The Consultant Pharmacist


July 2017 | Volume 32 | Number 7

Rethinking Adverse Drug Events

Editor-in-Chief, H. Edward Davidson, PharmD, MPH, gives a brief commentary on this issue of the journal and current new items of interest to consultant pharmacists.

The Ketogenic Diet: Making a Comeback

Among diets developed to address health problems, the ketogenic diet has had a long and variable history. Effective for some forms of epilepsy, this diet also seems to have some utility in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and glaucoma; and many Americans are using it to lose weight. Consultant pharmacists may field questions about this diet, its potential to correct or alleviate health conditions, and its limitations.

Recognition and Management of Anaphylaxis in Older Adults

Early recognition of drug-induced anaphylaxis is critical, and emergency measures should be administered immediately to prevent cardiac arrest. Additionally, health care providers can provide education on administration of epinephrine auto-injectable agents, availability of alternative options, and patient-assistance programs to lower the cost of epinephrine agents. Often, older adults use concomitant medications that may cause anaphylaxis and, as a result, are at an increased risk.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Discussion

It is important for pharmacists to understand the treatment recommendations for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and to review the process for acquisition, dosing, and administration of pirfenidone and nintedanib to better assist physicians and patients and improve therapeutic outcomes. Pharmacists should understand pirfenidone’s and nintedanib’s place in therapy as the recommended treatments for this disease.

A Review of Three Common Supplements Used for Alzheimer’s Disease

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their caregivers are using three common supplements in an effort to halt the progression of the disease. Senior care pharmacists must remain up to date on the science supporting common supplements used for enhancing cognitive and functional outcomes in AD. Meaningful evidence is lacking for these supplements, and pharmacists should continue to monitor the literature supporting these interventions.

Characteristics of Older Adults Who Consume Alcohol While on Antidepressants

Almost one-fourth of older Americans are consuming alcohol in higher amounts than recommended while taking antidepressants. Older adults who consume alcohol and take antidepressants are at higher risk for falls and other serious injuries because of the increased effects of the alcohol and age-related factors. Education by consultant pharmacists is a key component to helping keep older adult patients taking antidepressants safely and working toward improved disease state management.

Joseph Gruber: A Passion for Geriatrics

Joseph Gruber, RPh, CGP, FASCP, is chief clinical officer with ActualMeds, a medication management company. During his career he has concentrated on technology systems and services to meet the growing demand for pharmacist-delivered cognitive services both in the Medicare/Medicaid and commercial environments.


The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). It is the only journal dedicated exclusively to the medication therapy needs of seniors. ASCP members receive The Consultant Pharmacist® as a member benefit. All articles (2004 to present) are free online for members.

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H. Edward Davidson, PharmD, MPH
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