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Epilepsy drug lamotrigine use in pregnancy: fewer doctor visits ahead?

For women with epilepsy, controlling health-threatening seizures is especially important during a pregnancy.

Taking the right dose of medicine can be key… and challenging.

As a baby grows, a pregnant woman’s body weight must also grow to support her baby. Consequently, a pregnant woman may require more medication to keep seizures at bay than she did pre-pregnancy. Pregnant women with epilepsy regularly visit the doctor to have blood drawn and adjust their antiepilepsy medicine dosage.

Now, new data analyses from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Harvard Medical School find one fifth of pregnant women may someday be able to control seizures with fewer visits to the doctor.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: With codeine abuse on the rise, it’s important to remember regulation can work to curb misuse

Over the past few months, recreational use of codeine cough syrup has captured national headlines as abuse of the combination cough suppressant/antihistamine has climbed among adolescents. The coverage intensified when pop music star Justin Bieber was linked to the drug by the media last month.

Ingredients for a codeine/promethazine cocktail popularized by the rap industry as “sizzurp,” “lean” and “purple drank” were reportedly found during a police search of the star’s home in late January.

David Ferguson, Ph.D., a pharmacology and drugs of abuse expert from the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy is surprised to see the drug making headlines again.

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patient-care

Time to see the specialist? Medication woes might call for pharmacist

For the millions of Americans with chronic conditions like asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, taking all the right medications at the right times can be a challenging, if not impossible, task.

With the insight that comes from seeing several thousand patients each year, Allyson Schlichte, Pharm.D., understands the medication challenges facing many Americans. But by some accounts, she’s an unusual “doctor” to meet in the hospital exam room.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M research finds kava plant may prevent cigarette smoke-induced lung cancer

New research from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Masonic Cancer Center has found that consumption of the root of Piper methysticum, or kava, a plant native to the South Pacific Islands, may prevent the development of tobacco smoke-induced lung cancer.

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news-and-notes

U of M College of Pharmacy dean Marilyn K. Speedie receives highest honor in pharmacy

Marilyn K. Speedie, B.S.Pharm., Ph.D., Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, is the recipient of the 2014 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Speedie was selected in recognition of the professional achievements, innovations and advancements she has contributed to the pharmacy profession.

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education

Are pharmacy schools graduating too many students?

Here’s a bit of health care news you probably haven’t heard too much of lately: America is graduating too many future health care providers.

Yet according to Dan Brown, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University, that’s exactly the case when it comes to graduation rates at United States pharmacy schools.

University of Minnesota professor and pharmacist workforce researcher Jon Schommer, Ph.D., disagrees.

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