Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drug Info Wrap Up

Posted by Nina Cimino at Thursday, October 20, 2011

As my drug information rotation comes to an end, it's been a week of wrapping up projects for me! In my last post I talked about the monographs I've been writing for rotation, and while I've continued with those, I have also been busy working on long term projects. Since a month isn't that long term, I have generally been working on small portions of projects that will get picked up by someone else after I'm gone.

One of the projects I have been working on is searching for primary literature about vitamin and mineral drug interactions. Tons of supplement products contain vitamins and minerals, so rather than having a general interaction for "multivitamin" the company is moving toward identifying interactions with specific components such as iodine, iron, or selenium. This way, multivitamin products would only be implicated in an interaction if they contain the specific interacting component. Practically, this meant searching PubMed for published studies about drug interactions occurring with vitamins and minerals, which challenged me to identify which information was relevant for our purposes.

Another project involved journal surveillance and required me to go through recent issues of journals to identify research about drug interactions and make sure the database was up to date. My preceptor identified a list of journals which typically publish research relevant to drug interactions, and I read through the article abstracts of recent issues. When I found a research article about a drug interaction, I would check the company's database to see if that drug interaction was represented, and if the information needed to be updated in light of the new research. If the information did require updating, I would revise the drug interaction monograph to incorporate the new research findings.

This rotation has challenged me to improve my technical writing skills and literature searching skills. Also, because I was often balancing a variety of projects and assignments simultaneously, I learned to manage my time effectively. I enjoyed experiencing a pharmacy environment that was new to me, and I'm continually pleasantly surprised by all of the varied opportunities available to pharmacists!

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