Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2012 Contents 692 Australian Pharmacist September 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The National Asthma Council
Australia has updated its Managing
allergic rhinitis in people with asthma
information paper for health
professionals and Allergic rhinitis
(hay fever) and your asthma patient
brochure to re ect the latest evidence
and management recommendations.
According to pharmacist Debbie
Rigby, who was a member of the
expert working group responsible
for revising the resources, asthma
and allergic rhinitis frequently
co-exist and the management of
each condition can signi cantly
impact the other. Both new resources
are being distributed nationally
via local MSD representatives
and can be downloaded from
The publications were supported by
an unrestricted educational grant
from MSD and have been endorsed
by the Australasian Society of Clinical
Immunology and Allergy.
MIMS has partnered with UnityHealth
to bring an Australian evidence-
based Complementary V Mainstream
drug interaction module to market.
The project has been headed up
by Professor Basil Roufogalis and
Professor Andrew McLachlan, and
has been updated and expanded
regularly since its inception in 2002.
The data now delivers more than 500
interaction modules via Australian
integrative medicines website: www.
imgateway.net. Professor Roufogalis
described the launch as, 'an important
development in the delivery of
on herbal/nutritional medicine
interactions with pharmaceutical
drugs. There has been a growing
demand for this information from
doctors, pharmacists and other
Research improves circulation
Research using angina patch medication
to improve poor foot circulation has
shown encouraging early results.
The clinical trial is underway at Charles
Sturt University (CSU) School of
Community Health at Albury-Wodonga,
where clinical educator Sylvia McAra
has been seeking to determine if angina
patch medication normally prescribed to
improve ow in blood vessels for cardiac
patients can help people with poor
circulation to their feet, including people
'There is evidence to suggest that this
patch treatment may be useful for many
people by improving circulation to their
feet and possibly also reducing pain and
nerve damage associated with diabetes,'
Reduced circulation to feet can be
associated with problems such as foot
ulcers, infection and even amputations.
About 100 volunteers, drawn from the
community with the permission of their
medical practitioners, will ultimately
participate in the study by the middle
'A small dose patch of the angina
medication is placed on one foot.
The volunteers are then monitored
over six months, including its e ects
on circulation, nerve function, wound
healing and on foot pain. The dose of
the patches is crucial to the success of
'Recommendations must necessarily
await the nal study outcomes.
However, the rst result trends are
positive. Despite the variability in the
measurements of blood pressure to the
toes, the treatment e ect appears to be
signi cant at this early stage.
'Further data will be collected through
next year. This will give some answers to
the questions of who can bene t from
this treatment and the ideal ways to use
patch medication to improve circulation
'My hope is that the study will help
understanding in this important area
and lead to improved treatment options
for people with circulation problems
a ecting their feet. This may help to
reduce the number of foot problems in
people with diabetes,' Ms McAra said.
In June she presented her research data
at the World Diabetes Congress in Beijing.
The study, A Randomised Controlled Trial
on the Effects of Glyceryl Trinitrate on
Ischemic Feet, has the approval of the CSU
Human Research Ethics Committee.
Ginger for diabetes?
Ginger could help people with diabetes,
according to a University of Sydney study
on Buderim Ginger samples.
Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Basil Roufogalis, who led the research, said
extracts from Buderim Ginger-grown ginger
were able to increase the uptake of glucose
into muscle cells to allow them to operate
independently of blood insulin levels.
'The components responsible for the
increase in glucose were gingerols, a major
part of the ginger rhizome. Under normal
conditions the blood glucose level is strictly
maintained within a narrow range, and
skeletal muscle is a major site of glucose
uptake in the body.'
The pharmacy researchers extracted a
whole ginger rhizome and showed that one
fraction of the extract was highly e ective
in reproducing the increase in glucose
uptake by muscle cells.
This fraction was also rich in gingerols,
which showed an increase in the
distribution of the protein that exists on the
surface of muscle cells and is responsible for
transporting glucose into muscle cells.
In patients with type 2 diabetes, the
capacity of skeletal muscle to uptake
glucose is markedly reduced due to
impaired insulin signal transmission and
ine ciency of this protein.
'It is hoped that these promising results
for managing blood glucose levels can be
examined further in human clinical trials,'
Professor Roufogalis said.
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