Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist September 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
For a patient who is completely
asymptomatic (or who has a mild,
asymptomatic visual field defect) from
glaucoma, it would probably take
quite some time before they would
experience symptomatic vision loss
even without treatment – unless the
pressure is very high.
Consider discontinuation in patients
who have significant difficulty with
medication administration and whose
life expectancy may be limited.
Glaucoma medications should
be continued in the following
patients: the patient is still reading,
or performing tasks that improve their
quality of life that involve their sight
and/or are able to articulate visual
symptoms and attend for ophthalmic
investigations and examinations
despite entrance into settings such as
It is also important to note:
Patients that have advanced
glaucoma may lose vision if they go
off their medications.
Patients with symptomatic vision
loss from glaucoma (i.e. the patient is
aware that vision is fading) indicates
that the glaucoma is advanced, and
medications should be continued.
Cessation of glaucoma medications
would not result in pain, though an
elderly patient may have difficulty
expressing any changes to their vision in
the setting of multiple comorbidities.
Returning to Jack
It was agreed with Jack’s wife (who has
power of attorney) that it would be
prudent to re-assess Jack’s eye drops.
Jack’s GP was visiting the aged care
facility on the day of the medication
review. Given his low blood pressure
and heart rate the betaxolol was
ceased immediately. Jack’s GP felt that
an ophthalmological review was not
required and following further discussion
it was decided to cease latanoprost and
Note: This information has been derived from
a deprescribing guide developed for Primary
Health Tasmania which can be accessed at: www.
Incoming PSA NSW Office
NSW-based pharmacist Simone
Diamandis has been named as the NSW
office Director. She will start at the NSW
Branch on 11 October.
Ms Diamandis has a wide knowledge
of pharmacy and PSA. From 2003 to
2007 she worked for the NSW Branch
in various roles including Mentoring
Project Manager, Program Director
– Professional Development and
Education and Acting Branch Director
before Steven Drew’s appointment, and
as a project pharmacist before moving
on to work for Boehringer Ingelheim.
She was a member of the PSA NSW
Committee from 2011 to 2014.
She has broad industry experience
including marketing and learning
and development and has worked
in community pharmacy, academia
PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson said:
‘We are extremely excited to have
Simone on board and look forward to
the wonderful contributions she will
make to the NSW office and the broader
Innovative Pharmacist of
Nominations have opened for the 2016
Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award.
The Award recognises an individual or
team that embraces current challenges
with intellectual rigour and curiosity
to create solutions for industry, the
profession or the community and is
again being sponsored by AstraZeneca.
The winner receiving a $5000
scholarship. Nominations can
be submitted online at: www.
The award will be announced and
presented at the annual UTS Pharmacy
Dinner on the 28 September.
Nominations close Friday 9 September,
UQ tests potential asthma
A drug that could potentially reverse or
slow the development of asthma is being
tested by researchers at the University of
The drug, developed by Pfizer, is being
trialled by UQ’s School of Biomedical
Research team leader Associate Professor
Simon Phipps said the drug targeted a
protein called IL-33.
‘ The tests are based on our recent
research, which discovered IL-33 plays
a significant role in the development of
asthma,’ A/Prof Phipps said.
He said that while IL-33 was well known
for causing bronchial inflammation
in people with asthma, the research
demonstrated for the first time that it
also weakened the ability their to fend
off respiratory viral infections, a common
trigger of asthma attacks.
‘We’re hopeful the new drug will be able
to reverse or slow down the development
of asthma by blocking the IL-33 protein.’
The mouse model research is published
in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical
Immunology. Lead authors of the
study were research team members
postdoctoral fellow Dr Jason Lynch and
PhD student Rhiannon Werder.
Dr Lynch said the research discovery
stemmed from a preclinical model
that he established to understand why
co-exposure to respiratory viruses and
allergens was a key driver of asthma
development in early life.
‘We found exposure to a respiratory virus,
followed very closely by exposure to an
allergen, induced the release of IL-33,’ Dr
‘ The excess IL-33 protein was found not
only to hinder recovery from the virus
but also to promote the development of
more severe and persistent symptoms
of the disease. However if mice were
exposed to an allergen at a time before
contracting the virus it made no
difference to their recovery process.’
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