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NeoCheck: a prescription-screening tool to optimise pharmacotherapy for hospitalised neonates

Original article
Rudolf von Rohr T, de Luca R, Bonnabry P, Pfister R, Fonzo-Christe C
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20519

Drug prescription in neonatology is challenging. For hospitalised neonates, it is based largely on low-quality pharmacotherapeutic evidence from small clinical studies, and off-label drug use occurs in >85% of cases. Widely accepted guidelines are rare, leading to great variability in practice. NeoCheck is the first prescription-screening tool developed to optimise neonatal pharmacotherapy. 

Drug-induced liver injury in Switzerland: an analysis of drug-related hepatic disorders in the WHO pharmacovigilance database VigiBase from 2010 to 2020

Original article
Ortland I, Mirjalili M, Kullak-Ublick GA, Peymani P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20503

This is the first study investigating drug-related hepatic disorders in Switzerland in a global pharmacovigilance database. The findings highlight the importance for healthcare providers in Switzerland to pay special attention to possible drug-induced liver injuries because of their high mortality rate. The analysis of real-world data confirms the previous assumption that hepatitis is the most frequent hepatic adverse event for checkpoint inhibitors.  

Use of psychotropic substances among elite athletes – a narrative review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Exner J, Bitar R, Berg X, Pichler EM, Herdener M, Seifritz E, Claussen MC
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20412

Knowledge on the underlying causes and patterns of substance use, as well as the prevalence of substance use disorders in professional sports, is still limited. High prevalence of various substances (i.e., nicotine, prescription opioids) may indicate potentially harmful patterns of use, requiring further research. Specific preventive and therapeutic concepts for the treatment of substance use disorders in elite athletes should be developed.

Adherence to, and patient convenience of, prolonged-release tacrolimus in stable kidney and liver transplant recipients after conversion from immediate-release tacrolimus in routine clinical practice in Switzerland

Original article
Bonani M, Balaphas A, Bedino G, Bühler L, Dutkowski P, Fausch K, Gluderer S, Graf N, Hirt-Minkowski P, Müllhaupt B, Schönholzer C, Schulz MM, Venzin R, Wüthrich RP
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20453

Non-adherence to immunosuppressive therapy in patients following solid organ transplantation is associated with an increased risk of transplant rejection and graft loss. A high pill burden can adversely affect patients’ implementation of their treatment regimens and may lead to omitting doses of medication. The aim of this study was to investigate medication implementation adherence in liver and kidney transplant recipients converted from twice-daily, immediate-release tacrolimus to once-daily, prolonged-release tacrolimus.

Beware the inhaled steroids or corticophobia?

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Gidaris DK, Stabouli S, Bush A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20450

Inhaled corticosteroids have been the cornerstone of atopic, allergic asthma management for more than half a century. They have side effects (as does every medication), but they have transformed the control of asthma and saved many lives since their introduction. The current review revisits local and systemic side effects of inhaled corticosteroids and explores the prevalence and nature of parental fears (“corticophobia”) in different parts of the world. The empathetic physician treating asthma should bear in mind the impact of parental concerns on the management of this potentially life-threatening disease and try to dispel myths at every opportunity by emphasising the well-established benefits and excellent safety profile of inhaled corticosteroids.

Retrospective analysis of adverse drug reactions leading to short-term emergency hospital readmission

Original article
Banholzer S, Dunkelmann L, Haschke M, Derungs A, Exadaktylos A, Krähenbühl S, Liakoni E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20400

ADR-related readmissions constituted a considerable part of short-term emergency readmissions. Despite being a relevant cause for rehospitalisation, only a minority of the ADRs were reported to the regulatory authorities. 

Real-world effectiveness and safety of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Switzerland

Original article
Müllhaupt B, Semela D, Ruckstuhl L, Magenta L, Clerc O, Torgler R, Negro F, Semmo N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20399

In the era of pangenotypic treatment regimens against hepatitis C virus infection, data from postmarketing observational studies are crucial to better understand the treatment patterns used in specific countries and treatment outcomes under real-life conditions.

Use of valproate in pregnancy and in women of childbearing age between 2014 and 2018 in Switzerland: a retrospective analysis of Swiss healthcare claims data

Original article
Spoendlin J, Blozik E, Graber S, Rauch M, Marxer C, Rüegg S, Meier C, Winterfeld U, Panchaud A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20386

As in most other European countries, the use of valproate in women of childbearing age in this study was higher than what the authors estimated to be indicated. This study demonstrates the value of electronic claims databases in the evaluation of drug exposure during pregnancy.

COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease: what have we learned?

Viewpoint
Tessitore E, Meyer P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20452

As of 10 December, 82,127 citations were found in PubMed on COVID-19 and 5285 when “COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease” were used as search words. Many cardiovascular societies have also released statements regarding COVID-19. What have we learned from this incredible scientific excitement?

Early experimental COVID-19 therapies: associations with length of hospital stay, mortality and related costs

Original article
Vernaz N, Agoritsas T, Calmy A, Gayet-Ageron A, Gold G, Perrier A, Picard F, Prendki V, Reny JL, Samer C, Stirnemann J, Vetter P, Zanella MC, Zekry D, Baggio S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20446

Prescribing experimental therapies for COVID-19 was not associated with a reduced length of hospital stay and might have increased the pressure put on healthcare systems.

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