Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2017 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2017 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 59
Not all S3 drugs
are always S3
BY DENISE L HOPE*, STEVEN T DICKFOS, MICHELLE A KING
The Commonwealth Poisons Standard, known
as the Standard for Uniform Scheduling of
Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP),1 defines
the classifying schedules for medicines
and is legalised through state and territory
When medicines packaging is labelled for S3
Pharmacist Only provision, pharmacists may not
always be aware of the legal limits of that supply.
Limitations may be based on quantity, strength,
days' supply and indication. Most professionals are
aware of the well-publicised limits on S3 codeine-
containing analgesics (five days' supply at maximum
dose) and pseudoephedrine (720 mg of solid dose
forms, e.g. 12 x 60 mg tablets) but for other S3
medicines errors of interpretation can occur.
For example, metoclopramide (when combined
with paracetamol) and prochlorperazine are only
available as S3 medicines in limited quantities for
the treatment of nausea associated with migraine.
Any other indication for these medicines (e.g. nausea
or vomiting unrelated to migraine) disqualifies
them for non-prescription S3 supply. Fluconazole
is S3 only for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis
so should never be supplied for a male patient
without prescription. Chloramphenicol is S3 only for
ophthalmic use so should not be supplied to treat
any dermal infections. Awareness of the limits on S3
supply of medicines is crucial.
1. Therapeutic Goods Administration. Poisons Standard (Standard for Uniform
Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons) No. 15. Nov 2016, at: https://www.
legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L01638. Accessed 4 Nov 2016.
Denise L Hope, BPharm, MMedRes, GradCertHigherEd; Lecturer,
School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Queensland.
Steven T Dickfos, BSc (Oceanography), BPharmaceutSci, MPharm;
Flight Lieutenant, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Canberra.
Michelle A King, BPharm, PhD (Med); Senior Lecturer, Menzies Health
Institute Queensland and School of Pharmacy, Griffith University,
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
DESIGNER CRYSTALS FOR DRUG ADVANCES
A breakthrough in chemistry led by Australian scientists could revolutionise
healthcare by fast-tracking the development of vaccines and tiny devices
that give real-time information about a patient's condition.
Collaborating with teams in Japan, Austria, Monash University and the
University of Adelaide, CSIRO scientists led by Dr Paolo Falcaro have found a
way to harness the potential of designer crystals known as Metallic Organic
Frameworks (MOFs) -- the most porous materials on the planet.
MOFs have so many holes inside that a single teaspoon of the powdery
material has the same surface area as a football field.
Since their discovery in 1999, they have been used in an array of fields
including pharmaceutics, electronics and horticulture.
Although the novel materials exert a powerful appeal for scientists, one of
the roadblocks to realising the full potential of MOFs is their erratic structure,
which makes it difficult to integrate them into functional devices.
CSIRO scientist Dr Aaron Thornton, co-author of the paper published today
in Nature Materials, said: 'We've found a way to control the structure of MOFs
and align them in one direction, creating a MOF film.
'Having the MOFs in alignment means they conduct a current far better,
opening up more electrical uses such as implantable medical devices that
give real-time information about someone's health. It also gives researchers
more control in the development of vaccines, which will fast-track the
'MOFs could also be structured in such a way that they'd only react with
certain compounds or elements -- for example, miners could wear clothes
impregnated with a layer of MOFs that tell them when dangerous gases are
'The possibilities are endless.'
Once the hard work was complete the scientists had to prove that the MOFs
were in alignment. This was achieved by placing a polarisable fluorescent
molecule in aligned MOFs. If the MOFs were all in perfect alignment then
they would only be able to make them light up along the one axis, in line
with the MOFs so you could turn the light on or off by rotating the film.
CSIRO has already used MOFs to develop a molecular shell to protect and
deliver drugs and vaccines, a 'solar sponge' that can capture and release
carbon dioxide emissions and plastic material that gets better with age.
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