Podcast #265: The 2017 Flu Vaccine

Author: Rachel Beham, PharmD, Advanced Clinical Pharmacist – Emergency Medicine

Educational Pearls

  • CDC recommends using the inactivated, injectable flu vaccine in those 6 months and older. The live attenuated vaccine is not used because of low efficacy.
  • Pregnant women should be vaccinated, and can receive the vaccine at any stage of their pregnancy.
  • The vaccine is contraindicated ONLY in those with a history of a severe anaphylactic reaction to the injection in the past.
  • Antivirals (oseltamivir, zanamivir) are useful for Flu A and B. Their dosing needs to be adjusted for renal function, and it is contraindicated in those with ESRD who are not receiving dialysis. It should be used for prophylaxis in those with exposure and/or for the very young, very old, morbidly obese, nursing home residents, and those who are immunocompromised. They may be effective as long as 72 hours after symptom onset.

References: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/index.htm

Podcast #263: Early Antibiotics in Sepsis

Author: JP Brewer, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • After the first hour, every 1 hour delay in antibiotics in a patient with septic shock patient is associated with a 4% increase in mortality.
  • In patients with high suspicion for septic shock (fever and hypotension), antibiotics should be initiated ASAP. Rocephin (ceftriaxone) should be used for those with community-acquired sepsis, zosyn for nosocomial or IV-associated sepsis.

References: https://lifeinthefastlane.com/ccc/antibiotic-timing/

Podcast #261: Icatibant

Author: Aaron Lessen, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • Icatibant was introduced to treat ACE-inhibitor induced angioendema.
  • This type of angioedema is refractory to epinephrine and antihistamines, and is likely mediated by elevated bradykinin.(which is inactivated by ATII and ACE).
  • Icatibant initially was shown to reduce facial swelling and airway obstruction in the setting of ACE-I angioedema, but later, better-powered studies showed that it had no benefit compared to standard treatment.

References: Sinert R et al. Randomized Trial of Icatibant for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor-Induced Upper Airway Angioedema. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2017. PMID: 28552382

Podcast #256: Fentanyl Ingestion


Don Stader, M.D & Rachael Duncan, PharmD BCPS BCCCP

Educational Pearls

  • Fentanyl patches may be abused in many ways, including changing the patches more frequently, chewing them, extracting the fentanyl in a tea, and administering them rectally.
  • Fentanyl is very lipophilic and has a fast onset, but it has a very low bioavailability when given enterally, because it does not survive the stomach and 1st pass metabolism. It can be given IV, intranasal, through the buccal mucosa, or transdermal.
  • When patients present with fentanyl overdose due to ingestion of a patch, it is more important to find out how long the patient had the patch in their mouth, since that is the principal form of absorption.

References: http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/518441_3

Deep Dive #6: Bacteriuria and the Elderly

Author: Heidi Wald, MD, MSPH 

Associate Professor of Medicine – University of Colorado School of Medicine, Physician Advisor – Colorado Hospital Association

Dr. Heidi Wald explains common misconceptions of UTI’s in elderly patients and provides tips on how to properly identify them.


Trestioreanu , Adi Lador , May-Tal Sauerbrun-Cutler and Leonard Leibovici  Antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria  Cochrane Collaborative Online Publication Date: April 2015.

Trautner BW, Bhimani RD, Amspoker AB, et al. Development and validation of an algorithm to recalibrate mental models and reduce diagnostic errors associated with catheter-associated bacteriuria. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2013;13:48.

Trautner BW, Grigoryan L, Petersen NJ, et al. Effectiveness of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Approach for Urinary Catheter Associated Asymptomatic Bacteriuria. JAMA Intern Med 2015.

D’Agata ELoeb MB, and Mitchell.  Challenges in assessing nursing home residents with advanced dementia for suspected urinary tract infections. J Am Geriatr Soc.2013 Jan;61(1):62-6. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12070.

Stone ND, Ashraf MS, Calder J, et al. Surveillance definitions of infections in long-term care facilities: revisiting the McGeer criteria. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012;33:965-77.

Podcast #250: Desmopressin

Author: Rachael Duncan, PharmD BCPS BCCCP

Educational Pearls

  • Desmopressin is an ADH mimetic and helps retain water, release von Willibrand Factor (in high doses), and treat diabetes insipidus (in low doses).
  • It can also be used in renal colic, because it may reduce muscle spasm in the ureters.
  • The dosing for renal colic is very small (40 micrograms).

References: http://reference.medscape.com/drug/ddavp-stimate-noctiva-desmopressin-342819