Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Australian Pharmacist January 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The results of a UK study that suggesting
a number of effervescent or soluble
medicines containing sodium may cause
health problems if taken long‐term*
should be interpreted with caution
according to the Australian Self
Medication Industry (ASMI).
As a large population‐based study, ASMI
believes the study offers some useful
insights into potential issues relating to
high sodium content in some of these
medicines. However, as a case control
study, the study does not prove cause
and effect. Therefore there is no solid
evidence that sodium in these medicines
causes cardiovascular disease.
While the study data were adjusted for
recorded smoking and alcohol intake,
data on unmeasured or unmeasurable
risk factors such as health behaviour and
family history were not available, and
the researchers had no data on dietary
sodium and could not control for this.
Some effervescent formulations of
analgesics containing paracetamol,
paracetamol plus codeine, and aspirin
as well as some effervescent vitamin
and mineral products are marketed
in Australia. However, not all of the
formulations included in the UK study
are available in Australia.
ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon
Schoombie said that over‐the‐counter
(OTC) analgesics are not indicated for
long term use, which appears to be
where the problem of excessive sodium
may arise. In addition, use according to
label directions should not pose a risk to
‘Infrequent, short‐term use of non‐
prescription effervescent or soluble
medicines containing sodium has
not been found to be associated with
increased risk of cardiovascular events.
Nevertheless, the new study provides
a timely reminder to consumers,
particularly those who use OTC
effervescent or soluble analgesics, to
only take these products for a few days
at a time, as directed, and to talk to a
healthcare professional if symptoms
persist,’ Dr Schoombie said.
In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods
Order for labelling and packaging
(TGO 69) requires a declaration of
sodium content on all non‐prescription
medicine labelling when the sodium
content exceeds 120 mg per day.
High sodium intake from medicines
is most likely to occur when frequent
doses are taken – for example, two
effervescent tablets four times a day.
*George J, Majeed W, Mackenzie IS, MacDonald T,
Wei L. Association between cardiovascular events
and sodium-containing effervescent, dispersible,
and soluble drugs: nested case-control study. BMJ
Pharmacy gives back to kids
Christmas came early in December
for some excited children from Camp
Quality and the staff of APHS.
Participating in a team building exercise,
staff from APHS worked together to
complete challenges and build a bicycle.
In a surprise twist, it was revealed that
the bikes were gifts for some very
deserving Camp Quality kids.
Bikes for Tykes is a program run by
Corporate Challenge – a company that
organises team building activities with
specific objectives that are important to
APHS Managing Partner, Cathie
Reid said that giving back to the
community is an important part of
the workplace culture at APHS and
the Bikes for Tykes challenge suited its
‘With many of our team involved in
providing medications to patients with
cancer, it was incredibly rewarding for
our staff to be able to do something
special for the patients we care for
outside of the hospital setting, and
support the wonderful work of Camp
Quality. We thoroughly recommend
that other pharmacy groups organise
their own Bikes for Tykes challenge. It’s a
great way of bringing joy to your staff
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