Pharmacy Week in Review: Flu Vaccine More Effective in Children Previously Vaccinated, Certain Immunosuppressive Drugs Linked to Febrile Neutropenia
A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.
Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.
A recent study of children aged 2 to 17 years found that live attenuated influenza vaccine effectiveness was higher in those vaccinated in both the enrollment season and the prior season, compared with those children who were vaccinated only in the enrollment season, Pharmacy Times reported. The study found no association between prior season immunization and reduced influenza vaccine effectiveness. The findings support CDC recommendations for annual influenza vaccination among children, according to researchers. The 2017-2018 flu season was severe, with 172 pediatric flu deaths reported across the country by mid-June 2018, according to the CDC. About 80% of those deaths occurred in children that had not received the influenza vaccine for the 2017-2018 season.
With November National Healthy Skin Month, the American Academy of Dermatology has released new guidelines to help pharmacists provide the best possible treatment for patients with melanoma, Contemporary Clinic reported. Developed by a work group comprising dermatologists, oncologists, and other experts in the field, the guidelines are based on the latest available evidence. New areas addressed include melanoma in pregnancy and genetic testing for hereditary risk. More than 1 million Americans are living with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and one person dies of the disease every hour. Fortunately, melanoma is highly treatable when detected early.
The timing and length of use for certain immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids, in patients with cancer may affect the risk of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia or FN, according to a new study, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. FN, a dangerously low white blood cell count, can increase the risk of serious infection and fever in patients treated with chemotherapy. For prophylactic management of FN, it is important for providers to understand the key risk factors, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Factors such as bone marrow suppression, impaired neutrophil function, or disturbance of barrier function have been previously identified as potential contributors to FN. The study authors aimed to determine additional clinical characteristics related to these mechanisms that may contribute to FN risk.
Pharmacists may get more questions about Vicks VapoCOOL Drops if their patients have seen a new commercial for the OTC medication. In the spot, called “Vaporize Sore Throat Pain,” a TV news reporter suffers through her broadcast from a winter wonderland with a sore throat. According to the commercial, she is able to eliminate her throat pain with Vicks VapoCOOL Drops, which provide soothing relief that is accompanied by a choir that pops out behind a giant ice dragon sculpture.
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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.