequently, there is research to develop affordable drugs with less adverse effects and more favourable effects on relapses and long-term disability.
Alemtuzumab, a monoclonal antibody, has shown superior efficacy as compared to interferon in clinical trials. Unfortunately, immune thrombocytopaenic purpura (rare) and autoimmune thyroid dysfunction may limit the use of this agent in clinical practice.
There is no cure for MS and there are still many unresolved issues pertaining to appropriate treatment. The main challenges are to identify patients who will deteriorate faster and to develop drugs that target the progressive stage.
Source: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76 (2009)More Less
Author Refqah JacobsSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 48 –50 (2009)More Less
Author November NkambuleSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76 (2009)More Less
This phrase is repeated so much in pharmaceutical circles that it has become accepted as a given. Very few people can unpack it though, beyond the rhetorical - "Medicines can kill" and/or "Medicines can heal". A few other substances can heal/kill. Food makes for a good example. The absence of food, as with the absence of medicines, can result in harm/death to many. Inadequate supplies of food, as with medicines, can also have the same detrimental effect. The same can be said for incorrect types and amounts of food, just as with medicines.
Author Henry M.J. LengSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76 (2009)More Less
The highlight in the calendar of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences is our annual conference which coincides with our AGM. This year's conference was a joint one with the South African Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (SASBCP) and the South African Neurosciences Society (SANS) hosted by North-West University's Pharmacy school as the 5th International Conference on Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (ICPPS).
Author Fathima PatelSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 53 –54 (2009)More Less
The art and foundation of alchemy lies in the mysticism of the science from which modern pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences arose. As the era of capitalism and corporate dominance comes under scrutiny and reflection, so too should the pharmaceutical industry take the time to take stock of its role in the modern business playing field. Most if not all pharma companies have their roots in humble beginnings where tales of compounding and formulation development in someone's basement or garage gave birth to the present day industry giants.
Author Steve WhiteSource: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 56 –61 (2009)More Less
What do we as pharmacists, within our various communities, bring to the NHI table?
Firstly there are 2789 accredited pharmacies (Pharmacy Council Figure Sept 2009) staffed by healthcare professionals. No additional capital is required. We run our own ships, we are agents for SARS, and we pay our taxes. What am I actually saying in this sentence? It bears unpacking.
Source: SA Pharmaceutical Journal 76, pp 58 –61 (2009)More Less
This self-concept or self-image affects our buying decisions. A large part of the world economy is based on image. Just think how powerful some brand names are (for example, Billabong®, Rolls Royce®, Nike® and Coke®). Many households own two cars, not because they HAVE to but because they think they are expected to, people live in certain suburbs and travel to certain exotic holiday destinations because it looks good to others. Image affects buying decisions a lot more than we generally are aware of.