Case Studies

MAY 15, 2009
Craig I. Coleman, PharmD

Dr. Coleman is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and director of the pharmacoeconomics and outcomes studies group at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.


Cinnamon Cassia for Diabetes?


AA is a 55-year-old Hispanic woman who comes to the pharmacy counseling area and hands the pharmacist a new prescription for Glucotrol XL 10 mg once daily and a bottle of cinnamon cassia 500-mg capsules. She explains to the pharmacist how she went to see her family physician, and he told her that her diabetes was not as well controlled as it should be. The pharmacist looks in her prescription profile and sees that AA is currently taking metformin 1000 mg twice daily for her type 2 diabetes. AA is concerned about having to take another prescription medication and states she would feel more comfortable taking a natural product to control her sugar. AA also explains that she has a friend with diabetes who swears that taking 2 cinnamon capsules 3 times a day helped her get her sugar under control.

What advice should the pharmacist give AA?


Prostate Chemoprevention

BP is a 61-year-old man who comes to the pharmacy appearing outwardly distressed as he hands the pharmacist a new prescription for finasteride 5 mg once daily. He proceeds to tell the pharmacist that he just returned from reviewing the results of his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test with his urologist. During the visit, he was told to begin taking this new prescription to �prevent prostate cancer.� BP remarks that he was surprised that his physician wanted him to take a medication to prevent prostate cancer because his PSA levels have always been in the normal range for his age and he is not experiencing any urinary symptoms. BP notes he is unsure why he should spend his hard-earned money on finasteride, especially because his physician told him that it might cause sexual side effects.

How should the pharmacist respond to BP?

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