February’s continuing education evening took place at Pier A Harbor House New York in Battery Park. Members gathered together to network and catch up with colleagues. President, Dr. Amisha Arya, introduced herself and welcomed us all to Pier A Harbor House. She thanked Sunovion Pharmaceuticals for hosting the exhibit prior to the event and introduced our evening’s first speaker, Barry E. Gidal, Pharm.D. Dr Gidal is a Professor of Pharmacy and Neurology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also serves as the Chair of the Pharmacy Practice Division.
Dr. Gidal presented on epilepsy and seizure disorders. He made clear that every seizure causes neurologic damage and reduces cognitive function. It is our goal to make our patients seizure free, because seizures can cause death, especially when patients fail on therapy or due to non-adherence. Patients who fail on two anti-epileptic therapies have a drastically reduced chance of success and are termed ‘pharmaco-resistant’. Dr. Gidal discussed a new treatment, Aptiom (eslicarbazepine), which is a selective sodium channel blocking agent to stop neuronal excitation. Aptiom is a once daily at bedtime agent available in 400mg, 800mg, and 120mg tablets. Clinical trials were conducted in patients who have failed two or more anti-epileptic medications. Trials found that 41% of patients achieved greater than 50% seizure reduction. Adverse effects include dizziness and blurred vision. Study did not find that Aptiom added aggression, psychiatric complications, cardiac abnormalities, and is weight neutral. Dr. Gidal ended his lecture by answering questions from the audience.
President-elect, Dr. Yi Guo, introduced the evening’s clinical pearl presenter, Shereen Said, a Pharm.D. candidate. Ms. Said presented “Sodium Zirconium vs. Kayexalate.” She discussed the patient population who experiences hyperkalemia and candidates require therapy. Ms. Said then compared and contrasted the two agents. Kayexalate (SPS) is less expensive, but causes hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia. SPS also requires four times a day dosing. Sodium zirconium is more selective for potassium and requires three times a day dosing. Sodium Zirconium had comparable adverse effects compared to SPS. Ms. Said concluded by answering questions from the audience.
President-elect, Dr. Yi Guo, concluded the evening’s presentation by introducing Dr. Haniyyah Hossain, Pharm.D., BCPS, Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist from Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Hossain’s discussion was about the principles of drug dosing in the pediatric population, the pharmacokinetics of different medications in pediatrics, and understanding how to implement and monitor treatment regimen in pediatrics. Dr. Hossain differentiated the physiology of neonatal and pediatrics in their stages of life. She discussed the differences in adsorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of lipophilic and hydrophobic agents. Dr. Hossain discussed the different ways of calculating creatinine clearance in pediatrics. She also discussed the strengths of dosing references, favoring Micromedex Neofacts. Particular agents of interests included vancomycin, aminoglycosides, digoxin, and phenytoin. She incorporated case presentations and questions throughout the presentation based on the agents of interests throughout the presentation. Dr. Hossain concluded her informative presentation with a question and answer session with the audience.