Saturday, November 20, 2010


Posted by Salem at Saturday, November 20, 2010

I have spent the first half of November on rotation in the Drug Information Center at Ann Arbor’s Veterans Affairs hospital.

When VA staff members have medication questions they call the Drug Information Center. It is my job to provide answers to their questions. In a time when everyone on the medical team carries a handheld PDA full of downloaded drug information resources, the questions that make it all the way to me are the obscurest of the obscure. Questions like:

??!How do you prevent bortezomib-induced hypotension in a patient receiving hemodialysis??!


??!Is there any evidence for using minocycline to treat panitumumab-induced dermatologic toxicity??!

The great thing about the drug information center is that so many excellent drug information resources are readily available. They have some of my personal favorites; Lexi-comp, Micromedex, Facts & Comparisons, PubMed with full text access, Trissel’s and plenty of conversion and compatibility charts. So when I get puzzling questions like these I am able to find the answers if they are out there.

Most of the questions people ask do not require immediate responses, so I am usually given plenty of time to come up with thorough answers. It’s a great way to help out in caring for patients, in a mellow environment. I can see how drug information would be an attractive field for the pharmacist who is interested in research and caring for hospitalized patients, but wants to avoid the hustle and bustle of the floor.

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